Gun Rights

California Will Let 'Violence Prevention' Researchers Know That You Have a Gun

An academic field rife with hostility to private gun ownership now gets to know the address of every California owner of a weapon, a weapon part, or ammo.

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Califoria Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law last week A.B. 173, which among other things gives various academics, most of them very likely to be hostile to private gun ownership, access to all the information California collects about the state's buyers of guns, gun parts, and ammunition.

The law says that an assortment of government info about gun possessors "shall be available to researchers affiliated with the California Firearm Violence Research Center at UC Davis for academic and policy research purposes." Furthermore, "At the department's discretion…information collected pursuant to this section may be provided to any other nonprofit bona fide research institution accredited by the United States Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation for the study of the prevention of violence."

Yes, the law also insists that "Material identifying individuals shall only be provided for research or statistical activities and shall not be transferred, revealed, or used for purposes other than research or statistical activities, and reports or publications derived therefrom shall not identify specific individuals."

Still, whether or not the resultant research as published names a specific person, a gun owner might understandably not be thrilled that people in the business of coming up with reasons why no one should be allowed to own guns (largely true of people in the "gun violence research" field) can easily know their name, address, and all the weapons, parts, and ammo they bought legally. What's more, nothing in the law as written applies any stern level of oversight or punishment over misuse of the information.

California gun owners have long had reason to be suspicious of the amount of information about gun purchases that the state insists on collecting and saving. These have, after all, led to literal attempts at confisction of certain once-legal, now-not weapons.

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 ownership, he adds.

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  1. Big problem is that the state has any of this information in the first place.

    1. The link to how they get it is interesting.

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    2. Registration is usually only a prelude to confiscation.

      Must be a new thing. Or at least in the last 20-25 years. I never filed a thing with any government entity in CA when I owned firearms there.

      1. They started registering handguns in 1991 and long guns in 2014. The link is in the second sentence.

        1. Friends of mine who refuse to leave that hole have guns they’ve owned since long before the registrationi was required. Haven’t bought much new since then. Of course, no matter the age, if yuo have a gun you carry, and live an an area where theyt actually ISSUE the Mother May I Cards, there is an associated wrinkle. Seems the Mother May I Card has a mandate that you can ONLY carry up to three different guns, each of them named by serial number ON THE CARD. That means if you want to carry that sweet old Browning High Power you bought new in 1964, you now have to provide the state with its numbers to get it added to your Mother May I Card. At which point they now KNOW you own it, fo the first time since you bought it new.

          Stinks to live in such a tyrannical state. Won’t SOMEONE launch a lawsuit to exlode this wretched new law?

          1. The entire democrat party should be overthrown. This shit has to end.

            1. We can lose them in a boating accident.

            2. I don’t agree with the republicans on everything, but its safe to say they are the lesser of the evils here. Not going to waste another vote on libertarian candidates that don’t stand a chance at getting elected.

            3. That “shit” will never end because there are too many Americans who believe in it.

              The best thing is to confine that “shit” to a few states, like CA, NY, MA, and WA.

    3. Seems like it’d make sense to cut off all federal funding, including student loans, to any institution with an academic field that serves little use than to harass people.

    4. precisey WHY I provide them as little as is possible. Buying ammo? Pay cash. NOT on a card. Of course they know when I buy a gun (been a LONG time since then, but…) so not much I can do bout that. Parts? Cash, always. Unless it is a registered part, that’s same as the gun itself. Unfinished lowers? Cash only, and pick up in person, no shipping record.

      They DESPARATELY want a registry of all guns and related items. Deny them this at every turn.

      1. In order to i to buy ammunition in California, you have to have a background check for each ammo purchase.
        Internet purchase and out-of-state purchase is forbidden.
        So they know you have a gun and likely the type by the caliber of ammunition you buy.

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    5. As long as they don’t make any laws abridging peoples’ rights to own guns I don’t see a problem.

      1. Ah, but don’t you get it? Registration of weapons is the first step to eventual confiscation. It happened in Hungary prior to the Soviet invasion in 1956 and the Soviets used the registry to confiscate the arms. Ditto in Cuba, where Castro used the gun registry of the previous Battista regime to confiscate the arms of Cuban citizens. And it can happen here too.

