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Your Congress and Tax Dollars at Work: 2012 CRS Report on Gun Legislation


Link to report from FGI: “Gun Control Legislation,” by William J. Krouse, Specialist in Domestic Security and Crime Policy, Congressional Research Service, RL32842 (November 14, 2012)

How does your member of Congress know what to think about complex issues?

Members of Congress, and their staff members, have access to CRS Reports and many, many other sources of information, thanks to the expert research services of the Library of Congress. Members of Congress also receive briefings and reports from administrative agencies, colleagues, PACs, nonprofits, advocacy groups, and individuals who write or telephone their elected officials.

Our members of Congress have not made CRS Reports freely available through any publicly accessible government database. You cannot find them at Congress dot gov, Thomas, or at USA dot gov.

The CRS reports are, arguably accordingly to some members of Congress, public documents and many organizations make CRS reports available to the public. You can search for them using an Internet search engine, assuming you know the report title and the date of the recent version, or you can look for an organization that compiles CRS Reports for their own researchers, but also willingly shares with the public.

Some institutions develop subject specialties, e.g. the University of Maryland Thurgood Marshall Law Library.

See also Stanford University’s CRS Archive-it database, Zimmerman’s Research Guide, University of Washington Gallgher Law Library, and the Naval Postgraduate Schoo”s Dudley Knox Library.

You can also contact directly one of your members of Congress and ask for a copy of the report or names of recent reports or if there is a report on a particular subject. In pre-Web days, one often had to allow about 6 weeks for the report to appear in the mail. These days it takes less time than that, though how much less depends on how your member of Congress directs his or her staff to respond to requests for CRS Reports.

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