Your Gun Is In The Government’s Sights!
by Shirley Spellerberg on August 12, 2011 at 8:13 PM
Rand Paul’s Amendment to Protect the Privacy of Gun Owners under the Patriot Act was Defeated
If you read the July 29th issue of Gun Owners of America, you can read all the bad news relating to gun ownership control and the assault gun owners are under. The latest shocking news involves so-called ‘conservative’ Republican Senators, including not-so-conservative, John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison, who voted against Senator Rand Paul’s amendment (85-10) which would have exempted gun records—including 4473’s (the form all purchasers fill out when they buy a firearm from a licensed dealer—from the blanket searches by the ATF under the Patriot Act. Without Paul’s exemption, it is possible that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives could go to a secret FISA court and without any defense attorneys present, obtain an order to produce every 4473 in the country, ostensibly because a “terrorism investigation” requires it. If such an action were taken, the government would have a list of every FFL-related gun buyer in the country going back decades.
Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell and his second-in-command Jon Kyl mischaracterized the Paul amendment by spreading misinformation and lies. They falsely claimed that had the FBI been investigating the 2009 Fort Hood shooter under the Paul amendment, authorities would not have had the necessary tools under the Patriot Act to stop the shooting. However, the terrorism legislation was fully in force at the time of the Fort Hood shooting and did nothing to prevent it!
Republican leaders also claimed that there was no evidence that the Patriot Act has been abused on a “wide-spread” basis, either in general or with respect to the Second Amendment. But since all investigations are secret, it is a crime to disclose them. The Obama administration is now pushing to illegally seize 4473-type information through its illegal regulations on multiple semi-auto sales in the Southwest in the name of “national security.” The effort to register gun sales along the border underscores how easily the ATF could use the excuse of “terrorism” to register gun sales across the entire country.
NRA DID NOT TAKE AN OFFICIAL POSITION ON THE PAUL AMENDMENT
Once again, the NRA refused to step up to the plate and take a strong stand for privacy rights for gun owners. The NRA had a letter read from the NRA-ILA head, Chris Cox, encouraging the government to use the McClure-Volkmer provisions in current law that allow access to firearms records under very narrow circumstances (some of us also have a problem with McClure-Volkmer.) At least, Senator Paul’s amendment vote lets us know who we can rely on to block abusive practices and who may actually side with ATF if their leadership “orders” them to violate the law. (Many excerpts from GOA Legislative Attorney, Mike Hammond, from the July 29th issue of The Gun Owners were used in this blog.)
What is reported here is just the tip of the iceberg. Eternal vigilance and citizen response is constantly needed.