Gun Control: Statutory Disclosure Limitations on ATF Firearms Trace Data and Multiple Handgun Sales Reports

Publication Date: May 2009

Publisher: Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service


Research Area: Social conditions



For FY2003-FY2006, riders on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) appropriations have prohibited that agency from disclosing firearm trace data (based on firearm transfer records maintained in part by licensed gun dealers) and multiple handgun sales reports data for any purpose other than supporting a bona fide criminal investigation or agency licensing proceeding. This rider is known as the "Tiahrt" amendment, for its sponsor in full committee markup of the FY2004 Commerce-Justice-State appropriations bill, Representative Todd Tiahrt. Members have introduced legislation to overturn the FY2006 appropriations rider (see S. 2460/H.R. 5033 and S. 2629). Nevertheless, a similar rider may be included in the FY2007 ATF appropriations language. In addition, on May 18, 2006, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security approved a bill (H.R. 5005) that includes a provision to permanently codify this disclosure limitation.