Feds Now Wants Even More Personal Info Before You Can Buy a Gun
The Washington Times reported this week about the Obama administration's quiet move to force gun buyers to disclose their race and ethnicity.
More from the report below:
With little fanfare, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in 2012 amended its Form 4473 — the transactional record the government requires gun purchasers and sellers to fill out when buying a firearm — to identify buyers as either Hispanic, Latino or not. Then a buyer must check his or her race: Indian, Asian, black, Pacific Islander or white.
The amendment is causing a headache for gun retailers, as each box needs to be checked off or else it’s an ATF violation — severe enough for the government to shut a business down. Many times people skip over the Hispanic/Latino box and only check their race, or vice versa — both of which are federal errors that can be held against the dealer.
Requiring the race and ethnic information of gun buyers is not required by federal law and provides little law enforcement value, legal experts say. And gun industry officials worry about how the information is being used and whether it constitutes an unnecessary intrusion on privacy.
Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano was asked this morning whether this new policy is an infringement on the rights of Americans. He explained that both the First and Second Amendments come into play in this matter.
Napolitano said that the government cannot compel a person to speak - in this case, write down their race and ethnicity on a form.
"This is called forced speech. The First Amendment says Congress can't infringe speech. The courts have interpreted that to mean the government can't also compel you to speak," said Napolitano, adding that the government does not have the "lawful, moral authority" to ask these questions to gun buyers.
He argued no American citizen should have to tell the government about their ethnic background when trying to exercise their Second Amendment right. The creation of the forms stems from the fact that the government wants to know who has a gun, he said.
"It's none of the government's business who has guns. It's none of the government's business the race or ethnicity of the people who want to buy guns and it's certainly none of the government's business to ask you why you want the gun. ... Why do we need the government's permission to exercise our Second Amendment rights?" he asked.
Watch his full analysis above.