Media Rip Gun Owner Privacy for ‘Hampering Gun Violence Studies’

Personal Data Gun Registration Paperwork Privacy iStock-solarseven 1048264146.jpg
A new article in the Los Angeles Times and The Trace criticizes gun groups for litigating on behalf of gun owner privacy. iStock-solarseven 1048264146

U.S.A.-( The Los Angeles Times is reporting that lawsuits filed by the National Rifle Association, Second Amendment Foundation and “other gun rights groups” challenging California’s sharing of admittedly “detailed information on gun owners” with researchers is hampering so-called “gun violence studies.”

Or is it the L.A. Times?

The story, authored by Will Van Sant, is actually a piece published simultaneously by The Trace—the non-profit journal “devoted to gun-related news in the United States” that was “established in 2015 with seed money from the largest gun control advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety.” Everytown was bankrolled by anti-gun billionaire Michael Bloomberg, former New York City mayor and failed presidential candidate.

Van Sant is identified as a writer at The Trace.

Many gun rights advocates are alarmed that The Trace—according to Wikipedia— partners with other national and local media organizations, including The Atlantic,  SlateLenny, The Daily NewsViceThe GuardianTampa Bay TimesNewsweekThe Huffington PostTIME, FusionThe UndefeatedPolitico MagazineEssenceThe Chicago Sun-Times, and The New Yorker.

Would any of those media organizations ever “partner” with AmmoLand News,, Liberty Park Press, Conservative Firing Line or The American Rifleman?

According to the Times/Trace article, “For more than 30 years, the (California) DOJ has shared this data with public health researchers, who have used it to try to untangle the connections between gun ownership and homicides, suicides and other violence. They say this baseline information is key to understanding the risks and benefits of having a gun and, ultimately, to reducing injuries and deaths.”

The story complains that NRA “has pressured lawmakers to block the collection of ownership data” for decades. Gun control researchers want that information, arguing—as did Andrew Morral, identified as a behavioral scientist and director of a RAND Corp. initiative to assess firearms research—that having such “comprehensive ownership data” would improve “gun violence research.”

SAF and other gun rights groups contend in their lawsuit, filed in January of this year, that accessing such private information is overly invasive. As explained by SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb at the time of the filing, the lawsuit challenges provisions of Assembly Bill 173, passed last year. The legislation, plaintiffs contend, violates gun owners’ privacy rights specifically protected by the California Constitution.

“This is clearly an attempt violate the…constitutional privacy rights of California gun owners for reasons we could only begin to imagine,” Gottlieb said in January. “In their zeal to treat California gun owners as second- or even third-class citizens, anti-gunners in Sacramento forget that those citizens have rights including the right to privacy. More than 4 million California gun owners have a reasonable expectation that their personal information is protected by the law and the state constitution.”

In response, the state contended in a filing, “In over 30 years of data being provided to researchers, there has never been a data breach, let alone a public disclosure.”

That contention only needs to be wrong once. A data breach allowing unauthorized access to the names and addresses of gun owners would have monumental consequences.

In his Times/Trace article, Van Sant wrote, “In their lawsuits against California, the gun advocates invoke the rights of ‘law-abiding’ owners.”

What’s wrong with that? Like it or not, rights activists contend, gun owners have the same rights under the Constitution as anyone else, and their right to “keep and bear arms” is specifically enshrined and protected by the Second Amendment.

The article acknowledges, “Only a small fraction of guns sold in this country are ever used in a homicide or suicide. There is consensus that most gun crime is committed with illegally possessed firearms,” but there is a caveat tossed in: “however, research to determine what percentage is limited.”

“Researchers have consistently found that a gun in the home is associated with greater risk of suicide and homicide,” the Times/Trace article says, “but the frequency with which guns are used in self-defense is hotly disputed.”

Gun rights and self-defense advocates contend the dispute is political in nature; anti-gunners don’t care to acknowledge the personal safety benefits of gun ownership, and such examples go against a “guns-are-bad” narrative.

