Florida Police Using FINDER System to Create Lists of Gun Owners

Gabriele Maltinti, iStock-1163371827
Florida Police Using FINDER System to Create Lists of Gun Owners, iStock-1163371827

Tallahassee, FL-(Ammoland.com)- Earlier this month AmmoLand brought its reader a story of an alleged illegal gun list compiled by the Charlotte County Sheriff's Department using the FINDER system in Florida.

Pawnbrokers are required to enter information on firearms transactions into the FINDER system. The system transmits the serial number of the firearm along with the make and model to the local sheriffs' department to make sure that the person pawning the gun, did not steal it. A bug in the system also transmitted the names and addresses of the transfers to local law enforcement. The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Department used the information to create a list of gun owners.

In Florida, it is a felony for law enforcement agencies to keep a list of gun owners under Florida Statute 790.335. The Charlotte County State's Attorney's Office determined that the Charlotte County Sheriff's Department did not violate any laws in compiling the list. After the results of the investigation, Florida Carry asked the Attorney General's Office of the state to carry out an independent investigation.

AmmoLand has discovered with the help of reporter Andrew Sheets that abuse of the FINDER system appears to extend past Charlotte County into surrounding jurisdictions. It isn’t clear how far the abuses extend across the state.

Emails obtained by Mr. Sheets and AmmoLand shows that the Charlotte County Sheriff's Department shared their list with other departments. One of the other law enforcement agencies that the Sheriff shared their list with is the North Port Police department.

The Sarasota Sheriff's Office has also been compiling a list using the FINDER system. More disturbing is that the Sheriff provided an unredacted list of pawn transactions via email to Mr. Sheets. The file contains not only information about the firearm, but also the names of the person pawning the gun, putting them at risk of robbery and violating their privacy rights.

AmmoLand received a tip that the FINDER system was never supposed to release the gun owner's personal information to law enforcement organizations. We spoke to a support team member off the record, and they told AmmoLand that the system has been fixed and no longer transmits anything outside the serial number and make and model of the firearm.

It seems like there was a systemic failure in the FINDER system. The pawn reporting system was not in compliance with Florida law. It looks like the IT company that maintains the system has now fixed the database only to transmit the correct data. It also appears the data transmitted is now in compliance with current Florida law.

AmmoLand has made multiple attempts to contact anyone at Law Enforcement Technology & Research (LETTR) to get a comment on the abuse of the FINDER system. The non-profit corporation has decided not to respond to any contact by AmmoLand. It is not known when LETTR fixed the pawn system, or when they discovered that the database was out of compliance with Florida law.

Initially, last May, Charles County State's Attorney's Office investigated the claims of abuse of the FINDER system. The office released their findings, stating that there was not an abuse of the pawn database and that the Charlotte Sheriff's Department did everything legally.

Florida Carry was shocked by Charles County State's Attorney's determination. AmmoLand then reached out to ASA Anthony Kunasek to get clarification as to why he and the office didn't believe that there was a violation in the law. To us and many gun-rights advocates the abuse of the system was cut and dry.

Because of the hard work of Florida Carry, and the pressure from the public, State Attorney Amira Fox's office has now opened an investigation into the origin and background of the failure of the FINDER system. Florida Carry says that they look forward to the results of her investigation.

AmmoLand will track the developments in the investigation and inform readers of the outcome.


About John CrumpJohn 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.

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CourageousLion
Member
CourageousLion

I’m SHOCKED! Police not following the LAW? As if that is something new.

rwingjr
Member
rwingjr

The National Intelligence Agency tracks all internet and phone traffic in the US and supposedly keeps it all on file. What makes anyone think they don’t have a complete list of gun owners and guns purchased since the Patriot Act went into effect after 9/11? The NICS and BATF are not supposed to have any of this information, and that’s what gun owners often mention. They probably don’t. I’m not very impressed with their competency, anyway. However, I bet some of our intelligence agencies have a pretty good idea of who owns what.

Will
Member
Will

Then they have Clinton’s 33,000 “missing emails” ?

Will
Member
Will

They might know if you owned this firearm or that firearm at one time,but don’t have a clue if you still do ! I have firearms that I’ve owned for over 45 years, and don’t have some firearms I purchased two years ago.

