GOA demands DOJ investigation into secret FBI forms

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

Earlier this week, we covered the allegations against the FBI that they pressured a number of Americans into giving up their gun rights. To say there was some shady stuff going on is to put it far too mildly.

As I noted, a lot of those people likely signed purely out of fear of prosecution, which was likely the point, but they weren’t necessarily likely to be convicted.

Either way, the use of these forms is problematic, to say the least.

Now, Gun Owners of America is calling for a Department of Justice investigation.

Today, Gun Owners of America (GOA) sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland and FBI Director Christopher Wray after reports surfaced earlier in the week that the FBI had been utilizing a secret, unauthorized form to potentially pressure citizens into giving up their right to own or purchase firearms. In the letter, GOA highlights the lack of statutory authority for the FBI to utilize this form, and demands that all records related to its use be destroyed, and that the agency certify this action and certify that the form is no longer in use.

Erich Pratt, GOA’s Senior Vice President, issued the following statement:   

“This is the latest example of the FBI going around the American people, and their elected representatives, to purse a radical anti-gun agenda. The FBI has imposed a Minority Report system to secretly disarm even more Americans, and this dangerous attitude underscores the failure of NICS and why GOA has opposed the background check system from the beginning. While we hope that those in the administration will act on our demands, we urge Congress to act and ensure that this breach of the public trust is fully corrected and those responsible are held to account.” 

A full copy of the letter can viewed here.

Read Erich Pratt’s full op-ed in the Daily Caller on this story here.

Pratt, the GOA as a whole, and the rest of the gun-owning public have a reason to be concerned. If the FBI could do this to this handful of Americans, they can always do it to more.

“If you don’t do anything wrong, you don’t have anything to fear,” some might say.

However, we also need to remember that many have argued that the average American is guilty of three felonies per day. Now, even if that number is over-inflated, it’s still remarkably easy to commit some felony, even if you don’t realize it.

Now, consider that such a felony, even if it’s not prosecuted often, is still prosecutable. If it’s a federal matter–and many are–then you could, in theory, get a visit from the FBI.

So while it could be argued that if you don’t do anything wrong, there’s nothing to fear, our legal system has so much stuff that’s illegal that it’s impossible to make sure you haven’t done something wrong by accident.

With the FBI having pulled this stuff, without some kind of oversight to make sure it doesn’t happen again, there’s always the possibility that this form will surface yet again and more Americans will be intimidated into giving up their gun rights.

Enter the GOA’s call for a Department of Justice investigation.

The truth is that the FBI had no such authority to do this kind of thing. They cannot and should not be permitted to intimidate people into forfeiting their constitutionally protected rights.

What’s more, this wouldn’t be tolerated if it referred to literally any other right on the books, but since the Second Amendment is viewed by many as having second-class status, the FBI can pull something like this and most of the country just sort of shrugs at it.

For what it’s worth, I join GOA in issuing this call.