Call it coincidence, but the Times also reported in a separate story about a gun “buy-back” held in Lynwood over the weekend that netted 365 firearms allegedly including handguns, “semiautomatic and automatic assault rifles.” The total take included “135 functioning rifles and 143 functioning pistols/revolvers,” the article said. “There were also 64 functioning shotguns and seven functioning assault weapons collected.”

Participants received gift cards for “up to $300” for various businesses, and there were no questions asked. This is a sore point with some in the firearms community because they contend such events are good ways to get rid of crime-related guns.

There is no question the debate over gun ownership, privacy and self-defense will continue, even after the Supreme Court rules on a right-to-carry lawsuit challenging New York State’s restrictive “good cause” requirement to get a carry permit. The ruling is expected sometime next month, and so far, nobody has felt it necessary to leak a draft of any opinion.

About Dave Workman

Dave Workman is a senior editor at and Liberty Park Press, author of multiple books on the Right to Keep & Bear Arms, and formerly an NRA-certified firearms instructor.

Dave Workman

Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

No such thing as gun violence period ! Guns are incapable of acting without a violent human in control of them ! Its humans that are violent !


The world was completely safe and secure bonfire 1400AD.
The Romans never murdered anyone. Cities were never sacked and burned. There was no slavery. Justice was always fair.
Women could easily defend themselves and their family with a 6 pound sword.

The true fact is that people have not changed fundamentally for 10,000 years . Some people did become civilized.But since 1917 social activists have manipulated education create savages.




I noticed a Spell check typo. BEFORE. not bonfire


“, and so far, nobody has felt it necessary to leak a draft of any opinion”.the left is afraid the celebration would drown out anything they have to say

Last edited 8 months ago by swmft

Gun Violence Please stop endearing the democratic term which is a play on words that is media driven.

More violent acts are performed by criminals that start with internet to commit a crime. Criminal violence or a act of premeditated violence are committed by people not inanimate objects.

Let’s look at the definition of violence
The use of physical force so as to injure, abuse, damage, or destroy / intense, turbulent, or furious and often destructive action or force / vehement feeling or expression .

This is human behavior as inanimate objects are incapable of committing violence.
Thank you


I think the reason for the Gun Violence in the title is because that is what the study is on. I think I asked Dave to not use terms like assault rifle in the past and he stated that when he quotes someone and that is what the person said that he states it as quoted, otherwise he avoids using the lefts terminology. Notice in one paragraph he refers to seven assault weapons but when he does, he is quoting what was said in the NY times. You are right though, we need not use the left Marxist terminology when… Read more »


I understand that the same when I add information to support my point of view. Some do not read through and think that information supplied is what I am supporting . Funny world out their


I think that these anti rights groups need to name themselves appropriately. Moms against the US Constitution. Every Town for dissolving the Constitution.

The only people that demand their privacy is protected are the communist left and their proxies. Anyone who is a “Constitutionalist” according to them are trouble makers. Or anti government. Stewart Rhoades the founder of the “Oath Keepers” who all swear to uphold the Constitution are considered seditionists and anti government. I guess when the communists took over that is what it becomes. You are anti COMMUNISM so you are anti “government”.


seems like the trace/times is jumping to some illogical conclusions in their research/attempt to smear firearms owners. but then again, logic, data, facts and statistics done really matter to them, only their feelings and desires.


Yep, here is a typical communist having a fit. Just can’t get their way.


Why is it that the antis are bound and determined to make sure the criminals know where the righteous gun owners live? It’s like they want to get us attacked, or more likely, burglarized, which would put guns in the hands of actual criminals. One of the news outlets in the city I used to live in published the names and addresses of all the handgun carry permit holders in the state. I looked myself up, but couldn’t find myself. You did have to enter the city or town first. So I looked at my carry permit and discovered that… Read more »


To give the probates a case of the butt, I have sold all of my gun collection to my son, who is legal to own them. It is also stated in my will that he has a receipt stating that they were purchased from me by him, cuts out inheritance taxes, I worked hard to build my collection over the years, so he has put time in the service, and I don’t want to have the government telling me I can’t sell them to him, he qualifies to have them according to the laws!!!!!!!

