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Sen. Cornyn Keeps Debunked 'Firearm Tracking' Meme Alive

AP Photo / J. Scott Applewhite

Cornyn's office this week issued a press release saying that the Republican senator had demanded answers on "DOJ's proposed firearm tracking technology." In a letter sent to Holder, Cornyn laid out five questions about testimony the attorney general gave April 4 before a House appropriations subcommittee. During that testimony, Holder talked about ideas for gun safety technology including finger print identification and a bracelet that "talks to" a gun, to allow use only by the lawful owner. But one of Cornyn's questions picked up on an insinuation made last week by The Washington Free Beacon: that the technology would be used to "track" guns.

"Would the technological capabilities you referenced in your testimony require, or allow for, the monitoring of American citizens' personally identifying information through a central database or registry?" Cornyn asked Holder.

TPM last week asked the Justice Department about the suggestion that Holder's testimony implied an interest in technology for tracking gun owners.

"The administration is working with the gun manufacturing industry to encourage private-sector solutions to improving firearm safety," Justice Department spokesperson Brian Fallon told TPM in an email. "That is what the Attorney General addressed. Any suggestion that he endorsed a proposal to physically track law-abiding gun owners is a dishonest distortion."

Read Cornyn's letter:

Cornyn Holder Letter

About The Author


Eric Lach is a reporter for TPM. From 2010 to 2011, he was a news writer in charge of the website?s front page. He has previously written for The Daily,, GlobalPost and other publications. He can be reached at