Question of the Day: Does the Government Have a List of All Gun Owners?

NSA's Wasatch Range facility (courtesy wired.com)

What are the odds that the United States government has a computerized list of all Americans who own guns, which guns they own and where the owners live? In these post-Patriot Act times, with the NSA building data monitoring computers that require their own power plant, with ARGOS-equipped Hummingbirds watching over us, with the ATF’s history of doing as they please, I’d be surprised if Uncle Sam didn’t know who you are and what (generally) you have in the gun safe. I’m not saying it’s time to give up on the fight against gun registration. Far from it. No compromise. No surrender. I’m simply wondering if we’ve lost that battle. And if so, what does that mean?

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

68 Responses to Question of the Day: Does the Government Have a List of All Gun Owners?

  1. avatarMatt in FL says:

    Is this some of that FUD you’re always talking about the CDM engaging in?

    • avatarjbarr says:

      Most likely. Besides, they can only track legally bought and sold items (and isn’t that the point of some of the opposition to some of the gun control laws?) In South Carolina, for example, person-to-person gun sales are not registered or recorded, so while the state (and likely the Feds) do know that someone legally purchased a gun from a gun dealer, should that gun ever be sold to another person, the trail to the final owner could be much harder to follow.

  2. avatarTTACer says:

    I have filled out a number of 4473s and had to get fingerprinted for my first CCW. I would put the odds north of 99:1

  3. avatarSilentSecessionist says:

    you know that scene, in Heat, at the end, where Bob DeNiro goes to the hotel, flashlights the cops, and kicks in Waingrows door?

    And the dude is sitting there on the couch, bleeding from the face, looking defiant?

    And Robert Deniro says “look at me.”

    and you can see the sudden realization flash across Waingrows face, and his composure falls apart and he begins to panic and hyperventilate for a moment before he gets what he had coming?

    SOMETIMES ….. you want them to see it coming.

    Let them watch us. The best word to describe American gun owners is “Inexorable”

    -μολὼν λαβέ

  4. avatarWilliam says:

    I certainly think they know about MOST gun owners. But not all. And where they are? Not always, but in general, yes.

  5. avatarAnmut says:

    If Target can “out” a pregnant teen to her dad through her shopping habits, I would bet that the government has similar formulas afloat.

    • avatar16V says:

      The government has muchbetter tech, much better access, and many more talented people designing and implementing far better algos than commercial can ever dream of.

      Not that long ago before Narus was sold and folded into the great black web of the MIC, the head guys publicly spoke about the predictive software they already had deployed. More importantly, they spoke about the very near future, where the whole concept of ‘pre crime’ didn’t require a movie set, nor floating psychics.

  6. avatarS.CROCK says:

    they don’t have all gun owners names and addresses. look at chicago, i don’t think big brother knows about all the guns the thugs own there. maybe they just know about the law abiding citizens guns.

  7. avatarLance says:

    This is the question about how dumb liberal governments are. They have satellites and cameras to spy on its own citizens every day but they fail every day to find wanted international terrorist or stop North Korea from making ICBMs and same for Iran. Shows That scum like Di FI and idiots like Obama hate us and the freedoms and Americans in general much more than the real threats to civilization like North Korea Iran China, the resurrecting Russia and other real bad guys out there. Shows how low liberal scum can go.

    • avatarAnmut says:

      Very true – with all the military might in the world it STILL took 10 years to kill Osama.

    • avatarإبليس says:

      You nailed it for the most part. When governments crack down on the law abiding whilst allowing scum to run amok, we call that Anarcho-Tyranny (coined by Sam Francis).

      North Korea and Iran aren’t threats to civilization. One can barely fight starvation and the other is a regional power. China is a powerful civilization but only a threat because we lost faith in ourselves.

