At present, the going legal philosophy is that a federal gun registry is unconstitutional, as it is viewed as an infringement on the right to keep and bear arms.
The Second Amendment doesn’t specifically prohibit a federal ‘list’ of all the guns owned by citizens, but that is likely because our founders did not envision a time when Americans would allow their central government rulers to become so tyrannical.
But there are additional reasons why Americans should always oppose a federal gun registry, especially in a time of the “internet of things” — namely, cyber warriors and black hat actors are hacking gun registry sites in England and that means every Brit on that list is now in danger.
The Register reports why this is a big deal:
The names and home addresses of 111,000 British firearm owners have been dumped online as a Google Earth-compatible CSV file that pinpoints domestic homes as likely firearm storage locations – a worst-case scenario for victims of the breach.
As an exercise in amplifying a data theft to levels that endanger public safety, the latest evolution of the Guntrader database break-in is likely to become an infosec case study in how security breaches can become worse over time as stolen information is put to ever more intrusive uses.
The breach was likely done by an animal rights group — remember that in the UK, the rights of citizens to bear arms for protection from criminals as well as from government overreach is not a recognized inalienable right — as a means of putting guns used for hunting in danger of being stolen. We know this because the database was leaked online via an animal rights activist’s blog in database form that can be imported into Google Earth so that anyone ‘interested’ in where these guns are can “contact as many [owners] as you can in your area and ask them if they are involved in shooting animals.”
So it’s a harassment campaign, for certain, but also these guns are now ‘known’ to those who would love to steal as many of them as possible.
“Names, home addresses, postcodes, phone numbers, email addresses and IP addresses are included in the Google Drive-hosted CSV file – along with precise geographic coordinates for a large number of the 111,295 people listed in the breach,” The Register reported, noting that all pertinent information is now public.
The outlet goes on to note that guns “are attractive to criminals” for obvious reasons, and while there are not many firearms burglaries in the country, they are not completely unheard of, either.
Police, to their credit, have always warned licensed firearms holders (and that’s why these guns and gun owners were in a database, by the way — they were required to be “licensed” by the government, another constitutional no-no for Americans) to protect their privacy, but of course, that doesn’t do much good when gun owner databases are hacked and put out online.
The Register did note that gun owners were increasingly being targeted outside of their homes, including at gun ranges, and now with the new database out in the open, it’s likely that gun robberies are going to increase.
“British policy on firearms ownership is that domestic homes that may contain a handful of firearms or shotguns are less likely to be targeted than the alternative of central armories presenting a high-value target,” the outlet continued. “Security measures are proportionately ramped up depending on the number and type of guns – but all firearms security begins with obscurity.”
The outlet noted that the data breach exposed about 20 percent of British gun owners.
Meanwhile, the Democrat left in America has been pining for gun registration for years but not because they want to hack the database.
Democrats want gun registration so they know where to go when they manage to pass gun confiscation legislation down the road.
Another good reason to opposed registries.