Barba v. Bonta - California gun owner privacy case

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In California, considerable personal information is required to purchase firearms or ammunition. This information is collected by CAL/DOJ. With passage of Assembly Bill 173 two years ago, CAL/DOJ now shares this information with the California Firearm Violence Research Center at UC Davis for non-law enforcement purposes. This has never been done before.

“It was an outrage when California lawmakers added this requirement to the state penal code,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb, “so we immediately sued to protect the privacy of millions of law-abiding gun owners in the state. AB 173 amounted to a radical change to the privacy previously afforded to California gun owners, and this cannot possibly be legal or constitutional.

“As we note in our brief,” he continued, “California assured gun owners for more than two decades their personal identifying information would only be used by CAL/DOJ and other government officials for law enforcement purposes. But with passage of AB 173, the Legislature went back on its word because the private social scientists at UC Davis wanted the data, which they can now share with other researchers. Gun owners were never informed of this change, let alone provided an opportunity to consent to this invasion of privacy.

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