    • avatarLeo338 says:

      +1 Obama hates Americans especially anyone that isn’t a liberal/progressive. After his reelection liberals have openly called for the destruction of all opposition to Obama and their agenda. They mean this literally. I don’t understand why no one is taking them seriously and why we aren’t hearing more about it? Is this because you are labeled as a tin foil hat freak if you do?

      How do you explain DHS stockpiling millions of ammo? What about Obama saying himself that he wants to create a civilian national security force as big, as strong and as well funded as the Defense Department that would answer only to him? I don’t know what our future holds for us but I don’t think we are going to like it. I wouldn’t be surprised if this last election will be the last one we will ever have, and to speak up against Obama will be a criminal offense. I hope we are wrong but I wouldn’t put anything past this administration.

      Here is a good read that was just published. http://www.wnd.com/2013/02/why-is-government-stockpiling-guns-ammo/

      • avatarMolon Labe says:

        They have a list and it’s a very long one. More of us than there of them.

        We have a arms race for sure.

        I don’t think they have the military. Lot of us vets. I don’t think they can get it done.

        Bullets don’t equal well trained infantry. Who they going to send, TSA?

  8. avatarWilliam says:

    “Hummingbirds”, not “Hummingbird’s”.

    And in the seventies, it was widely said that NSA had satellite cams that could read license plates from space, or newspaper headlines. If they’re telling you a similar thing NOW, there’s no telling what they can do. What they admit to having is usually 25-30 years behind what they actually HAVE, as witnessed by the U-2 and SR-71 Blackbird, which had been flying missions a quarter century when admitted to. (AND flying nearly congruently with the U-2 program!)

  9. avatarjwm says:

    I don’t think they have ab exact list of every fun you own, no. But I believe they know down to a pretty small margin who owns the guns out there. We buy guns and all the support items that go with them. We engage in interwebz purchases and conversations about our guns. Even when we go into brick and mortar store there are cameras getting us from all angles.

    And I believe this actually works to our advantage. The G knows how many we are and that must chill any ambition on their part to make an actual door to door grab. And as we’ve seen here, they must also know that quite a few local officials and military people are against any such grab.

    We live in the info age. Just as with guns, there’s no putting the cork back in that bottle. We may as well benefit from the tech.

    • avatarMark says:

      Agreed. Firearms ownership is so pervasive, there’s no way to collect them and that’s why feinswine has admitted her intention is to dry up the supply with an eye on the future.

  10. avatarDutchinDC says:

    I soooo need a tin hat filter on my web browser.

    • avatar16V says:

      Just remember Watergate, bombing Cambodia, GM’s involvement in Opel leading up to and during WWII.

      More recently (and germane) warrantless wiretaps, domestic surveillance,
      even room 641 at ATT SF – all were tinhat conspiracy nonsense.

      Until they weren’t.

  11. avatarMike S says:

    I know one thing- the current administration will be putting procedures in place to try to fill in what blanks may still exist.

  12. avatarMatt says:

    it’s all about what they do with it:

    an open national/state registry is an overt step down the proverbial slippery slope. it will most likely be supported by millions of people, and it will set up the foundation for the next step. this is a cultural and political war, and registration, openly implemented, is a major battle lost.

    a stealth registry maintained by a murky government agency that is operationalized in any way, be it night-time raids or whatnot, is an act of war. Won’t sit well with many folks I imagine. I assume the NSA dweebs can find out whatever they want if they work on it, and track every interaction you’ve had with The System.

    If they know where they are, and they want them, they should come get them.

  13. avatarMD Matt says:

    A complete list? Not hardly. A working list? Absolutely, by default if not exactly by design…yet.
    • There are still gun owners who have owned firearms through private transfer and family ownership that haven’t made it into the ATF’s bound books.
    • There are criminals who have black market firearms that aren’t being tracked.
    • There have to have been errors in the transfer process over the years that have left a small population of guns off the grid.
    • There are some guns in private hands under the umbrella of trusts and companies that haven’t exactly tracked back to the individual…yet.

