Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act, which must be reauthorized soon, is of particular concern.
This section allows the FBI to seize business records — including the 4473 forms that gun buyers fill out. The only significant caveat is that the FBI must claim that the seizure of records is needed pursuant to “an authorized investigation.”
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But since a secret court is required to rubber-stamp the government’s request (unless it fails to make even a specious case), the FBI can easily abuse its authority. The Inspector General found that, between 2003 and 2006, the FBI may have violated the law over 6,000 times with respect to their authority under various provisions of the PATRIOT Act.
So just imagine that it’s your gun records that have been seized. Under such circumstances, the gun dealer is specifically prohibited, under penalty of law, from telling you that the FBI has confiscated the records of your firearms purchases. Under the PATRIOT Act, any limitations on the use of the seized records shall be at the sole discretion of the Department of Justice. Read more
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