What's the deal with registration?


PDA






Phantom Warrior
June 1, 2005, 03:01 PM
I have two questions about gun registration.

1. What degree of registration is actually in place? I know I have to fill out a big form every time I buy a gun. I'm pretty sure I remember hearing that the gun store maintains that information for at least a short period of time. What happens to that information? Is it just kept on file? Is it stored in a database?

2. This is the big question. Why is registration bad? I'm against it, but I have a hard time articulating why. If an anti comes up to me and says "Why don't you want to register guns? Don't you want to catch criminals? Are you trying to help gang members? HUH? (blah blah blah and so on)" what should I say?

If you enjoyed reading about "What's the deal with registration?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
fletcher
June 1, 2005, 03:08 PM
I don't know details for #1, but for #2:

Registration appears to be regarded as bad because it is one step away from confiscation. The government will have a list of what you own and where you are are. Gun control legislation is absurd these days, we all know it. At that point, the grabbers would know all they have to do is get a ban going and they know just which door to start knocking on and how many guns should be coming out of said house.

Just ask those individuals how you're catching criminals with registration. How many guns recovered in crimes were even posessed legally? Until that individual realizes that criminal means one who doesn't obey the law, it won't really matter what you say about this to them :p

Summary: Registration ==> Confiscation

ID_shooting
June 1, 2005, 03:10 PM
Registration leads to confiscation.

This has been the case in every country that ever made ownership of firearms illegal.

Phantom Warrior
June 1, 2005, 03:15 PM
I'm familiar w/ the registration=confiscation argument.

But the natural reply is going to be "Yeah, but if you aren't doing anything wrong, you don't have anything to worry about. Isn't catching criminals important?"

What am I supposed to say to that?

Mongo the Mutterer
June 1, 2005, 03:16 PM
Registration varies from state to state. In MO for "concealable" firearms (handguns) we have to get a permit from the county sheriff to purchase the gun (except in St. Louis County, then it is the County Police).

You fill out a form stating you aren't a criminally insane homicidal manic with a restraining order against you, then you pay $10 and wait 10 days to get the permit, which you take to the dealer, who fills in the make, serial number, etc, and mails it back to the county.

What is done with those records from that point on, I don't know... I hate to guess :confused: :eek:

Stickjockey
June 1, 2005, 03:18 PM
Why is registration bad?

Look to Australia and England for the answer. In both cases, registration was followed fairly quickly by confiscation and criminalization, and the database created by registration made it very easy to find those otherwise law-abiding people who had the guns and force them to turn them in. There are other cases through history where this has happened as well, with even worse results.

As to the almost certain rejoinder of "We register cars, why not guns?" Can be answered by the fact that we don't have a concerted effort to rid our society of cars in this country. Yet.

Stickjockey
June 1, 2005, 03:22 PM
But the natural reply is going to be "Yeah, but if you aren't doing anything wrong, you don't have anything to worry about. Isn't catching criminals important?"

If you follow historical precedent, eventually gun ownership becomes a crime. As a gun owner, you by definition are doing something wrong. Then they are catching criminals.

fletcher
June 1, 2005, 03:31 PM
But the natural reply is going to be "Yeah, but if you aren't doing anything wrong, you don't have anything to worry about. Isn't catching criminals important?"

You should tell them that is irrelevant. If the government has your info, you're still one step away from confiscation, regardless of their intentions. Someone else further down the road may have a different agenda (If guns are banned, you might be a criminal by default). Ask them "Isn't avoiding a dictatorship important?".

Also ask them if they would like cameras on every street corner monitoring them, because "If you aren't doing anything wrong, you don't have anything to worry about."

thereisnospoon
June 1, 2005, 03:33 PM
First and foremost, Congratulations on wanting to be educated rather than another babbling idiot (I refer to the Anti's who have no real logic or education about guns, crime or the combination thereof).

I am not an expert, but there are several people on this site who can direct you appropriately. However, I will give you my $0.02 (which person on this site won't?)

Gun registration sounds like a good idea until you look over history at the way it was MIS-used by tyrrants and dictators to disarm normal law abiding citizens, many of whom were then led to their deaths in concentration camps or just killed outright. Some very easy examples of this are the Nazi party, Polpot (sp/), Stalin and most recently in Rwanda, Africa when one religious tribe disarmed the other through the force of law, and then systematically killed them.