    All that being said, there’s enough paperwork filed whenever a person buys a gun that locating a person’s potential inventory isn’t that hard. I worked for eight years in collections and I can tell you that without access to dedicated databases you can find out all kinds of crap on people that you wouldn’t think would be possible. Throw a few bucks at the problem and it doesn’t take any effort at all. That’s in the private sector where information sharing is somewhat protected by privacy laws. In the public sector, where big brother is required to track everything, the data is out there for anyone with the right access and a desire to put it together.

  14. avatarBrennan says:

    It certainly isn’t out of the question. Google promotes ads based off search history and recently visited sites, I’m sure the man can keep a record of people filling out NICB forms or following thetruthaboutguns.com….. Now as far as knowing every gun you own? that’s less likely.

  15. avatarracer88 says:

    I just sold all my guns for a huge profit! I don’t have any more guns. Spread the word.

  16. avatarJim says:

    In a word, No. One of the guys I buy some guns from does biz out of his basement. The 4473 forms are paper. He does not use electronic records to store the 4473 data. The gubmint might know every time he does the NICS check that I’m buying a pistol or a long gun, but they don’t know which one. Also, they have no means of tracking the guns I have gotten rid of in private transactions as no 4473 was filed. So, do the Feds know I’m a gun owner? Most assuradly. Do the know exactly what I have? Seriously doubt it.

  17. avatarthe last Marine out says:

    It is now know that the NSA keeps a copy of every credit card trans, also all phone calls ,and every computer e-mail or trans, they run key word scans to look at different people …….. and the police will and can trace a firearm to the owner: What they can not trace is a gun show cash sales and private sales… trades , gifts, or firearms that been taken from someone or even a government agent….

  18. avatarإبليس says:

    The Feds can be frighteningly efficient in some areas and comically buffoonish in others. So I’ll wager they have an incomplete list that could be finished with basic detective work.

  19. avatarLTC F says:

    I do know that the Army is maintaining an illegal database if you register your guns on post (which is required I’d you live on post or bring your guns on post) so they know what I had in 2003. I’m guessing the ATF is keeping an illegal data base of who has had an instant check done on them, so they know who is buying guns, even if they don’t know what. It will be easy enough for ATF to demand dealers to turn in their bound books so they can find out what you bought at some point, though they won’t know if you still have it.

    I figure that since I am in the military, I have purchases guns, a Gadsen flag, a Gonzales flag, a copy of Atlas Shrugged and I’m an NRA life member that they’ll come for me first. When I disappear start burying your guns and ammo.

    • avatarHerb says:

      Roget that on the illegal database. Years ago a soldier PCSd from Fort Jackson to Fort Carson, got offpost housing, then was reamed by his commander because he failed to report/register his guns with the Ft Carson PMO, those guns which had been registered at Ft Jackson when he lived in barracks, even though they were now kept off post.

      If simple possession becomes illegal, then CWII is on!

  20. avatarST says:

    In a word , yes.

    How *accurate* such a list would be is one problem Uncle Sam faces. The trouble with databases are that people change, and there are thousands of ways guns can change hands without triggering an electronic data point.

    Problem number two is the troublesome Thiert Amendment. While I have little doubt it hasn’t stopped the establishment if a domestic gun registry, it DOES prohibit the public acknowledgement of its existence. Without public disclosure the antis can’t base any legislation off of it.

    Problem number 3: verifying the database. I’d be surprised if the NSA/CIA/DoD did NOT have a gun registry. The trouble of course is that what the computer says and what actually is the case can be two different things. Without spending billions on a “white” national gun registry to cooberate the current “BLACK” registry the gov only knows enough to get into trouble.

  21. avatarAlphaGeek says:

    I’m in the tech industry (no surprise there). Knowing what I do about information systems, since the 1990′s I’ve been operating under the assumption that any government agency is no more than one degree removed from knowing every gun I’ve bought through an FFL.

