NRA Fears NSA Surveillance Could Lead To A ‘National Gun Registry’

The National Rifle Association on Wednesday weighed in on the American Civil Liberties Union’s lawsuit to end the federal government’s phone data dragnet.

The NRA filed a friend of court brief in federal district court that argued the government’s interpretation of Section 215 of the Patriot Act could lead to the creation of a “national gun registry.”

“Under the government’s reading of Section 215, the government could simply demand the periodic submission of all firearms dealers’ transaction records, then centralize them in a database indexed by the buyers’ names for later searching,” the brief read.

When that government-mandated data is combined with phone call logs obtained by the National Security Agency — including gun owner’s calls to shooting ranges, gun stores or the NRA — the government could predict with “near certainty” who owns a firearm, the organization argued.

The NRA brief acknowledged Congress’ legislative efforts, both before and after the authorization of the Patriot Act, to prevent the creation of a national firearms registry and respect gun owner’s privacy.

But the organization argued it would be “absurd to think that the Congress would adopt and maintain a web of statutes intended to protect against the creation of a national gun registry, while simultaneously authorizing the FBI and the NSA to gather records that could effectively create just such a registry.”

[h/t The Hill]

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at catherine@talkingpointsmemo.com.
LIKE US ON FACEBOOK