‘Law-abiding citizens should be free to exercise their Second Amendment rights without overly intrusive government interference…’
(Joshua Paladino, Liberty Headlines) Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., re-introduced legislation Thursday that would help keep the private information of law-abiding gun owners out of the federal government’s hands.
Last year, Hyde-Smith brought the Gun-owner Registration Information Protection Act (GRIP Act) to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, but the bill failed to move forward.
The GRIP Act prohibits state and local governments, or any other private organization, from accepting federal dollars to maintain gun registries.
“Federal law prohibits the government from tracking law-abiding gun owners, and that ban extends to using federal dollars for such ill-advised activities on the local or state level. This legislation clarifies that point,” Hyde–Smith said. “It would ensure local gun control schemes don’t wrongfully exploit federal resources to track people who own or purchase firearms legally.”
Ten fellow Republican Senators are cosponsors for the GRIP Act: Joni Ernst, R-Iowa; Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn.; Kevin Cramer, R-N.D.; Mike Enzi, R-Wyo.; Mike Lee, R-Utah; Pat Roberts, R-Kansas; Mike Rounds, R-S.D.; Tim Scott, R-S.C.; Dan Sullivan, R-Ark.; and Roger Wicker, R-Miss.
“Law-abiding citizens should be free to exercise their Second Amendment rights without overly intrusive government interference,” Ernst said. “This bill will help to ensure that gun owners are not unlawfully tracked by any government.”
It is already illegal for the federal government to store any information used during the federal firearms background-check process.
The National Rifle Association supports the GRIP Act.
“The right to keep and bear arms, ultimately the right to self-defense, is a fundamental right that should not be stolen by any level of government,” Cramer said. “If enacted, the GRIP Act would ensure that no federal dollars are used for the creation of state-run gun owner databases. I will always fight any infringement on the Second Amendment every step of the way, and that includes fighting for the privacy rights of law-abiding gun owners.”
The Senate’s GRIP bill comes as a separate anti-gun bill is making parallel rounds in the House, propelled with much fanfare by Congressional Democrats.
That legislation would seek to restrict Second-Amendment freedoms by expanding the requirements for gun background checks, forcing private citizens to conduct such checks before selling their personal firearms.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi touted the measure, which she claimed was “bipartisan,” at a January event joined by teen gun activist David Hogg and Rep. Gabby Giffords.
The House is expected to pass the bill around the time of the Feb. 14 anniversary of last year’s Parkland, Fla., school shooting, although it is not expected to survive the Senate.