In addition to looking at history, you can also look at the anicdotal evidence in crime rates after confiscation in countries such as England and Australia. Ask anyone there who gave up their guns to the gov and they'll tell you what's what.

Besides, our constitution is very clear. the second amendment reads..."A well-regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State,
the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed." What part of "shall not be infringed" don't these people understand.

The 1, 4 and 5th amendments are all personal rights as well , yet ask one of these dummies if they would be willing to register all anti-gun financial supporters in a data base and they would scream "first amendment rights".

When you fill out a Form 4473 (Yellow Sheet), my best understanding is that the FFL keeps that for 72 hours and then destroys it, however, who knows what happens after the FFL calls the little building in West Virginia for the NICS check???? Only the Shadow knows... :neener:

Anyway, I hope more intelligent folks than me will give you more information with which to fight the anti-gun psycho-babal.

hayseed
June 1, 2005, 03:43 PM
But the natural reply is going to be "Yeah, but if you aren't doing anything wrong, you don't have anything to worry about. Isn't catching criminals important?"

What am I supposed to say to that?

My reply: "Exactly, I'M not doing anything wrong, so how is MY registration going to help catch criminals, as I am NOT A CRIMINAL!"

Pointing out to an anti that registration leads to confiscation only bolsters the case for registration in their mind, because they want confiscation.

What we have to drive home to these folks is that punishing/regulating only those who are inclined to comply has no impact on crime or criminals whatsoever. Criminals won't line up to register thier guns, just like gun-free zones don't make killers and robbers turn around and rethink their lives. Until they understand this basic principle, all our arguments against more legislation will fall on deaf ears.

Stickjockey
June 1, 2005, 03:46 PM
It is a crime for a felon to possess a firearm. Therefore, it could be argued that criminals are by defintition exempted from registration by the Fifth Amendment, since by doing so they would be incriminating themselves.

P95Carry
June 1, 2005, 03:49 PM
The year - 1997, England, UK. My handgun collection - around 24. ALL registered and showing on my firearms certificate. After some date in September IIRC, it was then a CRIME for me to remain in possession of said guns.

My choices?

1) To hell with my family and responsibilities - why not let them come get em -- put up a bloody fight! (Paper headlines - ''Gun nut goes beserk'' - ''good riddance'' say the bliss ninies). Result - no help to cause - useless martydom and a fatherless family!

2) Only other option - hand them in - and screw the Gov for every penny compensation I could get.

For those who say it was a whuss move to hand em in - see #1.

Bottom line - registration is the very MEANS to reliable confiscation - THE way to, in an instant, make a group of gun owners, suddenly into criminals. :mad:

Poodleshooter
June 1, 2005, 03:59 PM
But the natural reply is going to be "Yeah, but if you aren't doing anything wrong, you don't have anything to worry about. Isn't catching criminals important?"

What am I supposed to say to that?

Ask them this: "What if the government decides to make you a criminal for something you consider to be within your rights?"

Note that this won't make any sense to at least three groups of people:
1.Those who don't believe in the right to revolt against government for any reason
2. Those who support laws regardless of their content-complete authoritarians. Those who hold the rule of government more sacred than personal freedoms-the very opposite of libertarians. There are a lot of these folks out there in almost every political party. They differ from (1) in that they would revolt against a state of anarchy or a very loose government. These are the folks who are always clamoring for more government.
3. Those who don't believe in initiating or using violence for any purpose.

All three of these groups are useless to argue or debate with,as they disagree with the very premises of our RTKBA beliefs. They won't convert barring a life changing event to change their mind.

I actually find that the above argument works very well with anyone who doesn't support the current government in power. It works very poorly with those who aren't politically interested at all. They can't fathom that the government and their fellow citizens might legislate away their rights.
Those folks (the unconcerned middle) are in my opinion more dangerous than extremists on either side.

moa
June 1, 2005, 04:01 PM
Registration is a political act, not a tool against crime.

Convicted felons, who are disabled by law from possessing firearms, are not required to register their firearm/s by the Courts. If forced to register, the felons would have their right against self-incrimination violated. The Courts have upheld this, and it is the law of the land.

