The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


February 13, 2013

Gun lobby helps block firearms-data laws used to solve crimes


The NRA, which describes itself as "America's foremost defender of Second Amendment rights," opposes both changes. Andrew Arulanandam, a spokesman, didn't return calls about the group's efforts to block gun laws and data collection.

The group had 2011 revenue of $219 million, according to its tax returns. From 2004 to 2010, revenue from fundraising, including donations from more than 50 firearms and ammunition companies, grew twice as fast as its income from member dues, according to NRA tax returns. Still, the group says it represents more than 4 million people.

Wayne LaPierre, its chief executive, says Obama is "trying to take away" guns.

"They'll turn this universal check on the law-abiding into a universal registry of law-abiding people, and law-abiding people don't want that," LaPierre said Feb. 2 on "Fox News Sunday."

Todd Tiahrt, a former Republican congressman from Kansas, said police have the tools to track criminals. Tiahrt successfully pushed NRA-backed measures to block access to data tracing the sale and possession of guns used in crimes, and ban the information from being used as evidence in civil court.

His amendments stopped the ATF from requiring that gun dealers check their inventory for missing weapons and mandated the Federal Bureau of Investigation destroy background check results within 24 hours.

Tiahrt, now chief executive of Neumann Systems, a Colorado Springs, Colo.-based emissions-control provider, said authorities' best response to the Connecticut massacre would be to investigate the mental-health history of shooter Adam Lanza.

"If they were really concerned about what happened in Newtown, they'd find out what psychiatric drugs this kid was on, how that impacted his view of violence," he said. "Their motives are questionable at best."

Since 1979, Congress has prevented ATF from keeping centralized gun-ownership records, according to the agency. Sales data instead are maintained by the country's 58,900 federally licensed firearms dealers. When they go out of business, they're required to send the paperwork to ATF, which stores it on microfilm and microfiche.

Text Only
  • With 1 week to go, Sanford subject of attacks

    CHARLESTON, S.C. — Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford can’t seem to escape attacks on the extramarital affair that derailed his political career, which he hopes to revive in a special congressional election that is now a week away.

    May 1, 2013

  • Bombing shifts Mass. Senate race before primaries

    BOSTON — Even before the explosions, polling suggested that Massachusetts voters weren’t excited about the looming special election to replace former U.S. Sen. John Kerry.

    April 28, 2013

  • In a first, black voter turnout rate passes whites

    WASHINGTON — America’s blacks voted at a higher rate than other minority groups in 2012 and by most measures surpassed the white turnout for the first time, reflecting a deeply polarized presidential election in which blacks strongly supported Barack Obama while many whites stayed home.

    April 28, 2013

  • Senate Democrats put off vote on Labor nominee

    WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats have delayed a confirmation vote on Labor Secretary-nominee Thomas Perez after Republicans threatened to use a separate hearing to criticize his handling of a whistleblower case.

    April 24, 2013

  • Sen. Baucus' decision to retire sets stage for majorlegislative changes

     Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., one of the most influential congressional figures of his era, announced his intention Tuesday to retire, a move that could produce sweeping changes in the political and legislative landscape over the next two years.

    April 24, 2013

  • Senate friendship born of tragedy beat partisanship

    These days, most dispatches from Washington focus on petty partisanship, posturing, impasses and a political culture that rewards confrontation.

    April 22, 2013

  • Rubio rising

    If Marco Rubio helps pass comprehensive immigration reform, he will have accomplished more as a senator than Barack Obama did.

    April 22, 2013

  • Gun Bill's Failure May Help Immigration Legislation

    WASHINGTON — Here's an odd political reality: The collapse of the gun bill in the Senate last week may well make the passage of immigration reform legislation slightly easier.

    April 21, 2013

  • Senate Planning Vote on Internet Sales Tax

    WASHINGTON — The days of tax-free online shopping could finally be numbered.

    April 21, 2013

  • Advocates of Immigration Reform Fight Back Against Push for Delay

    WASHINGTON — The Senate's leading supporters of overhauling the nation's immigration system sought Sunday to blunt a conservative effort to slow the pace of debate over their bill, saying the Boston Marathon bombings are a reason to move quickly to make changes.

    April 21, 2013

Featured Ads
Politics Video