The federal government is trying to limit a state-level effort to use federal money to track gun purchases in a way that is likely to violate the Fourth Amendment’s ban on unreasonable searches and seizures.
The National Rifle Association and the National Shooting Sports Foundation filed a federal lawsuit Thursday seeking to block the program, which was approved by the District’s Board of Elections on Wednesday.
The program, known as D.D.C.’s Firearms Buyback Program, allows law enforcement to buy firearms from retailers, a program that could be used to track a gun owner’s movements over time.
It is one of several state programs to track firearm sales.
Federal courts have ruled against the programs.DCPs spokesman David Krummel said the lawsuit is “without merit.”
He said the agency is “fully compliant” with the law, including in the case of a federal judge’s ruling against the program.
Krummel noted that the agency has no “legal authority” to track the firearms purchased by law enforcement.
The D.A. and the attorney general have no authority to “impose or enforce any order to purchase a firearm, and we will not enforce an order to do so,” he said.
The D.E.C., which also is a plaintiff in the lawsuit, said in a statement that the lawsuit “undermines the integrity of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.”