How long has Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (and Really Big Fires) asked gun buyers to state their ethnicity? I don’t know for sure, but Dan the Man reported on a change in the ATF Form 4473 ethnicity categories in July 2012. I’ve been ticking “African American” for at least five years. For some reason, the media suddenly woke up to the ethnicity aspect of the form 4473 earlier this week. And so “Republican Reps. Diane Black (Tenn.) and Ted Poe (Texas) have introduced legislation to eliminate the requirement for individuals to identify their race when filing paperwork to buy a gun,” thehill.com reports. Because “‘Failing to adhere to this requirement by not checking all of the correct boxes on the 4473 Form is considered an ATF violation that can be so severe as to result in the gun dealer being shut down for having incomplete purchaser forms,’ Black said.” Yes, well, why . . .
is the question there in the first place?
By law, the ATF and their fellow feds are not allowed to record or store the information written on Form 4473 (to block the creation of a federal gun registry). Dealers must keep the completed sales forms for 20 years, and stash denied sales forms for five years. If they go out of business or sell their FFL to another person, the ATF gets the forms.
There are unsubstantiated rumors that the feds are storing these surrendered forms electronically, in contravention of the law. Anyway, the ethnicity info is not being – can not be used for demographic research. It’s only good for crime investigation. The ATF and other law enforcement officials can require federally licensed gun dealers to show them completed forms when investigating a crime, and use the ethnicity info to find/ interview/apprehend/arrest/incarcerate suspects and perps.
Fair enough? Or does this raise the question, why are the feds data capturing my particulars for exercising my natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms when I haven’t committed a crime? It’s the same thought I had when I was fingerprinted for my Texas concealed handgun license.