The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Politics

February 13, 2013

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

(Continued)

In 2011, Congress expanded the research restrictions to the U.S. Health and Human Services Department after lobbying by the NRA. The National Institutes of Health, which falls under the department, funded a study in 2009 that found a person carrying a gun was four-and-a-half times more likely to be shot than an unarmed person.

"The NRA has a zero tolerance for the collection of any data," said Rosenberg, now president and CEO of the Task Force for Global Health, an Atlanta-based nonprofit that trains public-health professionals.

Chris Cox, executive director of the NRA's Institute for Legislative Action, said on the group's website last year that the restrictions "plug yet another hole in the dam holding back anti-gun propaganda."

"The NRA will watch carefully to see how anti-gun activists working in these agencies respond to the latest thwarting of their agenda," Cox wrote.

The organization also has successfully argued to block public access to concealed-carry permits, according to the NRA website. At least 27 states now limit the release of such information, according to the Sunshine Review, an Alexandria, Va.-based nonprofit that tracks local government transparency.

Gun registries are banned in eight states, according to the San Francisco-based Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. The NRA pushed for several of those laws, including Florida's, which threatens police with a $5 million fine for maintaining a list of legal firearms owners.

In addition to Michigan, states that require some form of gun registration include California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland and New York, according to the NRA's website. Washington, D.C., does as well.

"Gun registration is the means by which government can ban guns, require you to turn them in or confiscate them," said Marion Hammer, a former NRA president who lobbies for the group in Florida.

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