U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith from Mississippi wants to make sure federal money does not go to maintain gun registries, which list personal information related to legal gun owners.
Hyde-Smith reintroduced the Gun-Owner registration Information Protection Act (GRIP) Wednesday, which was originally cosponsored by Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi.
Currently, the federal government is not allowed to store information it receives during background checks for firearms. Hyde-Smith says this legislation would extend the prohibition to the use of federal dollars by other groups to create or maintain a gun registry. She says the proposal does not limit anything related to state recordkeeping for gun permits or lost and stolen weapons.
According to Hyde-Smith:
The GRIP Act would clarify existing law that prohibits the use of any federal funding by states or local entities for the storage or “listing” of sensitive, personal information related to the legal ownership or possession of firearms. The bill has been endorsed by the National Rifle Association (NRA).
“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,” said Hyde-Smith, a lifetime member of the NRA. “It would ensure local gun control schemes don’t wrongfully exploit federal resources to track people who own or purchase firearms legally.”
“The federal government has no business tracking law-abiding gun owners,” Wicker said. “I am glad to join my Senate colleagues in this effort, which will reinforce existing protections against using federal resources to store sensitive personal information about Americans who are exercising their Second Amendment rights.”
Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA Institute for Legislative Action, added, “Senator Hyde-Smith has always worked to protect the rights of law-abiding gun owners, and the men and women of the National Rifle Association applaud her for her leadership in sponsoring this important piece of pro-Second Amendment legislation. This bill ensures that federal funding cannot be used to create and maintain gun registries – an issue of critical importance to NRA members and all gun owners.”
Other cosponsors of the Hyde-Smith legislation include Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), and Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska).