Krieger Seeks to Dismantle State Firearm Registry
HARRISBURG – Legislation introduced by Rep. Tim Krieger (R-Delmont) to dismantle the Pennsylvania State Police’s handgun sales database would provide an opportunity for bipartisan cooperation, particularly by allowing both opponents and proponents of more gun control to demonstrate their opposition to the registration of law-abiding firearm owners.
“With the enactment of Pennsylvania’s Uniform Firearms Act in 1995, the Commonwealth required that firearm purchasers submit to a background check,” said Krieger. “Integral to the passage of the Uniform Firearms Act was a section expressly prohibiting any government or law enforcement agency from maintaining or operating a ‘registry of firearm ownership.’ Despite this plain language, the Pennsylvania State Police has created and is maintaining a database of handgun owners from information obtained from such checks. Unfortunately, by way of some twisted logic, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court held, in the case of Allegheny County Sportsmen’s League v. Rendell, that this database was not a ‘registry of firearm ownership’ despite having all the attributes of a registry.”
House Bill 1430 would address the ruling in the Allegheny County Sportsmen’s League case 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.
“Many gun control proponents argue that background checks do not lead to registration or confiscation,” said Krieger. “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.”
Most importantly, passage of Krieger’s legislation would require the Pennsylvania State Police to destroy its existing handgun record of sale database, and make it crystal clear that no such database or registry can again be constructed or maintained.
“By supporting my legislation, proponents of the various gun control measures in the House can offer proof of their good faith,” said Krieger. “If they truly believe that background checks should not result in registration, they should have no objection to dismantling the Pennsylvania State Police’s handgun sales registry.”
House Bill 1430 is awaiting consideration in the House Judiciary Committee. Visit RepKrieger.com
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Representative Tim Krieger
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Ty McCauslin