CourageousLion
Member
CourageousLion

There isn’t enough of THEM to come and get our ‘stuff’. If they start, some folks are going to go looking for THEM, their FAMILIES and their FRIENDS to sit them down for a nice talking to.

Whormd
Member
Whormd

I would like to be able to say that I am surprised.

toomanyhobbies
Member
toomanyhobbies

the law not obeying the law…. Humm….

Will
Member
Will

@toomany,pitiful ain’t it ?

Martin
Member
Martin

I’m not trying to be a smarta$$ but i want to understand the issue here. When you legally purchase a firearm your name, address and the gun serial number gets entered into the Federal NICS database. So if a guy tries to pawn a gun then the pawnshop owner sends the name and serno to LEO. LEO then queries NICS to see if the gun is being pawned by the legal owner or if it has been stolen. Right? What is the problem with that besides having to even go through the NICS process in the first place? Is it… Read more »

Ansel Hazen
Member
Ansel Hazen

Martin, NICS is a database that is used to see if an individual purchasing a gun is not someone who is prohibited to do so. If in fact it’s used in any other manner than that well, please skip down to Will Flatt’s comment below.

Finnky
Member
Finnky

@Martin – It is my understanding that NICS is supposed to delete all records of a transaction within a specified time period (2 days?). Part of the compromise which brought us NICS was that it was not to be used to create a database of gun owners, and that it is illegal to do so. This is a great example of “the slippery slope” of compromise. Even when we get concessions in return for giving up a slice of our rights – gun grabbers ignore the restrictions they agreed to and immediately demands we surrender something unrelated in the name… Read more »

Rattlerjake
Member
Rattlerjake

First of all, the NICS is only for checking on whether an individual is legally allowed to own or purchase a firearm. When a purchaser fills out a form, that form is NOT supposed to be permanently maintained by the ATF; it is how ever maintained by the FFL (seller). None of the information in the NICS data base or the forms filled out by the buyer, is supposed to be released to a third party. This is the whole reason that we 2nd amendment supporters fight against these illegal gun registration and detailed background checks, because of the ease… Read more »

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

@Martin, What makes you think: “LEO could, at any time, request a list of legal gun owners in its jurisdiction from the NICS system(or the Feds could simply send it to them unrequested). “

CourageousLion
Member
CourageousLion

NICS doesn’t register serial numbers. That is done no the 4473 form that stays with the FFL until…well until Red Dawn.

Will Flatt
Member

This is the sort of Bravo Sierra that causes revolutions to happen. They’d better quit and delete those illegal records while they can.

Will Flatt
Member

USA, There’s a huge difference between SHOULD and WILL. You need to slow down and grab a hot steaming cup of reading comprehension!

Doszap
Member
Doszap

Another example of MISTAKE MY REAR!.
This also is ILLEGAL, will not stand in court, GOA/NRA will be all over them.
It’s ILLEGAL FOR THE BATF to have access to what individuals own, much less the Local jackboots.

CourageousLion
Member
CourageousLion

Governments the world over have always been such great stewards to the people when it comes to following laws…JUST KIDDING!

MBeach222
Member
MBeach222

Does Broward do this too? Anybody know?

KenW
Member
KenW

You’re not referring to Broward County FL that had their Sheriff fired by the Governor, and it has been upheld by the Senate. When I started reading this Broward county popped up in my brain.

Will
Member
Will

@KenW,the Coward of Broward,Scott Israel,is still whining and trying to get his job back. Why hasn’t that little pissant coward been charged for allowing those kids to get slaughtered ?

MICHAEL J
Member
MICHAEL J

Isn’t it interesting that they can track the law abiding but can’t find a criminal in the same way?
We all know criminals don’t do anything legal when it comes to buying guns. This is the only reason that gun laws don’t work.

Doszap
Member
Doszap

No worries this will stop ASAP……….100% illegal,BATF cannot access these names or what an individual owns.

Will Flatt
Member

BATF can’t? That’s a mighty big assuption there, bucko. If the police aren’t supposed to be doing this, what makes you think that BATF won’t either? Government ignores our rights just as much as the criminals do. Time to eliminate both!

KenW
Member
KenW

They may not have an actual list of names but it’d be a good bet that they have a data base wherein a list of most gun owners could be compiled.

