Gun advocacy groups are furious with the federal government’s “unconstitutional” action of collecting millions of gun transaction records. According to documents obtained by the Washington Free Beacon from the internal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), “The Biden administration in just the past year alone stockpiled the records of more than 54 million U.S. gun owners and is poised to drastically alter gun regulations to ensure that information on Americans who own firearms ultimately ends up in the federal government’s hands.”
The acquisition of these records is raising suspicion that “the government is using this information to create a national database of gun owners – which has long been prohibited under U.S. law.” Those arguing for strict gun regulations wish to have a digital registry and federal database to hold records of gun owners in the United States, but gun advocacy groups such as the Gun Owners of America are against these measures. A spokesperson from the ATF insists that the “database cannot be searched by a purchaser’s name,” but this claim has done little to relieve concerns.
Currently, records maintained by gun shops can be destroyed after 20 years, but Biden’s proposal includes “a provision that would mean every single Firearm Transaction Record going forward would eventually be sent to the ATF’s registry in West Virginia.”
According to the Free Beacon, “The ATF obtained 53.8 million paper records and another 887,000 electronic records.” Such high numbers are unsettling Americans who fear the government is overreaching its hand in violation of federal law to “keep track of all Americans who own firearms.”
In addition to maintaining these records, the ATF is also proposing the requirement that background checks are implemented for gun parts, “meaning that if an individual assembled a legal homemade gun, he may be forced to submit to up to 16 different background checks.”
Gun advocacy groups are also arguing that the Biden administration is moving swiftly to get these regulations passed before the end of the year. However, a spokesperson from the ATF claimed that the process was not being rushed and “maintained that its rule-making process allows for gun advocates, experts, and others to offer comment on proposed regulations well before they go into effect.”
Still, the stockpiling of American citizens’ gun records by the federal government is alarming to those who fear their rights are being violated. The Biden administration will remain under scrutiny for this matter by gun advocacy groups whose purpose it is to guard against any infringement on gun ownership rights.
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