08/96 Brady Abuses, Repeal!
“Smoking Gun:” Texas Officials Using Brady Law to Register Gun Owners
— Stockman Brady repeal bill needed more than ever
Gun Owners of America
8001 Forbes Place, Suite 102
Springfield, VA 22151
(703)321-8585, fax: 703-321-8408
1. Urge your legislators to cosponsor H.R. 2470, the bill to repeal the Brady registration act. GOA now has a brand new message for those who want to send a Western Union mailgram. This mailgram includes the new information listed below, showing how the inevitable has occurred — that some gun owners’ names are being illegally retained through the background checks conducted on gun buyers. Send a Western Union mailgram by calling 1-800-651-1486. A fee of $6.95 will be charged to your phone.
2. Order postcards that you can distribute to pro-gun friends and family. Call 1-800-417-1486. Use your circle of influence to flood legislators with postcards supporting the Stockman repeal bill (H.R. 2470). First set of 52 postcards=$6; 2nd set=$4; others=$2.50.
3. Distribute this alert to your pro-gun friends and family. People can also call their Congressman by dialing 202-225-3121.
(Monday, August 26) — GOA has clear evidence that some police officials in Texas are keeping the records of firearms purchases, in defiance of the Brady law. These records (taken from the Brady-mandated background checks) go back many months and have been used for purposes other than that which they were intended for, such as collecting fines or fees. These records include the name, address and driver’s license number of the gun owner.
This registration of gun owners is something that Gun Owners of America has warned about from the very start. No matter how many prohibitions against registration one writes into the law, the question arises: “Who guards the guardians?” Who will be responsible for punishing officials that break the law? Can we really depend on officials to prosecute their fellow brothers in blue for a crime that might be considered harmless by some?
Indeed, the former Congressional Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) admitted in 1991 that the instant background check was easily susceptible to abuse. The OTA said that “the potential [for registration] exists regardless of legal prohibitions.”
Gun registration (or gun owner registration) is dangerous because of the potential for firearms confiscation. Consider that in New York City, police used gun registration lists to confiscate the firearms of law-abiding citizens. The Daily News (9/5/92) reported in 1992 that, “Police raided the home of a Staten Island man who refused to comply with the city’s tough ban on assault weapons, and seized an arsenal of firearms….Spot checks are planned [for other homes].”
New York City police were able to use the gun registration lists, which were started in the 1960’s, to determine which gun owners were not complying with the semi-auto ban. Clearly, gun owner registration can be, and often is, a prelude to gun confiscation.
The simple fact is that it is too great a temptation for officials to keep names on file even after they are supposed to be deleted. This is a risk that gun owners, and all law-abiding citizens, should be unwilling to take.
Let’s pull out the stops. Please call and fax your Representatives. Send him postcards and mailgrams. Ask him to get onto the Brady repeal (H.R. 2470) as a cosponsor. We have to build the momentum to repeal this dangerous piece of legislation. We can’t just rely on what the Supreme Court might do. We have to fight this battle on every front.