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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.

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Illinois: House Committee Passes Bill to Close Local Gun Dealers

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Illinois: House Committee Passes Bill to Close Local Gun Dealers

The House Judiciary Committee passed Senate Bill 1657 by a 7-6 vote.

From My Cold Wet Hands: Humorless Scold Targets Squirt Guns

News  

Friday, May 19, 2017

From My Cold Wet Hands: Humorless Scold Targets Squirt Guns

We have yet to reach Memorial Day, but the fun police have already set their sights on at least one cherished summer childhood activity. In an article for Pupsugar.com, titled, “Why Kids Should Never Play ...

Court's Commonsense Conclusion: "There Was a Gun" Isn't Enough to Justify Issuing a Restraining Order

Second Amendment  

Friday, May 19, 2017

Court's Commonsense Conclusion: "There Was a Gun" Isn't Enough to Justify Issuing a Restraining Order

The Supreme Court of North Dakota confirmed this week that simply possessing a handgun while on one’s own private property cannot support a finding of "disorderly conduct" under the state’s disorderly conduct restraining order law. ...

Bloomberg's Everytown Creates "Authors Council" to Push Anti-Gun Propaganda

News  

Friday, May 19, 2017

Bloomberg's Everytown Creates "Authors Council" to Push Anti-Gun Propaganda

As if the country’s media weren’t already sufficiently co-opted by anti-gun advocates, this week, Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety announced an effort to pervert an additional facet of American entertainment. The billionaire bank-rolled interest group has ...

California: Draft "Assault Weapon" Regulation Language Now Available

Thursday, May 18, 2017

California: Draft "Assault Weapon" Regulation Language Now Available

Today, May 18, a draft copy of the "Assault Weapon" regulations has been made available

Federal Lawsuit Challenging California’s Ban on Standard Capacity Magazines Filed

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Federal Lawsuit Challenging California’s Ban on Standard Capacity Magazines Filed

Today, May 18, the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) announced it is supporting, along with the California Rifle and Pistol Association (CRPA), an important Second Amendment lawsuit challenging California’s ban on the possession ...

Nevada: Anti-Gun Bills Fail to Pass Second Chamber Policy Committee Deadline

Friday, May 19, 2017

Nevada: Anti-Gun Bills Fail to Pass Second Chamber Policy Committee Deadline

Today, May 19, was the second chamber policy committee deadline.  Two anti-gun bills, Senate Bill 115 and Senate Bill 387, both failed to pass out of the Assembly Judiciary Committee and are now dead for the 2017 legislative ...

Illinois: Last Chance to Save your Local Gun Dealer!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Illinois: Last Chance to Save your Local Gun Dealer!

The Illinois House of Representatives may consider Senate Bill 1657, legislation that could put your local gun dealer out of business, at any time! It is imperative that you contact your state Representative IMMEDIATELY and ...

New York: Outrageous Insurance Bill Headlines Long List of Anti-Gun Bills

Monday, March 13, 2017

New York: Outrageous Insurance Bill Headlines Long List of Anti-Gun Bills

The yearly onslaught of anti-gun legislation in the Empire State is concrete proof that anti-gun politicians will never be satisfied until guns are completely banned.  Even though Albany lawmakers passed arguably the nation’s harshest gun ...

Washington: NRA Files Amicus Brief in Challenge to Kitsap County Anti-Gun Ordinance

Monday, May 22, 2017

Washington: NRA Files Amicus Brief in Challenge to Kitsap County Anti-Gun Ordinance

Last week, attorneys on behalf of the NRA filed an amicus brief in Kitsap County v. Kitsap Rifle and Revolver Club (Kitsap II), the case which challenges Kitsap County’s firearm discharge ban and range licensing scheme.  Kitsap Rifle and ...

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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.