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    GOA Submits Comments to ATF on February 24, 2020:

    On behalf of two million law-abiding gun owners, Gun Owners of America is writing to object to the proposed revisions to the Firearms Transaction Record/Registro de Transacción de Armas de Fuego—ATF Form 4473 (5300.9) promulgated on December 26, 2019. 

    Particularly, our concerns are with the revised placement of sensitive information. 

     The proposed draft would record firearm manufacturer, model, and serial number information about the firearm to be transferred in Proposed Section A on the same page as the transferee’s full name, address, skin color, ethnicity, race, sex, weight, height, place and date of birth, and social security number in Proposed Section B.  

     This consolidation of sensitive information significantly reduces the effort necessary (1) to transfer ATF Form 4473s to facilities owned, managed, or controlled by the United States or any State or any political subdivision thereof or (2) to establish a system of registration of firearms, firearms owners, firearms transactions, or firearm dispositions in direct violation of the Firearm Owners’ Protection Act, found in Title 18 U.S.C. § 923(g) and § 926. 

    Our concerns are emboldened by past Federal Firearms License holders’ allegations of harassment, involuntary duplication of sensitive records, and involuntary removal of sensitive records in direct violation of the Firearm Owners’ Protection Act by ATF Industry Operations Investigators. 

     While this proposed draft purports to increase ATF compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, consolidating this sensitive information onto one page does not fulfill any of the stated “purposes” of the law in Title 44 U.S.C. §3501(1)-(11). 

     In fact, since the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) was launched, this information has been separated by several pages on the ATF Form 4473. This caused no burden on, inefficiency of, or drop in productivity for individuals completing the form and in no way diminished the effectiveness of the ATF Form 4473’s role in the firearm transfer process.

     Thus, the revised placement of this sensitive information on the same page is not warranted. Considering (1) the intent of and strong language used by Congress in the Firearm Owners’ Protection Act to prohibit the creation of a firearm registry, (2) the clear degree to which these revisions might serve to facilitate future firearm or firearm owner registration in violation of these statutes, and (3) the lack of clear “purpose” for reforming these sections of the ATF Form 4473 under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives should reject the proposed draft. 

    In Liberty, 

    Michael Hammond 
    Legislative Counsel 
    Gun Owners of America 



    Written by By Alan M. Rice, Life Member and Firearms Instructor -- Gun Owners of America Published: 13 February 2020

    Last month several Gun Owners of America staff members attended the SHOT Show to deliver our “no compromise” message to the firearms industry. It is an exciting time at GOA as we build relationships with some of the best names in the industry. Watch our Partners Page grow over the coming weeks and months.

    I have not attended SHOT Show in many years and wow, I certainly learned a lot.

    There were many new guns to check out. Twenty first century gun buyers seem to have an unlimited amount of quality firearms to choose from. Many of the new models were designed using Computer Aided Design (CAD) software which enables engineers to save time and development costs. This is a good thing — it allows for a very short time interval between a concept or idea for a firearm. And when these modern designs are manufactured and begin to appear on gun dealer’s shelves, it gives gun buyers a multitude of choices. Choice in guns is a good thing.

    I also learned about a computer software package that is dangerous and that is the topic of this article. But first, a little background on the ATF laws and rules that firearms dealers must follow.

    Federal law and ATF regulations require a licensed firearms dealer (an FFL holder) to record the date a firearm was received, the date of receipt, and the name and address or the name and license number (FFL number) of the person (or corporation) from whom the firearm was received. The dealer must also record the name of the manufacturer and importer (if any) and the model, serial number, type and caliber or gauge.

    Then, when a firearm is disposed of, for any reason, a dealer is required to record the disposition: showing the date of sale or other disposition– gift, loan or testing (anytime a gun leaves the licensed premises it must be logged out of the bound book) and the name and address or the name and license number (FFL number if a dealer) of the person (or corporation) to whom the firearm was transferred.  If to a non-FFL holder, there will also be a completed form 4473 in the dealer’s records and the information will include the person’s full legal name and address, NICS approval code and make, model and caliber.

    These requirements have been in place since at least 1968 and dealers must make their records available for ATF inspection during business hours — and no warrant is required. The law prohibits ATF from making complete copies of dealer’s records which could be used to create a registry of guns and gun owners.

    Now that I’ve explained the law, I want to explain how computer technology is causing a problem for gun buyers.

    While attending the SHOT Show, I learned about a software package that makes dealer record keeping easier.

    The software allows dealers to keep an electronic bound book. It is an online package and the dealer pays a monthly fee based upon the number of transactions. When the software is being used, the screen resembles a bound book. The software has spell check and prevents misspelling of names such as Glock (Gloc) or SCCY (SKKY). And because all of the information is typed on a screen, it makes it easy for those who have poor quality handwriting to keep legible records that can then be made into a PDF which, when printed, looks like a traditional printed “bound book.”

    Software, making daily tasks easier… what could possibly go wrong?


    When speaking with the software vendors, I specifically asked how does ATF conduct compliance inspections of dealers who are using this software package. I was given a demonstration and shown how the software exports the data (guns and gun buyers names and addresses) into either a PDF that resembles an old-fashioned bound book or a Comma Separated Values (CSV) file that can be opened in Microsoft Excel.

