WASHINGTON, D.C. (WBTW) — South Carolina Congressman Tom Rice is sponsoring a bill that would prevent the federal government from building a firearms registry.

Rice is among more than 40 Republicans sponsoring the “No Retaining Every Gun In a System That Restricts Your Rights Act,” which would direct the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to delete all existing firearm transaction records to ensure that the federal government does not build a firearms registry.

“There is no reason for law-abiding American gun owners to be subjected to this kind of overreach by the federal government,” Rice said in a news release. “This bill would restore privacy for American gun owners and reverse the groundwork laid in the creation of a federal firearms registry.

Currently, the news release said, Federal Firearm Licensees are authorized to destroy their firearm transaction records after 20 years. Once FFLs go out of business, they would then transfer these records to the ATF.

While there is a statutory prohibition on a federal firearms registry, the ATF recently revealed that it had nearly 1 billion transaction records on file, the release said. 

The legislation would limit the ability of the ATF to use those records to create a federal firearms registry by requiring the agency to destroy the records it has on file. In addition, FFLs would be required to destroy all firearms transaction records once they go out of business.