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Bill/Issue: HR 838 - Wholesale Domestic Surveillance of Gun Owners

  • Author: Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX)
  • Position: STRONGLY Opposed

HR 838 would permit levels of espionage against the American people not seen since the introduction of the Patriot Act.

This Republican-sponsored bill would establish a "Task Force" of 24 unelected, generally unsupervised individuals to oversee a national strategy of monitoring private citizens under the guise of preventing "targeted violence through behavioral threat assessment."

The act would also give the Department of Homeland Security the authority to issue grants to “eligible entities” in order to encourage those entities to hand information to “fusion centers,” which are defined as collaborative efforts of state, federal, and local governments “with the goal of maximizing the ability of such agencies to detect, prevent, investigate, apprehend, and respond to criminal or terrorist activity.”

The government could then use the data it collected to build behavioral models based on otherwise harmless behavior such as purchasing two handguns in one month. That model could then be used to target unwitting, innocent gun owners as potential “threats.”

Moreover, HR 838 would authorize the government to spend $25 million a year through 2024... effectively wasting over $100 million of the taxpayers' money to spy on the American people.

The TAPS Act is potentially disastrous for those intent on exercising their right to keep and bear arms, and assuredly catastrophic for the privacy rights reserved to the People under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments.

Use the Take Action Form below to help prevent HR 838 from allowing the government to spy on gun owners.

Read FPC's Policy Memo on HR 838