Federal law bans a national registry of gun owners, yet it already exists in the form of a mostly digitized record of gun transactions, according to a new report from the Free Beacon.
“A federal firearm registry is explicitly banned by law,” explained Rep. Michael Cloud, R-Texas, when he led an investigation in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
“Yet, the Biden administration is again circumventing Congress and enabling the notably corrupt ATF to manage a database of nearly a billion gun transfer records.”
The federal agency already has revealed the lawmakers it holds a database of 920,664,765 firearm purchase records, either digitized or in hard copy.
“When a licensed gun store goes out of business, its private records detailing gun transactions become ATF property and are stored at a federal site in West Virginia,” the report explained.
“The practice has contributed to the fears of gun advocacy groups and Second Amendment champions in Congress that the federal government is creating a national database of gun owners, which violates longstanding federal statutes,” the report warned.
Cloud has concerns the database could be exploited by the Biden administration “to surveil American gun owners as it pursues new restrictions,” the report said.
“Under the president’s watch, the ATF has increased surveillance on American gun owners at an abhorrent level. The Biden administration continues to empower criminals and foreign nationals while threatening the rights of law-abiding Americans. It’s shameful and this administration should reconsider its continued attacks on American gun owners,” Cloud said.
The ATF denies that its records are used to “track” gun owners. But its database is used to trace firearms tied to crimes.
The federal law also now allows gun stores to destroy their records after 20 years, but the Biden administration is proposing that be changed so that those records are kept forever.
The idea is facing resistance in Congress.
Cloud and dozens of others in Congress are warning that eventually, every firearm transfer would end up in the ATF system.
The report said, “More than half-a-million traces were performed in 2021, according to the ATF, and just under half a million in 2020,” and that, according to Aidan Johnston, of Gun Owners of America, means it’s clear Biden is well down the path of creating that national gun registry.
“Make no mistake—this is clear evidence that a partial national gun registry exists,” Johnston said.
The bigger concern is that a federal government that knows where every gun is can confiscate every gun it wants at the time it chooses.
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