    I don’t think there is One Database To Register Them All, and even if there were, it’s too late to throw it into the fires of Mount Doom.

    Instead we have state-level databases covering >95% of the US population that can be queried at any time by Federal agents with court orders. Backing that up, we have the bound books of FFLs, and if Fedzilla is taking a close interest in you, sending out LEAs to gather data from bound books is not a significant impediment.

    I’m more surprised that some people DON’T expect their state and local LEOs to have access to their FFL-facilitated firearms ownership data, frequently right at the point of contact via the in-vehicle data terminal.

    • avatarAlphaGeek says:

      Also, I don’t think the CIA or the NSA are threats to my domestic civil liberties. I’m sure I show up on their radar since I have social relationships, customers and employees outside the US, but that’s true of basically everyone in the tech industry today.

      If I worried about this stuff (and I don’t) I would be thinking about how the erosion of our legal right to due process would be a slippery slope to the FBI boffins establishing an easily queried system-of-systems aggregator which didn’t directly own any source-of-truth data, but instead pulled everything from hundreds or thousands of downstream state and local databases.

      That’s how I would design it if I wanted to compete with the guys at Palantir for the domestic market.

      • avatarMD Matt says:

        It already works like that in the private sector. Companies like Lexus Nexus and Fast Data collect data from hundreds of sources, compile it, and make it available for anyone willing to pay a small fee. Google, social media, and a basic telephone search (not to mention a trip to your local court house) can build a profile of a person including all your supposedly private data. Any time you authorize a company to share your information or sign a terms and agreements which authorizes the company to make your data public, it’s going into a database somewhere.
        The government is far less organized than the private sector, but they have a lot more resources to throw at the problem. At this point I’d say it’s more a question of degrees of separation than if such a protocol exists in the first place.

  22. avatarJesse Nelson says:

    I don’t really think they are keeping lists. But at the same time I wouldn’t be surprised if they were.

  23. avatarDave Lewis says:

    Have you ever bought anything from Midway, Graf, Brownells, Sportsman’s Guide or even the satanic Cheaper Than Dirt? Yeah I know that you bought the powder, bullets and primers for firearms that you don’t own. Its pretty hard to hide.

  24. avatarensitu says:

    It is far easier to dis-arm a populace than most realize:
    Put thugs in uniform, a private army if you will. Use census and political data to choose an appropriate area with a very high population of the targeted class. Demonize, Humiliate, Isolate, Instigate, Televise what happens to Americans who resist “Common Sense Relocation” and the Uniformed Thugs get turned loose.
    Any resistance will be met with Waco Rules of Engagment
    Repeat as necessary.
    Never underestimate the power of evil people

    • avatarJarhead1982 says:

      Was Koresh a nutjob, most assuredly, was there evidence to support the Davidians had illegal firearms, the supposed main reason for the raid and such, no there wasnt, did some ATF agents get shot and killed for their uh indiscretionary attack, they most surely did, did someone take revenge for that act, several most assuredly did, its called Oklahoma City 1995, a nearly 10 to 1 body count ratio higher than WACO.

      Has the government tried a similar act as WACO since then, yes or no, geez, no they haven’t!

      Do you wonder why, we don’t!

      • avatarLTC F says:

        Two Texas Rangers who accompanied the Feds on the initial raid both testified under oath that the Feds fired first. After the violation of Federal law when military equipment and personnel were used in the final attack on the compound that killed all the children that the attack (using flammable gas on a wooden structure) was supposed to rescue, the ATF sifted through the rubble and found no illegal firearms.

  25. avatarJerryboy says:

    the government knows about all the guns you have that you have ever filled out a form for. however, the guns you own from private, cash-gun transactions? only if you were stupid enough to post about it on facebook or any other online forum(guilty!)

  26. avatarRalph says:

    As some day it may happen that a victim must be found,
    I’ve got a little list — I’ve got a little list
    Of society offenders who might well be underground,
    And who never would be missed — who never would be missed!

