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Thread: How The NRA Built A Massive Secret Database Of Gun Owners. Steve Freiss, BuzzFeed.com

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    How The NRA Built A Massive Secret Database Of Gun Owners. Steve Freiss, BuzzFeed.com

    While the National Rifle Association publicly fights against a national gun registry, the organization has gone to incredible lengths to compile information on “tens of millions” of gun owners — without their consent. [ ... ] NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam declined to discuss the group’s name-gathering methods or what it does with its vast pool of data about millions of non-member gun owners. Asked what becomes of the class rosters for safety classes when instructors turn them in, he replied, “That’s not any of your business.” [ ... ] 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 email was obtained by BuzzFeed through a Freedom of Information Act request. [ ... ] Iowa too provides another example. [ ... ] ... Arkansas ... Oregon ... Louisiana ... Tennessee ...
    http://www.buzzfeed.com/stevefriess/...-of-gun-owners

    http://gawker.com/5987293/the-nra-wa...except-the-nra From February 2013!

    http://rt.com/usa/nra-database-guns-registry-811/
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    I really don't think its a secret that the NRA keeps tabs on gun owners - they send them requests for $$$.

    They can ask for any public records the same as you and me I guess.

    And what do you think the NRA does with sign-up sheets for gun classes? Of course they are going to collect them and send out letters asking for money.

    The NRA is a money making organization ~ that's what money making organizations do. Why would you think the NRA is any different?

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    Regular Member 1245A Defender's Avatar
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    Well,,,

    Quote Originally Posted by davidmcbeth View Post
    I really don't think its a secret that the NRA keeps tabs on gun owners - they send them requests for $$$.

    They can ask for any public records the same as you and me I guess.

    And what do you think the NRA does with sign-up sheets for gun classes? Of course they are going to collect them and send out letters asking for money.

    The NRA is a money making organization ~ that's what money making organizations do. Why would you think the NRA is any different?

    Well,,,, does the FOIA law apply to a PRIVATE organization????

    I think not!!
    EMNofSeattle wrote: Your idea of freedom terrifies me. So you are actually right. I am perfectly happy with what you call tyranny.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1245A Defender View Post
    Well, does the FOIA law apply to a PRIVATE organization? I think not!
    That may be why the FOIA demand was made of the VSP, a public agency.
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    You can see the slant of the article by how they seem to imply that the NRA is creating a registry of guns when really all they have created is a mailing list. All of the things that they list; gun show attendance, class lists, magazine subscriptions, hunting licenses and permit requests would only provide name, address and phone number. None of that would create a database that would list X person bought X gun with X serial number on X day. What they are acquiring is market data for their target consumers just like any other company does. Just because the NRA is doing it to they make it sound evil.

    It's like a headline "How JC Penny Built A Massive Secret Database of Shirt Owners."

    And what exactly is "secret" about any of this? Not much of a secret if everyone knows they are doing it. The fact remains that it's just a mailing list of presumed gun owners with no real firearm information.

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    I think my first clue that the NRA had my mailing address is the "sky is falling" solicitation letters I get from them every other week.

    What they don't have is a list of all my guns and their serial numbers, which is what the gun-grabbers want.

    FYI, I'm a pilot and the AOPA has my mailing address as does the ACLU, the Sierra Club, the Smithsonian, and the SPCA and they all hit me up regularly for donations as well. So how is it that fund raising mailing lists are news?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare View Post
    While the National Rifle Association publicly fights against a national gun registry, the organization has gone to incredible lengths to compile information on “tens of millions” of gun owners — without their consent.
    .
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    I'm with most of the posters here - I don't get the "chicken little" response from so many. First, it isn't a "Database of Gun Owners" it is a mailing list of people who *may* have a firearm of some kind - just because you've taken a class or otherwise managed to get on their list doesn't mean you have or have ever had a firearm. And second, for crying out loud it isn't a "Secret" - they send mailings to every single one of them, frequently I'm sure. And third, as for "without their consent" just how often are you asked your consent to be placed on an association mailing list? (Not email list, snail-mail list.) They don't need your consent, you just have to have had some interaction with them or even no interaction - associations purchase mailing lists all the time. The NRA is just like any non-firearm related association in this regard, be it religious, charity, whatever.
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    Hmmmm.

    While the story in the OP seems a bit bogus, it suggests some interesting points.

    When the government wants all the guns, it doesn't have to rely solely on the databases it supposedly didn't create. It can just go to the NRA.

