Democrats’ Proposed PA Gun Registry Isn’t About Crime, It’s About (Eventual) Confiscation

Pennsylvania gun registry

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Did you know that the Pennsylvania State Police have been keeping records of firearms transfers going back as for as the beginning of the last century?

State police have kept records on all transfers of handguns (both private and through dealers) since 1931 and thus already have a registration system for them. Records on handgun purchases through dealers go back to 1901. The new regulations would add in the private transfer of long guns as well as a $10 fee per gun per year as well as fingerprinting and citizenship verification.

Gun-control advocates have long claimed that a comprehensive registry would be an effective safety tool. Their reasoning is straightforward: If a gun has been left at a crime scene, the registry will link the crime gun back to the criminal.

Nice logic, but reality has never worked that way. Crime guns are rarely left at crime scenes. The few that are have been unregistered — criminals are not stupid enough to leave behind a gun that’s registered to them. When a gun is left at the scene, it is usually because the criminal has been seriously injured or killed. These crimes would have been solved even without registration.

Registration hasn’t worked in Pennsylvania or other places. During a 2001 lawsuit, the Pennsylvania State Police could not identify a specific crime that had been solved through the registration system from 1901 to 2001, though they did claim that it had “assisted” in a total of four cases but they could provide no details.

– John Lott Jr.: Pa. gun registry waste of money, resources

That’s because registration isn’t about crime. It’s about confiscation. Eventually.

comments

  1. avatar Shire-man says:

    I’ve yet to have any anti explain to me the value of a registry in the realm of crime fighting.
    The best they can come up with is being able to track a firearm back to some guy who nefariously sold a gun which they wouldn’t have done unless a crime was committed involving said gun so crime not stopped.

    1. avatar frank speak says:

      ah, yes the registry that isn’t a registry…even though the crimes code specifically bans one…this was challenged awhile back by several sportsman’s groups…but the state supreme court sided with the state cops…surprise!…surprise!…it’s also not completely accurate..when I entered my own name under “record of transfer”…which is what they call it..I found two guns I never owned…and two more I did own that were missing from the list

      1. avatar EWTHeckman says:

        I found out about that “ruling” a while ago. It’s pure gaslighting: “It’s not a registry because it’s a database.” “We’re not recording the guns, we’re recording the ‘sales’ (that ‘just happen’ have the guns on them).”

        Nobody without an “L” tattooed on their forehead is fooled by this in the slightest. Yet our “betters” expect us to abide by this lunacy.

        Knowing about this ruling is why I wasn’t surprised by the equally insane “only a single person is safe” injunctions over the wildly unconstitutional bump stock ban. But knowing they’re openly gaslighting us doesn’t make me feel any better. If anything, it adds insult to injury.

        In every generation there are those who want to rule well – but they mean to rule. They promise to be good masters – but they mean to be masters.
        — Daniel Webster

    2. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “I’ve yet to have any anti explain to me the value of a registry in the realm of crime fighting.”

      It’s all about “could” and “maybe”.

      “Well, it could help track down…”, etc. It fits the Leftist mindset of “hopes and dreams”…

    3. avatar MarkPA says:

      The logic of UBC or registration would seem to be this: It will choke off (to some extent) the leakage of guns from lawful owners to prohibited persons. An old-fat-white-guy will be reluctant to sell a gun to someone who MIGHT be a prohibited person IF that gun could be traced back to him.

      If not this supposed rationale, what possible rational could there be? (And, what are the flaws in the alternative rationales?)

      The problem with the rationale I have supposed here is that will prove woefully ineffective. Let’s concede that some lawful owners will refrain from selling guns to people they don’t know well. So, that’s a few; of which some subset would be prohibited persons. There remain two serious flaws.

      First, there are plenty of people who have not (yet) lost their 2A rights who will straw-buy or deal illegally (without an FFL and attendant record keeping). The type of character here will accept the minuscule risk of detection, prosecution and conviction knowing that the penalty for a first-time offender will likely be probation. He won’t be caught with a trunk full of guns; he will be caught having transferred a single gun which was identified with a 3’rd party.

      Second, leakage of guns from the legitimate market to the black market is a sieve. Choke-off one hole and the flow will dissipate through all the other holes. Chief among the potential holes are smuggling and clandestine manufacture.

      The black market in America is so saturated with guns that there is little to no evidence of smuggling or clandestine manufacture. Occasionally, a prohibited person is found to make (for personal use) a gun. Occasionally, someone is found to manufacture (for sale) a few guns without the requisite FFL.

      Mostly, the black market is (likely) supplied by straw-buyers and burglary. Why go to all the trouble to smuggle or manufacture when these two holes in the sieve satisfy demand below list price?

      The very expensive registration system or UBC system will do very little to slow leakage to the black market. But even if it did, that constrained supply would simply be replaced by straw-buys, burglary, smuggling or clandestine manufacture.

      Here is the kicker. In retaliation, 2A advocates will turn in mass to buying 80% receivers/frames and jigs. Note that they NEED NOT actually finish these proto-guns. They ONLY NEED to stock them away for a rainy day. This increased demand for 80% receivers/frames and jigs will bring forth huge increases in the SUPPLY of these manufactures; so much so that it will become impossible for law enforcement to keep track of them looking for suspicious purchasing patterns by clandestine gunsmiths.

      Legislators will attempt to regulate the 80% hobby; but, SCOTUS will not likely tolerate a law prohibiting it outright. Therefore, there will remain a thriving market in precursor parts (barrels, triggers, 80% receivers/frames, jigs) that can’t be effectively regulated. A prosecutor will never be able to prove that any hobbyist really did finish the remaining 20% of work. Perhaps he merely abandoned his project and discarded the 80% or 90% receiver/frame.

