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Thanks to Alltop for giving us the heads-up on a gun control alert from a USACarry forum member. “Ronwill” links to Senate bill S. 2820, which would change federal regulations re: the retention of firearms sales information gathered by the national instant background check system. Under the proposed legislation, Uncle Sam would no longer destroy gun sales data after twenty-four hours. They would only do so only after 180 days. That’s six months to you and me. Also, note the word “suspected” in the bill summary [after the jump]. As TTAG reported, a recent report reveals that there may be as many as 350,000 U.S. citizens on the Terrorist Watch list in error. While we don’t wear a tin hat hereabouts, one might also note that the bill is sponsored by a cast of Democratic (and one Independent) gun control advocates (Senators Lautenberg, Feinstein, Lieberman, Schuman and Whitehouse). Lautenberg reckons the new rules will help protect Americans from terrorists and, of course, “gun violence.”

Clearly. Frankie reckons ditching all those records is pointless. This from his press release:

“It makes no sense to immediately destroy information linking a gun purchase to its buyer and seller,” said Sen. Lautenberg. “We are too often asking law enforcement to protect our communities with one hand tied behind their back. Preserving background check information would help law enforcement do its job and keep our families safe from criminals and terrorists. We must overturn the ill-conceived 24-hour destruction policy so we can successfully combat gun violence and terrorism in America.”

Ill-conceived, eh? How about the ill-conceived idea that terrorists can be stopped by prohibiting them from legally buying guns? Or is it?

At the request of Sen. Lautenberg, the GAO released a report earlier this year finding that from February 2004 through February 2009 there were 963 cases in which a known or suspected terrorist identified in federal terrorist watch list records attempted to buy a gun or explosives.  In 90 percent of these cases — a total of 865 different times — the known or suspected terrorist was cleared to buy a firearm or explosive.  Last week, Attorney General (AG) Holder announced his support for a separate Lautenberg bill, the Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Criminal Act of 2009, which would give the Department of Justice discretion to deny a gun purchase to someone on the terrorist watch list.

Did I mention that the Watch list is riddled with [admitted] errors? I think I did. Did I mention that there is no published criteria for getting on the List, and therefore getting off? Again, I’m not THAT paranoid, but wouldn’t you want a list that prevents gun sales from having a high degree of transparency—at least in terms of process? I’m thinking, I dunno, judicial review (a la wiretaps)?

Perhaps the feds should tidy-up that process BEFORE trying to pick fruit from the poisoned tree. Or something like that. Or, in fact, something like this:

Preserving Records of Terrorist & Criminal Transactions Act of 2009 or the PROTECT Act of 2009 – Amends the federal criminal code to require: (1) the retention for a minimum of 10 years of criminal background check records for known or suspected members of terrorist organizations who attempt to purchase firearms or apply for a state permit to possess, acquire, or carry firearms; and (2) the retention for at least 180 days of other criminal background check records relating to firearms purchases. Repeals certain provisions that require the destruction within 24 hours of identifying information for individuals who legally purchase or possess firearms.

Oh, and did you know that “Sen. Lautenberg is the author of the domestic violence gun ban, which has successfully kept more than 170,000 guns away from domestic abusers.” As in prevented them from buying? Confiscating? Where’s the data on that deal. As always, devil is in the details.

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