Skip to comments.U.S. Senate backs penalty if gun-owner data released
Posted on 04/19/2013 9:35:24 AM PDT by forty_years
WASHINGTON – The Senate endorsed a little-noticed proposal Thursday that would penalize states and communities that release "private information" about gun owners, including the type of data on concealed-handgun permits that's at the center of a debate in the Maine Legislature.
The 67-30 vote approving the plan to protect information about gun owners came a day after the Senate rejected a series of gun control measures sought by the White House and advocates for stronger gun laws in response to December's school shootings in Connecticut.
Maine's Republican Sen. Susan Collins supported the amendment while independent Sen. Angus King opposed it.
The amendment is largely symbolic, as evidenced by the scant attention it got Thursday on Capitol Hill. It is tied to a larger gun bill that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., pulled from the Senate floor Thursday after gun control advocates' stinging defeat.
Reid vowed Thursday to bring back the gun control package, presumably after securing more support for expanded background checks for private gun sales.
But the fact that the gun owners' privacy measure was endorsed with 67 votes -- compared with 54 votes Wednesday in support of expanded background checks -- shows the challenge for gun control advocates as they seek support among lawmakers from rural, pro-gun states.
The privacy proposal, sponsored by Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyoming, would withhold 5 percent of funding through the federal Community Operations Policing Services program from states or localities that publicly release data on individuals who own or carry guns.
"When government officials release gun ownership information it puts many lives at risk," Barrasso said, echoing concerns that such information can lead to gun thefts from homes. "This includes the lives of lawful gun owners, the lives of law enforcement and the lives of victims of domestic violence."
The debate over public access to data on gun permit holders exploded earlier this year when a New York newspaper published a list and map of concealed-weapons permit holders. The issue erupted in Maine after the Bangor Daily News requested similar information from across the state, only to withdraw the request amid a firestorm.
From the mid-1990s to 2010, police departments in Maine received more than $54 million from Community Operations Policing Services, much of it paying for additional police officers, school resource officers and new law enforcement technology.
Last year, four law enforcement agencies in Maine -- the Cumberland, Yarmouth and Madison police departments and the York County Sheriff's Office -- received $675,000 through the program to hire additional officers.
While some of Wednesday's gun control proposals were debated for hours in the Senate -- after weeks of public debate -- Barrasso's amendment was given just two minutes of discussion on the Senate floor Thursday.
Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, noted that the proposal had not even had a congressional hearing. He dismissed it as an example of Washington passing "Big Brother" legislation after two minutes of debate without any information on its potential impact on states.
"It's a feel-good amendment," said Leahy. "It will hurt our states but, most importantly, it will hurt law enforcement."
With its fate tied to the stalled gun control bill, Barrasso's amendment is essentially in limbo until a broader compromise emerges or supporters opt to break it out as a standalone bill. Even if it becomes law, it may be moot in Maine.
State lawmakers are considering legislation to shield information on concealed-handgun permit holders in the state. The bill won a legislative committee's endorsement this month and is awaiting action in the Legislature.
Kevin Miller can be contacted at 317-6256 or at:
On Twitter: @KevinMillerDC
Wow, coming out of the ‘rat-dominated Senate, no less. I’m surprised at the strength of the aye votes.
Yup, believable. That’s right after the “Don’t worry honey, I’m sterile” promise.
Amen! Perhaps all the phone calls and Emails got through to them.. I’m thinkin’ there’s a mentality of “we’re not making that stupid 0bamacare mistake AGAIN” going on.. Good.
Oh, what a bad week it has been for Obamastan.
Lot of Rat congresscritters are worried about their voters who have guns. Lots of gun owners live in commie states and these senate and house worry about job security if they do this. Commie states that totally control everything will not worry about it, but in other states that are close to 50-50 in voting will cause Rats to vote with job security in mind.
I know because of bunch of us little, ol' plebeians organized grassroots, spend money out of our own pockets, and got hundreds of people active. We didn't get a dime from any pro-gun groups, though they helped by providing timely legislative info.
Wow. Shocked. And happy.
Hasn’t been Zero’s week. Poor wittle fella.
Poor Obama having another tantrum. How will he spin 1 million Bostonians living under lockdown as paramilitary forces hunt down terrorists from Dagestan?
They must have figured out that the information released could reveal not just the status of lowly taxpayer scum like us, but that the aforementioned scum could find out which of the “elite” are gun owners.
Who will enforce it, Eric Holder?
Let’s get realistic. What are “they” gonna do to a state or community? Stop Federal handouts? All that does is penalize the folks living there.
IMHO, the person who released the info should be tracked down. A mandatory $100,000 fine and a mandatory 10 years in solitary confiment in a Supermax prison. Maybe that would be sufficient motivation to not do it.
Well that’s easy. Obama just won’t. He won’t invade any countries financing or harboring terrorists because this is clearly an isolated incident and of no relation to Islam. We shouldn’t jump to conclusions.
I think that’s a spot on analysis, thanks. I love it! Because, although they like to portray themselves as fully committed to the cause, unafraid of the consequences, willing to go down with the ship, etc., this proves them, once again, to be liars. Really cheers me up, because these last four years have been damned discouraging!
So if the press is not in full cheerleader mode for it like they were for the main gun control bill the vote is merely symbolic.
Looks like a message received is a lesson learned.
"Independent," my arse.
Heh heh... nice dual meaning there....
This is only an amendment to a bill that was killed.
What we need to see now is a “gang of 6x” or some such to propose a stand-alone bill which has this effect.
Until a stand-alone bill is voted on, these votes are meaningless.
good. the house better concur. hear that boehner.