FederalGunsRep. Michael Cloud Files Bill to Destroy Over 900 Million ATF Firearm Transfer Records

Congressman Cloud filed new legislation to destroy the ATF’s records of firearm transactions obtained from gun stores that have gone out of business.
March 8, 2022
Rep. Michael Cloud (R-TX-27) introduced new legislation, H.R. 6945, to require the federal government to destroy firearm records it has obtained through gun stores that have gone out of business.

Under federal regulation, federal firearm licensees (FFLs) are required to maintain records of firearm transactions for up to 20 years and then transfer those records to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) if they go out of business.

Those “Out of Business Records” (OBR) are then stored by the ATF indefinitely and the agency is pursuing a rule change that would require FFLs to also maintain records indefinitely instead of 20 years.

In an exchange of letters between Cloud and the ATF over the past several months, the agency disclosed that it maintains approximately 921 firearm transaction records, of which about 866 million are stored digitally.

Cloud’s legislation would require the ATF to destroy all records of firearms transactions obtained through the OBR program and end the requirement in law for FFLs to transfer their records to the agency when they go out of business.

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Additionally, the legislation would also require the agency to produce a report specifying the number of records it destroyed pursuant to the bill.

“The Biden administration continues to threaten the rights of law-abiding Americans while turning a blind-eye to criminals and corruption,” Cloud said in a statement to The Texan. “Texas gun owners are rightfully concerned that this administration is willing and able to create a federal gun registry, and it’s Congress’ job to ensure that doesn’t happen.”

“My bill would dismantle ATF’s database as a whole—restoring privacy for American gun owners and reversing the steps taken by the Biden administration to create a federal firearms registry,” said Cloud.

Forty-four Republicans have cosponsored the legislation, including Reps. Chip Roy (R-TX-21), Jake Ellzey (R-TX-06), Randy Weber (R-TX-14), Louie Gohmert (R-TX-01), Ronny Jackson (R-TX-13), and Brian Babin (R-TX-36).


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Daniel Friend

Daniel Friend is the Marketing and Media Manager for The Texan. After graduating with a double-major in Political Science and Humanities, he wrote for The Texan as a reporter through June 2022. In his spare time, you're likely to find him working on The Testimony of Calvin Lewis, an Abolition of Man-inspired novel and theatrical podcast.