Olympia, Washington –-(Ammoland.com)- Gun Owners of America, today in conjunction with a Pierce County resident, has sued the State of Washington to prevent the personal information of those gun owners that turn in their bump stocks from being released to the public.
When the ATF announced, it would be changing the interpretation of a machine to include bump stocks Washington State offered a buyback plan for its residents. Anyone who turned in a bump stock would receive a $150 check. Rather than lose all the money they invested in their devices some Washington citizens used the opportunity to recoup some cash.
The former owners had to fill out a surrender form for each bump stock to get the money from the state. They had to include personal information such as their name and their address. The checks were then mailed out to the owners.
As reported on AmmoLand News, someone under an apparent fake name of Yati Arguna filed a request to get all the information on the people that turned in their bump stocks to the Washington State Patrol. The requestor said their goal was to set up an online database that would show people where these gun owners live within the state.
Arguna stated that the public had the right to know where people that owned these devices live and the names of who previously owned bump stocks. This move seems to be an attempt to harass and intimidate gun owners. Police were going to release the information unless a citizen filed a court order to prevent the release by Thursday.
A gun owner that turned in their bump stock along with Gun Owners of America has filed a court injunction to stop the information from being released to Arguna. The gun owner who wishes to remain anonymous never imagined that his information would be released. He was only trying to comply with the law.
“Turning in my bump stock seemed like the right thing to do at the time, if they were going to be illegal, I had no desire to hold on to it,” the gun owner told AmmoLand News. “It never crossed my mind that my personal information including my home address may end up published so that criminals can come to rob me.”
This case is similar to a case in New York State where an FOIA request was filed to get the data of gun owners to share on the map. The courts blocked the release of the information. GOA and the John Doe gun owner hopes that the Washington court comes to a similar ruling.
The Washington State Patrol is sympathetic to the gun owners that compiled by turning in their bump stock, but the law ties their hands. Officers off the record told AmmoLand that they hoped a gun owner would step up and file an injunction.
Gun Owners of America is outraged that the WSP would release this information. GOA Executive Director Erich Pratt sees the affected gun owners as victims. Like many gun rights activist, he sees this as an attempt to harass law abiding citizens.
“Gun Owners of America is very close to launching a lawsuit seeking a temporary restraining order in Washington,” Pratt told AmmoLand ” Gun owners in the Evergreen State are being victimized twice. First, their property was taken from them in violation of the Second and Fifth Amendments. Now, these gun owners’ names will soon be made public — thus opening them up to theft and harassment from anti-gun activists.”
Attorney Richard Sanders is handling the case. Sanders plans to have the temporary restraining order filed as soon as possible.
About John Crump
John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. He is the former CEO of Veritas Firearms, LLC and is the co-host of The Patriot News Podcast which can be found at www.blogtalkradio.com/patriotnews. John has written extensively on the patriot movement including 3%'ers, Oath Keepers, and Militias. In addition to the Patriot movement, John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and is currently working on a book on leftist deplatforming methods and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, on Facebook at realjohncrump, or at www.crumpy.com.