Oldvet
Member
Oldvet

@dozer…Hey I have some ocean front property for sale right down the street from here

neville
Member
neville

Typical scum cops. More of them should become heroes.

joefoam
Member
joefoam

the gov’t is using every method possible to create registry’s of firearm owners. Why?, so they have a road map to confiscate your guns. What other use could they have?

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

@joe, If bad things start happening, switch your house numbers around, so it looks like a different address. It is fast, easy, and won’t last long, but it is a defense.

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

A car parked in your driveway with a license plate not registered to you is a cheap dodge. Two magnets hold the plates on top of your real plates. So put license plates for your make and model car on the shopping list.
And a sign that says “The Jones Family”. All last minute cheap dodges to thwart the warrant service.

Tionico
Member
Tionico

Wild Bill, I know a good source for magnets that will attach the aluminium number plates you “find” and hold them real tightly to the aluminium number plate you already have on your car. A bit dear, but worth it, just for the reasons you cite.

tomcat
Member
tomcat

@ Tio I am not trying to be a smart ass but I have never seen a magnet that would stick to aluminum. Most license plates are made of thin sheet metal. In the north country aluminum would get eaten up by road salt. The idea is good though if you are being targeted for confiscation.

Link
Member
Link

Wonderful invention, it’s called glue.
Glue a magnet to the top plate and put another behind the mounted plate, or a chunk of flat steel or iron.

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

@Gentlemen, thanks for the help. Here is another: have an official looking sign made, saying “Raytheon Corp, Radiation Testing Facility. Non-Employees call 507-389-3111 for escorted entry. That ought to cool their jets.
Any other cheap evasions to confuse the enemy, while making an escape?

Oldvet
Member
Oldvet

Maybe a sign saying medical biohazard disposal site

Oldvet
Member
Oldvet

@TC…Damm you beat me to it ,

Oldvet
Member
Oldvet

However Kansas doesn’t use aluminum plates

Oldvet
Member
Oldvet

@WB…Paint your car with temperature sensitive paint so it changes color as the temp of the day goes up .

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

@OV, I did not know there was such a thing. Can temperature sensitive paint be applied to the front of a house? Every time the confiscation crowd arrived the house would be a different color.

Oldvet
Member
Oldvet

@WB… I saw some gal on the TV who had finger nail polish on and she ran it under a water faucet and it changed color then see turned on the other faucet and it changed back. I can only guess it was due to temperature change. Or what ever kind of paint they put on the stealth fighter make the house disappear .

Oldvet
Member
Oldvet

@WB… I would suggest change the street name sign…but the Huston cops got it wrong any way.

rotten-ron
Member
rotten-ron

Good advice!! I switched mine from 222 to 222!!

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

@rr, I see nothing wrong with that, but you may want to switch it around again, just in advance of the PD arriving.

1776 Patriot
Member
1776 Patriot

“bug in the system”? Funny name for a violation of Constitutional Laws.

Law enforcement just got their hand caught in the cookie jar, something for which mere civilians would face criminal proceedings. In this case they’ll just sweep it all under the rug, normal corrupt political operating procedure.

And they wonder why politicians are mistrusted and despised by most people.

Oldvet
Member
Oldvet

Can I vote you up more than once ?

Ansel Hazen
Member
Ansel Hazen

Apparently not. I just tried. 🙁

Oldvet
Member
Oldvet

@AH…There is a way…I figured it out you can too

Rattlerjake
Member
Rattlerjake

This is why I always say there is no such thing as a good cop. You never know which cop is breaking the law, and knowing that they are and that all of the other cops are silent, means they are all dirty! Additionally, when you consider that there are MANY laws, whether local, state, or federal that are unconstitutional, thereby illegal, and yet ALL cops, enforce ALL of these laws, the only conclusion is there are NO GOOD COPS!! I don’t care if it is your best friend, or family member, cops are cops and they will sell you… Read more »

Lee
Member
Lee

Not only is the genesis of this violation important, and the identification of all who created it, but there must be a clear and enforceable order for destruction of all previously transmitted records.

MBeach222
Member
MBeach222

Prosecution would send a nice message. Merely telling them to stop when they get caught says that there are no consequences to these illegal actions.

Alan1018
Member
Alan1018

PA State police also keep an illegal handgun registry but the AG there won’t enforce the law and order the list destroyed there either. As long as these abuses go unchecked they will continue to spread. It seems the state only enforces the laws they want to enforce and anything else is ignored.

