BELLEVUE, WA – Thursday’s revelation that the Washington State court system has been hacked and the records of hundreds of thousands of citizens may have been accessed clearly demonstrates why gun owners are adamantly opposed to background check records keeping, and want the state’s pistol registry destroyed, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said.

Reuters reported Thursday afternoon that up to 160,000 Social Security numbers and a million driver’s license numbers “may have been accessed.”

“This is the kind of vulnerability and privacy invasion that law-abiding, responsible firearms owners fear,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “If hackers can break into the state court system, they can just as easily break into records kept on gun owners at the Department of Licensing, where the handgun registry is currently maintained. This could be a gold mine for gun thieves.

“This is why,” he continued, “we insisted that the state pistol registry be abolished and that no records be retained on background checks when we agreed to discuss background check legislation earlier this year. The other side wouldn’t budge. They want gun owner privacy to be at risk.”

Gottlieb noted that retaining records is a key ingredient of every background check proposal put forth by the gun prohibition lobby.

“Now the gun control lobby is threatening an initiative campaign to push their agenda,” Gottlieb observed. “If it mirrors what they tried to accomplish in Olympia earlier this year, you’re likely to see gun owners and other privacy advocates joining forces to oppose them.

“It’s appalling that this happened,” he concluded, “but it provides a stark lesson to those who would disregard the privacy of up to two million of their fellow citizens by demanding that records be kept on people who merely exercise a civil right protected by both the state and federal constitutions. Either you support privacy, or you support criminals. There’s no middle ground.”