Dem Senator Richard Blumenthal Targets Gun Group National Shooting Sports Foundation Over Secret Gun Registry

Second Amendment

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) is taking aim at a gun industry association for the way it engaged in a tax-dodging “voter education” scheme that also violated a core tenet of Second Amendment enthusiasts: compiling a detailed database of gun buyers.

The Daily Beast has obtained a letter, which Blumenthal sent to the National Shooting Sports Foundation on Friday, calling out the association for allegedly amassing a list of gun owners and what types of guns they own—all to further its voter influence campaigns.

NSSF is made up of the nation’s largest gun makers and once had a running political campaign deal with Cambridge Analytica, the now-defunct British data analytics company caught meddling in the 2016 U.S. election.

Blumenthal’s letter cites damning details that were exposed when Cambridge Analytica emails were leaked two years ago but received little attention at the time.

“The claim by Cambridge Analytica that NSSF maintains and leverages a database, akin to a registry, of gun owners’ personal information should come as a surprise to millions of law abiding gun owners, many of whom, undoubtedly, would never have consented for firearms manufacturers or retailers to retain, share, and expose their sensitive personal data for political purposes,” Blumenthal wrote.

His letter was addressed to NSSF President Joseph Bartozzi. The industry group did not respond to questions about it sent by The Daily Beast on Friday.

Blumenthal, who has a long track record of attacking federal agencies and large corporations for violating Americans’ privacy rights, told the group that “Congress deserves a full explanation” and cited “the implications on firearms regulation as well as consumer privacy protections and data security risks.”

As evidence, the senator pointed to a batch of Cambridge Analytica emails that laid out its business relationship with NSSF at the time. But it also provides a window into alleged questionable activity by the firearms group, which is a nonprofit and has limits on how it can engage in lobbying activity.

According to IRS rules, a nonprofit that spends significant funds on political influence campaigns must later contact its donors and pass along an accounting headache: instructing them to reduce the tax deduction from their individual donation. It’s called a “proxy tax.”

In one Feb. 2016 email, Cambridge Analytica strategist Matt Oczkowski described how the gun manufacturer association engages in political campaigning and dodges this kind of tax, reaching just the right voters by tapping a massive consumer database accrued by a long-time gun industry lobbyist.

“NSSF is a trade organization made up of all the gun manufacturers selling in the US. Each year, they run a large campaign aimed at ‘voter education’. They call it voter education to avoid the corporate proxy tax by directly endorsing any candidates and focusing on the issues,” Oczkowski wrote to his staff.

“Pat O’Malley, our contact with access to the money, has been running this campaign for them since 2002 and it has been almost entirely direct mail. Pat was leveraging a database of firearms manufacturing warranty cards (collected by the firearms companies) to determine his targeting in key states (millions of people, if they bought a gun, and what kind of gun they bought),” he continued.

The analyst goes on to explain what Cambridge Analytica—which was co-founded by rightwing Steve Bannon and assisted the Trump campaign at the time—would do with the new information.

“We would match this data to our database, model it, enhance it with our gun data, and determine groups of persuadable voters who support gun rights and also turn them out to vote. The flight of the campaign would be from April-November,” Oczkowski wrote.

Oczkowski, who went on to lead the analytics firm HUMN Behavior and advised the Trump 2020 campaign, did not respond to a request for comment.

For decades, gun rights absolutists have warned that amassing a database would pose an existential threat to American liberty, essentially giving an authoritarian government a list of who to target first during a dictatorial crackdown. It’s why four separate legal provisions prohibit a national registry of firearms, according to a recent report by the Congressional Research Service.

The gun industry’s favorite Bogeyman is ATF—the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives—and for decades since 1979 Congress has blocked that agency from using any funding whatsoever to pay for the “consolidating or centralizing” of any purchasing records from gun shops.

Meanwhile, the FBI, which conducts background checks for every gun purchased from a licensed dealer, by law cannot “establish any system for the registration of firearms, firearm owners, or firearm transactions”—instead only keeping details on the people who tried to buy one but failed the background check.

But the fear doesn’t stop at government surveillance. Just last month, the NSSF’s own senior vice president for government and public affairs explained why it would be horrifying for even a private entity to maintain such a list.

Larry Keane, who is also NSSF’s top in-house lawyer, appeared on The Reload podcast on Sept. 19 to discuss congressional bills proposed by Democrats that would give the feds a closer look at gun purchases—and possibly pressure banks to identify exactly what firearms, ammunition, and related gear end up on the receipt.

Keane, speaking to independent firearms journalist Stephen Gutowski, described the measure as “​​just fraught with opportunities for abuse.”

