The Law Offices of
DAVIS & ASSOCIATES
COUNCIL FILE NO: 13-0113
ELECTRONIC TRANSMISSION OF FIREARMRELATED SALES RECORDS
May 1, 2013
Page 2own a .50 BMG firearm. The ownership records of such firearms have been carefully protected by the State of California through restrictions placed on the dissemination and broadcast of suchinformation to protect the owner from theft and other criminal acts (
e.g. Penal Code §31105and The Firearm Owners' Protection Act (FOPA), Pub.L. 99
308, 100 Stat. 449, enacted May19, 1986, codified at 18 U.S.C. § 921
.).Unlike the state and federal records pertaining to firearm ownership, which expressly maintainthe privacy rights of the individual gun owner, the proposed ordinance provides no such privacy protections for firearm owners whose personal and firearm related information is contained inthe records required by the proposed ordinance. And, the state and federal protections againstthe disclosure of firearm owner information do not expressly apply to local records.Even so, if the City does take measures to amend the code and secure such data from public
disclosure, it is powerless to directly affect overriding state law; indeed, the public’s right of
access to public records is enshrined in the California Constitution itself.The people have the right of access to information concerning theconduct of the people's business, and, therefore, the meetings of public bodies and the writings of public officials and agencies shall be open to public scrutiny.(Cal. Const. Art I, § 3 (b)(1).
CBS v. Block
(1986) 42 Cal.3d 646.)Moreover, the City does not require any encryption or secure storage for the reported data
(required to be held, also, by the seller for two years), only that the reporting occur “[w]ithin
five(5) calendar days
” and “in a method approve
d by the
Chief of Police.” In a place where
worldwide distribution technology is not only a common but an intrinsic part of the culture andwhere
privacy concerns can become front page headlines
, the City of Los Angeles isattempting to compile an extremely risky
and potentially life threatening
database with nosafeguards.
In fact, it could very well offer criminals a “who’s
who” list of gun owners to rob –
potentially providing criminals with easier access to information on the location of firearms andammunition.Moreover, the proposed ordinance does nothing to stop or deter crime, but does impose great penalties and burden upon local firearms dealers and ammunition vendors. Not only would thissenseless law increase the burden on dealers and be difficult to enforce, it would result inincreased passed-through costs to law-abiding consumers, thereby affecting a fundamental rightwithout a single fact supporting any connection with the reduction of crime.
Newspapers can access and publish firearm owner information (See http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/25/us/new-york-gun-permit-map) providing a roadmap for criminals to acquire firearms and ammunition and jeopardizing thelives and safety of the law abiding firearm owners and their families who reside within your City.