FOPA legally prevents registration of firearms?


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heypete
June 23, 2005, 12:01 AM
In reviewing various message boards, I've realized that many of the anti-gunners keep using the "register the guns" arguement about how that'll stop all crime (yeah, right).

I'm curious how that mindset contrasts with FOPA, specifically where it says "No such rule or regulation prescribed after the date of the enactment of the Firearms Owners' Protection Act may require that records required to be maintained under this chapter or any portion of the contents of such records, be recorded at or transferred to a facility owned, managed, or controlled by the United States or any State or any political subdivision thereof, nor that any system of registration of firearms, firearms owners, or firearms transactions or dispositions be established."

Thus, isn't any attempt at registering firearms, even at the state ("politicial subdivision") level a violation of federal law? Does this only apply to registration schemes previously existing (NY? When did CA's handgun registration come into effect? What about the California "assault weapon ban" that required registration?), or to all forms of registration?

Perhaps I'm not understanding the law, but it seems pretty clear-cut to me. How is it that the various states are able to legally enact any form of firearm registration? What about any future federal attempts at registration? Surely they would go against this law, right?

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Zundfolge
June 23, 2005, 12:12 AM
its a federal law that prohibits the federal government from creating a registry of firearms owners.


but even then the BATFE gets around it somewhat.

beerslurpy
June 23, 2005, 12:20 AM
The bolded prohibition is separate from the state/fed/subdivision bit.

And the ATF gets around it by forcing the FFLs to keep records of the firearms and taking posession of the 4473s and the bound book when they go out of business.

Why they arent forced to destroy those records, I dont know. I guess technically they are only records of transactions, not registration of who the gun actually belongs to- ie if they find a gun once sold to you somewhere else, you dont get punished.

WT
June 23, 2005, 08:41 AM
Recently the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that the collection of firearms purchasing information by the PA State Police was NOT a registration scheme. It was merely a 'database.' PASC ruled that PASP could continue the practice.

See
Allegheny County Sportsmen's League v. Rendell., Oct. 19, 2004.

Standing Wolf
June 23, 2005, 02:46 PM
Recently the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that the collection of firearms purchasing information by the PA State Police was NOT a registration scheme. It was merely a 'database.'

Makes you wonder how those judges managed to make it all the way through high school.

SteveS
June 23, 2005, 03:20 PM
Recently the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that the collection of firearms purchasing information by the PA State Police was NOT a registration scheme. It was merely a 'database.' PASC ruled that PASP could continue the practice.

By that logic, my guns aren't really guns, but rather they are pipes and therefore do not need to be registered.


What do you call the person that graduated last in their med school class?
--Doctor

What do you call the person that graduated last in their law school class?
--Your honor

LAR-15
June 23, 2005, 09:29 PM
Yes FOPA does prevent registation by the govt of non-NFA firearms.

Technically the only thing thing the BATFE can do with 4473 is leave them around in boxes in Petersburg, W VA.


That is why in every gun registration proposal they have to strike the language above.

beerslurpy
June 23, 2005, 09:51 PM
Youre joking right? Why would they keep them around except for the purpose of using them to take guns later?

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