2020 Election

New Loeffler Bill Would Give Gun Owners More Privacy Protections

Senator Kelly Loeffler (R., Ga.) / Getty Images

Georgia senator Kelly Loeffler (R.) introduced on Tuesday a Second Amendment rights bill that would safeguard the privacy of gun owners.

Loeffler's bill, the Gun Owner Privacy Act, would ban the use of federal funds to store personal information collected during background checks attached to gun purchases. Federal agencies are already barred from creating a database of gun owners, but the legislation will give citizens recourse for any infringements on their privacy. While the law would not apply to Americans who fail background checks, those whose records are illegally stored will be able to sue agencies in federal court and collect damages.

Loeffler also introduced a resolution condemning what she said were "laws that unduly inhibit and infringe upon the rights of a law-abiding individual to carry a firearm outside of the home." The resolution attacks limits on gun-carry permits as "unlawful infringements of the rights granted by the Second Amendment." She called on the legislature to step up to protect gun rights.

"The Second Amendment is our Founding Fathers' reaffirmation of our natural God-given right to defend life, liberty and property," Loeffler said in a statement first obtained by the Washington Free Beacon. "Law-abiding citizens should be free to exercise their Second Amendment rights without overly intrusive government regulation." 

The bill and resolution come as Loeffler competes to hold her seat in a hotly contested special election. She was appointed by Governor Brian Kemp (R.) after Senator Johnny Isakson (R.) resigned at the end of December and will need to beat out three other candidates in a November 3 election. She has faced stiff competition from fellow Republican Rep. Doug Collins who recently picked up an endorsement from the American Conservative Union, according to McClatchy. 

The measures may be Loeffler's attempt to shore up gun-rights supporters in Georgia ahead of the race against Collins, as well as Democrats Raphael Warnock and Ed Tarver. Unlike a traditional election, there will be no primary. The four candidates will compete in November with the top two vote-getters qualifying for a runoff unless a candidate emerges with majority support. 

Loeffler's Gun Owner Privacy Act comes shortly after a Maine state trooper accused that state's government of keeping records of firearms transactions. In a lawsuit, the trooper said Maine had created a de facto gun registry—something gun-rights groups have long fought against. Loeffler said in a release that her law would protect against such information collection.

"The Gun Owner Privacy Act [will] ensure that firearm owners are not unlawfully tracked by the federal government," she said.