Some guy
Member
Some guy

Well DUH……. You thought any of this charade of “rule of law” was serious?

Rock
Member
Rock

You KNOW that no matter what the AG orders, courts rule or whatever comes down legally….. the leftist, deep state, pedestal standing, I HAVE THE POWER type police will always have their “list”… It’s like the gun laws, the CRIMINALS will always have guns. In many ways there isn’t much difference sadly…
There are lawful oath keepers and unlawful oath breakers in the political and police ranks, FACT.

Alan1018
Member
Alan1018

That is why the left is pushing red flag so hard. They want to get the honest cops used to pulling gun raids.

Rattlerjake
Member
Rattlerjake

There are no honest cops! If there were honest cops then they would refuse to ticket or arrest an individual who is driving his automobile without having a license (Supreme Court has ruled that it is a RIGHT not a privilege), they would refuse to enforce any gun laws (gun laws are a violation of the US Constitution, 2nd amendment), they would refuse to participate in unannounced/no knock raids on ANY family dwelling (violation of the 4th amendment), refuse to try to force you to answer their questions (violation of the 5th amendment), and thousands more reasons. ALL cops work… Read more »

CourageousLion
Member
CourageousLion

I’m just posting a quote. Don’t get mad at me even though I agree… Actually get mad at me…because if you can’t see the truth in this you’re brain dead anyway… The whole good cop/bad cop question can be disposed of much more decisively. We need not enumerate what proportion of cops appears to be good or listen to someone’s anecdote about his Uncle Charlie, an allegedly good cop. We need only consider the following: (1) a cop’s job is to enforce the laws, all of them; (2) many of the laws are manifestly unjust, and some are even cruel… Read more »

nrringlee
Member
nrringlee

In 1978 I took a seminar in Theory of Law at a very left wing, left coast university. The professor was a well know radical from the 1960’s and made no bones about it. She clearly and repeatedly stated the truth about the Progressive New Left and the law. The law was simply one more means to suppress opposition to the coming revolution. The Constitution was simply a means to its own end. The clowns in the seminar ate this up and then merrily trotted off to second rate law schools to begin their social justice crusades. And so here… Read more »

Me
Member
Me

The police are not your friends.

nrringlee
Member
nrringlee

Police department administrators and chiefs are political appointees. Unlike the sheriff, they only need bend the knee to a city council or city manager to please their masters. Voters be damned. Public sentiment be damned. They bend the knee to the political overlords in their jurisdiction.

Chris Mallory
Member
Chris Mallory

Did you even read the article? It is the elected sheriffs doing this.

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

@CM, Neither sheriffs departments, PDs, or feds, it is not their job to be our friends. They are not even allowed to gather exonerating evidence. If you talk to them, what you say will all be evidence against you.
I am not writing that because I am against police. I am writing that to flesh out what others have been saying.

Rattlerjake
Member
Rattlerjake

Sheriffs violate our rights and enforce unconstitutional law just like any other Law Enforcement agency. Just because a few of them “claim” to refuse to enforce anti-gun laws, doesn’t make them on our side. They still enforce thousands of other unconstitutional/illegal laws.

Robert
Member

LOL, you willing to take on the job?

Chris Mallory
Member
Chris Mallory

Maybe the job should not exist?

Rattlerjake
Member
Rattlerjake

Absolutely, BUT it would require that all laws being enforced must be established as Constitutional, which most are not! Today’s law enforcement is nothing but a thug enforcement unit for government tyranny; they enforce whatever they are told to enforce.

Oldvet
Member
Oldvet

Would rather have the job of AG then rule that no unconstitutional law would be enforced .

joefoam
Member
joefoam

Those gun owners thinking that the LEOs and military will not enforce unconstitutional laws, take note. They will be more than willing.

Rattlerjake
Member
Rattlerjake

They are already doing it and have been for decades!

J-Bird
Member
J-Bird

If this doesn’t convince you that laws are meaningless to the other side, I don’t know what will.

nrringlee
Member
nrringlee

Bingo. I have grown weary of telling that tale for the past 45 years. You have hit the center of gravity of our problem. We who honor the law and process fall victim to those who certainly do not. Sad thing is they are wearing cheap suits and black robes pretending to represent justice.

