Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives--Prohibition in the 2008 Consolidated Appropriations Act
B-316510: Jul 15, 2008
ATF maintains a Firearms Trace System database containing information related to guns recovered in connection with a crime, and ATF conducts firearms traces for other law enforcement agencies. B-309704, Aug. 28, 2007. The 2006 proviso states, in part, that "no funds appropriated under this or any other Act with respect to any fiscal year may be used to disclose part or all of the contents of the Firearms Trace System database" to anyone other than a federal, state, or local law enforcement agency or a prosecutor in connection with a criminal investigation or prosecution. Pub. L. No. 109-108, title I, 119 Stat. 2290, 2296. In our opinion addressing the 2006 proviso, we held that when the phrase "this or any other act" is coupled with the phrase "with respect to any fiscal year," Congress intends the provision in question to be permanent because of the forward-looking effect of the phrase. B-309704, Aug. 28, 2007. We concluded that the 2006 proviso is permanent law.