Cannot remember the case that was ruled on by the SCOTUS, IIRC.

Henry Bowman
June 1, 2005, 04:02 PM
Why is registration bad? How is registration good? It does NOT solve crimes.

Last year I attented a lecture by John Lott at Xavier University here in Cincinnati. During a Q&A session after his presentation I asked about the statistical support for registration. He said his research (as yet unpublished) showed that it had no crime fighting/solving value. If you ask about it's track record in authoritarian states (cities) such as NYC or Chicago, they will blame "guns brought in from neighboring states with lax gun laws." But he gave the example of Hawaii, which has had very strict gun control and registration (at least handguns) for several decades. It is a group of islands with no other contiguous states. Virtually all entry is via commercial airlines and all luggage is screened. Smuggling may occur, but it has to be much more difficult than simply driving across the state line in the "mainland." Lott related the anecdotal evidence that when the CLEO (in Hawaii) was asked to testify in support of an expanded registration law, he had to say that the registry had never been used to solve a crime in the 40 years of its existance.

In other words, flip the question. Make them prove that registration works for some legitimate purpose (solving crimes other than possession). Do not accept that "it's common sense." It is not. Make them prove it. When they stammer, ask for even a hypothetical of when it would solve a crime. Remember, first they have to find the gun and connect it to a specific crime before it could possibly lead to the "legal" owner who in fact did the deed.

BamBam-31
June 1, 2005, 04:03 PM
That sucks, Chris. :fire:

Henry Bowman
June 1, 2005, 04:07 PM
P95Carry makes a good point. Once thay are registered, you no longer have the option not to turn them in (without a losing battle). If you are going to rebel, you must do it by not registring in the first place (if possible).

Werewolf
June 1, 2005, 04:12 PM
When you fill out a Form 4473 (Yellow Sheet), my best understanding is that the FFL keeps that for 72 hours and then destroys it, however, who knows what happens after the FFL calls the little building in West Virginia for the NICS check???? Only the Shadow knows...
Actually the form 4473 must be kept by the FFL for as long as the FFL is in business. If the FFL goes out of business or loses his FFL the records are supposed to be retained for 10 years afterwards. The FFL I use says the BATFE gets the 4473's when an FFL goes out of business and they are the ones tasked with keeping the forms for the 10 years.

Wanna bet if they get destroyed after that 10 years?

That's all actually neither here nor there though. Unless someone somewhere is keying in S/N's and owner data the 4473 is pretty useless (its actually pretty useless anyway).

Imagine that a firearm is recovered in a crime. Investigators can find out from the manufacturer of the gun what distributor they sold the gun to. Then the distributor discloses what FFL they shipped it too and then he tells the investigators who he legally sold it to.

So now the investigators are back to you - and you inform them that you either:

1) Sold the gun - trail broken - unless you can provide info on the buyer - how many criminals trying to buy a gun will give out their real names and addresses - huh?
2) Gave it away - trail broken - you wouldn't give it to a criminal would you and if you did would you tell a batman
3) It was stolen - trail broken
4) Other - trail broken

So the 4473 is only good for the first buyer unless that buyer transferred or sold it thru an FFL when he disposed of the gun.

4473's are an indirect form of registration and in my eyes pretty much prove that registration will not nor can it aid in the catching of criminals.

All registration does is make it easier for the government to come and take your weapons away from you when they are good and ready to do it (which IMO will be in the next 25 to 50 years).

jefnvk
June 1, 2005, 04:15 PM
Why is registration bad?

For anyone saying look at another country, look at the NFA. Whether or not you consider that registration (seems some folks like to get around the concept that their guns are registered by considering it tax paperwork), the fact remains that it is. Can you buy any new MG's anymore? Nope. Only transfer the ones that are out there. Next step will be halting all transfers, and then you are looking at turn them in.

Registration wouldn't be a bad thing if you could guarantee me that it would never be misused. Looking back through history, you can't guarantee me the gov't won't misuse anything.

gc70
June 1, 2005, 04:16 PM
Form 4473 retention requirements

Sec. 478.129 Record retention.

(b) Firearms transaction record. Licensees shall retain each Form 4473 and Form 4473(LV) for a period of not less than 20 years after the date of sale or disposition. Where a licensee has initiated a NICS check for a proposed firearms transaction, but the sale, delivery, or transfer of the firearm is not made, the licensee shall record any transaction number on the Form 4473, and retain the Form 4473 for a period of not less than 5 years after the date of the NICS inquiry.

