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senate Bill S. 351

Should the Federal Gov’t Be Prohibited From Funding State & Local Gun Ownership Databases?

Argument in favor

The federal government is prohibited by law from creating a gun ownership database, but it’s unclear whether state & local governments can use federal funds to create such databases. This bill would clarify that no federal dollars can be used to fund a gun ownership database.

Hunter's Opinion
···
09/21/2019
How is it constitutional for the federal government to keep tabs on something that is guaranteed by the same Constitution?
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Mart's Opinion
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09/21/2019
Why does the government at any level need a database of constitutional rights exercisers?
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James's Opinion
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09/21/2019
This saves us from the federal government compiling a list of who’s doors to kick in when they decide to confiscate guns and declare civil war 2: electric boogaloo. Any gun control law is an infringement. All gun control is racist.
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Argument opposed

Existing federal law already prohibits the storage of information acquired during the firearms background check process. Storing legal gun owners’ information in a database would treat them like criminals just for exercising their Second Amendment rights.

jimK's Opinion
···
09/21/2019
Thanks NRA; congrats on completing your purchase of the Republican Senate. I am sure they will make good use of your funding to keep them out of any crowded public areas where innocent people could get slaughtered by some wacko with an AR.
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Patricia's Opinion
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09/21/2019
Having a database of gun owners is not a violation of the Second Amendment. It makes sense for the federal government to assist states in forming and keeping a gun database by giving money. Legal,law abiding gun owners should have no problem with this. We live in a society where the right of the people to live without fear of being shot,something which is not felt by many today. I,also, think the legislation was written in a way to confuse people which is a crappy way to write a bill!
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Phillip's Opinion
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09/21/2019
Blatant NRA propaganda. Get real. Cease and desist this bs. Part of the problem even now is differing state regulation or more importantly non regulation of gun ownership which allows dangerous people and red flags to get weapons who shouldn’t have them. The PEOPLE are in the majority sick and tired of the delay tactics and inaction while innocents die. Enough with the piecemeal interpretations of the second amendment. The constitution also grants all citizens the right to LIFE, liberty and justice for ALL. Set a federal licensing database where owners are licensed and weapons are registered as the bare minimum. Insist on a basic psychological evaluation as a part of obtaining said license. Cost of initial registration and licensing can be pro bono. It would be a pittance of the cost of burials. The states can go harder as they see fit. Anyone with lawful reasons to have weapons need not worry one iota. As unregistered firearms are discovered they can be seized and either auctioned publicly to licensed law abiding people or destroyed. No member of the military has to worry about the competency of another member with regards firearm safety as they are all trained on the weapon and safe handling thereof. Law enforcement officers would be more readily apprised of how dangerous a situation could become. It would save lives there. If “ the government” wants to come after you and your pop gun they can bring a tank! Get over yourselves and stop living in fear. The pro gun don’t do anything people are the most insecure psychologically unsound people I have ever talked to!
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What is Senate Bill S. 351?

This bill — the Gun Owner Registration Information Protection (GRIP) Act — would prohibit the federal government from giving states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands, or any U.S. territory funding for state firearm ownership databases. It would clarify existing law prohibiting the use of any federal funding by states or local entities for the storage or “listing” of sensitive, personal information related to the legal ownership or possession of firearms.

The term “state firearm ownership database” would be defined as a comprehensive or partial database of a state or political subdivision of a state that lists firearms lawfully owned or possessed by individuals or individuals who lawfully own or possess firearms. 

This prohibition wouldn’t apply to a state firearm database that lists firearms that have been reported as lost or stolen or individuals who have reported their firearms as lost or stolen.

Under current law, the federal government may not store information acquired during the firearms background process.  This legislation would clarify that this prohibition extends to the use of federal funds by states, localities, and other groups for the creation or maintenance of a full or partial gun registries.

Under this bill, funds from the National Criminal Histories Improvement Program, the NICS Amendment Records Improvement Program, and the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant program couldn’t be used for establishing state firearm ownership databases.

Impact

Guns; gun owners; gun ownership databases; federal funding to states and local entities for law enforcement; and prohibiting federal funding to states and local entities for gun ownership databases.

