As participants in the decisions made in Congress, the people of Idaho reach out to me with valuable input on issues facing our country. I publish information on various issues of importance on my website, crapo.senate.gov. Concerns about the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) are among the issues Idahoans have reached out to me recently. Here is my answer :
I am deeply concerned about the ATF’s admission that it catalogs the business records of closed Federal Firearms License (FFL) holders. Current federal law requires FFLs to retain their firearm transfer records for 20 years, after which they may be destroyed. If an FFL closes its business, it must turn over its records to the ATF, which keeps them at the National Tracing Center.
Following a letter from Rep. Michael Cloud (R-Texas), the ATF acknowledged that it had over 920 million records as of November 2021. In the same letter to Rep. Cloud, the agency admitted that more than 860 million of these documents had been digitized. Although the agency says these digital records retain key information, such as the identity of the gun buyer, it would not be difficult to track down this information.
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The Protecting Gun Owners Act prohibits the federal government from creating a national gun registry. I agree that the ATF must adhere to this law and cease all efforts to create a de facto gun registry.
Additionally, I share concerns about a proposal to double the ATF budget. The agency needs more accountability, not more funding. I am one of the original co-sponsors of S. 1920, the ATF Accountability Act. This legislation would create a transparent review and appeal process for decisions and determinations made by the ATF. Having these processes in place would ensure that gun manufacturers and lawful gun owners are not subject to uncontrolled bureaucratic decisions made by the ATF. This measure has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee, where it awaits review.
I am not in favor of increased gun control. As Americans, we must protect and preserve our constitutional right to bear arms. Burdening the law-abiding citizens of this country with additional gun restrictions is not the answer to protecting the public. As gun control advocates continue to seek creative ways to advance their agenda, both through legislation and litigation, I will continue to oppose all efforts to weaken Second Amendment rights. .
My Senate website, crapo.senate.gov, contains information about matters before the US Senate as well as press releases, photos, and other items of interest. The website also provides information on how to contact me to share your views by email, telephone and postal addresses. News on recent activities and information on accessing my Facebook and YouTube pages and following me on Twitter can also be found on the website. Links to legislation and other resources to help Idahoans who need help with federal agencies are also available on the website. The messages you send me help shape my approach to a number of important issues.
Senator Mike Crapo represents Idaho in the United States Senate.