US Department Of Commerce Asks Gun Holster Companies For Sales Records

A startling new report via AmmoLand News outlines how the US Department of Commerce Census Bureau asked major holster manufacturers/providers for order numbers, product descriptions, and locations where the items were shipped. 

Some holster companies rejected the Department of Commerce’s request for “commodity flow surveys” related to their sold products.

We will never turn over any information on our customers to the government no matter the cost us,” Chad Myers, President of JM4 Tactical, said. “To do so would violate our core beliefs. We need to stand up to an overbearing government. Our customers can rest assured that their information is safe with us!”

AmmoLand said, “the Census Bureau sends out the Commodity Flow Survey to random companies every year … but this seems an abnormal amount of holster companies have received the notice leading some of the holster companies to wonder if the federal government has targeted them.” 

This is alarming because the overreaching government could be attempting to create a registry of gun owners, types, and numbers of firearms owned via the information collected in the survey.  

Holster companies have reached out to Arbiter Weston Martinez of Texas, a former Texas Real Estate Commissioner under former Governor Rick Perry, to push back on the government collection of data. 

“Clearly, the Biden administration is saber rattling for the left in the wake of all the recent losses they have incurred by Supreme Court rulings,” Martinez said. “My clients and I will never back down from anyone that is trying to impugn our Constitutional and God-give rights like the Second Amendment.”

Holster companies do not have a choice and are bound by law to turn over all requested information or face fines. 

Washington Gun Law President William Kirk provides more color on the Biden administration’s use of government agencies to collect data on law-abiding citizens. He said this administration is the least trustworthy of any administration in the country’s history regarding the lawful rights of gun owners. 

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Illinois Democrat calls for national Firearms Owner ID card

What was it I was just saying about Illinois politicians targeting legal gun owners while ignoring career criminals? I hadn’t run across Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth’s latest gun control demands when I wrote my that post, but her remarks are yet another example of the phenomenon of Democrats pretending that cracking down on law-abiding citizens exercising their constitutionally-protected rights is the best way to reduce violent crime.

Duckworth not only wants to slap a new federal ban on so-called assault weapons onto the books; she wants to establish a federal permit that would be required before you could even keep a gun in your home.

“A big portion of what’s happening is assault weapons, which are weapons of war, and the high capacity magazines that are used,” she said. “They just simply don’t belong on the streets of this of this country. And I’m gonna work to suspend, and to abandon them.”

Duckworth said she’s glad to see expanded mental health services, law enforcement information sharing, and school safety funding come from the bipartisan legislation. But she’s hopeful it’s the start of a broader legislative effort.

“I’d like to see a national FOID card. You know, in Illinois, we have a FOID card. It doesn’t stop people from being able to purchase weapons. But I think it’s important that everyone should have a background check,” she said. “You shouldn’t just be able to walk into a gun show and buy a gun without a background check. I think we need to significantly close that loophole.”

Duckworth is ignoring the fact that state courts have repeatedly found that the state’s FOID card requirement violates the constitutional rights of residents; decisions that have been overturned by a state Supreme Court that seems desperate to avoid issuing a ruling on the actual merits of the legal challenges.

Despite the Illinois Supreme Court’s reluctance to address the issues with the state’s FOID card system, the constitutional concerns are clear. The Supreme Court has recognized that we the people have a right to both keep and bear arms for self-defense; a right that can be lost through things like felony convictions or an adjudication of mental defectiveness, but one that each of us possess unless we do something to forfeit it.

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Google hands over home security camera footage to police without a warrant

Google and Amazon are letting the police access data from smart home cameras without a warrant, if they are told this footage is needed because of an “emergency.”

Meanwhile others who sell similar devices and services, like Arlo, Apple, Wyze, Eufy, claim their policy is the opposite, CNET writes.

It was first reported that Amazon was cooperating with law enforcement in this way, and it has now emerged that Google is treating its customers’ privacy the same way.

In the US, Amazon and Google say that “in most cases” the police have to provide some kind of legal justification to access video from their devices installed in people’s homes, be it a warrant or subpoena. Any other policy, such as making exceptions like the “emergencies” one, is not something a company can be forced to do, reports say, suggesting that Amazon and Google have chosen to adopt such an approach to users’ privacy.

