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Gun Grabbers Lose Yet Another Round

DEMOCRATS WHO SUPPORT gun rights joined with Republicans July 12 to defeat an effort to allow local governments and law-enforcement agencies to gain routine access to gun-purchasing data.

The House Appropriations Committee defeated two attempts by gun-control advocates to remove four-year-old restrictions on use of information from Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives that traces gun sales.

Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.), who led the gunrights advocates, said mayors such as New York’s Michael Bloomberg want the data to sue out-ofstate gun dealers. Bloomberg has filed several such suits, all to no avail, in southern states.

More than a dozen Democrats, mostly from rural areas, joined all but two committee Republicans to defeat an amendment by Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.) to ease the data-sharing restrictions.

Earlier a bid by Rep. James Moran (D-Va.) to reject the Tiahrt measure was defeated on a voice vote.

Committee Chairman David Obey—a self-proclaimed liberal Democrat from a rural Wisconsin district—opposed the efforts to ease the restrictions.

Gun-control advocates have lost many battles since a Democratic-controlled Congress pushed through a ban on semi-automatic rifles in 1994. Many Democrats blamed the defeats in rural districts as the party lost control of Congress that year. When Democrats regained control of Congress in 2006, several of their newcomers were elected from rural areas and are on record opposing gun controls.

(Issue #31, July 30, 2007)

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Updated July 21, 2007