Pa. lawmaker wants gun database dismantled - abc27 WHTM

Pa. lawmaker wants gun database dismantled

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A Pennsylvania lawmaker has introduced legislation that would require the Pennsylvania State Police to destroy its database of handgun purchases.

Rep. Tim Krieger (R-Westmoreland) said his proposal, House Bill 1430, would make it clear that no database or registry of gun sales can be constructed or maintained.

Pennsylvania's Uniform Firearms Act, which requires background checks on gun buyers, prohibits any government or law enforcement agency from maintaining or operating a registry of firearm ownership.

But the state Supreme Court in 2004 ruled that the police database of people who have lawfully purchased handguns in Pennsylvania since 1931 does not qualify as a registry of firearm ownership "because it merely maintains records of sales and is limited to handguns and, thus, does not encompass a registry of all firearms."

"Many gun control proponents argue that background checks do not lead to registration or confiscation," Krieger said in a news release Wednesday. "Our experience in Pennsylvania, however, proves otherwise, as background checks have led to the creation of a registry, despite the legislature's clear intent to the contrary."

Krieger said House Bill 1430 would address the Supreme Court ruling by expanding the current definition of "registry of firearm ownership" to include any database, record or registry reflecting the sale, transfer or ownership of firearms.

The bill is awaiting consideration in the House Judiciary Committee.

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