“A California appeals court [Fourth Appellate District, Division One Court of Appeal of California] ruled Friday that the state may continue sharing the personal information of gun owners with ‘gun violence’ researchers,” The Western Journal reports. “California’s Department of Justice had been permitted to share ‘identifying information of more than 4 million gun owners’ collected by the state during the background check process for firearms purchases with ‘qualified research institutions,’ ostensibly to aid in the study of gun-related accidents, suicides and violence.”
The “personal information” includes “names, addresses, phone numbers, and any criminal records, among other things.” What “other things”?
Per the bill that “authorized” this massive privacy intrusion against citizens for claiming their rights (Assembly Bill No. 173), those include “a database of gun violence restraining orders, and a database of firearm precursor parts purchases.” In other words, that will include people who have never been charged with or tried for a crime, let alone convicted, and will identify people who bought parts that may later be declared verboten.
And more, but you have to go to the court opinion to see how much:
“The DROS [Dealer Record of Sale] system and the associated AFS [Automated Firearms System] and APRF [Ammunition Purchase Records File] databases create a unique data set regarding gun and ammunition ownership not available anywhere else. Researchers in California have used this data to conduct empirical research regarding firearm-related violence for some time.”
“The court’s decision is a victory in our ongoing efforts to prevent gun violence,” Attorney General Rob Bonta Bonta crowed in a media release. “AB 173’s information-sharing serves the important goal of enabling research that supports informed policymaking aimed at reducing and preventing firearm violence. Research and data are vital in our efforts to prevent gun violence in California and provide a clear path to help us save lives.”
Left unsaid is how Bonta’s DOJ incompetently keeping databases on gun owners has already demonstrably exposed and endangered them.
“California’s Department of Justice mistakenly posted the names, addresses and birthdays of nearly 200,000 gun owners on the internet because officials didn’t follow policies or understand how to operate their website,” the Associated Press reported last December. California Rifle and Pistol Association President Chuck Michel “noted the leaked data likely included information from people in sensitive positions — including judges, law enforcement personnel and domestic violence victims — who had sought gun permits.”
As for who the “researcher” is privy to the data, per AB 173:
“This bill would name the center for research into firearm-related violence the California Firearm Violence Research Center at UC Davis. The bill would generally require that the information above be made available to the center and researchers affiliated with the center, and, at the department’s discretion, to any other nonprofit bona fide research institution accredited by the United States Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, as specified, for the study of the prevention of violence.”
That pretty much guarantees whose yard they’ll be playing in, and that suits someone who is no stranger to this correspondent just fine.
“The court’s decision is an important victory for science,” University of California’s Davis California Firearm Violence Research Center Chair Garen Wintemute declared. It’s more like an “important victory” for “agenda science”…
Back in 2007, I warned gun show attendees that Wintemute was surreptitiously eavesdropping on and recording gun show transactions to report them to authorities and justify banning private sales. I saw this as a violation of gun show rules and recommended notifying security if anyone saw it happen. He told Slate it was a “Wanted poster” and tied that in with threats against his life and that “federal law enforcement agents recommended that I wear a ballistic vest.” There was also the false accusation that I had “outed” him. The end result was the science journal Nature felt compelled to publish a (incomplete) retraction.
Call the guy a “researcher” and a scientist” if you like. I prefer “prohibitionist” and “apparatchik.” And drama queen.
Reason warned against AB 173 back when Gov. Gavin Newsom first signed it into “law.”
While acknowledging that “the law also insists that ‘Material identifying individuals shall only be provided for research or statistical activities and shall not be transferred, revealed, or used for purposes other than research or statistical activities, and reports or publications derived therefrom shall not identify specific individuals,’” they made another important observation:
“[A] gun owner might understandably not be thrilled that people in the business of coming up with reasons why no one should be allowed to own guns (largely true of people in the ‘gun violence research’ field) can easily know their name, address, and all the weapons, parts, and ammo they bought legally. What’s more, nothing in the law as written applies any stern level of oversight or punishment over misuse of the information.”
That “misuse” can be deliberate by activists gone wild or due to lax/incompetent security protocols. And it’s not like sensitive and supposedly secure government systems at the highest levels can’t be breached and hacked by anyone, from cyber criminals to foreign enemies. It’s not like names, addresses, and lists don’t have real-world street value, and it would be just like the prohibitionists to have their efforts actually increase violence and its incentives.
It also looks like it might be a good way for someone with list access and an agenda to call in an anonymous tip and give police “probable cause” for sending out militarized confiscation teams. It’s not like law enforcement won’t do so with information targeting owners of previously registered but now prohibited items.
A truism about “gun control” laws is that criminals don’t obey them, and they end up infringing on those who have. A case in point is 1968’s Haynes v. U.S., in which the Supreme Court (correctly, if you think about it) decided that forcing a convicted felon to register an NFA weapons he was prohibited by law from possessing violated his Fifth Amendment-recognized right against self-incrimination. So, oath-breaker Bonta’s vaunted database, relied on by the Davis gun show mole and his gaggle of anti-gun eggheads, by design, does not include the very reprobates initiating the lion’s share of the “gun violence” they’re purporting to “study”—California’s armed-to-the-teeth criminals who get their guns the old-fashioned way, by breaking the law.
It’s all Kabuki theater designed to divvy up the tax plunder and subject a population they hold in contempt (and, truth be known, fear) – gun owners – to more demoralizing in-your-face harassment.
There’s another break afforded exclusively to criminal suspects, the reading of their “Miranda rights.” Noting another well-documented prohibitionist tactic, declaring what was once legal to now be banned, gun owners buying what could be prohibited later should be advised that whatever they admit to on a required registration form can and will be used against them in a court of law if the Democrats get their way.