Pratt, Advocates For Gun Rights Blast Obama’S New Racial Reporting On Gun Forms

When the Obama administration inserted race and ethnicity inquiries into its federal form for gun purchases, industry leaders said the move lacks reason and may lead to racial profiling.

“Last time I checked your race is not part of your criminal background,” said Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America.

“Nobody can figure out why officials want this information because it clearly does not provide anything more about a person’s criminal background, than with a person’s criminal background-check.” In fact, criminal background checks and instant checks are useless tools for fighting crime, he said. “Out of 11 million background checks that were done over the last year of record, 14 resulted in convictions.”

This is a huge waste of money, he said. “And they are just going to waste even more by asking completely irrelevant questions.”

GOA is a national membership organization of 300,000 Americans dedicated to promoting their Second Amendment freedom to keep and bear arms. Pratt said with little fanfare, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in April 2012 amended its Form 4473 to require gun buyers to distinguish ethnic and race relations.

Buyers must identify themselves as either Hispanic, Latino or not, and the buyer must indicate race, as follows: Indian, Asian, black, Pacific Islander or white. The 2012 modification was the only change to Form 4473, said Anthony Melé, founder and president of Ami Global Security, a defense trade and manufacturer exporter of firearms.

“The category item number is 10 and the question is broken-down by ethnicity and race in parts 10a and 10b.” Federal law only requires a background check not a gun owner race-count, he said. The new requirement is not or should not be an indication of a criminal record, he said. “I do not see where one’s identity becomes clearer or one’s choice would preclude them from owning a firearm.”

The New York gun dealer said the subcategory is lacking in foresight. For example, choosing between Hispanic and Latino does not make sense, said Melé. “The two options, to me, mean the same thing.” In addition, he said more statistical data is not going to prevent a single crime.

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