California Gives Academics Access to Gun Owners’ Personal Information

California Gives Academics Access to Gun Owners’ Personal Information

Last week, Gov. signed Assembly Bill 173 into law. The bill gives predominately left-wing researchers access to the personal information collected by the state on owners of , gun parts and ammunition.

With the stroke of a pen, the California Firearm Violence Research Center can easily access that information. California’s 4.2 million gun owners have long viewed the collection of their information with suspicion, especially after confiscation attempts within the past decade. (

In 2018, California passed the California Consumer Privacy Act, which guarantees your right to “delete your personal information [possessed by businesses] and [make them] not…sell your personal information.” But that right to keep your information to yourself does not apply when the snoops work for the government.

Roy M. Griffith Jr., legislative director of the California Rifle & Pistol Association, wrote a letter to Newsom asking him not to sign this law. Griffith pointed out that by his read, A.B. 173 “is in direct violation of the California Constitution which states in Article 1, Section 1, ‘All people are by nature free and independent and have inalienable rights. Among these are enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining safety, happiness, and privacy.’ In all, California Constitution names ‘privacy’ as a fundamental right of all Californians five times!”

With this law, anyone working in or near any academic “violence prevention” work “with an ax to grind, or had fallen from grace, would know that some [named person] with number of guns lives at 123 Boogie Woogie Avenue in Sunnyvale,” says Griffith in a phone interview. That, he notes, may not be a situation conducive to security for the citizen at that address.

Griffith, who used to work in California law enforcement, thinks gun owners’ names, addresses, numbers of weapons and parts, and amount of ammunition are data police should need warrants to obtain in any state that alleges to respect privacy. They certainly shouldn’t spread it to researchers suspicious of private gun owernship, he adds.

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