Bill aims to set the record straight on what “no registration” really means

AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib

As gun owners and Second Amendment advocates, we’ve suffered through some extreme unprecedented infringements of our rights inflicted upon us by the US Government (and more are on the way). While there has been very little ground surrendered to the anti-freedom caucus legislatively from the halls of Congress recently, we’ve been getting beat over the head by executive overreach. It’s not hyperbole to say that there are many in our government that wish to see an unarmed population. Part of the scheme in order to carry out any plan to disarm Americans is the creation of a registration database. A recently introduced bill seeks to completely codify that the government must destroy records illegally being held.

On March 7, 2022 Representative Paul A. Gosar introduced H.R.6950 No Gun Lists Act of 2022. The title of the bill should tell everyone exactly what the intent is. Not to call out any one governmental agency over another, but the ATF has been allegedly up to no good, and they’ve been electronically storing and keeping information from form 4473’s they’ve collected.

The full text of the bill:

A BILL

To require the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives to eliminate its Enterprise Content Management Imaging Repository System, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. 

This Act may be cited as the “No Gun Lists Act of 2022”.

SEC. 2. REQUIREMENT THAT THE BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO, FIREARMS, AND EXPLOSIVES ELIMINATE ITS ENTERPRISE CONTENT MANAGEMENT IMAGING REPOSITORY SYSTEM.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives shall immediately eliminate its Enterprise Content Management Imaging Repository System, and shall not establish or maintain any system or database which contains information similar to the information in that system.

SEC. 3. PRIVATE RIGHT OF ACTION.

A person aggrieved by a violation of section 2 may bring an action against the United States in any Federal district court for damages and injunctive relief. The court shall award a plaintiff prevailing in the action such relief as the court deems appropriate, including reasonable attorneys’ fees.

SEC. 4. WAIVER OF SOVEREIGN IMMUNITY.

The United States, all agencies and instrumentalities thereof, and all individuals, firms, corporations, other persons acting for the United States and with the authorization and consent of the United States, shall not be immune from suit in Federal or State court by any person, including any governmental or nongovernmental entity, for any violation of section 2.

This is about as cut and dry as it gets. The Congressman identified a problem; the ATF keeping a database/gun registry. The Congressman came up with a solution; the abolishment of the system housing our data.

The whole entire matter of using form 4473 to begin with needs to be called into question. I previously pointed something out that I discovered doing some research that’s worth repeating any chance we get.

Before we sign off on my inaugural celebration of the 50 years since the creation of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, I’d like to bring up an amicus brief I read from a case in Virginia; Smith v. Virgina. The brief from 2011 points out a very inconvenient thing that’s worth exploring further by all our legal eagles, especially in light of the ATF’s new alleged naughty habit of electronically scanning and storing form 4473’s.

 

Since the NICS system had not yet been created, § 922(s) provided that, for only five years after enactment while the NICS system was developed, all firearms dealers were required to obtain certain information — an exhaustive list provided in § 922(s)(3) — from handgun purchasers only. That information would be given to the chief law enforcement officer in the jurisdiction for verification. The Brady Act was enacted on November 30, 1993, and § 922(s) expired on November 30, 1998, the same day the FBI launched the NICS system.

The ATF has greatly exceeded the scope of its authority by continuing to use Form 4473 after the sunset of § 922(s), which elapsed more than a decade ago. Since Congress enacted a specific sunset  provision in § 922(s), Congress clearly intended that gun buyers would not still be asked the § 922(s)(3) questions after 1998.

Rather, after § 922(s)’s expiration, § 922(t) was to take over once “the national criminal background check system is established.” Section 922(t) contains no requirement that a buyer provide the information required by § 922(s). Rather, the buyer must only prove his identity, allowing the dealer to contact the FBI to run the background check rather than seeking purchasers’ responses to the questions contained in the expired § 922(s)(3).

Additionally, the Code of Federal Regulations does not authorize ATF to mandate completion of the Form 4473. 28 C.F.R. § 25.7 provides for obtaining only a person’s name, sex, race, date of birth and state of residence, but it does not include such questions as whether one is under Indictment.

That’s some great light reading to chew on while we contemplate the ATF’s illegal creation of a registry.

The introduction of this bill did not go unnoticed, as our friends over at the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms sent out a recent e-blast on the bill’s introduction. Their email urges citizens to reach out to our representation on this matter.

Demand ATF Accountability

The House Seeks To Eliminate ATF Records Agency Shouldn’t Have

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has been retaining records on firearm owners, violating its deletion policy requirements and allowing it the ability to create a de facto gun registry. H.R.6950 requires the ATF to abolish its Enterprise Content Management Imaging Repository System–essentially requiring them to comply with their own deletion policies–and prevents them from ever creating anything like it again. In addition, it allows anyone aggrieved by a violation of the requirement to bring action for damages in any federal district court.

Let the House Committee on the Judiciary know you support this resolution and urge them to act on it; call and/or write them today!

I think that this bill is a good start to overhauling executive overreach in the United States. Between the chronicled fact that the legal use of form 4473 expired decades ago, to the evidence of the ATF hoarding, scanning, and using them to make a registration, yeah, I’d say it’s high time for some reform. But again, this is only a good first step. But really, the way JFK viewed the CIA might be the way we should the ATF. Swap one for the other in Kennedy’s quip; “splinter the CIA  into a thousand pieces and scatter it into the winds”.