No so fast there about that wonderful “background check app”

Sean D. Sorrentino thinks the supposed smartphone app for running background checks is a gun owner win.

Now the gut reaction of most gun owners who are politically active will be “SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED!” But before you jump up on that table and do your best Patrick Henry impression, let me explain why this is a good idea.

Let me explain why Mr. Sorrentino actually has zero idea if this is a good thing.

Sorrentino focuses on the fact that this takes FFLs and to-be-photocopied-by-ATF 4473s out of the picture, and makes backdoor registration impossible. But we don’t know that. Nothing says how the system would work. Zip. Zero. Nada.

A next-to-best case scenario is you input the buyer’s basic name, birthdate, address, gender, and maybe SSAN, and out pops a pass/fail with a confirmation number for records.

Who inputs it? The seller? Then the buyer has handed perfectly good identity theft data to someone he might not know that well.

The buyer? That’s sounds good, but…

Let’s talk a little about smartphone apps. You download and install them. The app store has a record of app users.

So one day the feds decide they need a list of app users, and orders Google and Apple to hand over the identifying data on everyone who has the app. If the feds run their own “store,” they already have the data.

Now the feds have a non-registry registry of every firearm owner who downloaded it. If the buyers have to install it and run their check, the gov knows who owns guns. If the seller does, they still know who had guns, and still might. If he hasn’t sold anything yet, they know that. Don’t worry; it’s a list of app users; not a registry of firearms owners. Perfectly legal. -wink- -wink-

What if the scenario isn’t so cheery?

The gun grabbers want eventual registration, and those copied 4473s are their eventual best tool. Why expect them to give that up now? The as-yet undisclosed details of the app could include a “virtual 4473,” requiring all that data be entered into the app and transmitted to the the records folks at ATF who’ll promise not to database it. Until a bill establishing a database — such as is currently filed in the House — passes. And suddenly they have the list of privately transferred firearms and owners they’ve been trying for since the 1960s.

It gets worse. A smartphone is a tracking device. With the mandated geolocation for E-911, they can track the gun owner’s movements in realtime, once they know who they are.

But consider all the news reports about apps that access geolocation without proper user authorization, and send it to third parties. Or pictures and other files stored on the phone. All sorts of lovely data. The gov is going to write that app. Did you take pictures and video during your last range or hunting trip? Do you keep a list of firearms on your phone, to ease theft reporting?

We don’t know if the app will ever be a thing. We certainly don’t know how the system would operate if it ever does. But app registration alone worries me.

Just ask those 10,000 scope app users. That’s 10,000 people who just made the list of gun owners that doesn’t really, because odds are someone with a rifle scope has it on a rifle, or will.

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