    From “The Mikado” by Obama and Biden

    Yeah, they know who you are. But that’s okay. We know who they are.

  27. avatarBuell301 says:

    I couldn’t care less. If they didn’t see my postings online, my credit card purchases, FFL info or my NRA membership, they’re more incompentent that we thought. We’ve always been at war with Eastasia comrades!

  28. avatarNelson says:

    Um, yes??

    If you use electricity, you’re on A govt list.

    Seriously, whoTF believes that NICS records are destroyed afterwards? No, really, seriously.

    It’s done digitally with computers with memory, buffers, and harddrives.

    The only way to truly, permanently delete data on any hard drive is to physically destroy the magnetic wafers.

    “They’re forbidden by law!” one may protest?

    Um, so what?

    So are all and any habeas corpus and 4th Amendment violations, along with every other Constitutional violations. But they do warrantless wiretapping, secret and indefinite detentions, torture, even assassination vs. American citizens, anyway!

    Asking whether or not govt violates our rights, is like asking a rapist, ‘does he rape?’

    Time for people to wake up to the fact that we have long had ‘our’ govt hijacked by a bunch of sociopathic nerds and vicious authoritarian psychopaths.

    Statism and faith in govt? It’s literally a disease. The State is the religion of the statists on both the Left and the Right.

    As with all things govt, they act as if they have no ‘legal’ powers to do things that they’ve ALREADY been doing. Then, they ‘struggle’ to pass legislation for things they’re already violating, to give the idiot populace an illusion of a functioning system.

    No different than the show they put on ever 2, 4, 6 years, in what morons call “free elections.”

    It’s like how many more elections funded by the very same corporatistslike GoldmanSUX do people need to see, to accept the fact that we literally have a govt run by a Mafia and a few of their capos as puppets?? There’s a reason why many call Obama as oBUSHma.

    This is how delusional the public is: the liberals went apeshit over the fact that GWB had an NSA hub at an AT&T substation in San Francisco that was collecting ALL electronic communications data.

    What 99% of those same liberals don’t know is the fact that, that was ‘allowed’ by CONgress since 1994, under Mr. Blue Dress stainer Clinton’s regime under Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act, aka CALEA of 1994, later followed by TeleCommunications Act of 1996.

    I read their publicly released white papers and the text of 1994 CALEA when that came out IN 1994. In it, it clearly, plainly states that all telecom manufacturers are required to have systems that will let Fed agencies easily tap into it. In fact, it’s their “duty.”

    To amend title 18, United States Code, to make clear a telecommunications carrier’s duty to cooperate in the interception of communications for Law Enforcement purposes, and for other purposes.

    https://www.cdt.org/issue/calea-tech-mandates
    https://www.eff.org/pages/calea-faq#19
    https://www.cdt.org/report/calea-background
    http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/news/1998/01/9502

    Ain’t it nice? Just to put a further spy state cherry on top, the TeleComm co’s made themselves immune from liability, when govt use their data to illegally spy on us.

    Not to mention, the ever mysterious (okay, so not so much these days) ECHELON, which since the dawn of Cold War, US govt has been warrantlessly spying on American citizens.

    The idea was, since the Feds were Constitutionally forbidden to spy on Americans illegally, but if UK and her commonwealths like Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and a few NATO allies & Japan had spying stations who cross spied on each other, it’d be ‘okay.’

    For instance, US will spy on UK, UK on US, Canada on UK, Australia on Canada, etc. Then they all exchange their ‘not illegally spying own their own citizens’ data, with each other.

    The tyrants have always plainly openly stated their intent in their own whitepapers. Literally, these fucks are like sociopathic serial killers, who leave their calling cards at the murder scene.

    This is the most frustrating part for anyone who is geopolitically and historically aware and understand how govt and legalese work in reality, vs. what the moron sheeple populace delude it unicorn to be. We are literally living a two parallel tracks of history, while much of the ‘Dancing with the Stars’ tuned in morons go about their lives obliviously.

