NRA-ILA Guest Opinion:
NRA has long opposed any kind of database of law-abiding gun owners, or similar licensing schemes. We have cited many objections, including concerns over the potential for misuse of such information. After a recent demand that states supply the federal government with personal information of people who receive future COVID-19 vaccinations, many have started using the same arguments.
The demand for vaccine information on individuals came as part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Interim Playbook that outlines how the pending vaccine, or vaccines, will be distributed once approved.
A number of organizations representing health officials at the state level sent a letter to the CDC with their concerns about the federal plan, which included how the information would be used, and how the data collection might affect the general public’s confidence in the program.
Ironically, some of those who object to this new call for a centralized database of vaccine recipients encourage such treatment of gun owners.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) objected to the vaccine-related database, claiming that it would discourage illegal aliens from being vaccinated, and alleged the federal government would use the information to deport those who are in our country illegally. If anyone would know about people being afraid of government abuse of information, and not taking part in a government program because of such fears, it would be Governor Cuomo. After all, New York’s SAFE Act and other draconian anti-gun laws are the poster child for otherwise law-abiding citizens not complying with a law over fear of it being misused.
The NY SAFE Act includes a politically-motivated definition, and ban, on “assault weapons,” but allowed those who had such firearms prior to the law going into effect to keep them, provided they are registered with the state. Likely fearing that such a registry would later lead to a road map for the state to follow if it should change the law to require the guns be surrendered, it is estimated that the vast majority of those who lawfully possessed such guns prior to the SAFE Act’s enactment simply chose to ignore the registration requirement.
Bureaucratic incompetence in New York that has led to law-abiding gun owners being wrongly accused of being prohibited of owning firearms in the state’s existing database certainly doesn’t help ease the minds of Empire State gun owners.
Perhaps Gov. Cuomo should reexamine his own state’s gun owner registration regime given his new-found concerns over the dangers of government registration.