The National Rifle Association and big-city mayors have rarely agreed on gun laws. But they’ve found something they may both support: the Obama administration’s call for full law-enforcement access to data from traces of guns used in crimes.
The rare, and somewhat vague, consensus between the NRA and the mayors appears likely to increase the chances that Congress will pass the reform
The administration is proposing a partial rollback of a 2003 amendment named for Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.). Under the changes, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives would be able to share gun-tracing information with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, and prosecutors would be privy to the information.
Supporters say the change would help law enforcement target the source of guns used in crimes and would help prevent illegal drug trafficking.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and other mayors support the change, arguing that removing the limitation on local police departments’ ability to access the information will make cities safer.
Christopher Cox, an NRA spokesman, stopped shy of endorsing the reform but did not oppose it: “While we do not believe any change is necessary, we appreciate the President’s decision to support law enforcement and not gun control activists.”
Our nation is awash in guns. In the 18 years I have been in law enforcement I've seen the type of guns we've siezed go from cheaply made, marginally powerful handguns to full tilt assault weapons. Something's got to change.