Will
Member
Will

JOIN GOA ! The only no-compromise gun lobby in Washington !

MBeach222
Member
MBeach222

Join them all.

Will
Member
Will

VOTE TRUMP/PENCE 2020 !

Some guy
Member
Some guy

Voting isn’t going to make a damn bit of difference. If you aren’t ready to fight, kill and die for America, just turn your shit in today, because the time for talking and voting is long past. Open your eyes. These traitors are attempting a clear cut coup, right in front of the slobbering, tail wagging media……. Start planning now for what YOU will do when the shooting starts.

Mark 2nd
Member
Mark 2nd

I’ve believed this for quite some time. We aren’t going to vote ourselves out of this one. I believe we’re in the end game for saving the Constitution and our freedom. We’ve sat around on our collective asses and did basically nothing while the “government” consolidated their power over the people. Now we find ourselves fighting this “government” for the very freedoms we should never have to fight for in the first place. Our “government” is no longer “our” government. It’s no longer by the people and for the people, it’s by the “government” and for the “government”. Now we… Read more »

Mark 2nd
Member
Mark 2nd

Essentially “be” communist. Missed a word there. Apologies.

Rattlerjake
Member
Rattlerjake

This isn’t a recent happening, this started when our nation was sold to foreign interests by the Act of 1871. Woodrow Wilson further sold us out in 1913 with the Federal Reserve Act, and the ILLEGAL income tax fraud called the 16th amendment which has been proven to have never been legally ratified. It has continued with the federal government continuing to create agencies and programs that it has no constitutional authority to create or fund.

Make no mistake, we ARE definitely in the end game.

Ansel Hazen
Member
Ansel Hazen

Start making sure you have enough food and ammo.

Rattlerjake
Member
Rattlerjake

This is not about America, it is about us, the people. America is lost and will never return to what it was. Trump is only prolonging the inevitable, which is a complete collapse of this nation and what it stands for. No matter what Trump does, he has not been able to bring any of these treasonous anti-American leftists to justice, and it likely won’t happen. If we are lucky he will finish the wall which will help us to prevent the hordes from flooding this country when it collapses.

Autsin Miller III
Member
Autsin Miller III

Would it be legal for everyone affected by this travesty to join in a class action suit? Money talks, particularly when they have to pay it. I just don’t know the law regarding this situation.

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

@AM, There has to be a cause of action before you can establish an effected class. But it sounds to me like these sheriffs departments are violating a Florida criminal statute.

Autsin Miller III
Member
Autsin Miller III

You’re over my head but I take your word for it and thanks for answering. There certainly needs to be someone answering for this.

Ansel Hazen
Member
Ansel Hazen

Agree but how hard is it going to be to find a few names on the list LEO got their hands on who have been negatively affected? There’s the cause, next fill the courts with people claiming to be harmed. Flood the system with stories that have to be investigated. Hopefully overwhelm the limited resources of an overworked dept and cause it to collapse.

joefoam
Member
joefoam

Not a bad idea to expose the rascals, but ultimately the taxpayer will foot the bill. There is no free money to be had.

Tionico
Member
Tionico

Except that this law appears to attach FELONY penalties for those who violate it. Now THAT would bring it home to those who did violate it. And THAT is precisely what needs to happen. Get a bunch of non-complaint LEO convicted of felony crimes, boom, there goes their ability to possess firearms.. that means no more tin badge and cute blue government issued cosutme. Can’t carry a gin, can’t be a cop. Simple. I like it.

Oldvet
Member
Oldvet

And intimidation for the rest of them.

Will
Member
Will

Where the hell is Gov.DeSantis ? Little Marco Rubio is a cancer to the 2A in Florida. Now the SOB is trying to spread that cancer throughout the US. This bullshit in Florida has to stop !

Ansel Hazen
Member
Ansel Hazen

None of these futhermuckers seem to have the stones to stand up and support the 2A. I say it’s time to storm the ramparts.

Bowserb46
Member
Bowserb46

Almost ironic that the state that first had licensed concealed carry.

Chris Mallory
Member
Chris Mallory

Georgia had them beat by 11 years

Chris Mallory
Member
Chris Mallory

DeSantis is in Israel looking for more ways to violate the 1st Amendment.