“You have an invasion of privacy,” he said, going on to detail how the existence of any database—in anyone’s hands—could be seized by government agents.

“It’s given to law enforcement or ATF and then all of a sudden law enforcement shows up at your door and says let’s see what you purchased… you have privacy issues wrapped around the exercise of a fundamental constitutional right. It’s very, very troubling,” he said. “They want to see what you’re buying so they can stop you from buying it.”

On Friday, The Daily Beast asked NSSF how its deal with Cambridge Analytica and its apparent accumulation of consumer purchases doesn’t violate its long-held stance that such a database would be an invasion of privacy. The organization did not respond before this story published.

However, on his podcast appearance, Keane stressed that there are no exceptions.

“You could have a registry of gun owners maintained by private corporations, which is concerning the same way a government database would be concerning,” Keane said.

The NSSF has not received even a fraction of the scrutiny or hostility that anti-gun groups have directed at the National Rifle Association, which claims to represent individual gun owners but is deeply deferential to the industry. However, NSSF briefly received pressure following the murder of 20 first graders and six adults by a mass shooter at Sandy Hook Elementary School, because the industry group is based in the same town: Newtown, Connecticut.

Everytown for Gun Safety, a group that advocates for stricter firearms laws, lambasted NSSF for what it called “shameless hypocrisy.”

“The gun industry has spent decades fear-mongering about so-called registries of gun owners but it turns out all along the call was coming from inside the house,” said Nick Suplina, the group’s senior vice president of law and policy. “This type of shameless hypocrisy from NSSF is exactly what we’ve come to expect from an industry that is hell-bent on profit over everything else.”

Gunmakers have historically been terrible at keeping track of their own customers, according to former gun industry executive Ryan Busse, who wrote a tell-all book titled “Gunfight: My Battle Against the Industry That Radicalized America.” Manufacturers are kept out of the loop, because guns get sold from factories to wholesalers, who then place them at federally licensed dealers.

Busse told The Daily Beast that gun companies have only recently begun to get some visibility into their customers and their purchases through an alternate route: selling them model-specific accessories directly to individual customers online. He said this list would be a gold mine—one that stands diametrically opposed to a long-standing principle in American gun culture.

“It’s been a source of measurable frustration that they don’t know who their consumers are. If the NSSF has this list… that’s the height of irony,” he said.

Source link

Articles You May Like

Inland PAC fights for gun rights close to home – San Bernardino Sun
ILA | NRA-ILA Backed Lawsuit Filed to Challenging Oregon Measure 114
SHEILA NAZARIAN: It’s Time For Jews To Take Advantage Of The Second Amendment
[Martin Schram] Police chiefs dial 911 — law-and-order pols need to answer
Senator Chris Murphy: ‘victory after victory’ is coming for US gun control | US gun control


  1. Simply wanna input on few general things, The website design and style is perfect, the subject matter is very excellent. “Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment.” by Barry LePatner.

  2. I like the valuable information you provide in your articles. I’ll bookmark your weblog and check again here regularly. I’m quite sure I will learn a lot of new stuff right here! Best of luck for the next!

  3. You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be actually something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complex and very broad for me. I am looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!

  4. Excellent beat ! I would like to apprentice whilst you amend your web site, how can i subscribe for a blog web site? The account aided me a applicable deal. I had been a little bit acquainted of this your broadcast offered vivid clear idea

  5. I was curious if you ever considered changing the page layout of your blog? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or two images. Maybe you could space it out better?

  6. Thank you a lot for providing individuals with an extraordinarily terrific opportunity to read articles and blog posts from here. It can be so enjoyable and full of a great time for me and my office fellow workers to visit your web site not less than three times in 7 days to study the latest things you have. And indeed, I’m just always satisfied concerning the incredible tactics served by you. Selected 3 points in this post are unquestionably the most beneficial we’ve ever had.

  7. Can I just say what a relief to find someone who actually knows what theyre talking about on the internet. You definitely know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More people need to read this and understand this side of the story. I cant believe youre not more popular because you definitely have the gift.

  8. excellent put up, very informative. I ponder why the other experts of this sector do not notice this. You should continue your writing. I’m confident, you have a huge readers’ base already!

  9. Sweet blog! I found it while browsing on Yahoo News. Do you have any tips on how to get listed in Yahoo News? I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Thanks

  10. Thanx for the effort, keep up the good work Great work, I am going to start a small Blog Engine course work using your site I hope you enjoy blogging with the popular you express are really awesome. Hope you will right some more posts.

  11. Together with almost everything that seems to be building throughout this specific area, many of your viewpoints are relatively stimulating. Nevertheless, I beg your pardon, but I can not give credence to your whole idea, all be it exhilarating none the less. It seems to us that your opinions are actually not totally validated and in simple fact you are yourself not really thoroughly certain of your assertion. In any case I did appreciate examining it.