    The true question one should be really asking is: Does technology exist to do ____?

    If yes, then govt IS doing it.

    If a tech merely exists to do something, it’s frankly safe to assume that they’re using it to violate our rights, until proven otherwise.

    Just think, we had DARPA/AirForce/Lockheed Skunkworks create a stealth bomber constructed of composites with the most craziest combination of curves, planar surface transitions and linear volumes that does Mach 5, designed pre-CAD/CAM…in 1959, with a flying prototype constructed 1962.

    We literally have a parallel tech history in the world. What we see on the commercial market are literally about 30yrs, if not more, behind.

    Any true student of history knows, if politicians had their druthers, ALL govts would be authoritarian dictatorships.

    Otherwise, you’d actually see ‘our’ reps do their best to uphold and defend our Constitutional rights, as per their oaths, NOT figure out ways to go around it, in EVERY SINGLE legislation.

    So why all the fuss if we all know that we’re all being spied on?

    That NSA center in Utah is storing Yottabytes of data. Yes, YOTTA-bytes!

    There are a thousand gigabytes in a terabyte, a thousand terabytes in a petabyte, a thousand petabytes in an exabyte, a thousand exabytes in a zettabyte, and a thousand zettabytes in a yottabyte. In other words, a yottabyte is 1,000,000,000,000,000GB.

    That is literally every single electronic keystroke made in the entire world.

    It’s the analysis and linking of separate govt databases that yield a psychological profile of your target, no different than the “Pre-Crime“/”Predictive Analytic” computer algorithms that your local LE PD’s utilize to model the most frequent high crime zones and who the most likely common repeat offender may be, in the future, in large metros like NYC, LA, Chicago, Miami, etc.

    But, why should we make it easier for our aberrant/degenerate sociopathic public servants to spy on us??

    Like the utter failure that are the 4.4 MILLION CCTV spy cameras in London, just because they store and track info don’t mean they can assess what it all means, nor actually stop or prevent crimes. A camera just records, it by itself doesn’t stop anything.

    So, they create analytical algorithms for their proceeding generations of Cray Super Computers to crunch through, that figure it all out for them. But really, if you track everything by keywords, all you’re left with is patterns of overwhelming nothing. Any computer coder will tell you that.

    In some sick sense, it’s poetic justice, the problem with all lovers of centralized power is that they collect everything, like fucking hoarders: in the end, they collect too much info to be of any use, for anything.

    But once they use any of that info to track or hunt its own citizens down, it’s already over… FOR THEM.

    EVERY tyranny throughout history has been popularly voted in, as no overt tyranny with standing army on every street corner can survive for long. There’s a reason why about 90% of all tyrannical govt expend all their resources on propaganda. It’s a lot cheaper to have its citizenry police themselves and each other, than to send in brigades of uniformed Praetorian guards. You cannot have a policestate without a dumbed down population. And apropos of 2A, you cannot have an armed populace in a police state. There’s a reason why the statists are going for broke, right now. The currency collapse WILL occur. It’s a mathematical impossibility to stave it off. There’s a reason why the ‘legal’ mechanism like NDAA exist and why they’re buying 1.6 billion hollowpts. They’re preparing for an inevitable civil unrest, following an econ implosion.

    One silver lining? No tyranny exists without the popular support of the masses, as evident throughout history, 100% of the time.

    Even as dumb-ed down the sheeple populace may seem, now, when they start Predator/UAV drone-assassinating American citizens on CONUS, the tide will turn: when a threat becomes unavoidably ubiquitous and visible, human’s primal instinct for self-preservation kicks in.

    By then, one can safely suspect that there maybe a bull market for the manufacturers of 21st century hydraulic versions of guillotines.

    LOLOL

  29. avatarCameron S. says:

    Buy all guns in private sales, and buy all ammo in from stores with cash.

