Indiana Gun Owners’ Privacy Under Threat

Ongoing litigation in Indiana has placed the private information of hundreds of thousands of the state’s legal gun owners in jeopardy, according to a report published on Tuesday by Breitbart News. The potential disclosure of identifying information and firearm purchase records has become a live issue in a longstanding legal battle filed by the City of Gary against the firearms industry.

The city’s lawsuit has been pending since 1999 and was filed in an attempt to hold firearm manufacturers and sellers accountable for crimes committed using their products. The latest chapter in the decades-long dispute came last month as Indiana Superior Court Judge John M. Sedia denied a motion to quash subpoenas for records held by several large Indiana gun dealers. 

Because of the judge’s order upholding the subpoenas, the identified firearms dealers will be required to hand over their Acquisition & Distribution (A&D) books, which include purchase information along with the names, addresses and confidential information of gun purchasers.

Legal analysts and commentators have reacted with concern about the disclosure of sensitive information without any meaningful controls, drawing comparisons between the Indiana case and a similar lawsuit in New York in 2012. Ammoland’s Lee Williams wrote: “The potential publication of personal information of hundreds of thousands of law-abiding gun owners is eerily similar to an interactive map of pistol permit holders that Gannett’s Journal News of Westchester County, New York published in 2012.” 

New York gun owners responded with outrage to that disclosure, arguing that in addition to being an invasion of their privacy, it made them an attractive target for gun burglars.

The situation in Indiana serves as a wake-up call for gun owners across the country. The risks associated with the disclosure of their private information demand that citizens call for immediate and proactive legislative steps to safeguard their rights and privacy. “For Indiana gun owners, the time to take additional steps to safeguard your property is now,” Williams said.

After the recent order was handed down, Larry Keane, general counsel and senior vice president of the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), told reporters that his organization is working to introduce legislation in Indiana to halt the acquisition of A&D books. 

The risk of the disclosure of gun owners’ personal information in Indiana demonstrates the need for continued vigilance in protecting the privacy and Second Amendment rights of American gun owners.  

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