Wednesday, March 9, 14, 2011
Within the next 90 days, Congress will vote on whether to reauthorize legislation to specifically allow the government potential access to millions of gun records (4473’s).
Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act, which must be reauthorized soon, is of particular concern.
This section allows the FBI to seize business records — including the 4473 forms that gun buyers fill out. The only significant caveat is that the FBI must claim that the seizure of records is needed pursuant to “an authorized investigation.”
But since a secret court is required to rubber-stamp the government’s request (unless it fails to make even a specious case), the FBI can easily abuse its authority. The Inspector General found that, between 2003 and 2006, the FBI may have violated the law over 6,000 times with respect to their authority under various provisions of the PATRIOT Act.
So just imagine that it’s your gun records that have been seized. Under such circumstances, the gun dealer is specifically prohibited, under penalty of law, from telling you that the FBI has confiscated the records of your firearms purchases. Under the PATRIOT Act, any limitations on the use of the seized records shall be at the sole discretion of the Department of Justice.
Talk about the fox guarding the hen house!
It is imperative that Congress protect gun owners from rogue government agents who would abuse their authority to register gun owners.
We’ve already seen the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives attempt to register gun owners recently when they tried to require certain gun dealers to report anyone who, within a five day period, tried to purchase two or more semi-automatic rifles (that are .22 caliber or greater and can accept a detachable magazine).
Historically, gun registration has been a prelude to gun confiscation, as documented by the Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership almost 20 years ago. They showed how several foreign governments in the Twentieth Century had used gun control — and quite often gun registration — to confiscate firearms. In each case, such confiscation was a prelude to genocide.
ACTION: Contact your two senators and insist that any language to reauthorize Section 215 also contain language to protect 4473’s from the Obama administration’s scrutiny.
You can use the Gun Owners Legislative Action Center at http://www.gunowners.org/activism.htm to send your legislators the pre-written e-mail message below.