Registered in D.C. by Tom Reynolds
The Firearms Owners Protection Act of 1986 expressly forbade a federal firearms registry. Any records required under this act cannot be recorded at or transferred to a facility owned, managed, or controlled by any state or federal government. In addition, no system can be established for the registration of:
- firearm transactions , or
- In a 2001 lawsuit, the Pennsylvania state police could not identify any crimes solved by their registration system.
- In District of Columbia v. Heller II, the Washington, D.C. police chief could not "recall any specific instance where registration records were used to determine who committed a crime, except for possession offenses."
- In 2000, Honolulu’s police chief stated that he couldn't find any crimes that had been solved due to registration and licensing.
- New York and Maryland eventually abolished their registry systems because they never solved a single crime.
- In 2010, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police failed to identify any cases where registration was integral to solving the crime.
- Most importantly, registries don’t address already illegal crimes like: firearms trafficking; “Straw Man” purchases; and firearms’ theft
- Many states do not report complete data to NICS
- The Justice Department doesn’t prosecute background check fraud. (It isn’t just Hunter Biden who get away with it.)
The FBI’s background check further requires that all weapons’ background checks be purged from the system
Seems pretty clear; governments cannot store or record firearms related data which would be the basis for a firearms registry. The law would mean something if the gun-grabbers and bureaucrats in the D.C. Swamp actually believed in following the laws. But as we know, they don’t.
Federal Firearms Licensees (FFL’s) keep possession of their own records while they are in business but when an FFL leaves the business or sells out to someone else, BATFE claims ownership and gets the records. Beyond just collecting, BATFE is now computerizing these records into a searchable database.
How many records are we talking about? BATFE is computerizing about 900 million, in total.
Issue number one: there is no constitutionally legitimate reason for the BATFE to claim that it has an ownership right to FFL business records unless the records have been seized by a valid subpoena. (In how many other businesses that go out-of-business, does the government seize, store and computerize the records?)
Another issue: the law currently calls for record destruction at 20 years. Is the law being followed? Will digitized records be purged and unrecoverable after 20 years?
Just to be clear, the NICS check does not violate this law. Conducting background checks to see if someone can legally buy a gun is different from the government keeping a searchable record of those who own guns. What matters is what happens to the information in the background check, after it is over.
There is no legitimate reason for the federal government to have a database of nearly 1 billion firearms when it is forbidden by law to create a firearms registry.
Gun grabbers justify their push for firearm registration as a way to solve crime. If only criminals would leave registered guns at a crime scene, that might be true. Leaving the gun rarely happens, mainly when the criminal is killed - in which case the crime is already solved. Some studies in the USA have shown that over 90% of the firearms used in crimes were illegally obtained. And in a Canadian study covering 2003 to 2009, three quarters of the firearm homicides were done with illegal guns and in only 4.7% of all registered gun homicides was the gun registered to the accused (including self-defense cases). The bottom line is that gun registries don’t solve crimes. And when one includes the expense of these registries in a cost / benefit analysis, the taxpayers are paying for another bureaucratic boondoggle.
Further anecdotal evidence that registries don’t solve crimes:
What are some of the problems with gun registries, in general, that prevent it from solving crimes?
Instead of solving the problems with current inadequate systems, the gun-grabbers want even more systems.
With all this evidence to the contrary, why is the government persisting in pursuing a gun registration system? Because it’s a prelude to gun confiscation. You can’t confiscate what you don’t know and the gun-grabbers in D.C. and Albany want to eliminate all firearms possession by non-government entities. (Commonly referred to as American citizens.) That pesky 4th Amendment about “unreasonable searches and seizures” gets in the way of house-to-house searches and seizures. But if you have a registry, confiscation gets easier.
On the other hand, if you are going to ignore the 2nd Amendment, why worry about the rest of the Bill of Rights? The answer may be, as one widely distributed meme suggests, “Why would the government want to seize all firearms unless it was going to do something for which we would shoot them”. There is more than a little wisdom in that meme. There are 80 million gun owners with 400 million guns in the U.S.A. If even 10% of them were pushed to the brink by a socialist government…that’s 8 million gun owners with 40 million guns!
And you may also have noticed that the Biden administration has made a priority of “Domestic Terrorism”. Just a coincidence that it’s also pushing gun registration? Guns are defined as Assault Weapons to justify laws against them. Why not define gun owners as “Domestic Terrorists” to justify laws against gun ownership?
To read more articles by SCOPE President Tom Reynolds; go to our Briefings page