Sen. Patrick Leahy, David Chipman Share Solidarity in Push for ‘Electronic Traces’ of Firearms

Committee Chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) speaks during a hearing of the Senate Appropriations Committee on May 12, 2021, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. - The committee held a hearing on Domestic Violent Extremism in America. (Photo by Alex Wong / POOL / AFP) (Photo by ALEX WONG/POOL/AFP via …
ALEX WONG/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

During the May 26, 2021, Senate Judiciary Confirmation hearings, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and ATF nominee David Chipman were in solidarity in push for “electronic traces” of firearms.

Leahy jumped into the topic by complaining about laws that limit the tracing and tracking of firearms, saying, “Congress, at the behest of some in the gun lobby, prohibited the ATF from electronically searching gun sales records [even though] we have tens of millions of these records stored in metal containers in parking lots.”

He added, “Anything else we want to trace we’d do it electronically…but the ATF is forced, by the laws we passed, foolish laws, to have this labor intensive process which, of course, hinders law enforcement all over the country. I think we have to act swiftly to bring the ATF into the 21st century.”

Leahy then referenced his gun control, the Crime Gun Tracing Modernization Act, which he re-introduced on May 25, 2021.

Chipman responded by thanking Leahy “for being so passionate about something that is just so critical to, not the only function of state and local law enforcement … but the mission of ATF to disrupt firearms trafficking.”

Chipman spent some time talking about the importance of tracing firearms and the hindrances that exist to tracing sources of firearms.

Leahy interjected, “I’m told that electronic traces could save hundreds of thousands of hours on traces.”

On February 5, 2021, Breitbart News reported that Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) was pushing gun control to require the registration of privately owned firearm in the United States.

Jackson’s bill, H.R. 127, also called for “a system for licensing the possession of firearms or ammunition in the United States.”

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at Sign up to get Down Range at


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