Feds Illegally Maintain Registry of Firearm Owners; Media Fails to Report It

December 4, 2015   |   admintam

Justin King
December 4, 2015
(TFC) Washington D.C. – One of the largest fears of firearm owners is the prospect of a database of their names and personal information in the hands of the federal government. The idea of the government in possession of a list of gun owners has been one of the most opposed proposals in the gun control debate. The stiff opposition is linked to the justifiable fear of the government using such a list to confiscate firearms by force.

The idea of registering with the federal government brought such stiff opposition that when the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) was instituted, the law specifically prohibited the collection of data about legal gun owners and the implementation of any kind of registry. The law reads in relevant part:

“The NICS, including the NICS Audit Log, may not be used by any Department, agency, officer, or employee of the United States to establish any system for the registration of firearms, firearm owners, or firearm transactions or dispositions, except with respect to persons prohibited from receiving a firearm by 18 U.S.C. 922(g) or (n) or by state law. The NICS Audit Log will be monitored and reviewed on a regular basis to detect any possible misuse of NICS data.”

In plain English, unless a person is prohibited from owning a firearm, their information cannot be retained. However, a recent Washington Post article parroted the Government Accounting Office’s numbers related to firearms purchases:

“Between 2004 and 2014, suspected terrorists attempted to purchase guns from American dealers at least 2,233 times. And in 2,043 of those cases — 91 percent of the time — they succeeded.”

Upon first reading, many Americans might be glad the authorities are keeping an eye on those potential terrorists in our midst. Of course, the facts are a little different. The term “suspected terrorists” in this case means somebody on the combined terrorist watch-list. These are people that may have never been convicted or even charged with a crime. The list has expanded so much that there are around 700,000 names on the list. They include a number of journalists, former Department of Justice ethics adviser Jesselyn Radack, Nelson Mandela, and the list of non-terrorists and false positives goes on forever. Known nonviolent activists have been added to the list because there is no real justification required to be placed on it, only a “reasonable suspicion.”

Even more disturbing is that to make the matches, the government must retain records on everyone, or at least have every purchase in a supposedly confidential system scanned. That data is being shared within the government, contrary to federal law. When the FBI released its figures, it went as far as saying that 2,000 known or suspected terrorists bought a pistol, sports rifle, or assault weapon. This means they are collecting information about the types of purchases as well. Just matching a name to a list would not be enough to come up with accurate data. This means the NICS program, which was promised to be free from other agencies, is sharing personal data such as name, date of birth, address, and social security number.

To be very clear, the NICS system is retaining records of legal purchases, it is sharing that information with other agencies, it is retaining and sharing information containing enough detail to match the purchaser to a government created list, and now the US government is publicizing the fact that it is doing this even though it is a violation of federal law.

This comes at a time when the government is making another power-grab for firearms. If we can’t trust the government to obey its own laws, how can we trust them with more power? This revelation leaves those seeking sensible reform to a shoddy gun control system in the lurch. It has become clear the only way to avoid having your firearms purchases tracked and registered by the federal government is to exploit the “gun show loophole” so many want to close.

A list of news outlets parroted the government’s release of information without questioning where the data came from and the legality of it be recording. Whether you agree with the concept of gun registration or not, the failure to report the dubious origin of the data demonstrates either poor journalism or complicity in pushing a government agenda. Those outlets include: The Washington Post, Newsweek, CNN, the New York Daily News, CBS, and dozens of others.


This article (Feds Illegally Maintain Registry of Firearm Owners; Media Fails to Report It) originally appeared on The Fifth Column and was used with permission. Tune in! Anti-Media Radio airs Monday through Friday @ 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific. Help us fix our typos: edits@theantimedia.org.

Author: admintam

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25 Comments

  1. what,if "San Bernardino shooting" is a false flag?
    the federal government's response to the shooting in San Bernardino is the reduction of weapons in private hands and reduction of Constitutional rights.

