President Joe Biden’s administration has compiled the records of over 54 million gun owners in the United States, according to internal documents from the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) reviewed by the Washington Free Beacon.
In FY21, the ATF received 54.7 million records on gun transactions from licensed gun stores that went out of business, the internal document bearing ATF’s seal shows. The document was originally obtained by the Second Amendment advocacy group Gun Owners of America.
According to the document, the ATF obtained 53.8 million paper records and an additional 887,000 electronic records in FY21.
Under the Gun Control Act of 1968, gun stores that close down are required to turn over to the ATF the private records of gun transactions, which are subsequently stored at a federal location in West Virginia. Now, gun advocacy groups say that information is being used by the federal government to create a national gun owners’ database, which is prohibited under U.S. law.
Second Amendment activists said the staggering numbers add to concerns that the Biden administration is attempting to track Americans who own guns. The report comes as the administration tries to force gun shops to keep gun records in perpetuity. Gun stores currently have the right to destroy records after 20 years.
“As if the addition of over 50 million records to an ATF gun registry wasn’t unconstitutional or illegal enough, the Biden administration’s misuse of ‘out-of-business’ records doesn’t end there,” Aidan Johnston, the Gun Owners of America’s director of federal affairs, told the Beacon. “Instead of maintaining the right of [licensed firearm dealers] to destroy Firearm Transaction Records after 20 years, buried within Biden’s proposed regulations is a provision that would mean every single Firearm Transaction Record going forward would eventually be sent to ATF’s registry in West Virginia.”
A spokesman for the ATF refused to comment on the internal document, but told the Free Beacon that the department’s “National Tracing Center processes millions of out of business records each month,” adding that “those out of business records do not constitute an initiation or continuation of any federal gun registry.”
Last week, American Military News reported that billions from President Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better Act” could be used to fund gun control nationwide.
Buried inside H.R. 5376 in Section 61001 is “Funding for Community-based Violence Intervention Initiatives,” which provides $2.5 billion “to support evidence-informed intervention strategies to reduce community violence.”
While the language in the legislation is vague, community violence intervention (CVI) is a phrase that was first coined by gun control activists, according to Politico. It grew in popularity after it was adopted by Gabby Giffords, a former Congresswoman and co-founder of the gun control advocacy organization “Giffords.”