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MA State Government cannot be trusted with sensitive personal information.

 Gun Owners’ Action League files emergency bill to prevent any further dangerous release of personal civil rights information.

 

Tuesday, January 31, 2023- Following the public release of thousands of gun transfer records that included personal information of gun owners across the Commonwealth in violation of Massachusetts General Law Ch. 66 § 10B. In addition to this public mass release of these records, Gun Owners’ Action League (GOAL) also discovered that the Department of Criminal Justice Information Services (DCJIS) and the Firearms Records Bureau (FRB) have been releasing these records to anyone who files a public records request-for YEARS.

This release of gun owners’ personal information to news organizations and then choosing to make it available to the general public was irresponsible, dangerous and a violation of their civil rights. Any release of personal information of any type regarding gun transfers or ownership is a danger to gun owners and non-gun owners alike including law enforcement and domestic violence victims. The release of this information serves gun owners up on a platter for anyone deranged enough to decipher it and seek to do them harm.

Today, Rep. Susan Williams-Gifford has filed legislation on behalf of Gun Owners’ Action League (GOAL) that would ensure that the personal data of gun owners in the Commonwealth would never be released to the public again. This bill was filed in addition to the legal action taken by GOAL in conjunction with Commonwealth Second Amendment (Comm2A) against the Commonwealth for this release.

“This list is so easily decodable. To have this information available to the general public puts everyone at risk-gun owner or not, especially victims of domestic violence,” said Rep. Gifford in a conversation with Jim Wallace, GOAL’s Executive Director.

The bill would require DCJIS and FRB to retract and destroy the records they have, no longer keep such records going forward, never release them to the public again and be vulnerable to lawsuits by anyone who can demonstrate they’ve been damaged by past releases of this information.

“The release of this data almost seems punitive and the Commonwealth is responsible. There is absolutely no legitimate need for the general public to have this type of information, it serves no public safety interest and in fact does just the opposite and causes dangerous public safety problems,” said Jim Wallace. “We would never allow the government to keep databases on who we voted for, where we go to church, or what god we might pray to. These are valued, protected civil rights and the Second Amendment is no different. We cannot stand by as this potentially dangerous information is released to the general public.”

Click here to download the .PDF of the legislative language: An Act Relative to the Dangerous Release of Personal Civil Rights Information

HOUSE DOCKET, NO.                 FILED ON:

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No.         

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

_________________

PRESENTED BY:

Susan Williams Gifford

_________________

To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
            Court assembled:

            The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the adoption of the accompanying bill:

An Act relative to the dangerous release of personal civil rights information.

_______________

PETITION OF:

 

Name:

District/Address:

Date Added:

Susan Williams Gifford

2nd Plymouth

1/31/2023


        FILED ON:

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No.         

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

 

_______________

In the One Hundred and Ninety-Third General Court
(2023-2024)

_______________

 

An Act relative to the dangerous release of personal civil rights information.

            Whereas, The deferred operation of this act would tend to defeat its purpose, which is to ensure sensitive information is kept secure, therefore it is hereby declared to be an emergency law, necessary for the immediate preservation of the public safety.

            Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

            Whereas, the public release of information regarding the transfer of firearms, rifles, shotguns, machine guns and ammunition is inherently dangerous to the safety of the general public, both gun owners and non-gun owners alike.

            Whereas, the misuse of such data could aid in criminal activity, the harassment and endangerment of lawful citizens, law enforcement personnel and victims of domestic violence.

            Whereas, there is no legitimate reason for the general public to have access to such information as the Right to Keep and Bear Arms is a civil right much like voting and the freedom of religion. Neither of which the government keeps or releases data on who we vote for or what church we may attend.

            Therefore, the sponsors of this Act request that this legislation be considered a public safety emergency and should be expedited and passed into law forthwith.

            SECTION 1. The first paragraph of Section 10B of Chapter 66 of the General Laws is hereby deleted and replaced with the following:

            Section 10B. The commissioner of the department of criminal justice information services, the department of criminal justice information services and its agents, servants, and attorneys including the keeper of the records of the firearms records bureau of said department, or any licensing authority, as defined in section 121 of chapter 140, or any government official or agent shall not maintain any records on the transfer of firearms, rifles, shotguns, machine guns and ammunition therefor, as defined in said section 121 of said chapter 140, that contains any personal information including but not limited to names, street address, town, zip code, license identification numbers, date of birth, date of license or card. Further, no government official, employee, or agent shall disclose any such information to the general public to any person, firm, corporation, entity or agency except criminal justice agencies as defined in section 167 of chapter 6 and except to the extent such information relates solely to the person making the request and is necessary to a criminal investigation of the entity making the request and has obtained a warrant for such information.

            Upon passage of this act, the commissioner of the department of criminal justice information service, the department of criminal justice information services and its agents, servants, and attorneys including the keeper of the records of the firearms records bureau of said department, or any licensing authority, as defined in section 121 of chapter 140, shall destroy

            all records regarding the transfer or possession of any firearms, rifles, shotguns, machine guns and ammunition therefor, as defined in said section 121 of said chapter 140 in their possession and remove and retract all records from any public area where they have been published or made otherwise previously available and to best of their ability recover and data already released.

            Any individual seller, purchaser, gunsmith, manufacturer, etc. that can demonstrate that they have been harmed or damaged by any prior release of any of this information can seek relief from the commission of the department of criminal justice information service, the department of criminal justice information services and its agents, servants, and attorneys including the keeper of the records of the firearms records bureau of said department, or any licensing authority, as defined in section 121 of chapter 140.



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