The NRA’s database gives the organization the ability to contact tens of millions of gun-owners to lobby their causes.

The data “gives the NRA more power,” Jon Bond, co-founder of the ad firm Kirschenbaum Partners, told BuzzFeed, noting that the NRA has an advantage over anti-gun groups. “It’s valuable politically because what it does is, it extends the reach of its political leverage beyond NRA members. They have gun owners, not just NRA members. There’s multiple purposes for it.”

With a national gun database containing names and addresses, the NRA has the power to target certain markets and influence Americans to support them. But even if the NRA only uses its database for marketing or advertising purposes, their secret creation of a registry they long stood up against might prove difficult to defend.

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