P95Carry
June 1, 2005, 04:17 PM
If you are going to rebel, you must do it by not registering in the first place (if possible). HB - true enough but - the catch there is (was) - unless a gun was obtained thru totally illegal channels, thus making you a criminal - the only way to purchase was thru a sneeky system... viz -

The firearms certificate (FAC) had ''slots'' as we called them - for which you applied in advance (each required ''good reason - meaning some ''official'' competition 'need')- either at renewal time or thru a ''variation'' - which they charged for!! They then would write ''9mm pistol'', ''357 revolver'' - or whatever. Only with that there could you go buy - then the FFL could supply and - yep - log the S/N in his book AND on the FAC. So any and every gun was registered by default.

Also - would you believe - on said FAC were areas for entering ammo purchases - and each cal had an ''allowance'' which you had to set up first. That might have been - ''buy at a time - 200'' - actually hold (max) - 500''. :rolleyes: No wonder we mostly reloaded! ;(

Yep - privelage and registration is just great! :mad:

Henry Bowman
June 1, 2005, 04:17 PM
Registration wouldn't be a bad thing if you could guarantee me that it would never be misused. But how can it be a good thing? What you are saying is that, at best, it is a neutral, useless thing.

K-Romulus
June 1, 2005, 04:23 PM
Like your NFA example, the DC government did the same thing with handguns.

First, it was register all handguns "so we know who the good guys are."

The next step was to fix it so that no more handgun registrations would be accepted. :scrutiny:

Gray Peterson
June 1, 2005, 04:31 PM
Btw, that "self incrimination for registration" thing was fixed with a rewrite of the NFA back in 1968 with the Safe Streets Act.

jefnvk
June 1, 2005, 05:37 PM
But how can it be a good thing?

Never meant to imply it was, but his question was 'how is it a bad thing'. Nothing more than semantics, really.

Honestly, we should start keeping the dangerous people in prison, and we wouldn't have to worry about things like registration.

Oh, forgot about DC, too. Another prime exampls.

And wasn't there a case in Chicago were police were actually going to gun owners houses?

Standing Wolf
June 1, 2005, 05:45 PM
I'll accept firearms registration the week after the leftist extremists agree to register every book and magazine issue they own and web site they visit.

marshall3
June 2, 2005, 09:14 AM
Come on guys, let's get real. Gun registration is already a reality. For example:
1) Anytime you buy a gun you fill out paperwork, give them your thumbprint, and it all get's sent in to some central location. Do you believe they throw all that info away? :D
2) If you are a hunter, you have a hunting license. All that info is stored somewhere. They know you have at least a rifle.
3) If you have a permit to carry a concealed weapon, you have given them your info, even what weapon you MIGHT be using.
It would be naive to believe that all this info is not stored somewhere, and could be compiled and used at some future date.
Gun registration is already a big reality.
Sorry! :eek:

Bartholomew Roberts
June 2, 2005, 09:28 AM
Here is a link that goes into the U.S. system of registration in detail and discusses some shortcomings of centralized registration (what Australia, Canada, and UK have):

http://www.guncite.com/gun_control_registration.html

Control Group
June 2, 2005, 11:08 AM
Come on guys, let's get real. Gun registration is already a reality. For example:
1) Anytime you buy a gun you fill out paperwork, give them your thumbprint, and it all get's sent in to some central location. Do you believe they throw all that info away?
2) If you are a hunter, you have a hunting license. All that info is stored somewhere. They know you have at least a rifle.
3) If you have a permit to carry a concealed weapon, you have given them your info, even what weapon you MIGHT be using.
The situation isn't quite as dire as that. For example, in WI, you don't get fingerprinted when you buy a gun. Your information is put on the 4473 and called in (obviously), so sure, that's stored centrally somewhere. But verbal transmission of information over the phone is a crappy way to achieve accuracy of any kind; that central database is guaranteed to be full of errors (which is a whole different, and potentially very annoying, problem, but it makes using it as registration impossible).

Not being a hunter, I can't speak to that process at all.

