Anonymous Anti-Gun Activist Wants to Dox Washington Gun Owners
An individual recently filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to acquire the names and addresses of gun owners who have turned in their bump stocks to the police.
John Crump of AmmoLand reports that this individual made such a request “to create a publicly searchable database of these former owners.”
AmmoLand confirmed that the Washington State Patrol mailed out a letter that informed former bump stock owners that they received a FOIA request to build an online database. According to Crump, “The letter set the gun world on fire.”
This request is reminiscent to when a newspaper in New York state planned on posting a map of gun owners in order to humiliate them for owning firearms. Crump asserted that the publication of this information at the time would have acted “as a map to locations where criminals could likely find guns to steal, putting owners a greater risk.”
Crump posted an overview of the public records request:
“This is a public records request.
I seek to inspect any and all completed WSP bump stock buy back forms.
I seek to obtain the names and addresses where checks will be mailed for the bump stock buy-back program.
My intent is to create a searchable database and map of Washington state to overlay the locations.
The public has a right to know that these dangerous devices may have been in neighborhoods that they live in and who has previously owned such devices.”
Crump confirmed with Gretchen Doland of the Washington State Patrol that there was a letter sent out to gun owners informing them of the FOIA request to build an online database.
The information will be released unless a court order is filed by April 26th.
Dolan told AmmoLand, “If we don’t receive a court order, we will release the information of those that turned in bump stocks.”
According to Crump, there were two FOIA requests made.
The first request was made by Paul Holgate. Dolan revealed that the Holgate did not list a reason for the FOIA request. On a phone call with Dolan, AmmoLand confirmed that a reason is not required to make a FOIA request.
According to AmmoLand, Holgate is a Second Amendment advocate who was “trying to figure out what information they are storing on gun owners. I am just trying to keep them honest.”
AmmoLand verified Holgate’s story and found out that he has a history of pro-gun activities.
The second person making a FOIA request was Yati Arguna.
Based on extensive research, AmmoLand was not able to find any information on Arguna, the person who wants to build the database.
They suspect that the email Arguna used was a “burner” account. It has never been used anywhere on the Internet except for this FOIA request. AmmoLand could not find any information such as a place of residence, a phone, a job held, or a parking ticket to the name of Yati Arguna.
Additionally, Arguna did not list a home address or phone number.
Despite this lack of information, the Washington State Patrol is still going to release the information to Arguna.
In response, AmmoLand reached out to Gun Owners of America about the letter. Executive Director Erich Pratt was angry at this news and told AmmoLand that “Gun Owners of America and Gun Owners Foundation is looking into this matter.”
Pratt understands the implications of this move:
“This is an outrageous violation of privacy to dox individuals who complied with this law. This opens up these individuals to theft and harassment from anti-gun activists.”
AmmoLand has vowed to continue investigating into this manner.
Indeed, Washington was one of the states most affected by the 2018 gun control wave after the Parkland shooting.
Anti-gun forces have largely been shut out of power at the federal level, so they are now turning towards state legislatures or extralegal means to harass gun owners.
As more information becomes digital, gun owners face very real privacy threats from anti-gun activists and hackers.