    I was told that this “feature” makes a compliance check easy because the dealer simply exports the CSV file to a thumb drive and the ATF leaves with the data. I was told that ATF analyzes the data away from the FFL’s premises. If there are any discrepancies or problems the gun dealer is notified and usually given an opportunity to correct the errors.

    When dealing with compliance with government rules, many people do what is easy. That’s why so many file their US form 1040 tax return electronically, even though experts claim that increases the likelihood of an audit. I wasn’t surprised when the software vendor told me how well-received their application has been. Especially since it makes things easy, and ATF is not on dealer’s premises for more than a few minutes.

    I accept that it is bad for business to have ATF personnel hanging around. This scheme is a danger, and allows ATF to easily create a gun registry — in violation of 18 USC 926 (a)(3). We have no way to know if a registry is actually being created and if the ATF is or is not destroying these records at the conclusion of the compliance check. One might argue they’re not, because GOA has received reports of ATF demanding copies of entire (paper) bound books. That is bad, but at least with paper, the data still needs to be converted to an electronic format to be of any real use. However, a CSV file that can be searched in MS Excel is of significant value to a government that wishes to track gun owners.

    How do you feel about your personal information — linked to guns you own, by make, model and serial number — being put into the ATF’s hands? If you’re like me, you don’t like it, and you know that registration can and has led to confiscation. Not only in far away foreign lands but in US states like New York.

    So what can you, the regular GOA Member and gun buyer do to protect yourself?

    Ask. That’s right, ask your dealer how he keeps his or her records. Are they compiled in an old-fashioned bound book, or are they using one of these twenty-first century software packages?

    GOA’s advice is to find a small, preferably home-based FFL — one who still keeps paper records — and transact exclusively with that FFL dealer. Take affirmative steps to protect yourself.




    The so-called “Assault Weapons” gun confiscation bill (HB 961) is still alive in the General Assembly, and only action from you and your friends can stop it.  Here is where we stand.

    On November 6, the day after the election, Gov. Northam was asked if he supported confiscating assault weapons from gun owners. Here’s what he said:

    “That’s something I’m working [on] with our secretary of public safety,” he said. “I’ll work with the gun violence activists, and we’ll work [on] that. I don’t have a definitive plan today.”

    He was not telling the truth.  Why?  Because in July, 2019, Governor Northam had asked Delegate Levine to introduce a gun confiscation bill.   Del. Levine complied.

    In November, “Gov. Northam said he had no plans to confiscate guns … responding to what he called ‘misinformation’ spreading online.”

    But then, on December 9, Northam’s spokeswoman, Alena Yarmosky, alluded to the coming gun confiscation when she said the “governor’s assault weapons ban will include a grandfather clause for individuals who already own assault weapons, with the requirement they register their weapons before the end of a designated grace period.”

    Of course, what happens if you don’t register your guns by the “end of a designated grace period”?

    If you answered that your banned guns will be confiscated, then you get to advance to the head of the class. Gee, aren’t you glad the Governor has decided on a compromise from his original position of confiscating guns right now?

    A huge percentage of Democrats favor confiscating firearms

    The Governor’s “compromise” demands we pay him $50 to “register” each gun in order to keep them!  How gracious!  We all know registration is simply delayed confiscation — which is exactly what happened in New York City in the 1990s.

    Gov. Northam and Del. Levine (who introduced HB 961) call their requirement a “grandfather clause.”  But a real grandfather clause is an exemption from a future law. Governor Northam’s bill has no such provision. And even if the Northam/Levine bill had a true grandfather clause, GOA would still be opposed to it because it infringes our rights protected by the Second Amendment.

    Make no mistake:  Gun confiscation is undoubtedly the real goal of gun controllers like the Governor and Delegate Levine.

    A Zogby poll of Democrat 2020 presidential primary voters conducted in December of 2019, found that 36% of Democrat primary voters favor “confiscation of legally owned firearms from American citizens that have not committed a crime.”  Chilling!

    Democrat presidential candidates agree that our guns should be confiscated.

    For example, former Democrat presidential candidate Robert “Beto” O’Rourke pretended his plan would not “confiscate” guns because the federal government would “buy them back.”  But if you did not buy your firearms from the Government, how is this a “buyback?”

    Beto O’Rourke went on to say that for violators of the buyback “there would be a visit by law enforcement to recover that firearm and to make sure that it is purchased, bought back, so that it cannot be potentially used against somebody else.”

    Politifact said (10/21/19) that O’Rourke’s approach is misleading, noting that, “As you game out scenarios … they all lead to something that most people would consider confiscation.  … We rate O’Rourke’s claim that he is ‘not talking about confiscating anybody’s guns’ as False.”

    We rate the claim by Governor Northam and Delegate Levine that they are not in favor of confiscating firearms as completely FALSE.

    Gun owners from across America are watching what happens in Virginia.  Our gun rights clearly are daily being eroded before our eyes by the anti-gun activists bolstered by the fake news media.  We must act!

    Please use the pre-written email (above) to contact your delegate and state senator today! And please alert your family and friends to threats against the Second Amendment.



