Hyde-Smith introduces gun owner protection bill

U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith has reintroduced the Gun-owner Registration Information Protection Act otherwise known as the “GRIP Act” to ensure federal funding cannot be used by states, localities, or any other organization to maintain gun registries.

The GRIP Act would clarify existing law that prohibits the use of any federal funding by states or local entities for the storage or “listing” of sensitive, personal information related to the legal ownership or possession of firearms.

“Federal law prohibits the government from tracking law-abiding gun owners and that ban extends to using federal dollars for such ill-advised activities on the local or state level.  This legislation clarifies that point,” said Hyde-Smith, a lifetime member of the NRA.  “It would ensure local gun control schemes don’t wrongfully exploit federal resources to track people who own or purchase firearms legally.”

The bill has been endorsed by the National Rifle Association (NRA) and U.S. Senator Roger Wicker is an original cosponsor of the GRIP Act.

“The federal government has no business tracking law-abiding gun owners,” Wicker said.  “I am glad to join my Senate colleagues in this effort, which will reinforce existing protections against using federal resources to store sensitive personal information about Americans who are exercising their Second Amendment rights.”

Under current law, the federal government may not store information acquired during the firearms background process.  This legislation clarifies that this prohibition extends to the use of federal funds by states, localities, and other groups for the creation or maintenance of a full or partial gun registry.

“Senator Hyde-Smith has always worked to protect the rights of law-abiding gun owners, and the men and women of the National Rifle Association applaud her for her leadership in sponsoring this important piece of pro-Second Amendment legislation,” said Chris W. Cox, Executive Director of the NRA Institute for Legislative Action. “This bill ensures that federal funding cannot be used to create and maintain gun registries – an issue of critical importance to NRA members and all gun owners.”

The legislation does not include any limitations related to state recordkeeping for permitting, law enforcement-issued firearms, or lost or stolen firearms.

Other cosponsors of the Hyde-Smith legislation include Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), and Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska).