Fifth Amendment and Gun Registration


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Randall53
December 19, 2006, 07:06 PM
This article poses a very interesting point of view

http://www.firearmsandliberty.com/cramer.haynes.html

It seems like good ammo for the NRA...

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Jim K
December 19, 2006, 09:42 PM
That is true - a felon cannot be prosecuted for violation of a gun registration law (in this case the NFA) because he would incriminate himself. But he can only incriminate himself because, as a convicted felon, his POSSESSION of the firearm is illegal. He cannot be prosecuted for failure to register the gun, but he can be prosecuted for POSSESSING it in the first place, which is why that decision really meant little in terms of jailing felons for gun possession. It meant only that the government brought the wrong charge.

Someone with no criminal record can be required to register his guns, since his possession of the gun is not illegal and he cannot incriminate himself.

The use of that decision to make registration proposals seem absurd is fine, but no judge would consider that it makes gun registration void or unconstitutional.

Jim

jlbraun
December 19, 2006, 10:02 PM
Interesting to think how this could apply to someone possessing a post-86 machinegun as a civilian.
1. If you try and register it, the ATF comes after you.
2. If you don't register it, the ATF comes after you.

ctdonath
December 20, 2006, 08:49 AM
Don't remember the specifics, but this has been addressed in high court (SCOTUS?). Briefly the courts applied the 5th Amendment as such (felons were not required to register on grounds of self-incrimination) but they couldn't stand to have such a freedom in place so it was reversed.

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