  12. Keep up the wonderful piece of work, I read few blog posts on this internet site and I conceive that your site is very interesting and holds bands of fantastic information.

  13. Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with some pics to drive the message home a bit, but instead of that, this is wonderful blog. An excellent read. I will definitely be back.

  14. Wow! This could be one particular of the most useful blogs We have ever arrive across on this subject. Actually Fantastic. I’m also an expert in this topic so I can understand your hard work.

  15. Thanks for another informative site. Where else could I get that type of info written in such a perfect way? I’ve a project that I’m just now working on, and I have been on the look out for such info.

  16. Howdy! I know this is kinda off topic but I was wondering if you knew where I could get a captcha plugin for my comment form? I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having difficulty finding one? Thanks a lot!

  17. I used to be very happy to seek out this net-site.I wished to thanks on your time for this excellent read!! I positively having fun with each little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to take a look at new stuff you blog post.

  18. I wanted to make a word in order to appreciate you for all of the precious instructions you are placing at this site. My time-consuming internet look up has at the end been recognized with awesome ideas to talk about with my guests. I ‘d assert that many of us website visitors are very much fortunate to dwell in a wonderful community with many marvellous people with very beneficial opinions. I feel rather grateful to have encountered your entire web site and look forward to plenty of more amazing minutes reading here. Thank you once again for all the details.

  19. It¦s really a nice and helpful piece of information. I¦m happy that you simply shared this helpful information with us. Please stay us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

  20. Hey There. I discovered your blog using msn. That is a really well written article. I’ll be sure to bookmark it and return to learn extra of your helpful info. Thank you for the post. I’ll definitely return.

  21. I do agree with all the ideas you’ve presented in your post. They are really convincing and will definitely work. Still, the posts are too short for starters. Could you please extend them a bit from next time? Thanks for the post.

  22. Today, I went to the beach with my children. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She put the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is entirely off topic but I had to tell someone!

  23. My coder is trying to convince me to move to .net from PHP. I have always disliked the idea because of the expenses. But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using Movable-type on a variety of websites for about a year and am anxious about switching to another platform. I have heard good things about Is there a way I can transfer all my wordpress content into it? Any help would be really appreciated!

  24. Can I just say what a relief to find someone who actually knows what theyre talking about on the internet. You definitely know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More people need to read this and understand this side of the story. I cant believe youre not more popular because you definitely have the gift.

  25. I’m commenting to make you understand of the notable discovery my child undergone checking your webblog. She figured out several details, not to mention what it’s like to possess a great giving mood to let many more completely fully understand chosen very confusing topics. You truly surpassed visitors’ desires. Many thanks for imparting such good, trusted, edifying and as well as easy tips about this topic to Sandra.

  26. I have been surfing on-line greater than three hours today, but I by no means found any fascinating article like yours. It is lovely worth sufficient for me. Personally, if all website owners and bloggers made excellent content as you probably did, the internet will probably be a lot more helpful than ever before.

  27. Have you ever considered creating an ebook or guest authoring on other sites? I have a blog centered on the same information you discuss and would love to have you share some stories/information. I know my audience would value your work. If you are even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me an email.

  28. Hi there very cool website!! Man .. Beautiful .. Amazing .. I will bookmark your blog and take the feeds also…I am happy to find so many helpful information right here within the submit, we need work out more techniques in this regard, thank you for sharing. . . . . .

  29. hello there and thanks for your info – I’ve definitely picked up anything new from right here. I did however expertise some technical issues using this site, since I experienced to reload the site many instances previous to I may get it to load properly. I were pondering if your hosting is OK? No longer that I am complaining, however sluggish loading circumstances occasions will often have an effect on your placement in google and can harm your high-quality ranking if advertising and ***********|advertising|advertising|advertising and *********** with Adwords. Well I’m adding this RSS to my email and could look out for a lot more of your respective interesting content. Make sure you replace this once more very soon..

  30. Wow! This could be one particular of the most useful blogs We have ever arrive across on this subject. Basically Wonderful. I am also a specialist in this topic therefore I can understand your hard work.

  31. The next time I learn a blog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as a lot as this one. I mean, I know it was my choice to read, but I really thought youd have something attention-grabbing to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you can repair in case you werent too busy searching for attention.

  32. I would like to thnkx for the efforts you’ve put in writing this website. I am hoping the same high-grade web site post from you in the upcoming as well. Actually your creative writing skills has inspired me to get my own site now. Really the blogging is spreading its wings fast. Your write up is a good example of it.