    6. All of this is very good reason to look into crossbows and archery.

      1. Good luck with that. Wont do you much good in a 500 yard standoff.

    7. What are you talking about, they promised they would never share the information with those interested in mass confiscation. I think they used the word “paranoid”. Next is people with concealed carry permits. Best not to have one of those.

      1. On the contrary, it’s best if everyone has one. Plus, in civilized states, a CCL lets you skip the security line if you need to go into the capitol.

        It’s your duty to make the registration useless as a filtration.

  2. Fair. I’ll let violence prevention researchers know California has a homeless problem.

    1. Considering L.A. is crumbling into Mogadishu, raising a militia of drugged-up hobos might just be a good idea.

      1. Hmmm.. seems like a bit of “self-regulatioin” of that population just might be an unplanned outcome.

  3. “An academic field rife with hostility to private gun ownership —”

    In other words , gun control is only about controlling guns for private citizens and NOT for the police and military.

      1. If people didn’t own guns, criminals wouldn’t need them.

        /Mike Hihn actually said this.

        1. I’ve had similar conversations with gun-grabbers. And what they say is indeed true. If there were no guns there’d be no gun crime. The only problem is that it’s an impossible goal. But you can’t convince them of that.

          1. And it certainly wouldn’t stop knife crime, machete crime, blunt instrument crime, etc.

        2. Mike wanted everyone to select him as an enlightened despot. On a creepy scale of 1 to Biden, Hihn was about a 7. A Frugal Gourmet if you will. He would occasionally break character and you could have a conversation with him.

        3. someone back Mikey up into a corner and ask him if he’d want to have a gun when six big tough guys, eash tipping the scales at about 320, came at him in a parking lot with twenty seven inch machetes. And no I did NOT say “twenty” seven inch machetes. if he says NO, someone call his shrink. He’s got delusioins of grandeur along with drug induced halucinations. Don’t forget tney just legalised the funny mushrooms down that way.

            1. I don’t think “Mike Hihn” ever was “Mike Hihn”. There just seems to be a person on Reason who picks different has-been libertarians as their name.

          1. Gonna need a Ouija board for that.

    1. Ding Ding Ding!

    2. In other words, the author assumes that one follows from the other. It is a leading lede; opinion rather than news.

      1. See my reply to you above.

  4. California is just amazing. But it wasn’t always the left-libertarian paradise we know today.

    For instance back in 1988 it was still possible for a Republican Presidential candidate to carry California. Now, however, the state is under single-party Democratic control. Which of course means it has a high poverty rate, high degree of economic inequality, and people literally defecating on the streets — in addition to its Michael-Hihn-approved gun safety regulations.

    What changed? Put simply, the Koch / Reason loose borders policy imported so many Democrat-voting Brown bodies that a one-party government was inevitable. Indeed, California is the model for what Charles Koch’s immigration agenda will eventually do to the entire country. (I predict Texas will be the next state to go permanently blue.)

    #LibertariansFor50Californias

    1. “#LibertariansFor50Californias”

      California Uber Alles!

  5. I’m beginning to suspect keeping private from the state any information about one’s personal possessions might be a good idea after all.

  6. lets see what could go wrong maybe like they did in the other state where the local paper listed the names and address of those who had guns. this is bad law and don’t know if we can sue to stop this. How does knowing who has guns help the study of guns.

    1. A few things come to mind. Basic demographics like age and gender, with some digging they could get education levels, see where they guns are owned, compare it to voting districts… All that information will be very handy when they start confiscating. They’ll have a good idea of who will comply and who will not. Where they need to deploy the National Guard because the cops would be outgunned. You know, stuff like that.

      1. Here’s an example of how researchers use this information.
        https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMsa1916744

        1. Correlation = Causation

          1. Dig the handle. It would be cool to have a funny, sarcastic poster here.

    2. How does knowing who has guns help the study of guns.

      Match against new criminal record reports?

