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Posted: 8/12/2001 6:41:47 AM EDT
http://inq.philly.com/content/inquirer/2001/08/10/national/GUNS10.htm For the NRA, it's a warmer White House Recent moves by the Bush administration suggest strong sympathy for gun owners - and gun-control groups are worried. Friday, August 10, 2001 By Chris Mondics INQUIRER WASHINGTON BUREAU WASHINGTON - Now that Republicans control the White House, the nation's capital is a much friendlier place for the National Rifle Association. Since President Bush took office, the administration has canceled a Clinton-era gun-buyback program opposed by the NRA, forced the weakening of an international treaty aimed at stopping the flow of small arms, and endorsed an expansive reading of the Constitution's Second Amendment, which guarantees the right to bear arms. And last month, the NRA put a picture of Attorney General John Ashcroft on the cover of one of its magazines, heralding his endorsement of the idea that individual gun ownership is a constitutional right. The close links between the Bush administration and gun owners come as no surprise, given the NRA's intensive efforts for Bush and other Republicans in last year's election. But after years of acrimony between gun owners and the administration of Bill Clinton - who pushed for tighter gun laws, including a ban on assault weapons - the cordial relations between gun groups and the White House mark a dramatic turnabout. The Bush White House has "acted in marked contrast to the previous administration," said James Baker, chief lobbyist and legislative strategist for the NRA. "That is exactly what they said they would do during the campaign, which is a refreshing change for a politician." The NRA is also gaining ground on Capitol Hill, where Democrats have increasingly questioned whether their party's advocacy of gun control cost Al Gore the presidency. As if to underscore the gun lobby's congressional influence, the Democratic-controlled Senate last week voted down a proposal to reverse the administration's cancellation of the gun-buyback program. It is unclear whether the administration's initiatives will have a significant impact, because its actions so far affect issues on the margins of the gun debate or because the issues are still in the courts. But groups that favor gun control say the Bush administration is sending strong signals that it supports the NRA's agenda and wants to weaken gun restrictions where it can. "This is not going to change anything overnight, but it is the first step toward radical changes," said Kristen Rand, a legislative director for the Violence Policy Center, a nonprofit that pushes for tighter gun laws. The administration delivered on a longtime NRA objective in June by ordering the FBI to destroy records of firearms background checks within 24 hours of obtaining them. The FBI collected the records through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, instituted several years ago to prevent felons and other disqualified people from obtaining guns. Over objections by the NRA, which contended that retaining the records could lead to a national gun registry, the FBI said it needed to keep them for up to six months to trace gun traffickers and detect gun dealers who were abusing the system.
Link Posted: 8/12/2001 7:33:11 AM EDT
"the FBI said it needed to keep them for up to six months to trace gun traffickers and detect gun dealers who were abusing the system." The FBI needs to work on getting all the spies out of it's ranks, finding all those guns IT lost, and work on it's record keeping. That would be a full time job, not worrying over a non issue.
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