Guess how many firearm sales transactions ATF has in its database

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920,664,765

Never mind that pesky law that prohibits the ATF from keeping any kind of gun registry.

Thank Rep. Cloud of Texas for this information, he investigated the ATF and they had to provide the data to Congress.


https://freebeacon.com/guns/biden-admin-has-records-on-nearly-one-billion-gun-sales/
Biden Admin Has Records on Nearly One Billion Gun Sales
ATF database on firearm sales sparks fears Biden admin tracking millions of gun owners
Adam Kredo • January 31, 2022 1:10 pm

The Biden administration is in possession of nearly one billion records detailing American citizens’ firearm purchases, far more than Congress and the public has been aware of, according to new information from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

The ATF disclosed to lawmakers that it manages a database of 920,664,765 firearm purchase records, including both digital and hard copy versions of these transactions. When a licensed gun store goes out of business, its private records detailing gun transactions become ATF property and are stored at a federal site in West Virginia. The practice has contributed to the fears of gun advocacy groups and Second Amendment champions in Congress that the federal government is creating a national database of gun owners, which violates longstanding federal statutes.

Rep. Michael Cloud (R., Texas), who led an investigation into the ATF database following a November Free Beacon report that the Biden administration had stockpiled records of more than 54 million gun transactions in 2021, expressed shock at the number of gun records being kept by the federal government. Cloud maintains that the ATF’s database could be exploited by the Biden administration to surveil American gun owners as it pursues new restrictions on firearms.

"A federal firearm registry is explicitly banned by law. Yet, the Biden administration is again circumventing Congress and enabling the notably corrupt ATF to manage a database of nearly a billion gun transfer records," Cloud told the Free Beacon. "Under the president's watch, the ATF has increased surveillance on American gun owners at an abhorrent level. The Biden administration continues to empower criminals and foreign nationals while threatening the rights of law-abiding Americans. It's shameful and this administration should reconsider its continued attacks on American gun owners."

While the ATF denies that these records are used to track gun owners, it transfers hard copies of the information into a searchable digital database that it says is used to trace firearms tied to crimes. The ATF reported that 865,787,086 of the records are already in a digital format.

As the ATF stockpiles gun records, the Biden administration is seeking to alter a federal law that allows gun stores to destroy their records after 20 years, preventing the federal government from getting them. The Biden administration wants gun stores to maintain their records in perpetuity, meaning that when a store closes, the ATF receives all of its records. The ATF’s gun records database has long been a flashpoint between Second Amendment advocates and the federal government, with the latter claiming the ATF is exploiting legal loopholes to expand the database. The Biden administration’s push to ensure that all out-of-business records ultimately make their way to the ATF has sparked fierce pushback from 52 Republicans in Congress.

The proposed change, Cloud and his colleagues wrote to the ATF in a November letter, "means that 100 percent of all lawful commercial firearm transfers would eventually end up in an ATF computer system, thereby creating a permanent database"—in violation of the law.

The ATF maintained in its response to the 2021 investigation that the "sole purpose" of its database and ongoing efforts to digitize out-of-business records "is to trace firearms used in crimes."

More than half-a-million traces were performed in 2021, according to the ATF, and just under half a million in 2020. The ATF, however, says it does not have the ability to determine if the database actually helps solve crimes. The ATF’s National Tracing Center "has no ability to determine the successful prosecution of hundreds of thousands of crime gun traces it completes annually, nor does it have any way to link a trace for a specific prosecution for a particular year," the agency informed Congress.

Aidan Johnston, director of federal affairs for Gun Owners of America, an advocacy group that has closely tracked the ATF’s database, told the Free Beacon that it is becoming clear the Biden administration is on its way to creating a national gun registry.

"Make no mistake—this is clear evidence that a partial national gun registry exists," Johnston said. "If the American people don't stand up for their rights now, Biden's anti-gun ATF will be able to track gun owners, infringe on our rights, and potentially even confiscate our firearms."
 
There are some states that keep current records of sales, not just records from an FFL that is no longer in business. That would probably be the POC states that keep all information on a 4473 at the time of sale/transfer. The state I live in would be one of many.

I don't think the fed is the real fox in the chicken house here, although it appears they have a database. More than likely it's your state government. The FBI has access to those records.

file:///C:/Users/james/Downloads/nics-participation-map-august-2021.pdf
 
Don't think all the ATF agents are frothing at the mouth and dreaming about raiding homes. One of my best friends is in the ATF and he asked me how to go about getting a suppressor not too long ago. lol If I didn't tell him what was going on, he would have no idea. The people at the top are garbage though... just like the military and other agencies.
 
