Firearms Industry has Stymied Gun Research and Regulation by Adding Riders to Spending Bills

Friday, April 05, 2013

Beyond the high-profile debates over gun-control measures, the firearms industry has quietly had its way for decades in Congress, convincing lawmakers to add important pro-gun provisions to spending bills that had to become law to finance government operations.


This tactic has resulted in laws that prevent the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) from mandating background checks for those purchasing older guns, and that prohibit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from researching gun violence.


Sometimes, the tactic is used on legislation whose subject matter isn’t germane to guns. When Congress adopted restrictions for credit card companies, it included a provision allowing gun owners to bring their weapons into national parks.


In 2004, the Tiahrt amendments, named after former Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kansas), prohibited the creation of a national gun sales database, prohibited the requirement that firearms dealers perform inventory checks and mandated that background check results be deleted after 24 hours, which made it more difficult for police to trace guns used in crimes.


Even now, in the wake of the Connecticut school shooting that galvanized the gun-control movement, gun makers managed to get favorable language added to a spending bill crafted by the Obama administration—which has publicly come out in favor of new restrictions.


“It’s not as well known,” Representative Mike Quigley (D-Illinois), who has urged President Barack Obama to repeal some provisions, told McClatchy Newspapers. “But this is an inherent problem. It makes enforcement nearly impossible.”

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Quietly and Behind the Scenes, Gun Research and Regulation Has Been Stymied (by Anita Kumar, McClatchy Newspapers)

University Researchers Protest Defunding of Gun Safety Research (by Matt Bewig, AllGov)


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