Hyde-Smith reintroduces GRIP Act to block state gun registries

Published 5:30 pm Thursday, May 18, 2023

U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), of Brookhaven, on Thursday reintroduced her legislation to prohibit states, localities or any other organization from using federal funding to maintain gun registries.

The Gun-owner Registration Information Protection (GRIP) Act would clarify existing law that prohibits the use of any federal funding by states or local entities to store or list sensitive, personal information related to the legal ownership or possession of firearms. Hyde-Smith first introduced the GRIP Act in the 116th Congress (2019-2021).

“The GRIP Act is needed now more than ever as more anti-gun and anti-violence proposals too often end up infringing on the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners,” Hyde-Smith said. “The GRIP Act would ensure that states and cities comply with federal statutes that specifically prohibit the use of federal funds to keep gun registries, which can then be used to target people who own or purchase firearms legally.”

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While current law prevents the federal government from storing information acquired during the firearms background check process, the GRIP Act would ensure the federal government does not support, either intentionally or otherwise, state or local efforts to collect and store personally identifiable information related to legal firearm purchases and ownership.

The bill also clarifies that states and local entities cannot use federal grant funds from programs, such as the National Criminal Histories Improvement Program, NICS Amendment Records Improvement Program, or the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program, to create or maintain full or partial gun registries. It would not limit states’ recordkeeping for permitting, law enforcement-issued firearms, or lost or stolen firearms.

Hyde-Smith’s original eight co-sponsors included Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.). U.S. Rep. Michael Guest (R-Miss.) cosponsored companion legislation introduced in the House by U.S. Representative Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.).

National Rifle Association, Gun Owners of America, National Association for Gun Rights, and Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association endorse the GRIP Act.

A one-page summary of the GRIP Act is available here.