House Republicans Urge GOP to Protect Constitutional Rights as Congress Considers Reauthorizing Government Surveillance Program

Thirty House Republicans sent a letter to House leadership, calling for them to protect Second and Fourth Amendment rights as the House considers reauthorizing a government surveillance program.

Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) allows the U.S. government to spy on noncitizens in other countries, including communications with Americans, according to The Hill.

The bill does not require a warrant.

The letter, addressed to Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) and House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA), reads, “We write to urge you to protect the Second and Fourth Amendment rights of innocent, law-abiding gun owners from the Biden Administration’s exploitation of a lawless government surveillance loophole.”

Signatories then discussed a report detailing that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Treasury Department “bought Americans’ phone location data without a court order.”

“Ordinarily, these agencies would need a judge-issued warrant before forcing phone or tech companies to turn over their customers’ location data,” the letter adds. “But creative government lawyers have decided that the Fourth Amendment does not apply to Americans’ sensitive, personal data — if the government buys it from data brokers.”

Embracing this “legal loophole” is a “serious threat to Americans’ privacy,” the Republicans assert. “It further undoes Congress’s clear intent in protecting precisely this kind of sensitive information through enactment of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986. Location information and other private information about Americans’ lives, including where an American prays, where and when they drive their children to school, and if they have visited a gun store or shooting range.”

“The threat to Americans’ Second and Fourth Amendment rights is not limited to the government’s purchase of location data. Commercial data brokers openly sell marketing lists containing the name, address, and other personal information identifying ‘gun owners’ and ‘shooting fanatics,’ as well as specialized lists, like ‘concealed carry – licensed gun owners,’ ‘affluent gun owners,’ and ‘age 70+; elderly gun owners.’ Unfortunately, the same legal loophole that the Biden Administration has embraced to purchase Americans’ location data could equally apply to the purchase of commercial lists identifying gun owners.”

The representatives urged House leadership to “close the data broker loophole” in what they described as a “once-in-a-generation opportunity” to do so.

“For decades, Congress has legislatively protected gun-owning Americans’ rights. But decades-old privacy laws will continue in name only if the Biden Administration is allowed to continue this brazen surveillance of Americans without court orders,” the Republicans wrote.

The Republicans who signed the letter include:

  • Warren Davidson (OH)
  • Andy Biggs (AZ)
  • Michael Cloud (TX)
  • Clay Higgins (LA)
  • Andy Harris (MD)
  • Barry Moore (AL)
  • Tom Tiffany (WI)
  • Andrew Clyde (GA)
  • Thomas Massie (KY)
  • Josh Brecheen (OK)
  • Kieth Self (PA)
  • Bill Posey (FL)
  • Marjorie Taylor Green (GA)
  • Paul Gosar (AZ)
  • Lauren Bobert (CO)
  • Eric Burlison (MO)
  • Troy Nehls (TX)
  • Bob Good (VA)
  • Matt Rosendale (MT)
  • Eli Crane (AZ)
  • Alex Mooney (WV)
  • Ben Cline (VA)
  • Dan Bishop (NC)
  • Gus Bilirakis (FL)
  • Mike Collins (GA)
  • Anna Paulina Luna (FL)
  • Matt Gaetz (FL)
  • Andy Ogles (TN)
  • Randy Weber (TX)
  • Chip Roy (TX)