How the FBI Worked with Other Federal Agencies to Strip Citizens of 2A Rights

A new report by the Washington Examiner sheds light on the apparent fact that the FBI had worked with the Secret Service and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to strip U.S. citizens of their 2A rights.

The story originated from documents obtained by a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed by the gun-rights group Gun Owners of America (GOA), which detailed a widespread effort to use a self-reporting form to push individuals to surrender the right to keep and bear arms.

The FBI used this internal form to strip gun rights from at least 23 people between 2016 and 2019. Agents served the forms to individuals at their homes in Maine, Michigan, and Massachusetts, as well as other undisclosed places.

Those who signed the form were registered with the FBI’s National Instant Check System (NICS) and asked to declare that they were a danger to themselves or others, or that they lack the “mental capacity adequately to contract” their lives.

In addition to the FBI’s use of the form, documents from the lawsuit show that other federal agencies — including ICE, the Secret Service, and the Social Security Administration — either used the form or obtained copies from the FBI.

Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-GA) wondered if even more federal agencies may have been involved.

“It’s just really, really concerning,” said Clyde.

“Is Veterans Affairs using this form to try and get veterans to self-report and deny themselves their Second Amendment right?” Clyde posed to the Washington Examiner. “That needs to be discovered. We need to investigate that. In the majority, I think it becomes a valid question and a valid investigation, and I think we need to spotlight that.”

SEE ALSO: How the FBI Undercounts Good Guys with Guns Stopping Active Shooters

Not only the repeated use of the form, but its very existence raises multiple legal questions.

The most fundamental issue is that there is no evidence that the form ever moved through a process required under federal law for government agencies to receive approval from the Office of Management and Budget before obtaining information from the public.

The next problem is the use of the form. The Gun Control Act of 1968 outlines clearly how someone may be barred from the right to own or transfer firearms if he or she is “adjudicated as a mental defective or has been committed to a mental institution.”

However, as one lawyer told the Washington Examiner, the act does not say that people can rule themselves unfit to own firearms. “The act is clear, and it says ‘adjudicated,'” John Harris, a lawyer who directs the Tennessee Firearms Association.

“While the initial reports were alarming enough, as GOA dug deeper, things just kept getting worse,” Erich Pratt, senior vice president of GOA, told the Washington Examiner.

The discovery of additional signed forms could further prompt House Republicans to investigate the FBI’s usage of them in the next Congress, once they assume control in January.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), who is poised to become chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said in September that he was planning oversight in connection to the forms and other alleged issues.

The Washington Examiner report comes just days after Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee forwarded a bill called the, “Preventing Suicide Through Voluntary Firearm Purchase Delay Act” (H.R. 8361).

Per that bill, the attorney general would establish a federally-controlled database of people who freely agree to surrender their Second Amendment rights.

Those on this voluntary “do not sell” list would be tracked via the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

Other legislators, such as Reps. Dan Bishop (R-NC) and Thomas Massie (R-KY), have joined Jordan in saying that this recent legislative push is evidence that the FBI acted inappropriately – restricting people’s gun rights with forms without congressional approval or knowledge.

“What we’re looking at is evidence that the FBI went off on their own and wrote the bill and implemented the bill that you are trying to pass here today, or did pass, and will try to pass on the floor,” said Massie at the House Judiciary hearing on Dec. 8th.

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About the author: Brian Jones Strong 2A proponent, Army Veteran. I earned my writing chops as a military journalist, continuing on to complete my BA at UMD in Communication, before working on political campaigns, and working with firearm regulations. When I’m not bending someone’s ear about the encroachment on our individual rights, I can usually be found at the range, or in my shop pretending to be a hobbyist blacksmith.

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  • nunyerbusiness December 28, 2022, 10:21 pm

    If a person is too incompetent to own, handle, or buy a weapon, how can they be considered ‘competent’ enough to sign a form giving away their constitutional right to do all those things?

    This is obvious ‘gobbledegook’ reasoning by psychopaths that are only interested in turning us all into SLAVES.
    If anything we should have laws protecting us from these gubbmint tyrants.

    Oh, wait….we do. it’s called THE CONSTITUTION!
    You know…that “it’s just a goddam piece of paper” (Georgie W. Bush)

  • Eric December 23, 2022, 11:23 am

    There should be a means by which a person can voluntarily relinquish their right to own firearms. It makes sense, in that a person can voluntarily have themselves civilly committed.

    The number of times it happened strongly suggests the circumstances under which the feds try to get a person to sign the form are pretty limited. The fact that there is now legislation outlining when it can happen is a positive, in the sense that voters can weigh in, by way of feedback to their elected representatives.

    What irks me is the fear mongering by Gym Jordan, et al. The feds won’t try to talk you into signing this form unless and until you become a crazy ass MF’er. Until then, please settle down.

    • Walleye December 26, 2022, 10:09 am

      Rep. Jordan and his peers aren’t as crazy as you suggest. You are missing the point. The FBI has absolutely no authority to do what they are doing, which is “crazy ass” in my opinion. The bureau and most other agencies are out of control, & sycophants like yourself are turning a blind eye to their tyrannical behavior.

    • Kane December 26, 2022, 6:27 pm

      Every time I hear Jim Jordan talk I am very impressed. And so now someone who uses such a child like gesture by spelling the man’s name as “Gym” has no chance of persuading anyone rational adult to trust his judgement

    • Cornelius December 27, 2022, 9:44 am

      I absolutely agree. Mentally unstable people should be encouraged (by society, not just law enforcement) to voluntarily disarm themselves. I’d also love to see elderly people encouraged to give up their driver’s licenses when they get too blind to see the damned road. We’d live in a safer world in both cases.

    • Ted December 27, 2022, 2:48 pm

      You are missing the point of the article ! Yes, there SHOULD be a legal process that people MAY sign away their rights. HOWEVER, there IS a legal process that the Federal agencies are REQUIRED to follow, and they apparently DID NOT FOLLOW IT, AGAIN ! This is the same as the Illegal FISA warrants that got issued to the FBI for Trump ! They HAD A LEGAL PROCESS THAT THEY DIDNT FOLLOW. The processes are there for a specific reason , they may NOT just do as they feel .

  • Stan d. Upnow December 23, 2022, 10:25 am

    What BS(again)! If someone is too mentally dysfunctional to own a firearm, then how could they Possibly be competent enough to understand the implications of that form they’re signing?

    • paul I'll call you what I want/1st Amendment December 24, 2022, 12:16 pm

      The mental illness scam….if one is mentally ill how would he even comprehend that it needs to be done on a voluntary basis? sounds like the government is scaring/intimidating people into giving up there rights!

  • survivor50 December 22, 2022, 9:41 pm

    All my LAWYER friends agree… NEVER TALK TO ANYONE FROM THE FBI !!!

    Not even your name, or any YES or NO answers …

    Just, ” I don’t understand… I can’t remember… I don’t recall… ” … the HILLARY DEFENSE !!!

    • Stan d. Upnow December 23, 2022, 10:39 am

      I would simply ask why they came, and if you don’t like their answer, then tell them you have nothing to say and tell them that they are trespassing on private property and if they are not gone in 3 minutes you’re calling the Sheriff. The days when the FBI might have been the “good guys” are GONE.
      There have been many instances of home invaders posing as police, UPS drivers, utility co. employees, etc. Err on the side of caution, the life you save may be your own!

      (do not open the door, much less comply with “step outside so we can talk to you” or “can we come in”)

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