    • avatarMolon Labe says:

      If you’re here you’re on the list

      • avatarJ.K. says:

        +1

        People don’t realize, but they also have an internet browsing fingerprint. Most people visit the same websites, sometimes in the same order, during their web browsing sessions.

  30. avatarandarm16 says:

    Yes, they know where most of the guns in the country are. No they don’t have a national level easily searched database for most guns. Not yet. But, I think it’s probably very close to ATF’s biggest request. ATF’s records are kept as scanned images. (see http://azstarnet.com/news/national/govt-and-politics/atf-must-trace-shootings-a-low-tech-way/article_2091e7a9-3e14-58b2-82eb-078fa034ac5a.html) Sure, ATF would love for an earmark in some omnibus budget bill (Well hidden in euphemistic language, with some fancy excuse to not violate FOPA (Lets be honest, the only part of FOPA that actually means anything to the government is the Hughes amendment ) to enable it to go out, sort thru every 4473 ever made in the last 40 odd years (I assume that even though FFLs are allowed to dispose of their 4473s after 20 years, ATF officially frowns on this) and enter it into a computer with indexing. This would of course create a national gun registry. But, as long as 4473s are kept as paper forms, and non indexed images, we are safe. (Unless you live in Illinois, or one of many states that either process their own background checks, or have some form of registration.) (Or if you happen to own an NFA article)

    Yes, we must keep vigilant, and stop the ATF from mandating E4473, and try to avoid gun shops that use it.

    • avatarST says:

      The problem with using the 4473s is that it would cost billions to create a useable database with them. Which in turn means a large budget request, and a budget request to Congress in direct violation of the FOPA ain’t gonna fly under the current legislative climate.

      The problem is that the devil is in the details. A 4473 only tells the reader who the buyer was when they bought Gun X-it doesn’t tell them where they live now, if they’re married, if they died, if they left the country, if they’re in the military, if they’re a LEO, etcetera. A recent document will obviously be much more useful of a data point then one filled out 10, 15, 20+ years ago.

      In order to create an ACCURATE database of 4473s, the ATF would have to track the owners history of EVERY INDIVUDAL DOCUMENT. To illustrate the scale of the problem, millions of background checks were run last December alone! Even the NSA’s substantial infrastructure couldn’t handle 10 years’ worth of 4473 data and the necessary addendums . It would be like cataloging every gas receipt ever generated since 2001.

      In order to create a “confiscation list” , the government is forced to start from scratch w/a brand new, nationwide and PUBLIC gun registry. Using a shadow program causes problems when you have to prosecute people in Open Court, so even a covert database wouldn’t be any use for the Anti’s agenda.

  31. avatartama paine says:

    Robert, I think you’re asking the wrong question.

    The question isn’t whether “the government” has “a list” of “all gun owners.”

    The question is what happens once any person with governmental-corporate-policy-pharmamedical power decides to go after an individual, or group of individuals, and uses firearms ownership or use as the excuse. Data mining has been going on for a long time, and there’s all sorts of variables that can be used as an excuse to bust into someone’s private life and make it hell, for reasons that may never be known. Wasn’t the PATRIOT Act all about this, and Russ Feingold the only Senator with the nads to understand that and oppose it?

    I’m watching the news about the gun raid in New Mexico closely for this very reason. There, the man had a home business selling firearms, and he was raided by DHS for…I’m not exactly sure why. In none of the stories I read did any “authority” source state exactly what he was known to be doing wrong. There were statements about him possibly having done this or that wrong, but it sounded to me like due process was off the table.

