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SAF APPLAUDS METCALFE, FBI FOR EXPOSING ILLEGAL STATE GUN REGISTRY IN PENNSYLVANIA

Friday, July 27th, 2001

BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) today applauded the efforts of Pennsylvania State Rep. Daryl Metcalf (R-12) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for exposing what amounts to an illegal state gun registry being conducted by the State Police.

“As Rep. Metcalfe has maintained for over a year, the Pennsylvania State Police’s so-called ‘Record of Sale Database’ is in violation of state and federal legislation, and it certainly violates the privacy rights of tens of thousands of Pennsylvania Gun Owners,” said Alan Gottlieb, SAF founder.

The FBI recently completed an audit of the Pennsylvania Instant Check System (PICS) and found that the Record of Sale Database violates federal law and the state crimes code. In a letter to PICS administrators, the FBI advised, “This practice must cease immediately.”

In 1997, the Pennsylvania General Assembly enacted a law that forbids retention of handgun application/record of sale information. Under current statute, that information must be destroyed after 72 hours. However, the State Police have continued to retain the information.

“It appears the State Police have been deliberately ignoring state and federal law,” Gottlieb said. “This case involves more than the gun rights of law-abiding Pennsylvania gun owners. The greater issue is the constitutional right of privacy that is violated every time one of those applications is logged and retained on the Record of Sale database.

“Gun owners also have civil rights,” Gottlieb continued, “and their privacy rights under state and federal law outweighs any interest of the PICS administrators. We are pleased that Rep. Metcalfe has had the fortitude to pursue this cause, and we are equally delighted that the FBI, which has not enjoyed much good news in recent days, has come down solidly on the side of the law.”