      Note: No matter what there reason, this is wrong.

      1. Realistically, the whole point of this is getting the information leaked, so that it ends up in the hands of people who can act on it without the state government taking the blame. Home break ins, people being fired, being unfriended by your neighbors… These are the goal.

        Democratic governments collect private data so that people in the private sector can create target lists for retaliation. Not all that different from why they wanted the membership list for the NAACP way back when.

    3. IIRC, that was in CT. Then someone posted the addresses of the paper’s staff, and overlaid them with google maps.

      Suddenly, the anti-gun newspaper had armed guards, and was crying foul.

        1. Let’s be honest. Is there really a difference?

    4. smoke and mirrors can justify anything

  7. News outlets in Maine attempted to do this for concealed carry permit holders after New York did that. Iirc, there was a casualty of this in New York. Here, I believe it was the Milo Police Department that notified residents. Word spread quickly and the legislature passed an emergency law preventing that information from being published. The governor immediately signed it.
    Progressives are the most horrible Americans; they believe they are entitled to private information (q.v., see Trump tax returns stories).

  8. gun owners’ names, addresses, numbers of weapons and parts, and amount of ammunition are data police should need warrants to obtain

    Silver lining! Fewer bribes to cops to get this info.

  9. In IL, I have to keep record of all firearm purchaces for 8 yrs. So now the question is will the 8 yrs. expire before California’s firearm registry Violence Prevention Data policies get adopted by a federal agency?

    1. You do as the purchaser?

      If you don’t have them, how do they know you should have them?

      1. My mistake, 10 yrs.:

        430 ILCS 65/3) (from Ch. 38, par. 83-3)
        (b) Any person within this State who transfers or causes to be transferred any firearm, stun gun, or taser shall keep a record of such transfer for a period of 10 years from the date of transfer.

        If you don’t have them, how do they know you should have them?

        Pragmatism in regulating private property transfers, specifically firearms, in IL, what world do you live in? Hypothetically, I don’t know the case law, but I assume they arrest Joe Felon and Joe says he’ll testify against an arms dealer for a reduced sentence, if he produces a receipt with your mark and you don’t have a copy, you’re fucked.

    2. I keep all of my gun related records in a dedicated fire safe. The digital combination lock has two combinations, one opens the safe the other opens vents to ensure a fresh supply of dry air to preserve the char cloth wrapped records. Now if only I could figure out how to stop the vents from sparking when they open.

    3. Buy used, at least seven years old. Then once it is eight years old, drop it off the list because you’ve had it that long……. Better yet, buy used private party and “what gun”? Oh that ne? I’ve had that thing at least ten years, Don’t shoot it much anymore, I’ve got newer ones…..

      1. First, so I should just accept that if I want a Gen2 KSG, a Laugo Alien, an FK BRNO PSD, or a straight-pull Savage Impulse I have to wait a decade after they come out to buy one?

        Second, all of the guns in my safe without receipts were purchased by my Father or Grandfather well before I was born and transferred over 10 yrs. ago. All the ones that survived the various tragic boating accidents anyway.

  10. Is this just a little bit like the sex offenders registry? Pedo, pedo, flasher, gun, gun, flasher.

    1. I would wager burglaries decrease in habited homes known to be armed… And correspondingly increase at their unarmed neighbor’s who voted to keep Gruesome.

      1. Housebrerakings where known gun owners live would increase… but ONLY when the residents are “away”. Plenty of time to case de joint once you have the addresses. Of course, then it would be a race to see which thieving dirtbag will be the first to knock off Charlie’s gun collection whislt they are away at Bingo, at the flickers, or a weekend “away”.

  11. Considering that Reason ran an editorial last week trashing libertarian Larry Elder (by falsely claiming he campaigned as a conservative) and didn’t run any articles or editorials supportive of Elder’s campaign or libertarian policy proposals, Reason should either stop claiming it supports libertarian policies and politicians or stop running articles criticizing Gavin Newsom, who Reason protected from his recall election.

    1. “Reason should either stop claiming it supports libertarian policies and politicians or stop running articles criticizing Gavin Newsom, who Reason protected from his recall election.”

