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SAF CALLS FOR MORATORIUM ON ALL NEW GUN LAWS UNTIL CRIMINAL RECORDS CAN BE UPDATED

Tuesday, January 16th, 2001

BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) called for an immediate moratorium on the passage of all new gun laws until states and the federal government can update their computerized records on felony convictions and mental disabilities.

Responding to a report from the Americans for Gun Safety Foundation (AGS) that claimed nearly 10,000 felons and other ineligible persons have purchased guns since mid-1999 due to problems in records keeping, SAF Founder Alan Gottlieb stated, “If that’s true, then a moratorium on the passage of any new gun laws should be immediately put in place, until these records and computer systems can be upgraded.”

The Associated Press reported the AGS claim, in which AGS Director Jim Kessler said the criminal records for almost every state are “in terrible shape.” The anti-gun group said 25 states have automated less than 60 percent of their felony conviction records and 33 states do not automate any records on people who have been involuntarily institutionalized. Several other states do not automate records of domestic violence restraining orders or misdemeanors, AGS claims in its report.

“If this is true,” Gottlieb observed, “it is just more evidence that the foot-dragging by the Clinton Administration, and particularly the Reno Justice Department, in setting up the National Instant Check System (NICS) between 1993 and 1998 crippled the NICS effort from the outset. Gun rights organizations pointed to this problem years ago, because faulty records were actually preventing honest citizens from exercising their right to own guns and legally purchase them in a timely manner.

“Until such time that these records can be updated, and the NICS system be allowed to function as it was intended,” Gottlieb insisted, “there should be a moratorium on the passage of any new gun control proposals. We believe – and we think Americans for Gun Safety would agree – that government should devote all of its attention to making the current system work, so that alleged felons can be prevented from buying guns, and law-abiding citizens can make legal gun purchases without red tape interference.”