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]