HOT BLAST: Stop worrying about a secret gun database - it already exists
Aug 23, 2013 | 1997 views |  0 comments | 31 31 recommendations | email to a friend | print
This was the scene earlier this year at the 2013 Rocky Mountain Gun Show in Sandy, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
This was the scene earlier this year at the 2013 Rocky Mountain Gun Show in Sandy, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
Any minute now, our most fierce defenders of the Second Amendment warn us, a national database of gun owners will be created. When that happens, it's Red Dawn all over again. (Wolverines!)

Turns out a national database already exists. Buzzfeed reports:

The National Rifle Association has rallied gun owners — and raised tens of millions of dollars — campaigning against the threat of a national database of firearms or their owners.

But in fact, the sort of vast, secret database the NRA often warns of already exists, despite having been assembled largely without the knowledge or consent of gun owners. It is housed in the Virginia offices of the NRA itself. The country’s largest privately held database of current, former, and prospective gun owners is one of the powerful lobby’s secret weapons, expanding its influence well beyond its estimated 3 million members and bolstering its political supremacy.

That database has been built through years of acquiring gun permit registration lists from state and county offices, gathering names of new owners from the thousands of gun safety classes taught by NRA-certified instructors and by buying lists of attendees of gun shows, subscribers to gun magazines, and more, BuzzFeed has learned.

The Daily Intelligencer's Margaret Hartmann reacts:

If the NRA was willing to discuss its secret list, it might defend itself by arguing it would never use the information to violate gun owners' rights; the group only opposed Washington's effort to create a national gun registry because it's a precursor to gun confiscation. Of course, the Manchin-Toomey bill would have strengthened prohibitions against a national registry, and no lawmakers were advocating the seizure of Americans' guns. But the NRA effectively spread that misinformation, with help from its own shady gun database. 

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