The CCW permit information is probably well-tracked everywhere it's collected (but don't forget Alaska and Vermont), but that's not registering your gun, that's registering you. Not that this isn't in itself offensive, of course, but you can have all the guns you want that aren't tracked there; just the one (or two, or fifteen) you use for carry is noted.

Besides, the whole information tracking process goes completely out the window as long as private party transfers are still legal. "We know you bought such-and-such a gun, where is it?" "Don't know, I sold it to some guy at a gun show three years ago. Middle-aged white guy, about six foot and two hundred pounds. Good luck."

I'm not saying we shouldn't be concerned about the information that is collected and stored, but most of this country does not have gun registration in any meaningful way. There's a lot of registration-like hassle that gun buyers are put through, but the actual demon of registration itself is pretty much absent.

The huge peril of registration, in my mind, is the threat of confiscation. If the guns are all registered, they know where to go when gun ownership becomes a crime. Currently, while all that information exists out there somewhere, collecting it to act upon is a literally insurmountable task (by "insurmountable," I mean that it would be just as much work to collect all the information through paper trails and inquiries as it would to collect the information by just searching for guns in houses).

Art Eatman
June 2, 2005, 03:26 PM
Registration costs money, either to the owner or to the government (taxpayers as an entire group). This is money that will not be spent on some other purpose, such as food or building a highway.

When money is spent, there is supposed to be some desirable result: In this instance, aiding in solving crimes involving firearms. There is no other justifiable purpose.

First question: Of all crimes involving firearms, how many times is the weapon left at the scene?

Second question: Of weapons found at crime scenes, how many had been used by the original purchaser of record?

Third question: If the perpetrator is caught at or near the scene with the firearm in possession, what difference does it make it it or is not registered to anybody, insofar as solving that crime?

It's a waste of time, money, paper and bandwidth.

Art

TonkinTwentyMil
June 2, 2005, 05:15 PM
CASE ONE: Remember the infamous "Beltway Sniper" shootings in the Washington, D.C. area a few years ago? As soon as authorities determined that the 1st couple of shootings were all ballistically linked to a .223 rifle, the "search" was on. And, faster than you can say "screw the 2nd AND 4th Amendments", state and local cops began visiting MD and VA gunshops -- and then gun owners who'd purchased ANY .223 rifle in recent years.

Now, gosh, how'd that happen? And most "Help! Protect us at any cost!" Bliss-Ninnies and ALL the Media cheered the effort.

CASE TWO: Decades ago, I made the "mistake" of purchasing 3 handguns (including an "evil" .44 mag) within 2 weeks (all in accord with California's PC 15 day waiting period). Couple months later, my employer and neighbors received discreet visits from guys in cheap plaid sport-coats; I even caught one surveilling/following me... until I confronted him.

At its best, this DE FACTO Registration is a tool that undermines the Constitution and invites police abuse. At its worst, it is THE tool for facilitating ultimate Confiscation.

So, to those (anti-2A tyrants, politicians, and LEO "suits") who say Registration is No Big Deal, just For The Common Good, blah-blah, etcetera, I pose this question:

-->> Fine, then can we ALSO count on your support to pass a NEW Constitutional Amendment that clarifies/guarantees:
(1) that the 2A is not just about guns for "sport" but also for Self-Defense AND Resistance to gov't/political tyrrany and oppression, and
(2) that no local, state, or fed gov't authority shall EVER confiscate privately-owned firearms,and
(3) that the 4th Amendment shall never be suspended/abridged to enforce some martial law scenarios pursuant to firearms enforcement issues????

The resulting silence here always is -- and always will be -- deafening.

JimLally
June 2, 2005, 06:32 PM
If anyone thinks that mandatory gun registration will get rid of the criminals, just point them here:

http://www.alphadogweb.com/firearms/fifth_amendment.htm

Take care.

Jim

El Rojo
June 2, 2005, 06:47 PM
If you tell them that registration leads to confiscation and they come back with the "isn't it worth it to catch criminals", simply tell them, "No, its not." Then tell them about freedom and liberty and the true meaning of the 2nd Amendment. It isn't about sports or hunting, it is about overthrowing a tyrannical government.

If you really want, offer to trade them registration for full automatics, assault weapons, maximum capactiy magazines. See what they say about that. I mean if registration isn't about confiscation, then they wouldn't care what we had because they would never make it illegal and never need to take them.

