The government has no legitimate reason to collect this information.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) could no longer collect racial data for gun transactions under new legislation in the House.
Gun dealers are currently required to report information about the race and ethnicity of people who purchase firearms. The ATF has been collecting this information for several years, though the agency has maintained it never compiled it in any database.
But the Freedom From Intrusive Regulatory Enforcement of Arbitrary Registration Mandates (FIREARM) Act reintroduced late Monday by Reps. Diane Black (R-Tenn.) and Ted Poe (R-Texas) would strike down this controversial policy.
“Forcing citizens who are lawfully purchasing guns to disclose race and ethnicity with the threat of federal prosecution if they fail to disclose is completely unnecessary,” Poe said in a statement. “Bottom line, if a law-abiding citizen is lawfully purchasing firearms, race and ethnicity are irrelevant.”
The ATF made changes to Form 4473 in 2012, according to the lawmakers, requiring gun dealers to submit information about the race and ethnicity of their customers.
Gun dealers that fail to comply with the new requirements could face penalties from the ATF, the lawmakers say.