There is no question that President Barack Obama is hostile toward the Second Amendment-protected right to keep and bear arms, and that hostility extends to those American citizens who openly support and exercise that constitutionally protected natural right.
This hostility has been exhibited in a myriad of ways, including one method for targeting gun owners that has long been suspected but only now actually proven.
According to documents obtained by The Wall Street Journal, it would appear that Obama’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement attempted to venture off into gun control enforcement in 2010 by pushing local law enforcement agencies and departments to scan the license plates of vehicles parked outside gun shows.
The plan was initially confined to gun shows in southern California, but had it been implemented and proven successful, there can be little doubt that it would have been expanded to other locations, perhaps even nationwide.
ICE “crafted a plan in 2010 to use license-plate readers — devices that record the plate numbers of all passing cars — at gun shows in Southern California, including one in Del Mar,” The Journal reported. Agents then “compared that information to cars that crossed the border, hoping to find gun smugglers, according to the documents and interviews with law-enforcement officials with knowledge of the operation.”
However, once word of the proposed policy leaked, there was significant pushback from both the gun-owning community and privacy advocates, including the American Civil Liberties Union.
The ACLU pointed out that license plate readers used by law enforcement “highlights the problem with mass collection of data.” Furthermore, the collecting of license plate numbers and owner information at gun shows near the border took two perfectly legal and separate actions — buying a gun and crossing the border — and combined them in such a way as to make it appear “inherently suspicious.”
On top of that, the policy itself could very well have been illegal to begin with, as was explained by Erich Pratt of the Gun Owners of America Second Amendment advocacy group.
“Information on law-abiding gun owners ends up getting recorded, stored, and registered, which is a violation of the 1986 Firearm Owners Protection Act and of the Second Amendment,” Pratt argued.
Of course, ICE attempted to explain away its proposed process by using border security and gun smuggling as an excuse. However, there are no known arrests of any kind stemming from this process.
Even the CEO of the company that makes the license-plate scanners sought to distance himself from the questionable practice, saying the use of his product to target gun show attendees was an abject “abuse of the technology.”
In truth, this plan by Obama’s ICE most likely had little to do with stopping the illegal smuggling of firearms across the border, and was more about targeting and harassing gun owners, who are near the top of Obama’s enemies list.
Whether this policy ever became widely practiced was not immediately known, but one thing is extremely clear for gun rights advocates: January 2017 can’t get here soon enough.