Washington, DC�The defeat today of Congressman Jim Moran's (D-VA) amendment
to the Commerce, Justice, State, and Judiciary Appropriations bill that
would have required the retention of approved firearm purchase records
generated by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS)
for a 90-day period is a death certificate for the Brady Law, the Violence
Policy Center (VPC) warned today. The retained records are used to audit
the background check system to make sure it works and is not being misused.
The audit log serves an important law enforcement function and is the
key tool in preventing fraud and abuse of NICS. Without the audit log
the FBI also cannot protect the privacy of all Americans, because there
is no way to detect whether a dealer or anyone else is accessing NICS
to run checks unauthorized on his friends and neighbors.
The Moran amendment would simply have maintained a rule finalized by
the Clinton Administration in January 2001. Attorney General John Ashcroft
twice suspended the rule unlawfully and then announced he was gutting
it by requiring the destruction of records within 24 hours.
VPC Litigation Director and Legislative Counsel Mathew Nosanchuk states,
"Today the U.S. House of Representatives chose the NRA over the FBI. This
action will put guns into the hands of criminals, wife beaters, and the
Adds Nosanchuk, "Today's defeat of the 90-day amendment is a win for
criminals and corrupt gun dealers and a huge loss for the safety and privacy
of the American people."
The VPC has launched www.ashcroftgunwatch.org,
the leading source of ongoing information on Ashcroft, his pro-gun activities
and gun lobby ties, as well as his enforcement of current gun laws.