U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson introduced legislation this week that would create a national gun registry.
Known as the “Crime Gun Tracing Modernization Act,” the bill would require ATF to set up a “searchable, computerized database” of all records pertaining to the sale, importation, production or shipment of firearms. The agency would be given three years to get the system up and running.
“The fact that there is a law on the books that forces agents to comb through millions of files by hand is absolutely ridiculous,” said Nelson, a Florida Democrat.
Under current federal law Big Brother is prohibited from tracking gun purchases. All transfer records remain in the possession of an FFL until a firearm is involved in a crime. Then, investigators can contact the FFL to get the pertinent info on who the gun was sold to. Only when an FFL goes out of business does it turn records over to the ATF’s National Tracing Center in West Virginia.
The Crime Gun Tracing Modernization Act has the support of Parkland survivor Emma Gonzalez. On Twitter, Gonzalez touted the importance of the bill.
“This bill is Super Important, with it we will Actually be able to find the original owner of weapons like we see in Criminal Minds,” wrote the teen.
This bill is Super Important, with it we will Actually be able to find the original owner of weapons like we see in Criminal Minds https://t.co/zApQM04djg
— Emma González (@Emma4Change) June 1, 2018
Gun-rights activists have long opposed giving the state access to gun records for obvious reasons. Government is a potential enemy of the people. It is the biggest existential threat to our basic rights and freedoms. Making it easier for it to determine which citizens exercise their right to keep and bear arms is like giving it a kill-first list.
The Second Amendment creates a balance of power between citizens and government. Any measure that offsets that balance or tips it in the favor of the state ought to be rejected immediately by our elected officials. Remember, they all swore an oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic…”
Under Florida law it is a felony offense for anyone to create a list of gun owners. Moreover, any state agency caught doing so faces a fine up to $5 million.
The Florida Legislature has concluded that a gun registry would be “an instrument for profiling, harassing, or abusing law-abiding citizens based on their choice to own a firearm and exercise their Second Amendment right.”
Although he is a federal lawmaker, one would think that Nelson being from Florida would know better.