March 10, 2022 – Earlier this week, Texas Representative Michael Cloud and 44 Republican co-sponsors introduced legislation that would prevent the incidental creation of a federal firearms registry.

The “No Retaining Every Gun In a System That Restricts Your Rights Act,” or “No REGISTRY Rights Act” for short, would prevent the ATF from collecting firearm transaction records from federal firearms licensees (“FFLs”) when they discontinue their business.  It would also require the ATF to destroy all such records that are currently in its possession.

Current law prohibits the federal government from creating a national firearms registry.  However, the Gun Control Act requires FFLs  to send the records they are required to maintain (acquisition and disposition records, 4473 forms, etc.) to the ATF within thirty days after they permanently discontinue their business.  Although FFLs may legally dispose of most of these records after twenty years, there is no similar provision for the federal government.

As a result, the ATF recently revealed that it had almost one billion firearms purchase records in its possession.  This de facto firearms registry is concerning to law abiding firearm owners and Second Amendment advocates.  It is particularly troubling in light of the Biden Administration’s push to amend the regulations and require that FFLs never destroy any of the required records, even after twenty years.  Eventually those records will end up in the ATF’s possession, resulting in a partial national firearms registry in all but name.

The No REGISTRY Rights Act simply removes the requirement that FFLs send their records to the ATF when they discontinue their business and directs the ATF to destroy the records it has already accumulated.  With a Democratic majority in congress until the next election, the Act is unlikely to be voted on, much less passed.  However, it may be reintroduced in the future.

Renzulli Law Firm, LLP is continuing to monitor firearms legislation as it is proposed.  If you have any questions regarding the No REGISTRY Rights Act, or any other firearms legislation, please contact John F. Renzulli or Christopher Renzulli.