    I wonder how many of those NRA certified course instructors would roll over and provide their course registration lists to the government? Their financial ledgers where course fee transactions/receipts and names are recorded?

    The government just needs a name and address. Trust me, if they're coming for the guns, they're not going to respect rights and come only to the homes that have probable cause based on a known gun--probable cause will be lowered to mean your name as a donor to any gun rights organization. Fourth Amendment law will be twisted or ignored in the pretense of public safety.

    All those mail orders from Brownells, the holster companies, the ammo companies... Those range fees you paid with a credit card...

    And, no warrants will be needed to get the information. Just use the recent history of electronic communications surveillance as the example. Your e-mails on third-party servers, according to the black-costumed lawyers, enjoy no expectation of privacy. A mere subpoena or court order is sufficient to force the records holder to relinquish the information. What happens when the fedgov wants Brownell's customer list to know or cross-check who has guns?

    And, you know how all this starts? Its always incremental. For example, first, there is a federal warrant for someone. Of course, he's one of those ugly "constitutionalists", and the SWAT boys want in on the game, but they need some excuse. So, they just send national security letters to major gun accessories companies to check for his name in their customer databases...


    Seems to me that pro-gunners might be a good source of support for opposition to electronic communication surveillance.
    Last edited by Citizen; 08-22-2013 at 11:14 AM.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    The question is not one of being paranoid, it is one of being paranoid enough.
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    Well,,,,

    Quote Originally Posted by Running Wolf View Post
    The question is not one of being paranoid, it is one of being paranoid enough.
    Well,,, Just Wow!!!


    I do hope I am just paranoid enough!!


    Sometimes I WONDER !!!
    EMNofSeattle wrote: Your idea of freedom terrifies me. So you are actually right. I am perfectly happy with what you call tyranny.....

    “If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.”

    Stand up for your Rights,, They have no authority on their own...

    All power is inherent in the people,
    it is their right and duty to be at all times ARMED!

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    This bothers me less than targeted marketing. I can't stand that every time I look up "X" every ad on my laptop is for "X" for days after.

    NRA having a mailing list is no different IMO than a supermarket having a mailing list. What would bother me is if Bloomberg's group had my name on a list.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Black_water View Post
    SNIP What would bother me is if Bloomberg's group had my name on a list.
    <chuckle>

    The little devil in me wants to send Bloomy's group a pro-gun letter with a ficticious name, but some anti-gunner's home address.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    BizPac Review Aggressive gun confiscation in California out of control

    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    And, you know how all this starts? Its always incremental. For example, first, there is a federal warrant for someone. Of course, he's one of those ugly "constitutionalists", and the SWAT boys want in on the game, but they need some excuse. So, they just send national security letters to major gun accessories companies to check for his name in their customer databases...


    Seems to me that pro-gunners might be a good source of support for opposition to electronic communication surveillance.
    http://www.bizpacreview.com/2013/08/...-control-81999
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare View Post
    .
    I'm not sure how the consent part is relevant so long as the information is obtained otherwise legally. Perhaps with a little explanation I can understand why you've emphasized this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    SNIP...When the government wants all the guns, it doesn't have to rely solely on the databases it supposedly didn't create. It can just go to the NRA.

    I wonder how many of those NRA certified course instructors would roll over and provide their course registration lists to the government? Their financial ledgers where course fee transactions/receipts and names are recorded?

    The government just needs a name and address.........

    All those mail orders from Brownells, the holster companies, the ammo companies... Those range fees you paid with a credit card...
    .........

    Seems to me that pro-gunners might be a good source of support for opposition to electronic communication surveillance.
    I have to admit, I only worried about my name being on the other lists (Janet's list, the "domestic terrorist" list, etc.), not the mailing lists I know I am on (credit cards, insurance, etc.). Citizen, you really got me thinking: we may have an implicit trust in these organizations (/stores/suppliers) that we perceive as pro-2A, but can we trust them to do what is right? After seeing how firearms manufacturers and online stores caved to gun-grabber pressure, even just potential media pressure (cheaper-than-dust, anyone?), I don't think we have much reason to believe we won't be the first ones they come after. After all, if you're on more than a few customer lists, you're the likely "domestic terrorist threat" the government will want to drone out. (pun)
    Unless we bought EVERYTHING through private purchases from the very beginning, I don't see how this can be remedied short of asking the stores to "burn the books".

    [To clarify: the "........" mark where I cut out something Citizen wrote less highlight-able than what I wanted to address. No malice or word-twisting intended]
    Last edited by Rusty Young Man; 08-23-2013 at 03:27 AM. Reason: Clarification

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