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Don't Blame the Makers

Dear Editor,

Contrary to what some people believe, the "Tiahrt Amendment" does not withhold gun trace data from law enforcement agencies and prosecutors for use in criminal investigations.  It (perhaps unfortunately) does withhold such data from academic researchers.  But it also withholds this data from government and private parties who would use the data in frivolous lawsuits against gun manufacturers whose guns were diverted (by third party criminals) into criminal weapon supply channels and also use it against against innocent individuals and businesses.

There seems to be this notion that gun manufacturers, dealers and owners are somehow responsible for gun use by someone a long ways down the sales chain - perhaps someone who committed a gun crime with a gun bought from a friend who bought it from a relative who bought it from a gun dealer who bought it from a wholesale distributor who bought it from the gun manufacturer (or maybe the gun was stolen somewhere along that chain of transactions).  And so some private party or gun control group or the government is going to sue the gun manufacturer? Or everyone along that sales chain, innocent or guilty of criminal intent?  You've got to be kidding me.  If the law operated in that way, no automobile manufacturer or dealer would still be in business; they'd get sued every time some drunk or hotshot teenager or elderly person had an accident with injuries or fatalities

The reason for the Tiahrt Amendment was to preclude such abuses, which were not only happening with disconcerting frequency, but were openly being touted as a way to drive gun manufacturers out of business.  Gun manufacturers today, who's next tomorrow?

Sincerely yours,

Brooks Lyman

Townsend Road

Groton Herald

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