    In my view firearms are being focused upon in this way for being exactly what the Second Amendment was designed to provide a failsafe against: tyranny. The checks that the Bill of Rights places on government have long barred certain kinds of powerful and profitable cabals from emerging. Erosion of people’s ability to exercise those rights has been going on for a long time, and people will, or won’t, push back sufficiently to reboot their rights. Today it is “liberals” and “progressives” who claim that the Constitution and Bill of Rights is “outdated” and “antiquated.” The era of NSA and Mountain View data banks into which no sunshine can flow present an unprecedented threat to freedom, IMO. Yet somehow the enemy is law abiding gun owners. IMO this reveals that most liberals and progressives I know deep down side with the tyrannical. As a lefty woo-woo lady once said to me, “We don’t have to worry about analyzing our moral views–we’re on the side of the angels!”

    So the real question isn’t whether there is a list out there, and your or my name is on it. The real question is, when they come for me, what will you do? When they come for you, will anyone be left?

    • avatarMatt in FL says:

      I agree with this. It’s not “is there a list,” because I don’t really think there is. It’s “using modern and cutting edge data-mining, how quickly could they assemble a list if they chose to?” The answer, as I’m sure you well know, is “pretty damn quick.”

  32. avatarEvan says:

    They don’t have everyone, but remember of you have a FOID, an FPID, a CCW permit, a sound suppressor, a short barrel rifle, short barrel shotgun, a machine gun, or if you live in NJ, Illionois, NY, CT, or CA they know you have a gun. Also dont forget the border state registration. And don’t forget the FFLs, or if you have been forced to say so by the military. That is a lot of ways to end up on a list, but it still actually leaves alot of room to have a gun and not be on the list. Realistically there is no way to have a list of everyone but that is one he’ll of a way to start.

    • avatarWiebelhaus says:

      I got a pistol off of a local pawn shop and while checking out he was talking about how they deal with people who pawn the weapons and he said, they hold them for 30 days so the local police can check it out and they come once a month and pick up a list of those who have pawned them and those who have purchased one from them.

  33. avatarWiebelhaus says:

    They most definitely do maybe not specific weapons but they know who. Oh, please excuse me there’s a knock at the door, bbl.

  34. avatarpc_load_letter says:

    Wow, I was in such a good mood after the super bowl and spending a great day with the dogs and wife….

    Now I have a knot in my stomach…Ugh.

    Oh well, at least a new episode of Spartacus is on now…

  35. avatarGov. William J. Le Petomane says:

    Federal law prohibits any federal agency to keep records of who owns guns. That said they probably do have a list.

    The real issue is what can they do about it, there are far more gun owners than there are federal agents.

  36. avataraustin says:

    Im almost 100% positive they know who owns guns and who doesnt.. maybe not a completely accurate accounting of all your weapons but if you’ve ever gotten a CCW or purchased a firearm where they call in to do the background check Im sure there is a list.. all anybody has to do is take a quick look at DARPA and see these guys are on top of things and thats pretty damn scary..Im not saying get your tin foil hat and start following alex jones but DARPA is in fact a real functioning body that excels at its work..

  37. avatarensitu says:

    Does anyone here realise that Brian Blessed was an MI-6 asset?
    I didn’t think so.

  38. avatarMichael says:

    I doubt there is “a list” but there are plenty of information sources from which to determine the likelihood than any given individual has a gun or not.

    Have you ever:
    – bought a hunting licenses in any state
    – had a carry permit in any state
    – bought ammunition/guns/parts/accessories online
    – use a credit/debit card in the local gun stores
    – filled out a Form 4473 – likely a NICS check was logged
    – posted about guns on the Internet or frequent sites like TTAG

    There is no good source to determine exactly what’s in your gun safe, and likely no record that your uncle’s 1897 S&W revolver is there, but plenty of ways to get a general idea where to start looking.

    Does it matter? Likely not. In IT we refer to “signal vs. noise” a lot – too much information is sometimes worse than not enough information. Combine all those sources above and I bet you’ll get “hits” on 1/4 to 1/2 the US population. “Behind every blade of grass” comes to mind.

  39. avatarStephen says:

    Probably. But right now, they would be at the stage of the Martin Freeman character in Se7en. “Okay, what reason do we have to be at this door right now.”

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