Call your senators and support S. 2974, a new bill that would modernize how the ATF tracks guns used in crimes.
Informally called the Crime Gun Tracing Modernization Act, it was introduced in late May by Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy and Florida Senator Bill Nelson (who, by the way, is up for reelection in 2018 and needs your help).
It would allow the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) to build a computerized database of gun records.
What we’re going to tell you next will sound too borked to be true, but we assure you that it is.
When the ATF needs to trace a gun that was used in a crime, they have to rummage through cardboard boxes and pull paper records by hand.
Seriously. In 2018.
Do we need to tell you that this is a needlessly antiquated system that only makes it easier for those who commit crimes with guns?
Things are the way they are because a segment of American gun owners who are really closer to being gun fetishists fear the notion of the government having an accurate list of who owns guns.
You’ll be shocked, SHOCKED to learn that the National Rifle Association (NRA) is against any initiative that would do what S. 2974 promises to do, squawking that it would violate Second Amendment rights.
The bill, if passed, would give the ATF three years to build a functional computerized records system.
Please call your senators and voice support for this bill. And if Leahy or Nelson represent you? Call to thank them as well.
Sample script: “Dear Senator [Lastname,] I am [Firstname Lastname of town, zip code]. I am calling to ask you to support S. 2974, which would modernize the way America keeps and searches records of firearms sales. Right now, when the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms needs to track the records of a gun used in a crime, they have to rummage through paper records. For real. No joke. That’s nuts. S. 2974 would allow the creation of a computerized database. That, in turn, would help the ATF pin down information faster, help solve crimes faster, and might prevent more crimes from being committed with the same suspect gun. It’s long past time to drag gun-tracking into the 21st century. This bill should make that happen. Please support it. Thanks.”
See the GovTrack page on S. 2974, which was introduced on May 24, 2018:
Read a Sun Sentinel article on Senator Bill Nelson’s co-sponsorship of S.2974:
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Read a March 2011 MPR article on how building an accurate electronic database of gun records was seen by some as controversial and sensitive. It references an earlier records modernization bill that ultimately failed:
A note: We at OTYCD intend to nurture and encourage the movement sparked by the Margory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting by devoting one post at least every other week to gun safety-related issues.
The reason that the NRA has a death grip on Congress, and in particular, GOP Congressfolk, is that NRA members get off their asses and call if there’s a whisper of a muttering of a hint that a law might pass that could impose even the slightest imposition on ownership of guns in America.
That’s what the politicians are afraid of. It’s not just that some of them get metric buttloads of money for their campaigns from the NRA. Those who embrace the NRA’s outlook pounce on their phones and berate their representatives the instant they think their beloved guns are under threat.
So, yes, it’s on us to shout back.
We have to adopt the tactics of those who support the NRA.
We have to call our representatives often to make it damn clear that the status quo is unacceptable, and we want common-sense gun safety laws.
OTYCD will start out with one weekday post every two weeks, at minimum, that has to do with improving gun safety and pushing back against the NRA.
We do this in honor of the Parkland victims, and all victims of mass shootings in America, and everyone who has been fighting to change our laws on firearms all along.
If Trump finally bows to the will of Congress and imposes the sanctions against Russia for messing with the 2016 election, we will switch to devoting one post per week to these issues.
Honor the victims of the Parkland shooting, and all other shootings, by stepping up and calling your reps about common-sense gun safety laws, and by supporting politicians who have low grades from the NRA, and voting out those who do the NRA’s bidding.
#NeverAgain. For the love of all that is right and good, Never Again.