NRA-Backed Bills Get Congressional Hearing

Tomorrow the U.S. House Judiciary Committee will consider three NRA-backed bills that have the backing of the Colorado GOP delegation and Democrat Ken Salazar-all of whom have gotten financial support in their elections from the NRA and other gun rights groups.

Republican Reps. Bob Beauprez, Joel Hefley, Marilyn Musgrave, and Tom Tancredo, along with Democrat Ken Salazar, are co-sponsors of two of the bills–H.R. 5005 and H.R. 1384. The third bill, H.R. 5092, has all the same cosponsors with the exception of Hefley.

All have gotten support from the NRA and other gun rights groups in their elections for Congress. Musgrave has gotten $32,659 in support; Beauprez, $29,747, Hefley, $26,455; Tancredo, $20,572, and Salazar, $9,900.The bills deal with the power of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to enforce gun laws and the ability of local law enforcement to go after gun dealers.

For example, H.R. 5005 would permanently ban the creation of a centralized electronic list of gun dealers’ records. The NRA says such a database is a threat to gun owners’ privacy. The Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence argues that the bill weakens the ability of law enforcement to crack down on illegal sales.

Another bill supported by gun control groups-H.R. 1415-would strengthen gun safety laws by making funds available to states to share records on people prohibited from buying guns. It has the support of Democratic Rep. Diana Degette.

“Why all this action?” states an alert from the Brady Campaign. “Because this session of Congress is almost over, and the NRA wants to give its friends in the gun industry more favors before the tide turns against them in the fall elections.”

Campaign contribution analysis is of Federal Election Commission data supplied by the Center for Responsive Politics. Data include Political Action Committee contributions and independent expenditures and communciations costs in favor of candidates during their tenure in Congress.

[crossposted at Muckraking Mom.]

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About the Author

Nancy Watzman

is a Denver-based writer.

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