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USACarry: ATF Caught Maintaining Illicit Databases

USACar­ry: Most of us in the pro-gun crowd have a healthy mis­trust of gov­ern­ment. It comes with the ter­ri­to­ry. After all, the Sec­ond Amend­ment was not writ­ten to pro­tect sport­ing rights; it exists because we have the right to pro­tect our­selves and our fam­i­lies, as well as the right to pro­tect our repub­lic from tyran­ny. It is a key part of a sys­tem of checks and bal­ances put in place by the Framers. And with an anti-gun pres­i­dent in office it’s pru­dent to keep an eye out for mis­use of pow­er against gun own­ers.

This could be one of those times.

ATF is a necessary agency within the US government, but they should follow the rules set in place, not the agenda of an anti-gun president.

ATF is a nec­es­sary agency with­in the US gov­ern­ment, but they should fol­low the rules set in place, not the agen­da of an anti-gun pres­i­dent.

A report released last month by the U.S. Gov­ern­ment Account­abil­i­ty Office (GAO) revealed that the Bureau of Alco­hol, Tobac­co, Firearms and Explo­sives (ATF) have been non-com­pli­ant with pol­i­cy while main­tain­ing lists of gun own­ers’ per­son­al infor­ma­tion.

The GAO audit­ed four of the 16 firearms-relat­ed data­bas­es that include retail pur­chas­er infor­ma­tion (there are 25 data­bas­es total) and found that at least two of the data sys­tems vio­late pro­to­col, specif­i­cal­ly the Mul­ti­ple Sales (MS) and Access 2000 (A2K) data sys­tems.

By law, FFLs are required to pro­vide Mul­ti­ple Sales Reports to the ATF when­ev­er the FFL sells two or more firearms with­in any five con­sec­u­tive busi­ness days to an indi­vid­ual to deter “ille­gal inter­state com­merce.” If the firearms have not been linked to a crime with­in two years, the ATF is required by pol­i­cy to scrub the names of the pur­chasers from the data­base.  How­ev­er, the audit found that the ATF had not delet­ed the infor­ma­tion and over 10,000 names remained in the data­base that should have been removed.  The report states that some records entered in 1997 were not delet­ed until Novem­ber 2009.

The oth­er sys­tem found to be non-com­pli­ant, Access 2000, is a data­base used by the Nation­al Trac­ing Cen­ter (NTC) to search FFLs’ records for infor­ma­tion need­ed to track the his­to­ry of a gun. While the sys­tem for in-busi­ness FFLs com­plied with pol­i­cy, the “ATF main­tained A2K dis­po­si­tion data from out-of-busi­ness indus­try mem­bers on a sin­gle par­ti­tioned serv­er with­in NTC, and removed the records from the serv­er in March 2016. ATF’s main­te­nance of the dis­po­si­tion records in this man­ner vio­lat­ed the appro­pri­a­tions act restric­tion on con­sol­i­da­tion or cen­tral­iza­tion.”

The GAO rec­om­mend­ed that the ATF pro­vide bet­ter guid­ance to FFLs par­tic­i­pat­ing in A2K for bet­ter com­pli­ance, as well as “align the MS dele­tion pol­i­cy” to be in com­pli­ance with ATF pol­i­cy.

The sad part is, this doesn’t real­ly come as a sur­prise. It would be easy  to say that the ATF is keep­ing secret lists of gun own­ers for nefar­i­ous pur­pos­es, but so far that just doesn’t seem to be the case. While def­i­nite­ly wrong and seem­ing­ly ille­gal, the data that the ATF stored sim­ply looks like a mess-up made in the bureau­cra­cy of an over-large gov­ern­ment.

Still, it’s fright­en­ing to think of what pur­pos­es the cen­tral­iza­tion of this infor­ma­tion and oth­er infor­ma­tion like it could be used for. And with the ATF’s Deputy Director’s recent com­ments on the Sec­ond Amend­ment, let’s all agree to keep an eye on the ATF.

Full Sto­ry Here:

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ER1C ☠

ER1C ☠

Dedicated Second Amendment Advocate, At-Home Gunsmith, Designer, Blogger, Video Guy, Author, Business Owner & ReloadOne Member.

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