Washington, D.C. – In his budget proposal released today, President Barack Obama removed two dangerous gun riders from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives section of the budget. The National Rifle Association, or NRA, argues that laws already on the books should be strictly enforced before we enact new laws designed to reduce gun violence. But the NRA has done the most damage to the power of the federal government to effectively regulate and monitor the gun industry, assist law enforcement investigations, and prosecute gun-related crime.
CAP Senior Fellow Arkadi Gerney released the following statement:
By eliminating these unnecessary and dangerous gun riders from his budget proposal, President Obama took an important step forward in strengthening the federal government’s ability to regulate the firearms industry and fight gun-related crime. One rider the president struck down prevents federal law enforcement from requiring gun dealers to conduct an inventory once a year, which leads to thousands of unreported lost and stolen guns that too often end up at crime scenes. Another rider the president rebuffed is called the “curio and relic” firearms, and its removal will prevent assault rifles from being mislabeled as antiques and thereby subject them to more stringent oversight.
We are encouraged that the president chose to take these steps in his budget proposal to allow the federal government to enforce existing gun laws and are hopeful that Congress will follow suit in the coming weeks as they continue to negotiate the 2014 budget.
As detailed in a recent CAP report, “Blindfolded, and with One Hand Tied Behind the Back: How the Gun Lobby Has Debilitated Federal Action on Firearms and What President Obama Can Do About It,” for decades Congress, at the behest of the National Rifle Association and others in the gun lobby, incrementally chipped away at the federal government’s ability to enforce gun laws and protect the public from gun crime through riders attached to annual appropriations bills. More than a dozen such riders have been passed over the years, often with little or no debate or discussion.
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