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NRA Files Friend of the Court Brief in Appeal of NSA Spying Case

Friday, March 14, 2014

This week, NRA filed a brief in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.  The brief supports the American Civil Liberties Union's request for reversal of a decision by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York that upheld the National Security Agency's data collection program.

We previously reported on the lower court case in an article available here.  That article contains a more detailed description of NRA's arguments, but they generally make two major points.  First, that the NSA's mass data collection violates the First Amendment's freedom of association protection because individuals will be chilled from joining certain groups – like NRA – that have been the target of hostility by others, including certain public officials, and identify their members' private social, political, or religious beliefs to the government.  The second line of argument focuses on how the data collection programs could undermine privacy protections in federal law that prohibit creating a registry of firearms or firearm owners. 

Much of the government's arguments have focused on the fact that the surveillance program only collects metadata and that the content of communications still remain private.  However, a recent study by two graduate students at Stanford University shows how much private information can be gleaned about an individual from even a small amount of metadata.  The study collected telephone metadata on volunteers over a period of just a few months.  The authors hypothesized that they would not be able to identify any specific information about the participants because of the small amount of data collected, but as they put it: "We were wrong.  We found that phone metadata is unambiguously sensitive, even in a small population and over a short time window. We were able to infer medical conditions, firearm ownership, and more, using solely phone metadata."

On the specific issue of firearm ownership, the authors of the study determined that one of the volunteers likely was interested in firearms and specifically in AR-15 pattern rifles.  This information was then confirmed to be true by the study participant.  This type of information is particularly sensitive at a time when some government officials at both the state and federal levels are showing increasing hostility towards individual gun ownership and when interest in a particular type of firearm may bring an individual under close governmental scrutiny because of that firearm's disfavored status.   

NRA will continue to support this case and others that serve to protect the privacy interests of gun owners and will keep you informed of further developments on this issue.



Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Appropriations Act Signed Into Law With Important Pro-Second Amendment Provisions

On Wednesday, November 25, the President signed S. 1356, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 into law. Included in the bill were some very important pro-gun provisions that represent the culmination of long-term efforts by ...


Friday, November 27, 2015

President Obama Signs NRA-Backed Measures into Law

President Barack Obama signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). It includes several NRA-backed provisions -- expanding gun rights on stateside military bases; prohibiting the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from banning traditional ammunition; and saving taxpayer dollars ...

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered ...


Friday, May 15, 2015

Obama Administration Opposes CMP Handgun Sales

The House of Representatives has approved Congressman Mike D. Rogers’ amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, which—if accepted in ...


Friday, November 20, 2015

“F” Stands for Fail: Gun Turn-in Event Nets a Stack of Paper Pledges and Some Surplus Sporting Goods

Recently, we reported on Hillary Clinton’s praise for local firearm “buyback” events and her view that forcing Americans to participate ...


Friday, November 20, 2015

Anti-gun Politicians, Media Exploit Paris Attacks in “Terrorist Gap” Rehash

The Paris terrorist attacks were not easily pinned on America’s supposedly lax gun laws or the NRA, but ...

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Michigan: Governor Snyder Signs Firearm Inheritance Protection Act

Today, November 24, Governor Rick Snyder (R) signed Senate Bills 225 and 226.


Friday, November 20, 2015

Overwhelming 81 Percent of Current and Former Military have Unfavorable View of Clinton

More bad news for Hillary Clinton. Coming off the heels of survey results that found the former Secretary ...


Friday, November 20, 2015

Brussels Pushes Gun Control in Wake of Paris Attacks

On November 18, the European Commission expedited a plan to overhaul the European Union’s already restrictive gun control laws. The ...

Washington Times  

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

White House to GOP: Worry about gun control

The White House said Monday that Republicans concerned about Syrian refugees waging terrorist attacks in the U.S. should focus their energy instead on banning guns sales to people on the government’s terrorist watch list.


Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.