      Do you really think Reason would go ahead and do that? Just get on the Internet and tell lies?

      Good luck with your quest.

    2. Yes, the Elder ad I remember seeing the most had the democrat endorsing him because of school choice. Reason’s take blaming Elder for the campaign was mostly bullshit.

      1. Larry Elder committed the cardinal sin in American politics in 2021: he embraced the Bad Orange Man.

  12. This is a great tool for potential home invasion crimes. Pre-screen potentially dangerous homes.

    1. Also a great tool to figure out who to steal guns and ammo from if you need a gun for another bigger crime.

      1. Or just need a gun for cash. Guns are decent valuata in those circles. Portable, usable by far more than the registered owner (unlike many other similarly expensive electronic devices), and easily convertible to other goods or currency.

        Odds this ownership information would stay confidential…?

        1. Thieves see guns like jewelry. Something to quickly flip for cash. They also tend not to target random houses. Usually they’re after something specific. “I heard this guy’s got a lot of guns” is music to a thief’s ears.

  13. Why would Newsome care about the law?

    1. Considering that the CA Democratic Party (and every other state’s Democratic Party too) considers legal gun owners enemies of the state, as horrible as this is it isn’t surprising.

      As far as Newsom goes, I knew payback from the recall was going to be a bitch, but I didn’t think the cocksucker would get on it this quick.

  14. “‘… 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.'”

    Since the CA government doesn’t seem to care all that much for the US Constitution, in a number of areas, why would it be a shock to find they don’t care about violating their own State’s constitution?

    1. And by the time a judge rules, every researcher has had copies for a month. Really not liking this pass-and-abuse before the law catches up.

      1. And the entire list has been uploaded to the internet where every Left-wing kook looking for a house to target for protests/vandalism can see it.

  15. Dear Leader Newsom and the People’s Republic of California Fascist Legislature piss and shit on the U.S. Constitution once again.

    1. So brave of him to wait until after his recall.

  16. Califoria Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law last week A.B. 173, which among other things gives various academics, most of them very likely to be hostile to private gun ownership, access to all the information California collects about the state’s buyers of guns, gun parts, and ammunition.

    Which will be leaked to the public in 3, 2, 1 …

    1. Yes, the data Newsom used to justify extending and ending lockdowns wasn’t released to the public, but the names and addresses of gun owners are. What a fucking nightmare.

  17. Yes, the law also insists that “Material identifying individuals shall only be provided for research or statistical activities and shall not be transferred, revealed, or used for purposes other than research or statistical activities, and reports or publications derived therefrom shall not identify specific individuals.”

    And IRS returns shall not be leaked, transferred or revealed without a warrant.

    1. “KRLA News has just received these reportedly verified tax returns …”

  18. Anniversaries are the perfect time to remember why we are there. Remember why we keep trying, why we care so much and why we want to keep doing it. It’s finding your reflection in the eyes of the person you love and realizing the smile in your face.
    It is a moment to look back on time and see the road traveled with all the willingness to keep walking that same stretch, to keep walking by their side.
    https://www.ozalm.com/2021/09/anniversary-wishes-for-girlfriend.html

  19. Always good to confirm who the real fascists are in this country.

    Fuck Joe Biden, fuck all democrats, and especially fuck California.

    1. With a rusty chainsaw.

      1. But do it gently

        1. With extra bar chain oil.

    2. I’m with you, fuck Joe Biden. To be fair though, a bunch of the money comprising that 3.5 trillion are repurposed Trump bucks.

  20. Are firearms personally purchased by Cali police also on this list or do the sovereign police citizens get yet another pass?

  21. California’s government is going to legally dox gun owners to the academics/activists who hold them in contempt.

  22. “…Yes, the law also insists that “Material identifying individuals shall only be provided for research or statistical activities and shall not be transferred, revealed, or used for purposes other than research or statistical activities, and reports or publications derived therefrom shall not identify specific individuals.”…”

    Remember when masks were just ‘strongly suggested’?

