April 19, 2024 – Earlier this month, the U.S. Congress unexpectedly released a draft of the American Privacy Rights Act, (“APRA”), a bipartisan, bicameral federal privacy bill. Privacy laws have enormous potential impact upon the everyday activities of businesses in the firearms industry. The requirements they impose relate to all information and data that is collected from customers – whether through website sales and interactions, promotions, marketing efforts, in-person interactions, and more. Mishandling customer data or failing to provide the appropriate notices before collecting it can bring costly penalties.

The lack of a comprehensive federal privacy law has left states to fill the perceived void. Since 2018, when California enacted the California Privacy Protection Act, the number of states that have passed comprehensive privacy laws sits at 15, and the list of states with bills that are on the way to being passed continues to grow. This patchwork of state privacy laws is challenging and confusing for businesses in the firearms industry to navigate.

There is no introduction date yet for a final version of the proposed federal bill. The draft is likely to be circulated for feedback from other lawmakers in Congress to identify potential modifications or additions that may be made to the bill before it is officially introduced. Given the uphill battle historically faced by attempts at past federal privacy bills, it is unclear whether this will be the one that is finally able to bridge the gap.

As the data privacy landscape continues to evolve, it is important to be sure that your company’s practices and procedures comply with all applicable data privacy laws; and that your privacy policy is up to date to provide the required notices and reflect the rights your customers have under these laws. The financial consequences of non-compliance can be significant.

The data privacy team at Renzulli Law Firm monitors data privacy statutes and regulations and is working with our firearms clients to ensure that they are fully compliant with all relevant laws.  If you have any questions about data privacy and its impact on your business, contact us today.