There are some states that keep current records of sales, not just records from an FFL that is no longer in business. That would probably be the POC states that keep all information on a 4473 at the time of sale/transfer. The state I live in would be one of many.

I don't think the fed is the real fox in the chicken house here, although it appears they have a database. More than likely it's your state government. The FBI has access to those records.

file:///C:/Users/james/Downloads/nics-participation-map-august-2021.pdf
Your link points to your personal hard drive. How about uploading the pdf as an attachment?
 
We don't actually know what data is being held, only what the press tells us.
If there's no personal info and no firearm ID involved--then, then no big deal, really.

We have to remember the millions of NICS checks that have been run in any given month, which takes hundred of phone operators and hundreds of phones and probably dozens of PBX.

You don't run that sort of operation with out some audit file.

What we have, from the present articles, is the ultimate firearms owner's horror tale--gubmint gots all my datas.

It's a perfect tale to scare honest, law-abiding firearms owners. The perfection of it is what sparks my sharpest suspicions of it. It's what drives me to start looking in the dark corners shadowed places for what we are not supposed to be paying attention to, while this red flag is waved at us to froth and lather over.
 
Don't think all the ATF agents are frothing at the mouth and dreaming about raiding homes. One of my best friends is in the ATF and he asked me how to go about getting a suppressor not too long ago. lol If I didn't tell him what was going on, he would have no idea. The people at the top are garbage though... just like the military and other agencies.
In my experience garbage in a bureaucracy always seeps down.
 
I expect them to have as much information as they can collect, even though they are not supposed to keep it. It's the government and they do what they want, no matter what we want. They have perfected the art of lying, just like every government. I don't WANT them to have all of that information, I just believe they do.
 
We don't actually know what data is being held, only what the press tells us.
If there's no personal info and no firearm ID involved--then, then no big deal, really.

We have to remember the millions of NICS checks that have been run in any given month, which takes hundred of phone operators and hundreds of phones and probably dozens of PBX.

You don't run that sort of operation with out some audit file.

What we have, from the present articles, is the ultimate firearms owner's horror tale--gubmint gots all my datas.

It's a perfect tale to scare honest, law-abiding firearms owners. The perfection of it is what sparks my sharpest suspicions of it. It's what drives me to start looking in the dark corners shadowed places for what we are not supposed to be paying attention to, while this red flag is waved at us to froth and lather over.
The article seems to be saying these are the "bound books" of dealers who went out of business. Don't the "bound books" contain copies of the 4473's? And most have been imaged and would therefore now be searchable.
 
For what it's worth, just because something is imaged doesn't automatically make it searchable. The BATF is not just allowed to, but is mandated to retain the records. I believe they are prevented, by law, from attempting to compile them into a registry of gun owners, but there is nothing in the law that prevents them from imaging them and storing them as bits on a disk or tape instead of having to keep the paper around forever.

IF the digital records are searchable based on content, then that would step over the line.

According to this source, who believes that the records should be searchable and wants to eliminate the prohibition, they are not.
https://www.thetrace.org/2016/08/atf-non-searchable-databases/

Federally licensed gun dealers are required to submit sales records to the ATF when they close up shop. The ATF has acquired a massive library of such records: more than 285 million, which it scans and digitizes. Those documents are saved into one of the 25 “data systems” that help the ATF source guns used in crimes.
...
To perform a search, ATF investigators must find the specific index number of a former dealer, then search records chronologically for records of the exact gun they seek. They may review thousands of images in a search before they find the weapon they are looking for. That’s because dealer records are required to be “non-searchable” under federal law. Keyword searches, or sorting by date or any other field, are strictly prohibited.
...
There is no ability to search the text of a file, and no effort is made to tag files with identifiers that could later be used to sort and search. “We compare it to an electronic card catalog system, where records are digitally imaged, but not optimized for character recognition,” ATF spokesman Corey Ray says.


We will need more information to determine if the BATF is actually changing their scanning/storage method, or if someone at the GOA (the organization that broke this "story") is either misled or is trying to mislead in order to drum up members/funds.

I find this story kind of irritating because the organization that broke it should know the laws regarding BATF recordkeeping and should therefore, as a result, clearly state the laws they believe are being broken and provide the evidence. It's almost like the GOA went out of their way to NOT give us any information that would make it clear whether the laws are being broken or not.

They make a big deal of how many records that the BATF has--but it is NOT against the law for the BATF to have those records, in fact it is required that they do.

They make a big deal about the records being digital--but it is NOT against the law for the BATF to store the records as digital images.

The one thing that we need to know to understand if there's really a law being broken is whether the records are searchable for content. And that information is very inconveniently NOT provided.
 
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