    1. Two weeks to flatten the curve.

  23. and Reason focuses on abortion and immigration. Good one folks..not the Fed, not the rise of marxism (yes that is what we saw last year in the riots), and the power of the State. Hopefully this goes to the SC and is overturned…this isn’t about violence but punishing those folks you don’t like cause of their skin color, ethnicity, religion and they don’t vote for you…fing bolsheviks

  24. Bet a lot of people who have moved to CA never bothered registering the weapons they brought with them. Fuck CA. LOL

    1. other than the wilfully “unhoused” WHO has been flooding into Caifornia these past two decades anyway?

    2. California requires background checks for every ammunition purchase.
      Internet sales and out-of-state purchases are forbidden.
      So they know if you buy a rifle or pistol caliber ammunition.
      Or both.
      So even if you have had guns for 20 years, or brought them into the state and didn’t register them, they know if you buy ammunition and the caliber.

      1. “…out-of-state purchases are forbidden.”

        Have fun enforcing that, face to face. Or enforcing a law against someone buying powder, brass, primers, bullets, etc…out of state.

        Storage unit out of state for mail order sales likely works too. Not hard to have it remailed from a, for example, UPS Store in Sparks, or wherever.

        Get fucked, Bureau of Equalization.

  25. Officials can’t steal what they don’t know about, therefore they demand you tell help them. For example, the first step in gun theft is gun registration. It you want to keep your stuff, keep your mouth shut, or better yet, keep out of reach of govt.

  26. “t the department’s discretion…information collected pursuant to this section may be provided to any other nonprofit bona fide research institution accredited by the United States Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation for the study of the prevention of violence.”

    Glad to hear the Ministry of Truth is keeping this data out of the hands of organizations that might come to the wrong conclusions.

  27. If “material identifying individuals”, your name and address , is crucial to every statistical study, then the name and address of everyone advocating this particular invasion of privacy and coercion should be available to gun owners interested in gathering anti second amendment statistics.

  28. It is way past time for sane people to leave California for greener pastures and leave the Land of Fruits and Nuts or should I say Homeless Person Heaven. Sorry but I was stationed there in 1983-1987 and again in 1995-1996 and I have called it that since I was there the first time. Actually though, San Diego and Orange County need to leave the state and it’s sorry state of being and form their own state for sane people.

    1. How about we make plans to take the fucker back from these people? (We’ll need to learn Spanish, first.)

  29. “Some [named person] with x number of guns lives at 123 Boogie Woogie Avenue in Sunnyvale,” says Griffith in a phone interview.
    DAMMIT Griffith, that’s MY address!!
    (On the plus side, even though in fact we own no guns, those damn kids seem to have stopped egging our house…)

  30. Now all California needs to do is pass a law requiring criminals with illegal firearms to report them, so they can be included in the completely secure, never open to anyone but the researchers, violence prevention studies.

  31. (Insert pic of Reason contributor and “Libertarian fellow traveler” Penn Jillette celebrating Gavin Newsom’s victory here)

    1. “Libertarian fellow traveler”

      Smoke-And-Mirrors Libertarian.

  32. Maybe it’s coming to the time when gun owners need to remember what Malcolm X once said: “by any means necessary.”

  33. riddle me this…… if the bill supposedly limits use of the data to statistical analysis……. WTF business do they have including any individual identifying information? by definition of the bill, they are including information that cannot be used for the only allowed purpose of getting the information….. you can’t use names for statistical analysis….

  34. Suggestion to anyone escaping from California. Don’t leave a forwarding address. And if you have to move to CA for some reason beyond your control (military or work), do not disclose you have any firearms.

  35. The headline is misleading. They will not know the address of every person who has a firearm, just the address of every person who lawfully obtained their firearm. I don’t see how this is supposed to help with gun violence research.

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  37. If universities have names and addresses of people who own firearms, so does China. This should help them quite a bit when the invasion comes. They said this would never happen and it did.

  38. I’d like to see the stats of children beaten and killed by their single mom’s boyfriend. what is the correlation of single moms and dead kids? Academia should study this problem. Is the obvious solution to not allow single moms to date? haha

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