Politics

Biden administration allegedly amassing millions of records on US gun owners, report claims

According to a Saturday report from the Daily Mail, the Biden administration has been collecting records of 54 million gun owners to potentially make a database of Americans who are in possession of a firearm.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) is reportedly monitoring U.S. citizens who have purchased guns to make sure their buying information is passed on to the federal government.

The ATF was able to collect information on gun owners by gathering and storing records on private gun transactions from licensed gun stores when they go out of business. Those documents are stored at a federal site in the state of West Virginia.

Internal documents obtained by the firearms advocacy group Gun Owners of America and given to the Washington Free Beacon show that in the fiscal year 2021, the ATF processed 54.7 million out-of-business records. 

The move garnered criticism from Pro-Second Amendment groups including the Gun Owners of America. Aidan Johnston, the group’s director of federal affairs, commented, “As if the addition of over 50 million records to an ATF gun registry wasn’t unconstitutional or illegal enough, the Biden administration’s misuse of ‘out-of-business’ records doesn’t end there.”

Johnston continued, “Instead of maintaining the right of [licensed firearm dealers] to destroy Firearm Transaction Records after 20 years, buried within Biden’s proposed regulations is a provision that would mean every single Firearm Transaction Record going forward would eventually be sent to ATF’s registry in West Virginia.” 

The Gun Control Act of 1968 already requires firearm dealers who go out of business to provide their records to the ATF to be added to a databased that cannot be searched by name. The process has faced more criticism as President Biden looks to add restrictions on purchasing and owning a gun.

A spokesman for the ATF said the organization’s “National Tracing Center processes millions of out of business records each month,” and added, “those out of business records do not constitute an initiation or continuation of any federal gun registry.” 

ARTICLE: ELIZABETH HERTZBERG

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: TELEGRAPH

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