Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) sent a letter today to Attorney General Eric Holder regarding the National Security Agency’s (NSA) bulk collection of data and the Administration’s misinterpretation of Section 215 of the Patriot Act.

On Wednesday, Congressman Sensenbrenner and the National Rifle Association (NRA) filed separate amicus briefs in the American Civil Liberties Union’s (ACLU) lawsuit against administration officials.

A Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) training manual specifically lists gun sales as records the FBI can obtain under Section 215, the so-called business records provision.  

Congressman Sensenbrenner:  “The flawed logic the Obama administration relied on to support bulk collection of Americans’ phone data would also support bulk collection of other personal data. Does the administration believe it has the authority to indiscriminately collect records of firearms sales?  

“The FBI, for example, could conclude that it is interested in firearms sales – not only in the type of firearms being purchased, but also in who is selling firearms to whom – thereby ascribing importance to the connections between the buyers and sellers.  These connections would make firearms sales indistinguishable from phone records under the administration’s analysis.

“The administration’s legal view of Section 215 could potentially support building a national gun registry despite Congress’s expressed disapproval and the Second Amendment. This view is beyond anything Congress ever intended and must be reined in.”