Wild Bill

Good for you, brother. Good forward thinking.


Screw inheritance taxes. They steal enough from us by other methods. Give him/her/them EVERYTHING and make it look like you’re a pauper and then collect all you can from the screwed up money creating system.


I agree. The taxes were paid on the money the first time it was made and then they want to collect taxes on that same money because it is new to you? BS. I was taught about Double taxation without representation but I must have misunderstood what I was being taught because I see it all over the place when it comes to buying something used like a car and paying sales tax and holding out taxes on your Social Security is BS too. People are so grateful they don’t have to pay the taxes on it when they get… Read more »


Why do you think years ago that they had the FED EXCISE TAX on TIRES was separate from State Taxes, was supposed to not be taxed with state taxes, caught a tire dealer that was adding the FED EXCISE tax to the tire purchase, then putting the sales tax on the purchase, argued the point and was questioned why I brought it up, explained about a tax on a tax not legal!!!! Now today take notice that you no longer see the EXCICE TAX listed on tires, all included in the price so that you can’t see that you are… Read more »


I forgot all about that but I do remember paying the tax and was told it was a separate tax to fix roads and bridges. So now it’s hidden. Well, we see how well the tax worked out because our infrastructure is in such great shape, right?

Thanks for the reminder.


I would like to know how many of those weapons were fully automatic and why the person or persons turning them in weren’t questioned about it. In addition, how did the police determine they were fully auto. Is it because somebody stamped it on the receiver that obviously wasn’t a 80 percenter because they were never mentioned or did the cops go out and shoot them after the buy back just to test them before they sold them back to felons like the Sacramento County Sheriffs in kommiefornia have done or is this more hype and lies from the FAKE… Read more »


Also were they checked against database of stolen firearms? Those putting on the “buyback” are definitely guilty of receiving stolen property and if they do not put in good faith effort to return that property they are guilty of possessing stolen property. If they chose to destroy that property, at very least they should be forced compensate the wronged owners. Given that cost of an Assault Rifle is higher than that of many cars, I believe the guilty parties should be held personally liable instead of passing costs on to the (relatively) innocent tax paying public.


Good article Dave and I especially loved the last line. Thanks for the laugh and a good start to my morning.


In the same vein of gun ownership details, we should demand that users of ED medications turn over their info so that it can be used in research of marauding boners naturally leading to sexual assault.


Outstanding analogy. However, it won’t happen, because the idiots you infer, need (and possibly use) ED medication too.


When buyback programs are offered to people turning in firearms no questions asked now many were used in crimes? How many who turned in a firearm were convicted felons? How many were just a parent that inherited a firearm from a family member while needing money? NYS firearm laws are a infringement on the constitution, In that state you had better know all the laws from ownership to inheritance as the state has the advantage. In powering the police to confiscate a family’s personal property when it comes to firearms. Question: My father died and owned a gun. I was named as… Read more »


Wow, and I thought OreGONEISTAN is bad.


Sounds like a good time to find out your father had had a boating mishap shortly before his death.

Last edited 8 months ago by buzzsaw

“Once, there was a fire.”

Wild Bill

“No, we don’ have no records like that. ” “Justice … yes that is the word. We will have much time to talk about it.”

That is the best scene in one of my favorite movies!!!

Last edited 8 months ago by Wild Bill

I say screw all these so called laws and be willing to actually fight for FREEDOM if the time comes. Not in Iraq or Afghanistan but in Newyorkastan, or Californiastan. That means shooting blue line red coats in the head if they are there to STEAL your property. Take note and ask me if I giving a flying rats ass. We are only going to stand for so much of this shit and then…well I guess we can all find out.

Last edited 8 months ago by CourageousLion



Let’s keep it simple. If you want to publish gun owner data then you have to agree to publish the names and personal info of anyone who gets an abortion.