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Researchers Explore Possibilities for Ultra-Secure Gun Registry

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A locked-up handgun.

A team of Brown University computer scientists has devised a way of implementing a gun registry that may allay concerns it would compromise privacy and could be used by the federal government to confiscate firearms.


Brown University computer scientists have proposed an ultra-secure, decentralized firearm registry database that allays privacy concerns with encryption.

The team developed the concept after Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) reached out for ideas on how such a tool might be built.

The proposed encryption scheme would allow database searching without decryption, so those querying the database would see only the records they are looking for; the system also would give control of data to county-level officials rather than the federal government.

The registry would store the make, model, and serial number of all legally owned guns in each participating county, along with a registration number identifying gun owners; only a designated county official would hold the decryption key for their own local data.

Each county's encrypted data could be searched by authorized users elsewhere, with the search algorithm upholding high-level security because the data is never decrypted during the search.

From News from Brown University
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