  33. Greetings from Carolina! I’m bored to death at work so I decided to check out your blog on my iphone during lunch break. I love the information you present here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home. I’m amazed at how quick your blog loaded on my cell phone .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyhow, great site!

  34. An interesting discussion is price comment. I believe that it’s best to write more on this matter, it won’t be a taboo subject however usually individuals are not sufficient to speak on such topics. To the next. Cheers

  35. Hiya, I am really glad I’ve found this info. Nowadays bloggers publish only about gossips and web and this is really annoying. A good site with exciting content, this is what I need. Thank you for keeping this web-site, I will be visiting it. Do you do newsletters? Cant find it.

  36. After I initially commented I clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get 4 emails with the identical comment. Is there any way you may take away me from that service? Thanks!

  37. Howdy very cool website!! Man .. Beautiful .. Amazing .. I will bookmark your site and take the feeds alsoKI am happy to seek out a lot of helpful information here in the put up, we’d like work out more techniques on this regard, thanks for sharing. . . . . .

  38. Great goods from you, man. I’ve understand your stuff previous to and you are just too fantastic. I really like what you’ve acquired here, certainly like what you’re saying and the way in which you say it. You make it enjoyable and you still take care of to keep it smart. I can’t wait to read far more from you. This is actually a terrific site.

  39. Woah! I’m really loving the template/theme of this site. It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s challenging to get that “perfect balance” between usability and visual appearance. I must say you’ve done a great job with this. Also, the blog loads super fast for me on Internet explorer. Superb Blog!

  40. Greetings I am so glad I found your webpage, I really found you by accident, while I was browsing on Yahoo for something else, Anyways I am here now and would just like to say thank you for a remarkable post and a all round exciting blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to browse it all at the moment but I have book-marked it and also included your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read much more, Please do keep up the great work.

  41. I really like what you guys are up too. This sort of clever work and coverage! Keep up the wonderful works guys I’ve included you guys to my personal blogroll.

  42. I was wondering if you ever thought of changing the structure of your website? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or 2 pictures. Maybe you could space it out better?

  43. Hiya, I am really glad I’ve found this info. Nowadays bloggers publish only about gossips and internet and this is actually irritating. A good blog with exciting content, that’s what I need. Thank you for keeping this web-site, I’ll be visiting it. Do you do newsletters? Can’t find it.

  44. I¦ve been exploring for a bit for any high quality articles or blog posts in this sort of space . Exploring in Yahoo I eventually stumbled upon this site. Reading this info So i¦m glad to convey that I have an incredibly excellent uncanny feeling I discovered just what I needed. I so much undoubtedly will make sure to do not forget this website and give it a look regularly.

  45. In the grand pattern of things you’ll receive a B+ with regard to effort. Where you actually confused everybody ended up being in the specifics. You know, it is said, the devil is in the details… And it couldn’t be much more correct in this article. Having said that, allow me reveal to you just what did give good results. The writing can be really persuasive and that is most likely the reason why I am making an effort in order to comment. I do not make it a regular habit of doing that. Second, while I can easily notice the jumps in reason you make, I am definitely not certain of just how you seem to unite the details which in turn help to make your conclusion. For the moment I will subscribe to your point but hope in the near future you link the facts better.

  46. I discovered your blog site on google and check a few of your early posts. Continue to keep up the very good operate. I just additional up your RSS feed to my MSN News Reader. Seeking forward to reading more from you later on!…

  47. I was recommended this web site through my cousin. I’m not sure whether or not this put up is written via him as no one else realize such distinctive about my difficulty. You’re incredible! Thanks!

  48. I’ve been browsing on-line more than 3 hours lately, but I never discovered any attention-grabbing article like yours. It’s beautiful price enough for me. In my opinion, if all web owners and bloggers made just right content material as you did, the net will likely be a lot more helpful than ever before. “Dreams have as much influence as actions.” by Stephane Mallarme.

  49. I like what you guys are up also. Such clever work and reporting! Carry on the superb works guys I have incorporated you guys to my blogroll. I think it’ll improve the value of my web site :).

  50. I do love the manner in which you have presented this challenge and it does supply me a lot of fodder for consideration. However, through just what I have experienced, I only wish as other opinions stack on that folks remain on issue and in no way start on a soap box involving some other news of the day. All the same, thank you for this superb point and though I can not really concur with this in totality, I respect your perspective.

  51. You really make it appear really easy together with your presentation but I in finding this topic to be actually something that I feel I would by no means understand. It seems too complicated and very vast for me. I’m taking a look forward on your next submit, I will attempt to get the cling of it!

  52. Terrific work! This is the type of info that should be shared around the net. Shame on the search engines for not positioning this post higher! Come on over and visit my site . Thanks =)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *