Gun Control

Evan Dawson at 13-WHAM quotes Eric Massa in a story about Senator Kirsten Gillibrand's change of position on release of weapons trace information. Unlike Gillibrand, Massa's position hasn't changed.

Gillibrand has been labeled a "flip flopper" for her choice to vote against the Tiahrt Amendment in the Senate, even though she recently co-sponsored a bill in the House to make it permanent. That amendment tightly limits the release of data from a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) firearms database.

This is a classic urban/rural issue. A coalition of urban mayors, which includes the mayors of New York City, Rochester, Albany, Buffalo and Syracuse, want that amendment repealed. Michael Bloomberg, for example, believes that the law "obstructs" law-enforcement. The NRA view is that even the current restrictions lead to "too many disclosures of sensitive information."

When Gillibrand represented NY-20, her support of this amendment was consistent with the desires of her rural/suburban constituency (as is Massa's). Now that she represents the whole state, a majority of her constituents probably want the amendment repealed.

This seems fairly basic and undramatic to me, and if guns weren't such a hot-button issue, Gillibrand's decision would have escaped notice.