Statement Of Brady President Paul Helmke On Obama Administration Keeping Gun Lobby Language In Budget

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Peter Hamm,
Communications Director
Doug Pennington,
Assistant Director: 202-898-0792.

Statement Of Brady President Paul Helmke On Obama Administration Keeping Gun Lobby Language In Budget

WASHINGTON - Ignoring a campaign promise to "repeal the Tiahrt
Amendment," the Obama Administration yesterday maintained, in its
proposed budget for FY 2011, the Bush-era language that
requires the destruction of most Brady background check records, bans
the government from requiring gun dealers to fully account for firearms
in their possession, and prohibits public access to crucial information
about crime guns. 

The Brady Center highlighted
President Obama's failed leadership on guns in its recent report card
giving the President an “F” on preventing gun violence in his first
year. 

To read the report, go to: http://www.bradycampaign.org/xshare/reports/fedleg/obama-1styear-report.pdf.

Paul Helmke, President of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, issued the following statement on the Administration’s failure to remove the gun lobby language from its budget proposal:

"We are disappointed that President Obama has failed again to
propose repeal of the Tiahrt Amendment as he promised during his
campaign.  Keeping this language in place endangers the public by
making it easier for criminals to obtain guns.

"The Tiahrt
Amendment undercuts the Brady Law by requiring the destruction of most
Brady background check records in just 24 hours, allowing guns to
remain in the hands of hundreds of criminals whose gun purchases were
mistakenly approved.

"The Tiahrt Amendment also prevents the
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) from
requiring that gun dealers conduct annual inventories - a standard
practice for any business- to ensure they are keeping track of the guns
in their possession. The Brady Center found recently that more than
30,000 guns went ‘missing’ from licensed gun dealers in just one year.
Gun dealers who ‘lose’ large numbers of firearms from their inventory
are often supplying illegal guns to criminals.  The D.C.-area snipers
obtained the assault rifle they used to kill 10 people from a gun shop
that ‘lost’ at least 238 guns, including the snipers’ assault rifle,
over a three year period.

"President Obama has also maintained
from last year his Administration’s ban on public disclosure of crime
gun trace information.  State and local law enforcement are not allowed
to discuss non-confidential trace data with the public it serves. 
Before 2003, trace data was available to researchers, public officials,
the media and the public, allowing for research and analysis of illegal
guns, patterns of gun trafficking, and the role of gun dealers in
supplying the illegal market.  Policy makers need more, not less,
information on crime guns and where they come from.

"Congress
should get rid of the gun lobby’s language and do what the Obama-Biden
ticket called for during the 2008 campaign when they said they ‘would
repeal the Tiahrt amendment.'"

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Resources:

President Obama's promise on the Tiahrt Amendment: http://www.barackobama.com/issues/urban_policy/index_campaign.php

Brady Center Report Card on Obama Administration's first year record on gun violence prevention: http://www.bradycampaign.org/xshare/reports/fedleg/obama-1styear-report.pdf

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The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence and its legislative and grassroots affiliate, the Brady Campaign and its dedicated network of Million Mom March Chapters, is the nation's largest, non-partisan, grassroots organization leading the fight to prevent gun violence.

We are devoted to creating an America free from gun violence, where all Americans are safe at home, at school, at work, and in our communities.

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