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AMAZON ADMITS GIVING RING CAMERA FOOTAGE TO POLICE WITHOUT A WARRANT OR CONSENT

RING, AMAZON’S PERENNIALLY controversial and police-friendly surveillance subsidiary, has long defended its cozy relationship with law enforcement by pointing out that cops can only get access to a camera owner’s recordings with their express permission or a court order. But in response to recent questions from Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., the company stated that it has provided police with user footage 11 times this year alone without either.

Last month, Markey wrote to Amazon asking it to both clarify Ring’s ever-expanding relationship with American police, who’ve increasingly come to rely on the company’s growing residential surveillance dragnet, and to commit to a raft of policy reforms. In a July 1 response from Brian Huseman, Amazon vice president of public policy, the company declined to permanently agree to any of them, including “Never accept financial contributions from policing agencies,” “Never allow immigration enforcement agencies to request Ring recordings,” and “Never participate in police sting operations.”

Although Ring publicizes its policy of handing over camera footage only if the owner agrees — or if judge signs a search warrant — the company says it also reserves the right to supply police with footage in “emergencies,” defined broadly as “cases involving imminent danger of death or serious physical injury to any person.” Markey had also asked Amazon to clarify what exactly constitutes such an “emergency situation,” and how many times audiovisual surveillance data has been provided under such circumstances. Amazon declined to elaborate on how it defines these emergencies beyond “imminent danger of death or serious physical injury,” stating only that “Ring makes a good-faith determination whether the request meets the well-known standard.” Huseman noted that it has complied with 11 emergency requests this year alone but did not provide details as to what the cases or Ring’s “good-faith determination” entailed.

Ring spokesperson Mai Nguyen also declined to reveal the substance of these emergency requests or the company’s approval process.

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San Francisco wants real-time access to private surveillance cameras

Lawmakers in San Francisco are deliberating on a law that would give the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) real-time access to private security cameras, like those in retail shops and even residential doorbells. The city’s Rules Committee is set to vote on the ordinance on July 18.

The draft ordinance is an amendment to the city’s 2019 surveillance ordinance, which requires the SFPD to get permission from elected officials and the general public before launching or using surveillance systems. Without the law, the SFPD could conduct surveillance without the knowledge of the public.

We obtained a copy of the draft for you here.

The law also prevents SFPD’s real-time access to surveillance videos from CCTVs and other cameras. Currently, the police are only allowed to get historical surveillance videos from privately-owned cameras for specific cases.

The proposed amendment was promoted by Mayor London Breed following a weekend of theft and burglaries last November in the Bay Area.

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The Royal Canadian Mounted Police Admit They Are Spying on Canadians by Turning on Their Cell Phone Cameras and Mics

Despite having the technology for years, this is the first time the Royal Canadian Mounted Police admitted that they are spying on their citizens by logging into their phone cameras and phones. 

After watching the trucker protests in Canada last year, it comes as no surprise that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) are spying on Canadians.

The RCMP admitted this for the first time:

This is the first time RCMP has even acknowledged that it has this ability, which uses malware to intrude on phones and devices, despite having had the technology for years…

…The RCMP says those tools were only used in serious cases when other, unintrusive measures were not successful.

We saw this past winter what the RCMP did to the truckers who protested the insane mandates coming down from PM Trudeau and his government.

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Supreme Court Refuses to Limit Warrantless Surveillance

According to the Supreme Court, the legality of NSA mass surveillance can’t even be legally challenged.

This was the message the Court sent when it refused to take up Jewel v. NSA, allowing an appellate court decision to stand.

The high court’s decision further underscores the futility of depending on federal courts to challenge federal surveillance power. Tenth Amendment Center executive director Micheal Boldin called it “a really bad strategy.”

“We don’t expect it to ever get the job done.”

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) sued the NSA in 2008 on behalf of Carolyn Jewel and several other AT&T customers in an effort to end dragnet surveillance of millions of ordinary people. The EFF based its case on declarations from three NSA whistleblowers, along with other evidence that included documents published by the Washington Post and the Guardian. The evidence showed that the NSA collected communication directly from fiber optic cables. It also revealed a domestic telephone record collection program that the government confirmed in 2013.  Mark Klein worked as an AT&T tech who claimed the communications giant routed copies of Internet traffic to a secret room in San Francisco controlled by the NSA.

