National Rifle Association Keeps a Massive Gun Owner Database


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.

Just… wow. And the reason the president’s gun control legislation didn’t pass was the ridiclous fear that it would create a national gun registry — one just like the NRA has.

  • Alex0001

    And yet this will never get an ounce of traction news-wise. Hooray, America.

  • Bubble Genius

    Wait a minute. Waaaaaaaaitaminute.



    Only one letter difference AND THEY’RE NEXT! TO! EACH! OTHER! IN! THE! ALPHABET!!!1!

    Coincidence? I think not!

  • Victor_the_Crab

    I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating. Wingnuts do not understand the meaning of the word irony.

    • Christopher Foxx

      Or shame. Or responsibility. Or patriotism. Or….

  • formerlywhatithink

    I keep getting emails from them even though I click the unsubscribe link. Oh, and I’ve never attended any NRA meeting, took any sort of course from them and never signed up for any newsletters and am diametrically opposed to the NRA and their policies. But then I remembered, a couple years ago, I was getting emails from some person who I didn’t know. It turns out it was some right wing loony whose son has a similar name as me, thus a similar email address. Funny thing is even after I told her multiple times she was sending email to the wrong address, she kept sending emails to my account. Some of them contained some pretty sensitive information (for instance I knew her son was involved in a legal fight about a DUI, her son’s marriage was on the rocks, etc). And that’s how I got on a NRA list and can’t seem to get off of it.

    • KABoink_after_wingnut_hacker

      An amazing story!
      There’s an argument to be made that banks, credit card companies, phone companies, search browsers and any number of marketing corporations who buy consumer lists/data have way more information on you than the NSA will ever have.

      • formerlywhatithink

        One time she sent a bunch rants about Obamacare (this was before it was signed into law) and how it was a path to single payer healthcare. I replied to her that I was a disabled veteran (not combat related) that receives free healthcare from the VA and that I wished everybody could get the same level of healthcare that I get. That managed to shut her up for a couple of months. Then the emails started up again.

    • DetroitSam

      To stop messages from the NRA going to your inbox, just identify their e-mail address as spam or place their e-mail address on your list of e=mail address to be blocked.

  • LeShan Jones

    Ahh, but you see, the NRA is waaaay more trustworthy than the guv’ment. So the gunnuts can trust that the NRA wont come for them in the night…they’ll just put them on mailing lists for gun manufacturers and their various enablers so they will get spammed to hell with solicitors.

  • KABoink_after_wingnut_hacker

    When I heard Bob say this on the Bubble Genius show last night I laughed out loud and accidentally woke my wife.
    You just can’t make this shit up!

    • LeShan Jones

      I’m listening to the show now and I saw this thread as he was talking about it in my ear buds.

  • Zen Diesel

    Tyranny, Second Amendment, Hitler…..oh its the NRA, it’s ok then.

  • BlueTrooth

    What jumped out at me was the provisions in the bill that made it a felony to create a “registry” of gun owners. While it was aimed at calming fears of a Government registry, it would also apply to the Private Sector making the NRA list a probable felony and a headlining violation of Civil Rights. Suddenly, it makes absolute perfect sense that NRA put so much money and effort in the push for filibuster, despite the glaring hypocrisy of arguing against their previous position of support for background checks.

  • Tony Lavely

    As I tweeted: Hackers, dust off the keyboards; this is a job for Wikileaks!

  • trgahan

    Nope, no parallels here between what the NRA is doing and our current pee pants NSA screeching of “If the government (well, at least “that guy!”) does it a little, its tyranny! But if an unaccountable private entity does it to a much more comprehensive level its Liberty! or something.”