Two GOP lawmakers, Representatives Diane Black of Tennessee and Ted Poe of Texas, are pushing legislation that would have the government go “color blind” when guns are purchased. They seek to have the race section of form 4473 removed in an effort to not only simplify the process, but to keep the ATF from being racist. The bill has 11 co-sponsors so far and is moving through the House Judiciary Committee . . .
“This intrusive reporting requirement by ATF is nothing more than backdoor gun control,” Black told FoxNews.com in a written statement. “An individual’s race and ethnicity has nothing to do with their ability to safely own a firearm. The government should be color blind on all of our rights – including the Second Amendment. Law-abiding citizens should never have to play 20 questions with Uncle Sam just to access their fundamental rights to keep and bear arms,” Black said.
In 2012, the ATF changed their 4473 form to ask about the race of the gun purchaser. Gun store owners can suffer fines or worse for allowing gun buyers to skip this section of the form.
Many gun rights groups, including the NRA support the proposal. Michael Hammond, legislative counsel for Gun Owners of America, doesn’t pull any punches:
“Am I accusing the ATF of racism?” Michael Hammond, legislative counsel at Gun Owners of America, told The Hill. “You’re absolutely right I am.”
The ATF is of course defending the current 4473 form because they claim that race is necessary to help them solve gun crimes and trace the guns used illegally. They claim it is to help “ensure the correct identification of the original purchaser of the gun.”