Press release from the National Association for Gun Rights:
Fredericksburg, Va. – With the Republican controlled House of Representatives set to take up an extension of controversial PATRIOT Act provisions as early as today, the National Association for Gun Rights is warning a renewal could present dangers for gun owners. “House Speaker John Boehner’s decision to ram through a vote on renewing anti-gun and anti-freedom sections of the so-called ‘PATRIOT Act’ is a slap in the face to gun owners and Second Amendment supporters,” said NAGR President Dudley Brown . . .
Since its inception, gun owners have viewed the PATRIOT Act with a growing amount of skepticism. In particular, Section 215 which allows FISA court orders to authorize the seizure of virtually any “business record” it believes would be relevant to an anti-terrorism investigation.
In 2013 it was revealed the National Security Agency was using this section as justification for the bulk collection of Americans’ communications, including telephone metadata.
Last week, a federal appellate court ruled the program unconstitutional, sending lawmakers into a frenzy on how to respond days before Section 215 and other provisions expire on June 1st.
“The ruling affirms common sense,” exclaimed Brown,” but it didn’t go far enough in addressing the specific concerns of gun owners, namely the language in the law that this anti-gun administration could abuse to build a national gun registry.”
As amended in 2005, Section 215 allows for the collection of “library circulation records, library patron lists, book sales records, book customer lists, firearms sales records, tax return records, educational records, or medical records.” See: 50 U.S. Code § 1861 (a) (3).
“If the NSA got away with collecting millions of phone records under Section 215, there’s absolutely no reason to believe this administration or future ones wouldn’t use the ‘firearms sales record’ language as an excuse to justify a national gun registry,” warned Brown.
“It proves just how far an anti-gun administration is willing to go to subvert Constitutional rights,” exclaimed Brown, “if House Republicans vote for reauthorization, they’ll be voting to give President Obama, or perhaps even someday Hillary Clinton, a blank check on a national gun registry. That’s unacceptable.”