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  2. What a bogus article. What does a person think when they fill out the paperwork at a legitimate place of business to buy a firearm. You know that they have to send it in and what is the government suppose to do, throw it in the trash. The writer is a hate and fear monger. The same thing happens when you apply for a concealed permit. Honestly if you didn't realize this then you are too stupid to possess a fire arm

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  4. Robert Soaft He's saying that it's ok for the government to break their own rules and the writer is s hate and fear monger for bringing it up.

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  5. If the law says to put in the trash, put it in the trash, shred it, recycle it, or burn it. Whatever it takes, get rid of it. Why is that so hard for you to understand?

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  6. Yes, throw it in the trash is EXACTLY what the law requires the government to do. That law is over 20 years old, and this is not the first time the feds have been caught breaking it

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  7. So they can come and collect them later? Historically, gun registration leads to confiscation, and, too many times, confiscation has been a precursor to genocide. Governments kill many times more people than criminals. Look up "democide"

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  9. False flag reeally? Are there really people so stupid that they actually buy into the Alex Jones type conspiracy bullshit?

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  10. John; I wonder if the 220 MILLION people that have been murdered by other Governments after being disarmed felt this way? Check your history – Governments are supposed to serve the people, not murder them. And yes, in cases, ours has done that also – without due process, unarmed, and on American soil, in the last 30 years yet.

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  11. >> "[NICS] is retaining and sharing information containing enough detail to match the purchaser to a government created list, and now the US government is publicizing the fact that it is doing this even though it is a violation of federal law."

    False. If FBI's NICS unit shares NICS information with other federal agencies within 24 hours of the original check, then FBI is not necessarily violating federal law. The law in question keeps FBI/ATF themselves from keeping the information past the statutory limit, but it doesn't specifically keep them from relinquishing that information to other federal agencies which have a national security interest in retaining this information.

    Aside from this question, what gun rights advocates are asserting here is that American gun owners' ability to stockpile private arsenals of firearms IN SECRET should supercede intelligence agencies' ability to keep watch on who is stockpiling private arsenals. this is the questoin at issue here, and should be posed to the American public as such.

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  13. James Thomas Maybe because he is one of those Libs that claim to be Pro-gun but cannot tell you the difference between semi and full auto. You know the types, they show up claiming they are Veterans or gun owners with several guns then make claims we need some more gun control. The Fascist left is easy to spot when they do this.

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  14. John O'Brien What will Gays like you do when Sharia comes to your area? Wouldn't you want the ability to protect yourself. If you're some type of limp wristed queer, do not place your own belief system upon others. That is what you Neo-Fascist LibTards like to do. Now go off to the Climate change boards and post in there. I hear Salon or Huffi Po calling your name and try not to slobber watching your Failure in Chief adress the nation tonight at 8PM.

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  15. Its none of their business who has guns. Government is the reason Americans have a 2nd amendment and for them to track gun owners makes government the biggest threat to Americans

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  16. Richard Pryor Not many people are pro gun they are just want guns for themselves. No American should be banned from arms if they are that dangerous they shouldn't be in society

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  17. well you never had a federal firearm licence.you do not turn them over to the goobermint unless you go out of business.the feds are supposed to get a warrent to look at 4473s if they believe their is a crime.

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  18. As I understand it they really don't have enough information to make any sort of useful determination. About the only information NCIS gets besides information on who is making the purchase is the type of gun being sold, e.g. long gun, pistol, revolver, etc., but nothing specific. They can't tell whether a person is collecting a representative sample of early bolt action Mauser rifles or modern semi-autos. To get that information they'd need to go to the dealer and look at their records.

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  19. "To be very clear, the NICS system is retaining records of legal purchases"

    This is not news… Janet Reno outright admitted this over 20 years ago, in 1994, and got sued over it. The courts gave her a pass, ruling that although her "audit log" could in fact function as a registry, it wasn't created for the purpose of compiling a registry. Subsequently, particulary in 2002, the FBI began exploiting it as a registry, irrespective of the government's "good intentions."

    http://www.privacilla.org/government/nics.html

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