U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)-Someone in Washington State has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to get the names and addresses of residents that have turned in their bump stocks to police to create a publicly searchable database of these former owners.
According to reports that were later verified by AmmoLand, The Washington State Patrol sent a letter out informing former bump stock owners that they received an FOIA request to build an online database. The letter set the gun world on fire. This request harkens back to when a newspaper planned to post a map of gun owners in New York State in an attempt to shame owners out of their guns. Any publication of this personal information would also act as a map to locations where criminals could likely find guns to steal, putting owners a greater risk.
The request reads: “This is a public records request.
I seek to inspect any and all completed WSP bump stock buy back forms.
I seek to obtain the names and addresses where checks will be mailed for the bump stock buy back program.
My intent is to create a searchable database and map of Washington state to overlay the locations.
The public has a right to know that these dangerous devices may have been in neighborhoods that they live in and who has previously owned such devices.”
I was able to confirm with Gretchen Dolan of the Washington State Patrol that there was a letter sent out to gun owners warning them that someone filed an FOIA request to build an online database. They are planning on releasing the information unless a court ordered is filed by April 26th.
“If a court order is filed, we will hold the information until it is resolved,” Dolan told AmmoLand. “If we don't receive a court order, we will release the information of those that turned in bump stocks.”
Two Names on the Request
The letter listed two separate FOIA request. The way the letter was written it did not make it clear that they request were unrelated. AmmoLand News was able to verify that this was the case.
The first request was from Paul Holgate. According to Dolan, Holgate did not list a reason for the FOIA request. A reason is not required, Dolan explain to AmmoLand on a phone call. The letter sent out by the Washington State Patrol contained Holgate’s personal email and address.
AmmoLand spoke to Paul Holgate on the phone. He stated that he is a Second Amendment Advocate and submitted his request to find out what personal information that the WSP was keeping about those who turned in bump stocks.
“I am a 2A advocate,” Holgate told AmmoLand. “I am trying to figure out what information they are storing on gun owners. I am just trying to keep them honest.”
Holgate stated that he does not know the second person but is getting harassed because his information was put out there by the WSP. AmmoLand was able to verify Holgate's story. He has a history of pro-gun actions.
Fake Name Yati Arguna?
The second person listed in the letter is Yati Arguna. After an exhaustive public records search, AmmoLand was not able to find any information on Arguna. Arguna is the person that wants to build the database.
Arguna does not have an online presence. No one with that name has ever lived anywhere, owned a phone, held a job, or received a parking ticket. The email address that Arguna provided appears to be a “burner” account. It has never been used anywhere on the internet to accept this FOIA request.
Arguna also did not list a home address or phone number. AmmoLand believes that “Yati Arguna” is a fake name. We are unable to determine the real name of Arguna at this time. According to the Washington State Patrol, they are still going to release the information to Arguna.
Many gun owners on message boards are using this as an example of why not to comply with confiscations. Most think a broader organization is behind the effort to expose the addresses and personal information of gun owners.
AmmoLand contacted Gun Owners of America about letter. Executive Director Erich Pratt was outraged.
“Gun Owners of America and Gun Owners Foundation is looking into this matter,” Pratt told AmmoLand. “This is an outrageous violation of privacy to dox individuals who complied with this law. This opens up these individuals to theft and harassment from anti-gun activists.”
At this time information about Arguna is scarce. AmmoLand will keep investigating. Arguna did not respond to AmmoLands emails.
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.