Washington, DC (TFC) – One of the largest fears of firearm owners is the prospect of a database of their names and personal information in the hands of the federal government. The idea of the government in possession of a list of gun owners has been one of the most opposed proposals in the gun control debate. The stiff opposition is linked to the justifiable fear of the government using such a list to confiscate firearms by force.
The idea of registering with the federal government brought such stiff opposition that when the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) was instituted, the law specifically prohibited the collection of data about legal gun owners and the implementation of any kind of registry. The law reads in relevant part:
To be very clear, the NICS system is retaining records of legal purchases, it is sharing that information with other agencies, it is retaining and sharing information containing enough detail to match the purchaser to a government created list, and now the US government is publicizing the fact that it is doing this even though it is a violation of federal law.