The American government has been keeping track of everyone who owns a legal firearm for more than two decades. This is a blatant violation of federal law, and many gun owners are very concerned about their rights.
The registry is called the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). When this registry was put into place, the new law specifically prohibited the collection of information regarding the legal ownership of guns. Despite this, the federal government has had no problems disregarding their very own policies.
The NICS law reads, “The NICS, including the NICS Audit Log, may not be used by any Department, agency, officer, or employee of the United States to establish any system for the registration of firearms, firearm owners, or firearm transactions or dispositions, except with respect to persons prohibited from receiving a firearm by 18 U.S.C. 922(g) or (n) or by state law. The NICS Audit Log will be monitored and reviewed on a regular basis to detect any possible misuse of NICS data.”
Simply put, unless a person is not allowed to own a gun for whatever reason, their information cannot legally be retained. However, it was revealed that the government has in fact been storing such data. This revelation came about through a seemingly innocent release of gun ownership statistics.
The government announced that between the years 2004 and 2014, suspected terrorists made attempts to buy firearms from American gun dealers at least 2,233. Making matters very troubling is that the suspected terrorists successfully purchased a gun 91% of the time. While at first glance it might appear nice that the government is monitoring such people, this revelation actually shows that the government is keeping track of anyone who legally owns a gun or has legally tried to purchase a gun.
The suspected terrorist list includes people who have never been charged with a crime. More than 700,000 people are on this list, and many of these people clearly aren’t terrorists. In fact, even former South African President Nelson Mandela was on this list before his death in 2013. The list is extremely infamous for including many non-violent activists. By having “suspected terrorists” flagged for legal gun ownership, it shows that the government is keeping track of all legal gun owners.
The NICS list contains a plethora of information. It reveals what type of gun was purchased, as well as the individual’s name, birthday, address and even their social security number. This data is being shared throughout the government at various agencies. The government had previously stated that this practice is illegal, but it is still doing it, clear as day.
Needless to say, this has many Americans quite worried. Citizens are wondering how the government can possibly be trusted with more power when they can’t even obey current policies.