Heck, I would trade registration for being able to have whatever I want. If it is a true Second Amendment, it won't matter if they government tries to crack down on us, we would all rise up and they would have to assume everyone is going to take up arms. Keep in mind I am in the PRK, so I have lots to gain from such a scenario.

TonkinTwentyMil
June 2, 2005, 07:26 PM
In addition to the 3 elements of my previously proposed NEW Constitutional Amendment (in exchange for Registration), let's also stipulate this in that new amendment:

-->> That NO privately-owned firearms shall EVER be subject to any local, state, or federal TAXATION. Period.

Ya think we can get all these items included in such a Constitutional amendment?

jefnvk
June 2, 2005, 07:37 PM
1) Anytime you buy a gun you fill out paperwork, give them your thumbprint, and it all get's sent in to some central location. Do you believe they throw all that info away?
2) If you are a hunter, you have a hunting license. All that info is stored somewhere. They know you have at least a rifle.

Thumbprint?

As for the hunting license, lots of people use a bow for the only hunting they do, deer hunting. I know more people around here prefer the archery hunting. Same fro trappers. So while it would be a good indicator, it wouldn't be perfect.

Ieyasu
June 2, 2005, 10:57 PM
If anyone thinks that mandatory gun registration will get rid of the criminals, just point them here:

Too bad Clayton Cramer is wrong regarding self-incrimination and current gun registration laws (See the link Bartholomew Roberts posted.)

lunaslide
June 2, 2005, 11:11 PM
-->> Fine, then can we ALSO count on your support to pass a NEW Constitutional Amendment that clarifies/guarantees:
(1) that the 2A is not just about guns for "sport" but also for Self-Defense AND Resistance to gov't/political tyrrany and oppression, and
(2) that no local, state, or fed gov't authority shall EVER confiscate privately-owned firearms,and
(3) that the 4th Amendment shall never be suspended/abridged to enforce some martial law scenarios pursuant to firearms enforcement issues????
(4) That NO privately-owned firearms shall EVER be subject to any local, state, or federal TAXATION. Period.


You forgot to say "You first." :D

Nio
June 2, 2005, 11:56 PM
...and what you have. And everything else.

The only thing that keeps them from coming to take them away is that some of us are still willing to fight for our rights rather than roll over. As long as we keep loving liberty more than life, we will be safe.

Nio

***

And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling in terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?

The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalinís thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt!

-- Alexandr Solzhenitsyn, "The Gulag Archipelago"

AZRickD
June 3, 2005, 02:20 AM
Criminologists (even liberal ones) such as Peter Wright & James Rossi were unable to show if "gun control" laws (registration included) have reduced crime. In fact, in the early 1980s, Wright&Rossi who completing an analysis funded by the Carter administration (find gun control laws that work so we can pass more of them), ended their study with (close paraphrase), "We could find no gun control laws which reduced crime and we could think of none that would." This includes background checks, bans, registration, licensing, etc.

In 1967, under the Lindsay administration in New York City, semi-auto rifles were required to be registered. It took until about 1992 under Mayor Dinkins for the rifles to be considered unfit for private ownership. Police went door to door to confiscate them (one of the benefits of rent control is a population that tends to stay in one place).

Read about NYC here: http://nraila.org/Issues/factsheets/read.aspx?ID=41
1967, Mayor John V. Lindsay signed into law a rifle-shotgun registration ordinance passed by the New York City Council. Under that law, every person who possessed or would later possess any rifle or shotgun in New York City had to register it by make, model and serial number, and obtain a permit to possess it. The fee was set at $3.

--snip--

In 1991, the New York City Council, at the prodding of Mayor David N. Dinkins, went further than Broderick. It passed, and the Mayor signed into law, a flat ban on the private possession of certain semi-automatic rifles and shotguns -- namely, certain imitation or look-alike assault firearms (New York City Administrative Code, Sec. 10-303.1). The ban was flat in the sense that it applied regardless of reason or need for the firearm -- and it was passed despite then-Police Commissioner Lee Brown`s testimony that no registered "assault weapon" had been used in a violent crime in the city.

The year after the ban was enacted, a man`s home in Staten Island was raided by the police after he had announced that he would not comply with the city`s ban. He was arrested, and his guns were seized.

