Owning a firearm is a constitutional right. It’s expressly spelled out in the Constitution via the Second Amendment. After all, that’s all calling it a “constitutional right” means, it’s simply a right protected by the Constitution.
However, privacy is also considered a constitutional right, though one not quite as expressly stated as such.
The unfortunate thing, though, is that there are those who don’t think firearm owners deserve their right to privacy. Some have suggested treating gun owners like sex offenders, for example. Luckily, those people don’t have the power to make nonsense like this a reality.
That doesn’t mean troubling privacy concerns don’t exist for gun owners, especially when stuff like this happens.
A gun owner’s rights advocacy group accused the Charlotte County and Sarasota County Sheriff’s Offices of illegally sharing private gun owner information with other law enforcement agencies.A copy of an email from the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office dated Dec. 3, 2013 showed a CCSO official emailing a North Port police official a weekly gun sales report. All of the information about the gun sales is blacked out, but you can see the CCSO official asked about an NPPD detective about running Sarasota County gun sale reports.Then in a letter dated Feb. 27, 2019, Jacksonville based attorney Eric Friday accused the Charlotte County and Sarasota County Sheriff’s Offices of sharing gun owners’ private information with other law enforcement. Friday represents Florida Carry Inc., a gun owner’s rights advocacy group.
Unfortunately, this is what happens when law enforcement has any data on gun sales.
The truth of the matter is that absent a compelling interest in the government knowing data, it should probably be assumed they shouldn’t get that data. They need our names, dates of birth, and address for voter registration because all of that data is necessary to determine eligibility for elections. There’s a compelling interest in them having that information.
But gun sales do not meet that standard.
This is especially true when it comes to law enforcement even having access to gun sales data. Keep in mind that these are lawful gun sales they’re pulling reports on. Law-abiding citizens are having their information sent back and forth between departments when there’s not even a suspicion of them having done anything wrong.
Meanwhile, do you know who didn’t show up in those reports? The illegal gun sales that took place during that period. Those are the ones where the sales represent a potential threat to law-abiding citizens, but those never get on those reports because black market gun dealers are notoriously bad and reporting and filling out federally-required paperwork for some silly reason.
There was no reason for this data to be sent to anyone. Hell, I fail to see a reason for this data to even exist. I don’t know if there will be an investigation into this, but there needs to be and heads need to roll.
Gun owners are getting sick and tired of being treated as second-class citizens. Florida gun owners deserve better from their sheriff’s departments.