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Re-posted from Four Freedoms Blog with the kind permission of the author.

Many links back to supporting documents at the original source.

I wonder how gun owners feel about this:

The National Rifle Association has rallied gun-owners — and raised tens of millions of dollars — campaigning against the threat of a national database of firearms or their owners.

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.

You'll recall last February LaPierre appeared on Fox news Sunday rallying against background check because it would lead to a national database of gun owners. Here we find that not only does the NRA practice what it expressly says it is against it is employing the very same tools that OFA has:
Others in the business of big political data, however, say the NRA is using similar tools to those employed by the campaigns of its nemesis, President Barack Obama.
They are indeed tracking people:
While the organization took great umbrage in December when a newspaper published the names and addresses of gun owners in two New York counties, the group for years as been gathering similar information via the same public records as a matter of course.

In Virginia, for instance, a North Carolina-based firm called Preferred Communications filed an inquiry with the Virginia State Police in July 2009 asking “on behalf of the National Rifle Association” as to whether the names of concealed-carry permit holders could be purchased. The e-mail was obtained by BuzzFeed by Freedom of Information Act request.

They make money by getting these lists from states and adding them to their NRA database:
“After people take a class, then you as an instructor, can send all their names to Washington and you get credit for that,” Weisser said. “If you can show you’ve taught enough classes, you can move up in the hierarchy as an NRA trainer.”

Moving up in the hierarchy can mean being licensed to teach more types of gun safety classes and being able to charge more, he said.

We have been busy having heated discussion with regard to the 4th amendment as of late. Is it ironic that the NRA is using private information to keep track of Gun owners to target them with an interest to increase gun sales? This is all allegedly being done to protect the 2nd amendment and yet private data is being used. In January, NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre gave a speech to the NRA in Nevada and stated:
Obama wants you to believe that putting the federal government in the middle of every firearm transaction — except those between criminals — will somehow make us safer.

That means forcing law-abiding people to fork over excessive fees to exercise their rights. Forcing parents to fill out forms to leave a family heirloom to a loved one — standing in line and filling out a bunch of bureaucratic paperwork, just so a grandfather can give a grandson a Christmas gift. He wants to put every private, personal transaction under the thumb of the federal government, and he wants to keep all those names in a massive federal registry.

There are only two reasons for that federal list of gun owners — to tax them or take them.

FactCheck debunks that claim by bringing attention to a federal law called the Brady Act
That’s because section 103(i) of the Brady Act specifically bars federal agencies from retaining “any record or portion thereof generated by the [NICS] system,” and it prohibits the “registration of firearms, firearm owners, or firearm transactions” of those who pass the background check.
There is no Federally run database, however there is a private one owned by the NRA. One that can be used to track and cater to gun owners. Here's one example: A survey sent to Gun owners earlier this year. It's a push poll designed to make people paranoid about government and guns. It fails to mention the Brady act and misrepresents itself as truth. It also makes no mention that since 2005 the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS ) has gotten rid of all background check information after 24 hours.
For this reason, the final rule was revised to conform to the legislative enactment setting a limit on how long the NICS may retain certain information on allowed transactions. The revised rule conformed to the 24-hour record retention provision in the Omnibus.
2nd Amendment uber-supporters eat survey's like this up like candy. They believe everything the NRA says and they react just as the organization wants them to. It isn't much different from what we are seeing with regard to the Snowden/NSA/Guardian affair and those that say the 4th Amendment has been abused beyond repair.

People are claiming that government is the big bad monster in the room when it appears they are being manipulated by forces that may have questionable motives. Surely the truth with regards to both of these issues and the amendments that are being used in defense of the outrage can lie somewhere in between. Time will tell.

In the mean time -- the NRA is doing the very thing they have railed rabidly against. Interesting times indeed.

Originally posted to TriSec on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 07:04 AM PDT.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA and Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA).

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