A Missouri Lawmaker Wants to Ban Blockchain Gun Tracking

Nikhilesh De
Dec 5, 2017 at 20:45 UTC
NEWS

A Missouri lawmaker wants to prevent blockchain from being used to track firearms – in most cases, that is.

State Representative Nicholas Schroer (R-107), public records show, is introducing a bill that would make it illegal to use a distributed ledger and other types of decentralized databases to hold firearm owner information.

The draft measure states:

"It shall be unlawful to require a person to use or be subject to electronic firearm tracking technology or to disclose any identifiable information about the person or the person's firearm for the purpose of using electronic firearm tracking technology."

The act provides for some exceptions, however. Those carve-outs cover law enforcement officials, sellers who use a distributed ledger or similar technology to report sales to the state, and firearm owners who have provided written consent to have their weapons tracked on a ledger.

Schroer's bill was also careful to differentiate between electronic firearm tracking technologies, which refer to distributed ledgers or other decentralized databases, and official law enforcement tracking systems like the Missouri Uniform Law Enforcement System (MULES) database.

If passed, the bill states that anyone who illegally tracks firearms on a blockchain could be found guilty of a Class E felony. Class E felonies are the least severe of Missouri felonies and can be punishable by up to four years in jail, according to law firm Carver Cantin Mynarich, LLC.

Notably, the Missouri bill nearly identical to one signed into law in Arizona in February, which also makes it illegal to track firearms on a blockchain unless the user is in an exempted category (that measure, too, includes carve-outs for law enforcement and the like). That bill was signed less than a month after it was first introduced in mid-January.

Guns image via Shutterstock

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