The Biden administration has been compiling records of 54 million gun owners to possibly create an unlawful database of Americans who possess a firearm, according to documents obtained.
The Biden administration in just the past year alone stockpiled the records of more than 54 million U.S. gun owners and is poised to drastically alter gun regulations to ensure that information on Americans who own firearms ultimately ends up in the federal government’s hands, according to internal Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) documents obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.
The outlet obtained the information by using a process where the ATF can collect and store records on private gun transactions from licensed gun stores when they go out of business. The information is stored at a federal site in West Virginia.
There are so many records stored at this location that several years ago, The New York Times reported, the floor collapsed.
The practice of collecting these records has drawn criticism from Pro-Second Amendment groups who say the Biden administration is using the information to create a national database of gun owners, which is against U.S. law.
It also comes as the Biden administration prepares to propose a series of firearms-related regulations.
In fiscal year 2021, the ATF processed 54.7 million out-of-business records, according to the internal documents obtained by firearms advocacy group Gun Owners of America and provided to the Free Beacon.
The internal documents show that 53.8 million were paper records and another 887,000 were electronic from locations that went out of business.
A spokesman told the outlet that ATF’s ‘National Tracing Center processes millions of out of business records each month,’ but claimed ‘those out of business records do not constitute an initiation or continuation of any federal gun registry,’ the spokesman said.
The Gun Owners of America’s director of federal affairs, Aidan Johnston, said: ‘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.’
‘Instead of maintaining the right of [licensed firearm dealers] to destroy Firearm Transaction Records after 20 years,’ he continued, ‘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.’
The Gun Control Act of 1968 mandates that licensed firearm dealers who close down must provide their record to the ATF to be processed and maintained in a database that cannot be searched by the name of the person who purchased the gun.
The agency says after the record is created, the physical records are destroyed.
But this practice has faced a new line of scrutiny as President Joe Biden prepares to implement new restrictions on purchasing and owning a firearm.
One proposal from the administration is requiring gun owners to register or destroy certain sizes of pistol braces, which are stabilizers used on popular firearms like AR-15s. Other proposals include red flag laws that could prevent people from purchasing a gun in the first place.
Johnston told the Free Beacon: ‘The Biden administration has forced ATF to undertake the rule-making process in record time—resulting in faulty argumentation and demonstrating that neither ATF nor Biden’s anti-gun appointees know anything about the firearms and accessories they seek to regulate.’
The ATF’s registry site has forever been a battleground between gun advocates and the federal government. Those in favor of more restrictive gun measures demand the ATF digitize this registry and create a federal database of U.S. gun owners, a move opposed by groups such as the Gun Owners of America and the National Rifle Association. The ATF has so many records stored in its West Virginia site that several years ago the floor collapsed, according to the New York Times.