The National Rifle Association has rallied gun-owners — and raised tens of millions of dollars — campaigning against the threat of a national database of firearms or their owners.
But in fact, the sort of vast, secret database the NRA often warns of already exists, despite having been assembled largely without the knowledge or consent of gun owners. It is housed in the Virginia offices of the NRA itself. The country’s largest privately held database of current, former, and prospective gun owners is one of the powerful lobby’s secret weapons, expanding its influence well beyond its estimated 3 million members and bolstering its political supremacy.
That database has been built through years of acquiring gun permit registration lists from state and county offices, gathering names of new owners from the thousands of gun-safety classes taught by NRA-certified instructors and by buying lists of attendees of gun shows, subscribers to gun magazines and more, BuzzFeed has learned.
The result: a Big Data powerhouse that deploys the same high-tech tactics all year round that the vaunted Obama campaign used to win two presidential elections.Roll Call reports:
[The] lobbying firm of Shockey Scofield Solutions LLC registered late Sunday night to lobby on behalf of the American Silencer Association, a trade association of manufacturers of firearm accessories. They will lobby on funding for the National Firearms Act Branch of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which maintains the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record. The Branch also processes applications and notices associated with the manufacture, registration, transfer and transportation of National Firearms Act firearms.
John Scofield, former communications director at the House Appropriations Committee, and Jeff Shockey, former staff director at the House Appropriations Committee, will be the lobbyists.