ATF Preparing for National Gun Registry? Agency Seeks Bid for “Massive Automated Database”

April 9 2013
by GSL Staff
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According to, the ATF has put out a bid request for a massive new database to be used in ATF investigations.

From, Information would include “names, telephone numbers, utility data and reverse phone look-ups” that would help agents with “background research on people, assets and businesses.”

The database for ATF’s Office of Strategic Intelligence and Information, according to the request for proposals that was issued last month, would allow it to provide “timely and relevant information and intelligence products to law enforcement agencies at the federal, state and local levels.” The office already provides such information but it is often manually collected and therefore takes more time to produce.

According to an article on the proposed database at the Huffington Post,

The ATF already uses such databases, but it analyzes the data largely by hand, “resulting in longer turnaround times on important information and intelligence research and analysis requests,” the agency said. It’s also difficult for law enforcement to use the information effectively because it’s not connected in a single database, according to Mark Tanner, president of Law Enforcement and Intelligence Consulting, which helps tech companies meet the needs of federal agencies.

Wired magazine points out that the system doesn’t seem to be tied to gun sales or ownership…yet

Many other specific requirements are also to be expected for a federal law enforcement agency: searching names, phone numbers, “nationwide utility data” and reverse phone searches. The data will then be collected to help out during investigations and provide “relevant information and intelligence products.” There’s no hint the database is to be used to track gun sales, which is a big part of the ATF’s job, as the bureau is prohibited by law from establishing a centralized electronic database for gun purchases.

As of right now the federal government is prohibited from establishing a centralized registry of gun owners. However, if the proposed “universal background check” law in the Senate, which will document every firearms transaction in the country, including private ones, was to pass you can start to see a scary picture of the future. Combined with this database, and a paper trail of every gun transaction in the country, registration becomes a very close next step.

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