For years, my friends in Gun-control Nation have been kvetching and kvetching about something in Washington known as the Tiahrt rule.  This law, named after its sponsor, a Kansas Congressman, was passed in 2003 and has been a major thorn in the side of everyone who wants to do something – anything – about gun violence ever since.

              After we get done banning assault weapons and making all gun transfers subject to a background check, at least the legal transfers, then we have to get rid of the Tiahrt rule. So says all the gun-control groups. Why do we need to get rid of the Tiahrt rule?  Because this rule, according to Gail Collins, “prohibits the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives from sharing information with … almost anybody.”

              The result of the prohibitions and limitations in Tiahrt prevents law enforcement agencies from figuring out how guns get used in crimes and worse, prevents you and me and every other red-blooded American from learning whether the little ol’ gun dealer in town is following the law and selling guns the way they are supposed to be sold.

              And it’s important for you and me to know just exactly how the gun dealer down the street conducts his business because, after all, if someone walks into his shop, and then walks out five minutes later with 10 Glock pistols, this guy is obviously up to no good and the dealer is probably making it easier for this guy to drive up the ‘iron pipeline,’ park his car on some corner in Brownsville or East New York and sell the guns right there in the street.

              None of this nefarious behavior would be going on if the Tiahrt rule didn’t exist and the public could access all the information which is created whenever a gun is sold. This data is contained in the 4473 form which is filled out by someone who wants to buy a gun but first has to undergo a background check. The form lists the buyer’s name, address, age, gender, race, and ethnicity (i.e., Hispanic, or non-Hispanic) which is then transmitted to the FBI which uses the data to make sure the prospective buyer is a good guy, not a bad guy.

              Want the whole story from someone much more qualified to write about guns than Mike the Gun Guy?  You can get it from an op-ed published by Gail Collins whose statement about how the Tiahrt rule prohibits the ATF from sharing this information with ‘almost anybody’ is quoted above.

              What the Tiahrt rule actually says is that the ATF can only share all data with “a Federal, State, local, tribal, or foreign law enforcement agency, or a Federal, State, or local prosecutor, solely in connection with and for use in a criminal investigation or prosecution.” I am quoting from the rule which I took the trouble to look up and read.

              I’m not a celebrated op-ed writer for The New York Times. So, I don’t have the luxury of shooting my mouth off to a readership which will believe anything I say about guns because, after all, I write for The New York Times.

              Colllins’ op-ed is fluff obviously put together at the request of Bob Menendez (D-NJ) or one of the co-sponsors of a Senate bill that would eliminate the Tiahrt rule from the Federal law code once and for all. The co-sponsors are the usual gaggle of anti-gun Senators from New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, which is where most gun-control legislation starts out and then dies. I hope this bill dies too.

              The ATF exists to aid law enforcement in dealing with crime. And since the Tiahrt rule specifically requires ATF to share its information with any and all law-enforcement agencies, duhhh, isn’t this what they’re supposed to do?

              I don’t want the Brady Campaign to know that I walked into a gun shop and bought a gun. Should pharmacies give the names of customers who purchase medicines containing restricted substances to advocacy groups working to reduce overdose deaths?

Gun Notes: Research on Guns (Guns in America Book 9) – Kindle edition by Weisser, Michael. Politics & Social Sciences Kindle eBooks @