Friday, April 5, 2013

ACLU Opposing Senate Bill, Doesn’t Trust Harry Reid

At first glance this seems utterly ridiculous, but it is shaping up to be true. The American Civil Liberties Union, or ACLU, announced today that the group is opposing the Senate legislation in the bill’s current form. - The Brenner Brief

Although any opposition is welcome, conservatives should not be jumping for joy just yet.

The intention behind the ACLU opposing Senate gun ban legislation has nothing to do with the preservation of the Second Amendment. The ACLU does not oppose universal background checks, or even a ban on the proposed firearms and magazines, but they are against the establishment of a federal government database containing private citizens who own firearms. The pro gun-control mainstream media outlets have portrayed this concern as a conservative case of paranoia, but coincidentally, the ACLU doesn’t trust the government with this information either.

ACLU says Reid’s gun legislation could threaten privacy rights, civil liberties - Vince Coglianese/Daily Caller

The inclusion of universal background checks — the poll-tested lynchpin of most Democratic proposals — “raises two significant concerns,” the ACLU’s Chris Calabrese told TheDC Wednesday.

Calabrese — a privacy lobbyist — was first careful to note that the ACLU doesn’t strictly oppose universal background checks for gun purchases. “If you’re going to require a background check, we think it should be effective,” Calabrese explained.

“However, we also believe those checks have to be conducted in a way that protects privacy and civil liberties. So, in that regard, we think the current legislation, the current proposal on universal background checks raises two significant concerns,” he went on.

“The first is that it treats the records for private purchases very differently than purchases made through licensed sellers. Under existing law, most information regarding an approved purchase is destroyed within 24 hours when a licensed seller does a [National Instant Criminal Background Check System] check now,” Calabrese said, “and almost all of it is destroyed within 90 days.”

Calabrese wouldn’t characterize the current legislation’s record-keeping provision as a “national gun registry” — which the White House has denied pursuing — but he did say that such a registry could be “a second step.”