FBI pressured Americans to waive gun rights

According to internal papers and emails, the FBI discreetly sent forms to Americans between 2016 and 2019 asking them to “voluntarily” renounce their right to possess, acquire, or even use weapons, according to internal documents and communications obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation

The signed documents, which were uncovered by the pro-gun rights organization Gun Owners of America (GOA), create significant legal issues, according to attorneys.

“We’re into a pre-crime, Minority Report type of world where the FBI believes it can take constitutional rights away from anyone it thinks possibly might pose a threat in the future,” said Robert Olson, outside counsel for GOA.

According to FBI records obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by the gun rights organization Gun Owners of America (GOA) and shared with the DCNF, the forms were distributed by the FBI to people at their homes and at other secret locations.

Are FBI actions legal?

The confidential documents, which seek signatories to certify that they are either a “danger” to themselves or others or lack “mental capacity adequately to contract or control” their life, were filled out by at least 15 people between 2016 and 2019.

The DCNF was informed by GOA and Second Amendment law experts that the availability of the forms raises important legal issues.

Olson said that the actions of the FBI were “certainly not something you expect in the United States.”

The form claims that signatories would be legally prohibited from being able to “purchase, possess, and use any firearm” if they were not permanently registered with the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

Some forms contain comments from the FBI outlining ongoing investigations, though it is unclear exactly what standards the agency used to select signatories.

Accusations of violence

According to FBI records, numerous signatories are accused of making violent threats in person, on social media, and in internet chat rooms.

The FBI deleted the names of the Americans who signed the 15 signed forms, but they were presented to them by agents in Massachusetts, Michigan, and Maine, according to the DCNF.

The weapons site Ammoland first acknowledged the existence of the FBI form in 2019, however the publication did not offer any proof that it had been applied at the time.

In its action against the bureau that it filed in January 2020 to compel the disclosure of documents pertaining to the forms, GOA received the signed forms as part of its evidence. The form was “discontinued” in December 2019, an FBI spokesman told the DCNF, but they did not explain why.

“The NICS Indices Self-Submission form was created to provide an avenue for individuals to self-report to the NICS Section when individuals felt they were a danger to themselves or others,” the FBI spokesperson said.

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