Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan on Monday accused the Biden administration of trying to establish a de facto firearms registry by assembling nearly 1 billion records of gun purchases.
Jordan was commenting on a Washington Free Beacon report noting that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives had accumulated more than 920 million gun-purchase records in recent years, stoking fears that they could easily be used to build a national gun registry, long an objective of Democratic administrations and politicians.
The Ohio lawmaker was responding to a letter sent by the ATF to Rep. Michael Cloud (R-Texas) in which the agency revealed the number of gun purchase records in its database.
“In total, ATF manages 920,664,765 OBR [Out of Business Records] as of November 2021. This includes digital and an estimated number of hard copy records that are awaiting image conversion. It is currently estimated that 865,787,086 of those records are in digitalized format,” the AFT told Cloud.
The Free Beacon reported that federal gun databases violate existing laws.
“When a licensed gun store goes out of business, its private records detailing gun transactions become ATF property and are stored at a federal site in West Virginia,” the outlet reported.
“The practice has contributed to the fears of gun advocacy groups and Second Amendment champions in Congress that the federal government is creating a national database of gun owners, which violates longstanding federal statutes.”
In an interview with Fox News’ Laura Ingraham, Jordan called the ATF’s revelations “frightening” but typical for the Biden administration.
“You got the FBI going after parents, you got the DOJ setting up a domestic terrorism unit. Now we find out the ATF is going after law-abiding gun owners,” he said.
“I mean, I — think about this, Hillary Clinton destroyed 30,000 emails while she was under investigation, and now every single gun purchase by a law-abiding American is being preserved,” he added.
“For what? So that the federal government can set up a national database?” he asked rhetorically.
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“This is scary stuff, what they’ve done to our First Amendment rights, and now what they’re doing to our Second Amendment liberties,” Jordan continued.
“All from one administration, all in a single year. So yes, there’s a number of us who are very concerned about this. And this is why we wrote the letter,” he said, revealing that he had also signed Cloud’s letter.
“And frankly, we didn’t realize it was quite this number of purchases over the last 20-some years that the federal government is now compiling,” Jordan added.
The ATF said that it developed its database in 2006, but Jordan said that should be viewed “in context.”
“It was just a few years ago, the IRS went after conservatives. Then we find out the FBI spying on a presidential campaign, then we learn that there’s all kinds of abuses in the FISA process, not just what you and I’ve talked about, and others have talked about. But the inspector general pointed it out with two separate reports, unbelievable abuses of the FISA process,” he said.
President Joe Biden’s failed nominee to lead the ATF, David Chipman, supported a complete ban on popular AR-15-style semi-automatic rifles.