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NRA Has a Vast Secret Registry of Gun Owners

BuzzFeed finds that it goes well beyond group's 3M members
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 21, 2013 12:30 PM CDT
NRA Has a Vast Secret Registry of Gun Owners
In this file photo, a woman points a handgun with a laser sight on a wall display during a National Rifle Association convention.   (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

The NRA hates the idea of a national gun registry, but it effectively operates a massive one of its own, reports BuzzFeed. Its secretive database goes way beyond its 3 million members—the group gets names from gun-safety classes, gun shows, magazine subscribers, government offices, etc., writes Steve Friess. It also sends requests to local police departments offering to pay for the names of permit holders. The result is a powerful "Big Data powerhouse" that rivals the much-vaunted one used by the Obama campaign and gives the group unparalleled clout.

“There’s nothing that prevents them from mailing those people,” says a former NRA lobbyist, who estimates that the NRA has "tens of millions of people" in its database. “The more you know about people, the more targeted the message you can communicate with them, the more the message will resonate with them.” Not that the NRA was happy to provide details to Freiss. Asked what it did with all the names it got from the rosters of gun-safety classes, a spokesman said, "That's not any of your business." Click for the full article. (More NRA stories.)

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