Reps. McCarthy and King Lead New York Delegation Letter Calling for Repeal of Law Restricting Gun Trace Data Sharing
Members of Congress call on Attorney General Holder to support repeal of Tiahrt Amendments
On Wednesday, February 25, 2009 Reps. Carolyn McCarthy (NY-04), Peter King (NY-03), and 22 members of New York's Congressional Delegation called on US Attorney General Eric Holder to support a repeal of the so-called "Tiahrt Amendments," which place broad restrictions on access to and use of gun trace data compiled by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (BATFE).
Since 2003, the Tiahrt Amendments have been inserted into the annual US Department of Justice's appropriations bill. These provisions prohibit law enforcement agencies form openly sharing gun trace data across jurisdictions and prevent the full investigation of gun trafficking operations that put illegal guns in the hands of criminals.
"The Tiahrt Amendments prevent law enforcement from effectively investigating and going after the gun trafficking. Without comprehensive gun trace data, our police cannot get the full national picture they need to understand how guns are getting to criminals. The sharing of this kind of vital information is fundamental for law enforcement to crack down on illegal gun trafficking," said Rep. McCarthy
"Tracing crime weapons back to their source is crucial to stopping the flow of illegal guns into New York's communities," said King. "Repealing the Tiahrt amendment will remove the obstacles to crime investigations and provide our law enforcement officers with the tools they need to keep illegal guns off our streets and out of the hands of criminals."
According to the Delegation's letter, "An astounding 70% of guns that are recovered in crimes come from out of state sources. And, while New York State has the toughest penalties in the country for carrying an illegal handgun, every year too many New Yorkers die because police in New York State are not getting the full support they need from the federal government."
A repeal of the Tiahrt Amendments would allow for broader information sharing and assist law enforcement in cracking down on illegal guns and has wide support throughout the law enforcement community.