Cost of Senate Bill S. 351

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthSen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) — a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association (NRA) — reintroduced this bill from the 115th Congress to ensure federal funding can’t be used by state, localities, or any other organization to maintain gun registries

“Federal law prohibits the government from tracking law-abiding gun owners and that ban extends to using federal dollars for such ill-advised activities on the local or state level.  This legislation clarifies that point. It would ensure local gun control schemes don’t wrongfully exploit federal resources to track people who own or purchase firearms legally.”

When she introduced this bill in the 115th Congress, Sen. Hyde-Smith said

“Not a single federal dollar should be used for states or cities efforts to target law-abiding gun owner. My bill would ensure no federal funds are used, either intentionally or not, for these misguided gun control efforts.  This legislation is needed to ensure the federal government is not involved in exploiting the personal information of law-abiding people who own or purchase firearms legally.”

Original Senate cosponsor Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) adds

“The right to keep and bear arms, ultimately the right to self-defense, is a fundamental right that should not be stolen by any level of government.  If enacted, the GRIP Act would ensure that no federal dollars are used for the creation of state-run gun owner databases. I will always fight any infringement on the Second Amendment every step of the way, and that includes fighting for the privacy rights of law-abiding gun owners.”

The NRA supports this bill. Chris Cox, executive director of the NRA Institute for Legislative Action, says

“Senator Hyde-Smith has always worked to protect the rights of law-abiding gun owners, and the men and women of the National Rifle Association applaud her for her leadership in sponsoring this important piece of pro-Second Amendment legislation.  This bill ensures that federal funding cannot be used to create and maintain gun registries – an issue of critical importance to NRA members and all gun owners.”  

This legislation has 11 Republican Senate cosponsors. Its House companion, sponsored by Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), has 32 Republican House cosponsors.

Last Congress, this legislation had two Republican Senate cosponsors and didn’t receive a committee vote. There was no House companion legislation last Congress.


Of NoteIn recent years, many states have passed a variety of gun laws. In New York, gun owners were required to register their handguns with state police by January 2018 or risk criminal charges. Additionally, several state supreme courts have ruled that storing personally-identifiable information related to firearm purchases and ownership isn’t in violation of state laws. These rulings create a loophole for states to keep gun owner registries.  

With the New York law in mind, Sen. Hyde-Smith write in an op-ed in Ammoland

“I’m not sure what they’re thinking in places like New York, but one thing is clear: Not a single federal dollar should be used for states or cities to target the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners…We are a nation of laws. When someone breaks the law, there are consequences like being incarcerated and losing the right to vote or have a firearm. Law-abiding Americans shouldn’t be subject to those standards, particularly if they are gun owners. There is no need to track those who exercise their Second Amendment rights through a registry.”


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / somboon kaeoboonsong)

