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Database-hating National Rifle Association may very well have you in its database if you own a gunRss@dailykos.com (meteor Blades)
Wednesday, August 21, 2013, 5:58 pm
One of the mainstays of the argument the National Rifle Association and other gun lobby groups have made against universal background checks for gun sales is that this would create a database that would amount to a backdoor registration system which would eventually be used to confiscate some or all firearms. That was one of the key arguments that stopped the watered-down Manchin-Toomey gun safety legislation in April.
Universal background checks don't require a registry. Background checks mandated for commercial sales don't produce such a registry. Which is not to say that a registry is a bad idea.
Indeed, for the past 79 years, there has been a registry that was initiated under the National Firearms Act of 1934. It requires anyone who wants to buy a machine-gun or other fully automatic firearm, silencer or gadget-gun (like a cane gun) undergo a thorough FBI background check, pay a tax and have their name and the weapon they have purchased added to a registry, which was long ago turned into a computer database. In all those years, there has been no confiscation of the hundreds of thousands of weapons registered on that database, no harassment of their owners, no midnight knocks at the door.
But, as pointed out by TriSec, the NRA is not so skittish when it comes to the database the organization itself maintains:
But in fact, the sort of vast, secret database the NRA often warns of already exists, despite having been assembled largely without the knowledge or consent of gun owners. It is housed in the Virginia offices of the NRA itself. The country's largest privately held database of current, former, and prospective gun owners is one of the powerful lobby's secret weapons, expanding its influence well beyond its estimated 3 million members and bolstering its political supremacy.