In 2015, U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White denied the plaintiffs’ challenge saying that it would require “impermissible disclosure of state secret information” The Ninth Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals upheld the district court opinion, affirming that “state secret privilege” blocked the plaintiff’s efforts to tp prove that their data was intercepted. Unable to prove that, they had no standing to sue.

As EFF put it, the Supreme Court allowed the case to be dismissed because the surveillance program that everybody has known about since Edward Snowden released a trove of documents in 2013 is a “secret.”

 “Yes, you read that right: something we all know is a still officially a “secret” and so cannot be the subject to litigation.”

As the EFF explains, the U.S. government contends that “even if all of the allegations of serious law-breaking and Constitutional violations are true, surveillance of millions of ordinary Americans is exempt from judicial review.”

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FBI using low-flying spy planes over U.S.

The FBI is operating a small air force with scores of low-flying planes across the U.S. carrying video and, at times, cellphone surveillance technology – all hidden behind fictitious companies that are fronts for the government, The Associated Press has learned.

The planes’ surveillance equipment is generally used without a judge’s approval, and the FBI said the flights are used for specific, ongoing investigations. The FBI said it uses front companies to protect the safety of the pilots and aircraft. It also shields the identity of the aircraft so that suspects on the ground don’t know they’re being watched by the FBI.

In a recent 30-day period, the agency flew above more than 30 cities in 11 states across the country, an AP review found.

Aerial surveillance represents a changing frontier for law enforcement, providing what the government maintains is an important tool in criminal, terrorism or intelligence probes. But the program raises questions about whether there should be updated policies protecting civil liberties as new technologies pose intrusive opportunities for government spying.

U.S. law enforcement officials confirmed for the first time the wide-scale use of the aircraft, which the AP traced to at least 13 fake companies, such as FVX Research, KQM Aviation, NBR Aviation and PXW Services.

Even basic aspects of the program are withheld from the public in censored versions of official reports from the Justice Department’s inspector general.

The FBI also has been careful not to reveal its surveillance flights in court documents.

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Report Shows FBI Spied on 3.3 Million Americans Without a Warrant, GOP Demands Answers

Top House Republicans are demanding answers from the FBI after court-ordered information came to light showing that the federal agency had collected the information of over 3 million Americans without a warrant.

In a May 25 letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray, Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Mike Turner (R-Ohio) asked Wray to explain why his agency had wiretapped and gathered personal information on over 3.3 million Americans without a warrant (pdf).

Limited authority to gather foreign intelligence information is granted by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

Specifically, section 702 of the bill says: “the Attorney General (AG) and the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) may jointly authorize the targeting of (i) non-U.S. persons (ii) who are reasonably believed to be outside of the United States (iii) to acquire foreign intelligence information.”

However, this power can grant an expanding circle of possible searches to the FBI and other intel agencies, who can use the same power against American citizens who had any interaction with targeted foreigners.

Historically, insight into how FISA has been used against American citizens has been limited and hidden behind classified reports.

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Americans warned: Police now authorized to track you via cell phone

Police across America now can track citizens through their cell phones – without a warrant – despite the Fourth Amendment’s ban on warrantless searches, according to a team of civil-rights lawyers at the Rutherford Institute.

That’s the result of the U.S. Supreme Court deciding not to intervene in a lower court decision that authorized exactly that.

The institute had filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case Hammond v. U.S. that challenged the tracking of people through their cell phones as unconstitutional.

That tracking can tell police a person’s location with great precision, “whether that person is at home, at the library, a political event, a doctor’s office, etc.,” the organization reported.

“Americans are being swept up into a massive digital data dragnet that does not distinguish between those who are innocent of wrongdoing, suspects, or criminals. Cell phones have become de facto snitches, offering up a steady stream of digital location data on users’ movements and travels,” said constitutional attorney John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute.

“Added to that, police are tracking people’s movements by way of license plate toll readers; scouring social media posts; triangulating data from cellphone towers and WiFi signals; layering facial recognition software on top of that; and then cross-referencing footage with public social media posts, all in an effort to identify, track and eventually round us up. This is what it means to live in a suspect society,” he said.

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