    Gov. Ralph Northam & AG Mark Herring:
    “Do as we say, not as we do”

    Written by Erich Pratt Published: 26 December 2019

    Gun Owners of America (GOA) and the Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL) today responded to Attorney General Mark Herring’s hypocritical attack on Second Amendment sanctuaries by issuing a 12-page analysis.

    “Gov. Northam and Attorney General Herring lack credibility. They criticize and dismiss  Virginia citizens in 114  localities which officially acted to declare their jurisdictions supportive of our Second Amendment Rights and against confiscation of commonly owned legal firearms from citizens who have harmed no one,” said Erich Pratt of GOA and Philip Van Cleave of the VCDL in a joint statement.

    Northam and Herring have done the following:

    • Formally opposed defending Virginia’s Constitution, the Commonwealth’s highest law, by refusing to defend the 2006 voter-approved Marriage Amendment prior to Ogerbefell;
    • Voted to support the US Constitution against the congressionally passed 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) by supporting General Assembly legislation to refuse assistance in the arrest and detention of Virginia citizens denied legal counsel, formal charges or trial; and,
    • Supported Virginia localities which refused to assist in enforcing federal immigration laws.

    Pratt and Van Cleave agreed that, “If a state law is constitutional, then localities have to follow it.  But our Governor and Attorney General are determined to strip Virginians of their Second Amendment Rights, punishing them for wanting the ability to exercise their inalienable right of self-defense as recognized by the US Supreme Court in DC v. Heller(2008) and McDonald v. Chicago (2010). That is egregious. No one is required to follow an unconstitutional law.”

    “Billionaires like former NYC Mayor Bloomberg, who hired NY City police at six-figure salaries as armed body guards when he left office, gave Governor Northam’s statewide Democrats $1.4 million in 2017, and $2.5 million in 2019 to gain control of Virginia’s 2020 legislature.  The Constitution appears to be expendable for 30 pieces of silver,” GOA’s Erich Pratt noted.

    Philip Van Cleave of VCDL said, “There is no way I, on my own, could have motivated over 100,000 Virginians to publicly demand that their local representatives and sheriffs honor their Oath to defend citizens’ rights, including those guaranteed by our Second Amendment.  Our Governor has performed an important, if not unintended public service.”

    Pratt and Van Cleave don’t know if Northam realizes he wants the legislature to threaten at least one and a half million Virginia households (Gallup gun surveys 2018/19) with felony status for the mere possession, (not misuse), of commonly owned firearms or mere parts of firearms, currently legal across the country even in very liberal states with so-called “assault weapons bans.”

    Van Cleave and Pratt stated Virginians correctly understand the seriousness of the gun confiscation and gun registration threats. “Personal security has always been threatened by criminals, but now those who were elected to serve and protect the citizens are attempting to authorize the theft of privately owned firearms in violation of the Fifth Amendment which provides that, ‘nor shall property be taken for public use, without just compensation.’”

    Pratt and Van Cleave both said they would be willing to sit down with lawmakers from any political party to increase penalties on those who misuse guns or magazines. They noted, “We are willing to talk to legislators about real crimes and appropriate punishment. But lawmakers need to understand that individuals are responsible for evil acts. To criminalize mere possession of things per se is infantile thinking and has no place in deliberations by adults. If people are disarmed, they will be defenseless victims for criminals who don’t obey any laws, let alone gun control laws.”

    Pratt and Van Cleave both noted that the so-called “assault weapons” the Governor seeks to ban, which fire only one bullet per trigger pull, should be renamed, “freedom from assault” weapons because these firearms have been used to save the lives of numerous individuals in Virginia and across the country.



    Written by SAF - BELLEVUE, WA – The tragic church shooting Sunday in White Settlement, Texas in which church members fatally shot the gunman provides more evidence that good guys with guns are necessary to stop bad guys, and that armed citizens can protect soft targets, the Second Amendment Foundation said today.

    “This horrible shooting was live streamed, and shows how the killer was taken down within a few seconds of firing the first shot,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “If one pays attention to the video, it appears that at least six and possibly seven members of the congregation drew sidearms to defend their fellow church members, and at least one member identified in published reports as part of the church security team fired a shot that took the gunman down.”

    Gottlieb, co-author of the book, “Good Guys With Guns,” expressed sorrow that two members of the congregation were killed.

    “Regrettably,” he stated, “there were casualties among the church goers, but in the flash of seconds, it is obvious that many more lives were saved by the quick action of a church member who was fortunately armed as a member of the church security team. Had it not been for his quick action and accurate shooting, this could have been much, much worse.”

    Texas law allows church goers to be armed, a fact Gottlieb cited as crucial to saving lives.

    “The fact that so many other church members were also armed, and did not open fire, demonstrates how responsibly armed citizens can perform in an emergency,” Gottlieb observed. “The video belies the oft-repeated myth that armed citizens are irresponsible and even dangerous to one another, which is something we address in ‘Good Guys With Guns’.”

    “We don’t know what motivates someone to open fire on a peaceful church congregation,” Gottlieb said. “But thanks to the video, we know what stops them.”