Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn is asking Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. about the possibility of the Obama administration trying to track gun owners. The Texas Republican's letter puts the Justice Department on the spot following Holder's testimony about new gun safety devices at an April 4 House subcommittee hearing about the department's fiscal 2015 budget.
"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 in his Tuesday letter.
Justice Department spokesman Brian Fallon responded to that contention with an emailed statement.
"We will review the senator’s letter. For over a year, the administration has been working with firearm manufacturers to promote technologies developed by the private sector that could improve firearm safety," Fallon said. "Any suggestion that the Attorney General called for physically tracking law-abiding gun owners is a dishonest distortion."
Cornyn asked a series of other questions about Holder's Commerce-Justice-Science subpanel of the House Appropriations Committee testimony, including a query about possible executive actions related to firearms.
Cornyn specifically asked Holder for assurances that there will not be new requirements for fingerprint or biometric technology for guns.
A copy of the letter from Cornyn to Holder is available here (PDF).