OPINION: This article contains commentary which may reflect the author's opinion
Independent media is all that is left for the American people when it comes to learning about the usurpations of the FBI. A new report shows how far gone the agency has become when it comes to protecting Americans and our rights.
“The FBI secretly provided forms to Americans between 2016 and 2019 to “voluntarily” relinquish their rights to own, buy or even use firearms, according to internal documents and communications,” Gabe Kaminsky reported for Daily Caller in his exclusive report dealing the matter.
The signed forms, which were unearthed by the firearms rights group Gun Owners of America (GOA), raise serious legal questions, lawyers say.
“We’re into a pre-crime, Minority Report type of world where the FBI believes it can take constitutional rights away from anyone it thinks possibly might pose a threat in the future,” said Robert Olson, outside counsel for GOA.
According to the report, the forms were presented by the FBI to people at their homes and in other undisclosed locations, according to bureau documents unearthed through the Freedom of Information Act by the firearm rights group Gun Owners of America (GOA) and shared with the DCNF. At least 15 people between 2016 and 2019 signed the secret forms, which ask signatories to declare themselves as either a “danger” to themselves or others or lacking “mental capacity adequately to contract or manage” their lives.
GOA and attorneys who specialize in Second Amendment law told the DCNF the existence of the forms raise serious legal questions. (RELATED: ATF Agents, Officer Show Up ‘Warrantless’ To Demand Info On Man’s Guns, Video Appears To Show)
“We’re into a pre-crime, Minority Report type of world where the FBI believes it can take constitutional rights away from anyone it thinks possibly might pose a threat in the future,” said Robert Olson, GOA’s outside counsel who specializes in firearms law. “Which certainly is not something you expect in the United States.”
The form specifies that signatories will be permanently registered with the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) — which the form states would legally bar signatories from being able to “purchase, to possess and to use any firearm.” It is unclear what exact criteria the FBI used to identify signatories, but some forms include bureau notes detailing ongoing investigations.
Many signatories allegedly made violent threats in online chat rooms, in person and on social media platforms, FBI notes show. The 15 signed forms obtained by the DCNF show FBI agents in Massachusetts, Michigan and Maine presented them to Americans — whose names were redacted by the bureau.
While the existence of the FBI form itself was first revealed in 2019 by the firearms blog Ammoland, the outlet did not provide evidence of it being used at the time. GOA obtained the signed forms as part of its lawsuit initiated in January 2020 against the bureau to compel disclosure of records related to the forms.
A spokesperson for the FBI told the DCNF the form was “discontinued” in December 2019, but they did not say why that decision was made.
“The NICS Indices Self-Submission form was created to provide an avenue for individuals to self-report to the NICS Section when individuals felt they were a danger to themselves or others,” the FBI spokesperson said.
‘That Is Terrifying To Me’
In order to get signatures, FBI agents in some cases interviewed people at their homes and elsewhere. While signing the form is supposed to be done “voluntarily,” lawyers told the DCNF there is a sense of undue pressure when Americans have to deal directly with FBI.
“A person is almost invariably at a disadvantage when dealing with armed federal agents,” said Olson.
In 2017, there was one case in which the FBI “was advised of a Facebook conversation” where a man allegedly “threatened to ‘shoot up’ a church,” according to bureau notes. The man denied making the threats in interviews at his home, telling the FBI “he did not want to kill anyone” and has “never possessed a firearm and has no desire to possess a firearm,” notes show.
Nevertheless, the man later filled out the form waiving his gun rights.
In 2018, FBI agents in Maine interviewed a high school student who “decided to look at online advice for hacking” on his school-assigned laptop, bureau notes show. Agents tried to access the student’s Facebook, but were “unable” to do so, according to the notes. However, the high school student eventually agreed to sign the self-submission form.
Another case involved a Massachusetts man who was arrested for vandalism in 2017 after “he broke several apartment windows” and allegedly told police, “I’m gonna kill all you white cops,” according to FBI notes. Three months later, he was interviewed at a redacted location by the FBI and was transported to a hospital after he “became agitated, began sweating profusely and complained of muscle pains.”
Once at the hospital, the man signed the self-submission form in the presence of a doctor and an FBI agent, according to bureau notes.
Reed Martz, a lawyer who runs a Second Amendment blog, told the DCNF “there is implicit pressure any time the FBI is asking you to sign a form.” There is naturally “an adversarial relationship” between everyday people and the FBI.