A group of California gun owners lost their bid to block the release of personal information to Stanford and UC Davis researchers studying gun violence.
The five anonymous people were challenging a provision of Assembly Bill 173, which passed in 2021 and permits the sharing of data about firearm and ammunition purchases in California with “bona fide research institutions.”
The plaintiffs contend the law violates their rights under the Second and Fourteenth amendments to the U.S. Constitution, which address gun ownership and equal protection under the law.
On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Larry Alan Burns in San Diego granted a request by Attorney General Rob Bonta to dismiss the suit.
Burns noted that AB 173 only permits sharing, under strict protocols, of information that the state already has about gun buyers and applicants for concealed-carry permits.
“The limited disclosure of private information for research purposes permitted by AB 173 doesn’t expose Plaintiffs to any novel risks or impose new burdens on them,” the ruling says.
Addressing the incident last year in which the state Justice Department publicly exposed personal information about applicants for concealed-carry permits, the ruling noted that none of it came from Stanford or UC Davis.
Speculation that such data could be hacked or deliberately disclosed has had no apparent “chilling effect” in the past on gun purchases, the ruling added.
So far, the two universities are the only institutions eligible to access the information, which includes gun owners’ names, addresses and ages. The database is to be used for studying and preventing gun violence, shooting accidents and suicide.
The plaintiffs have until Feb. 10 to file an amended complaint.
Soruce : https://www.mercurynews.com/2023/01/17/gun-owners-lose-bid-to-block-stanford-researchers-from-accessing-their-personal-data/