BELLEVUE, WA – A disturbing story about attorneys attending a legal seminar who said they would report their clients to police as being “potentially dangerous” because they owned firearms prompted the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms to call for stronger legislation to protect gun owner privacy.
“This incident was reported by The Federalist,” noted CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “It revealed that several attorneys attending a seminar in Mississippi said they would ‘terminate the attorney-client relationship and contact law enforcement to report their client was potentially dangerous’ just because they own a gun, even if the client had done nothing wrong. That seems like a terrible violation of attorney-client confidentiality.”
The story, Gottlieb noted, referred to such attorneys as “gun-phobic.” He was alarmed, as was the writer, about the fact that attorneys would even consider dropping a client and tell police that the client might be “dangerous” simply because he or she might be licensed to carry.
“This isn’t about guns so much as it is about privacy,” Gottlieb observed. “It’s not just the Second Amendment under attack, but the rest of the Bill of Rights as well.
“Recently in Washington state,” he said, “the privacy of gun owners who had turned in bump stocks was threatened by someone using a fictitious name who filed a Public Records Act request to obtain their identities so they could be revealed publicly. There have been instances in the past when newspapers would obtain the identities of gun permit holders in different states, just for a sensational story. If it were done to any other group, it would be considered harassment, maybe even a hate crime.
“There is also a push in many states to require disclosure of gun owners’ health records before they are allowed to buy a firearm or get a permit to carry one,” he added.
“It may come as a surprise to gun-phobic attorneys, as well as gun control extremists and newspaper editors, but gun owners have rights, too,” Gottlieb said. “People seeking legal help should be able to trust their attorneys, not fear them. If an attorney is squeamish about representing a gun owner, perhaps the attorney should find a different occupation, and Congress should consider ethics legislation to prevent this kind of hysteria from jeopardizing the rights of aw-abiding firearm owners.”