Congressman Cloud Reintroduces Bill to Dismantle Potential ATF Gun Registry

Washington, D.C. 一 Today, Congressman Cloud led a group of 62 Republicans in reintroducing the No Retaining Every Gun In a System That Restricts Your (REGISTRY) Rights Act. This bill would prevent the federal government from building a federal firearms registry. 

Federal Firearm Licensees (FFLs) must give all of their firearm transaction records to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) once they go out of business. The ATF maintains all these records in the ​​Out-of-Business Records Imaging System (OBRIS) database.  

Up until President Biden took office, FFLs were allowed to destroy firearm transaction records after 20 years. However, a rule was finalized last year that would require FFLs to maintain all firearm transaction records in perpetuity instead of destroying them after 20 years.  

There are valid concerns that the Biden Administration is taking a backdoor approach to create a federal firearms registry, which led Congressman Cloud to launch an investigation into ATF’s (OBRIS) database in 2021.  

Through a series of letters, Congressman Cloud and other Members of Congress uncovered that ATF has acquired nearly a billion firearm transaction records. This number will only grow with the finalized rule on firearm transaction and the ATF’s recently published “zero-tolerance” guidance. This guidance would allow the ATF to revoke an FFL’s license for one mistake instead of a history of willful disregard for firearms law. More gun stores closing will lead to more firearm transaction records being transferred to the ATF.  

Congressman Cloud’s No REGISTRY Rights Act would require ATF to delete all existing firearm transaction records accumulated by the ATF, therefore dismantling their current database and preventing the possible creation of a federal gun registry.  

The bill would also require Federal Firearm Licensees (FFLs) to destroy their firearm transaction records once they go out of business, ensuring the ATF doesn’t continue to accumulate these records. 

American gun-owners are rightfully concerned about the Biden administration’s willingness to use their authority to impose restrictions on law-abiding Americans. And it is Congress’ job to provide the oversight to ensure a registry is never implemented. 

“The Second Amendment is clear: the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed,” Congressman Cloud said. “The Federal Government does not have the right to subject its law-abiding, citizen firearm owners to excessive scrutiny. My bill would dismantle ATF’s record keeping, restore privacy for American gun owners, and reverse the groundwork laid for the creation of a federal firearms registry.” 

“ATF has no business maintaining nearly a billion gun and gun owner records in a digital, searchable database,” said Aidan Johnston, Director of Federal Affairs for Gun Owners of America. “ATF’s recordkeeping authority has been weaponized and all statutory protections against the creation of a gun registry have been maliciously circumvented. Gun Owners of America proudly supports Rep. Michael Cloud’s No REGISTRY Rights Act to rein in this rogue agency and completely eliminate ATF’s unconstitutional gun registry.” 

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