Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Report: Law Enforcement Agencies Registering Vehicle Information of Gun Show Attendees

Friday, October 7, 2016

Report: Law Enforcement Agencies Registering Vehicle Information of Gun Show Attendees

A report this week in the Wall Street Journal provides further indication of the Obama administration’s persecutory attitude toward America’s gun owners.  

The newspaper claimed emails from a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request show that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents used local police officers in Southern California to drive around the parking lot of a large gun show to “collect all of the cars’ information.”

Based on normal attendance at the show, thousands of individuals who were under no particularized suspicion were likely swept up in the surveillance dragnet. 

The article states that ICE had hatched a plan to use license plate readers (LPRs) at Southern California gun shows to compare information on vehicles parked at the shows with information on vehicles later crossing the border into Mexico.

Of course, there’s nothing inherently suspicious about attending a gun show or traveling to a neighboring country, even if one event precedes another. 

And unsurprisingly, according to the article, “There is no indication the gun-show surveillance led to any arrests or investigative leads ….”

Nevertheless, officials contacted by the Journal did not “rule out that such surveillance may have happened elsewhere.” 

What happened to the information gathered by the surveillance, and whether it remains on file with the government, is unknown.

Federal law prohibits the government from compiling a registry of firearms or their owners from certain types of specified information. Information obtained by LPRs, a relatively new technology, is not covered by these provisions. 

Use of the devices is largely unregulated, and because they capture information that individuals are exposing in public, their Fourth Amendment implications have not received the same degree of attention as the capture of information contained in ostensibly private locations or communications.

Yet the move sparked condemnation from a number of quarters, including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and a company that manufactures LPR systems, whose CEO called the gun show surveillance “an abuse of the technology.” 

On Tuesday, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) weighed in with his own disapproval in a letter sent to ICE’s director, Sarah R. Saldaña. “Constitutionally-protected activities should not subject gun show attendees to unwarranted and heavy-handed surveillance practices by their government,” he wrote. Chairman Goodlatte also demanded further details of the operation mentioned in the Journal article and of any similar operations. 

This is not the first time that mass surveillance of gun show attendees has made the news. Last year, we reported on a similar program proposed by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and revealed in documents obtained by an ACLU FOIA request. 

The DEA claimed that particular program never went past the proposal stage.

Whether or not that’s true, it’s clear the Obama administration is sympathetic to the idea that any gun owner, or even any person who simply attends a gun show is a potential criminal or terrorist.  

That attitude has led to other abusive tactics and proposals, from Operation Choke Point to the president’s calls for “universal” background checks.

Gun owners should take note and should be sure the officials who get their votes are committing to protecting their rights, not using the exercise of those rights to cast unwarranted suspicion or condemnation upon them.

TRENDING NOW
With a Stroke of the Pen, Biden ATF Criminalizes Tens of Thousands of Private Firearm Sellers

News  

Friday, April 12, 2024

With a Stroke of the Pen, Biden ATF Criminalizes Tens of Thousands of Private Firearm Sellers

We have long been warning of the rule the Biden ATF has been preparing to redefine who is considered a firearm “dealer” under U.S. law.  The administration’s explicit objective was to move as close to so-called “universal background ...

Colorado: Assault Weapons Ban Vote Happening This Week! Merchant Category Mandate Legislation Headed to the Governor

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Colorado: Assault Weapons Ban Vote Happening This Week! Merchant Category Mandate Legislation Headed to the Governor

The Colorado General Assembly continues to throttle down on gun control. Today, House Majority Leader Monica Duran announced that HB24-1292, the so-called “assault weapons” ban, could be voted on as soon as this week after lying ...

NRA Scores Legal Victory Against ATF; “Pistol Brace Rule” Enjoined From Going Into Effect Against NRA Members

Monday, April 1, 2024

NRA Scores Legal Victory Against ATF; “Pistol Brace Rule” Enjoined From Going Into Effect Against NRA Members

NRA Members Among the Largest Class Protected from Draconian Rule

NRA-ILA Scores Injunction Preventing Enforcement of CA Youth Firearms-Advertising Restriction

Friday, April 12, 2024

NRA-ILA Scores Injunction Preventing Enforcement of CA Youth Firearms-Advertising Restriction

Fairfax, Virginia – April 12, 2024…Today, NRA-ILA announced a significant legal victory protecting First Amendment and firearm-related rights, as a California district court preliminarily enjoined enforcement of California’s severe restrictions on the marketing of firearm-related products in the ...

Colorado: School Employee Carry Ban Dies in Committee and Semi-Auto Ban Vote Today

Friday, April 12, 2024

Colorado: School Employee Carry Ban Dies in Committee and Semi-Auto Ban Vote Today

In a win for the residents of Colorado, HB24-1310 the ban on school employees carrying on school grounds, was tabled by the committee for the rest of this session. This legislation would have ended the very successful FASTER ...

Maine: Wednesday: Floor Vote on Classifying Shotguns as "Machine Guns"

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Maine: Wednesday: Floor Vote on Classifying Shotguns as "Machine Guns"

Senator Anne Carney, Maine's leading gun grabber, is at it again.

The 97Percent Lie

News  

Monday, April 8, 2024

The 97Percent Lie

The newest kid on the block in the gun-ban movement is a group calling itself 97Percent, which claims it has “a deep commitment to promoting responsible gun ownership and enhancing public safety.” 

NRA Statement on Recent DOJ/ATF Final Rule

News  

Second Amendment  

Thursday, April 11, 2024

NRA Statement on Recent DOJ/ATF Final Rule

This latest Biden Administration attack on law-abiding gun owners is a blatant attempt to coerce Americans to forego legal activity with firearms under threat of potential confiscation of their lawfully acquired and constitutionally protected property. ...

Maine: Anti-Gun Bills Could be Voted on At Any Time

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Maine: Anti-Gun Bills Could be Voted on At Any Time

At any moment, the Maine House and Senate could vote on Michael Bloomberg's extreme slate of anti-gun bills.

Colorado: Semi-Auto Ban Up For Final Vote in House

Saturday, April 13, 2024

Colorado: Semi-Auto Ban Up For Final Vote in House

HB24-1292 the semi-auto ban passed its second reading yesterday and is scheduled for final vote tomorrow in the House before moving on to the Senate.

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

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.