BELLEVUE, WA – The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) today demanded legislation to protect the privacy of American gun owners in the wake of a scandal involving the black market sale of federal and state law enforcement information by a rogue federal agent now on the run.

Emilio Calatayud, an agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is accused of wire fraud, bribery and violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act for allegedly selling law enforcement and criminal history information from the FBI’s National Crime Information Center computer files, plus information from the California Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (CLETS), and the DEA’s Narcotics and Dangerous Drug Information System (NADDIS). The information was allegedly sold to a private investigation firm in Los Angeles.

“While the stolen data came from the NCIC, DEA and NADDIS computers, this case brings into sharp focus why gun owners steadfastly oppose allowing access to the FBI’s National Instant Check System (NICS) records,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb.

Recently, anti-gun Sens. Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) demanded that Attorney General John Ashcroft allow other federal agencies access to NICS records, using the fight against terrorism as their excuse. Ashcroft properly refused, noting that the federal Brady Law specifically forbids such use of NICS records.

“Gun owners want the destruction of NICS records, as required by the Brady Law, because of the potential for abuse and we were ridiculed,” Gottlieb noted. “Now we have a case where a rogue cop has allegedly stolen computerized information from what were supposed to be secure systems. This is exactly the kind of abuse that concerns us, and it ought to concern every member of Congress.

“We’re calling for legislation to protect gun owner privacy,” Gottlieb concluded. “It should be a federal crime to retain NICS records, even for so-called ‘auditing purposes,’ or to turn them over to other agencies that might store them in permanent files. The longer such records are kept, the more likely it is they can be accessed for illegal purposes, especially if they fall into the hands of other agencies.”