A new partnership between the National Rifle Association and the FBI is set to begin as part of the ongoing gun control debate, according to an announcement Friday.
According to the announcement, the National Shooting Sports Foundation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives will partner on a program to collect, store and analyze data from all firearm owners, regardless of whether or not they own a firearm.
Under the agreement, the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action will oversee the program, which will be operated by the National Institute of Justice.
“We are thrilled that the NRA is leading this important initiative to help us stop gun violence,” NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre said in a statement.
“The NRA is committed to advancing gun safety and protecting the Second Amendment and we will continue to work with the Department of Justice to ensure this important effort reaches the right people.”
The announcement comes after the FBI announced that it had expanded its gun-tracking program in an effort to identify individuals suspected of violating federal law on gun trafficking and other crimes, the Associated Press reported.
In addition to collecting data on gun owners, the FBI will also make available information on firearms and ammunition that are purchased or traded, and data on individuals who have previously been identified as part or part of a criminal syndicate.
“The new National Rifle association-FBI partnership will enhance our ability to track and prosecute violent criminals and prevent gun violence across the country,” New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in the announcement.
“By collecting and analyzing the data, we will be able to better target resources, enhance our enforcement efforts and deter crime in our communities,” New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said in an email.
The new initiative is expected to launch in about a month, and the NRA and the bureau have not yet released the terms of the deal.