The New York City Police Department (NYPD) had notified the 2,340 New Yorkers who had been licensed earlier to possess semi-automatic rifles and shotguns that any of those licensed firearms that were covered by the ban had to be surrendered, rendered inoperable or taken out of the city. The recipients of the notification were directed to send back a sworn statement indicating what had been done with those firearms.

The NYPD has reported that the majority of these previously-registered imitation assault firearms -- 2,615 out of 3,360 -- have been taken out of the city. In addition, the department`s deputy commissioner of legal matters, Jeremy Travis, told the Daily News: "for now, the department is taking owners at their word, but spot checks are planned."
As well, 15 years ago, California required registration of SKS rifles and said those with detachable mags were okay to own. A few years later, the AG changed his mind and stated that they were no longer legal to own and had to be turned in to State authorities.

See the pattern here?

Next issue: The "felons don't have to register due to 5th amendment concerns" is from Haynes v US, 1968...

Here: http://www.firearmsandliberty.com/cramer.haynes.html
n Haynes v. U.S. (1968), a Miles Edward Haynes appealed his conviction for unlawful possession of an unregistered short-barreled shotgun. [1] His argument was ingenious: since he was a convicted felon at the time he was arrested on the shotgun charge, he could not legally possess a firearm. Haynes further argued that for a convicted felon to register a gun, especially a short-barreled shotgun, was effectively an announcement to the government that he was breaking the law. If he did register it, as 26 U.S.C. sec.5841 required, he was incriminating himself; but if he did not register it, the government would punish him for possessing an unregistered firearm -- a violation of 26 U.S.C. sec.5851. Consequently, his Fifth Amendment protection against self- incrimination ("No person... shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself") was being violated -- he would be punished if he registered it, and punished if he did not register it. While the Court acknowledged that there were circumstances where a person might register such a weapon without having violated the prohibition on illegal possession or transfer, both the prosecution and the Court acknowledged such circumstances were "uncommon." [2] The Court concluded:

We hold that a proper claim of the constitutional privilege against self-incrimination provides a full defense to prosecutions either for failure to register a firearm under sec.5841 or for possession of an unregistered firearm under sec.5851. [3]

This 8-1 decision (with only Chief Justice Earl Warren dissenting) is, depending on your view of Fifth Amendment, either a courageous application of the intent of the self-incrimination clause, or evidence that the Supreme Court had engaged in reductio ad absurdum of the Fifth Amendment. Under this ruling, a person illegally possessing a firearm, under either federal or state law, could not be punished for failing to register it. [4]

Ieyasu
June 4, 2005, 02:50 AM
Next issue: The "felons don't have to register due to 5th amendment concerns" is from Haynes v US, 1968...

Cramer is wrong...

As I noted above see Bart's link:
"For a brief period, the Supreme Court held in 1968 (Haynes v. U.S., 390 U.S. 85) that felons were exempt from federal and state laws regarding registration because it violated their Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination. In other words, only people who were not criminals could be prosecuted for failing to register a firearm or found to be in possession of an unregistered firearm. However, in 1971, (U.S. v. Freed, 401 U.S. 601) the Court held that due to changes in the National Firearms Act of 1968 the law no longer violated the 5th Amendment rights of felons."

DRZinn
June 4, 2005, 02:19 PM
The recipients of the notification were directed to send back a sworn statement indicating what had been done with those firearms.Reminds me of how when California passed its AWB, many AR-15's and the like got "dropped overboard by accident" or stolen.

AZRickD
June 4, 2005, 10:17 PM
http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cgi-bin/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=401&invol=601

Regarding Haynes v US and US v Freed, I can see how that might alleviate a federal obligation, but it doesn't release one from a state obligation.

The change of law and the decision in Freed are mighty clever, but don't wash in my view. Looks like the 5A threat still exists.

Rick

Alex45ACP
June 4, 2005, 10:34 PM
I can't find the link now, but last week I was looking for info on this and in Canada they registered handguns and the government promised it wouldn't lead to confiscation.

Less than a year (10 months) later, they started confiscating handguns.

This has happened over and over again in countries all over the world, even including parts of the USA.

If you enjoyed reading about "What's the deal with registration?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!