AKA

Gun Owner Registration Information Protection Act

Official Title

A bill to prohibit Federal funding of State firearm ownership databases, and for other purposes.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
    IntroducedFebruary 6th, 2019
    How is it constitutional for the federal government to keep tabs on something that is guaranteed by the same Constitution?
    Like (57)
    Follow
    Share
    Thanks NRA; congrats on completing your purchase of the Republican Senate. I am sure they will make good use of your funding to keep them out of any crowded public areas where innocent people could get slaughtered by some wacko with an AR.
    Like (107)
    Follow
    Share
    Having a database of gun owners is not a violation of the Second Amendment. It makes sense for the federal government to assist states in forming and keeping a gun database by giving money. Legal,law abiding gun owners should have no problem with this. We live in a society where the right of the people to live without fear of being shot,something which is not felt by many today. I,also, think the legislation was written in a way to confuse people which is a crappy way to write a bill!
    Like (98)
    Follow
    Share
    Blatant NRA propaganda. Get real. Cease and desist this bs. Part of the problem even now is differing state regulation or more importantly non regulation of gun ownership which allows dangerous people and red flags to get weapons who shouldn’t have them. The PEOPLE are in the majority sick and tired of the delay tactics and inaction while innocents die. Enough with the piecemeal interpretations of the second amendment. The constitution also grants all citizens the right to LIFE, liberty and justice for ALL. Set a federal licensing database where owners are licensed and weapons are registered as the bare minimum. Insist on a basic psychological evaluation as a part of obtaining said license. Cost of initial registration and licensing can be pro bono. It would be a pittance of the cost of burials. The states can go harder as they see fit. Anyone with lawful reasons to have weapons need not worry one iota. As unregistered firearms are discovered they can be seized and either auctioned publicly to licensed law abiding people or destroyed. No member of the military has to worry about the competency of another member with regards firearm safety as they are all trained on the weapon and safe handling thereof. Law enforcement officers would be more readily apprised of how dangerous a situation could become. It would save lives there. If “ the government” wants to come after you and your pop gun they can bring a tank! Get over yourselves and stop living in fear. The pro gun don’t do anything people are the most insecure psychologically unsound people I have ever talked to!
    Like (46)
    Follow
    Share
    Why does the government at any level need a database of constitutional rights exercisers?
    Like (32)
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    A database of all the guns owned in the United States is a necessity! We need to keep track of who owns them and who they’re being transferred too! If we don’t make sure that all these weapons are being accounted for, it only increases the likelihood of these guns ending up in the wrong hands, leading to another tragedy!
    Like (24)
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    We need to know who has what if any red flag laws are expected to be effective. Not all states will do what is necessary so it must be federally funded.
    Like (22)
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    How do you do a background check if there is no national database. The states need money to help create their local database which would be part of the national database.
    Like (22)
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    The Federal Government should help States create databases to store gun ownership information to be used exclusively for the purpose of background checks, any investigation involving criminal activity, or threat of harm with a weapon. Actually, it would be great to develop a national registry of gun ownership. (I can already hear the backlash! When children stop dying from guns, you can click delete.)
    Like (20)
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    This saves us from the federal government compiling a list of who’s doors to kick in when they decide to confiscate guns and declare civil war 2: electric boogaloo. Any gun control law is an infringement. All gun control is racist.
    Like (18)
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    The federal government should not be responsible for funding such a database. Most importantly, we should not allow for the government to collect information and store it in a federal database. It will eventually and grossly misuse such information. The federal government has proven it cannot be trusted with our information already. Case and point; the IRS targeting republicans and the NSA illegally collecting information on its citizens. This is unforgivable.
    Like (17)
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    We need gun restrictions laws NOW. Ban assault weapons. Register and insure every firearm like we do automobiles. 100% background checks - no loopholes. Ban assault weapons. Ban bump stocks. Ban high capacity magazines. Fund research into gun violence injuries and deaths No civilian should have a weapon of warfare like an AR 15 ! Stop senseless gun violence mass murders.
    Like (17)
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    Guns should be regulated exactly like vehicles All of them registered, age restrictions, licensing for all and special licensing for bigger and more powerful, insurance, testing for competence, medical restrictions, etc.......
    Like (15)
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    We need to grow programs such as this.
    Like (14)
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    Why would we protect gun owners?!
    Like (14)
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    DUPLICATE DUPLICATE DUPLICATE Existing federal law already prohibits the storage of information acquired during the firearms background check process. Storing legal gun owners’ information in a database would treat them like criminals just for exercising their Second Amendment rights. SneakyPete..... 👎🏻👎🏻👎🏻👎🏻👎🏻. 9.21.19.....
    Like (13)
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    American Socialists / Communists have a pronounced fetish for “lists”. All sorts of “lists”. Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Mao etc. all loved these very same “lists”. The 60+ million disarmed and slaughtered by these despots in the 20th century are a gruesome historical testament to the evil of “lists” and those with an insatiable desire to create them. Lists have one purpose. To take action at some point against those “on the list”.
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    There should be a national data base of where the guns are and who owns what.
    Like (12)
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    The government doesn’t need to have a list of gun owners. It could and probably would be abused. The government can’t be trusted with that information.
    Like (11)
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    The only rational reason for not funding a data base is to facilitate and support illegal trade in arms. If guns are not registered they cannot be tracked when used in criminal activity. The Second Amendment arguments around no registration are BS and based in paranoia. If you want to support illegal trade in guns, the deaths that result are on your hands.
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