      Registration or UBC looks like it will render completely moot the existing (ineffective) system of FFLs and 4473 forms.

      1. avatar DN says:

        It is simple. We know from the data that acquisition of firearms used in crime moves to straw purchase when you press down harder on UBC schemes.

        now it is true the antis want this since every country that has instituted a registry has used it to confiscate.

        But even absent that, they take win-win even on gun control that fails to have an effect; since they never say “this didn’t work, let’s repeal it.” They instead say: “this didn’t work, we need more.”

  2. avatar Andrew Lias says:

    Almost all these registries are a piss poor expenditure of tax dollars. Even the liberal compared to us Canada eliminated their long gun registry because it was a boondoggle.

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      I thought one province re-established the registry. Quebec? Anyway, California has had one for 18 years for handguns, for long guns. But since most crime guns are stolen, and since “time to crime” is somewhere in the neighborhood of 9 or 10 years, there is really no evidence that such registries are anymore effective than the bullet registry established by NY that was later dropped.

  3. avatar Jonndoe says:

    This has NOTHING to do with safety or fighting crime, It has everything to do with violating YOUR rights control over you and making confiscation easier for them.

  4. avatar 24and7 says:

    DO NOT REGISTER ANYTHING! It is illegal in the United States to have a firearm registry..(even though the Government does it covertly)..If a state manages to pass it, the law is unconstitutional..

    1. avatar frank speak says:

      no choice if buying from a dealer…you’re supposed to do it for private sales, as well…as per 1995 from a committee chaired by Fumo..[who then when on to do some time..a not uncommon occurrence among state legislators…even AG’s!]…but i’ve found it gets ignored rather routinely…the onus and penalty for that is on the seller…so a word to the wise…

    2. avatar Mark N. says:

      It is illegal by statute for the FEDS to maintain a firearms registry. Not so for any of the states. There is no case law concluding that registries are unconstitutional.

  5. avatar possum says:

    Well that reinforces my paranoia over purchasing gunms from gunm dealers.

  6. avatar Baldwin says:

    The registry doesn’t make anyone any safer. But the facts just don’t matter. The facts will never matter to the grabbers. Their compulsive meddling in the conduct of our everyday lives, the trampling of our basic rights is what they mindlessly crave. The politicians and the bureaucrats rule our lives. The truth is we’re getting what we voted for. The slow inexorable march of tyranny.-

    1. avatar frank speak says:

      the state capitol is closer to philly..[and new joisy]…which is where many of these ideas originate…in the west…with our proximity to Ohio [which has no handgun registration..and yet a similar crime rate]…they seem an unnecessary burden…….

  7. avatar MDH says:

    Enough. The anti-freedom socialist Dems and their media whore partners have used the Russia fraud to seize power in the house, and push anti-constitutional gun confiscation legislation nationally.

    I find myself wondering exactly how the founding fathers would have dealt with this criminal attempt to overthrow the duly elected government, and seize firearms from law abiding US citizens (who are also an inextricable component of the country’s lawful militia).

    If this is not treason and sedition, what is?

    1. avatar Punch-a-Nazi says:

      The question everyone should be asking is what Putin got on Mueller.

      1. avatar Geoff PR says:

        Awwww.

        Lookie here. Another Leftist crying about not being able to “get Trump”.

        You’ll never get him, and he’s gonna be re-elected for another 4 years.

        Suck on it, Leftist. Suck on it good, long, and hard… *snicker* 😉

        1. avatar Geoff PR says:

          And BTW – The next time you or your little friends decide to “Punch-a-Nazi”, don’t be surprised when they draw a legal gun and blow their assailant’s brains out on the sidewalk.

          And the DA won’t charge them…

        2. avatar MDH says:

          Well said, Geoff.

      2. avatar Bob Jones says:

        The democrats have been cozy with the Russians since FDR took office in 1933. One of his first acts was the creation of The Import Export Bank, created solely to lend the Soviet Union lots of money & save it from imminent collapse. FDR put the Russians ahead of Americans, a trend continued by democrats following him all the way to Obama.
        Obama’s “After My Election” remark probably pertained to letting Russia take the Crimea away from the Ukraine with just a slap on the wrist. And then there’s Hillary’s Uranium deal……

      3. avatar Lee the Fudd says:

        Horse Hockey! Anyone with half a brain knows the Russian collusion was HRH Hillary Rodham Clinton via Uranium One. The Democrats are so bent because they lied, cheated, colluded, killed, rigged elections and still couldn’t get HRH Hillary elected.

  8. avatar Phil Wilson says:

    This proposal won’t go anywhere, not now at least. But all it would take is a single election.

    1. avatar frank speak says:

      applying this to long guns is generally impractical…unless you’re talking about pseudo assault rifles…which is probably why it’s being put forth…..

  9. avatar raptor jesus says:

    Take a cue from New York – don’t comply.

    1. avatar frank speak says:

      I’m sure that’s exactly what would happen if they tried to apply it retroactively…they already require this for (non)shotguns like the shockwave…..

      1. avatar SAFEupstateFML says:

        Well wasn’t planning to buy anything from PA always figured DE or NH to skip the tax (and deny NY more infringement money) but damn glad I haven’t already.

  10. avatar Bierce Ambrose says:

    Tracking down the registered “owner” after a crime doesn’t stop the crime.

    They’ve missed the point, haven’t they?

    1. avatar frank speak says:

      selling a handgun in PA has always been a pain…one form to the sheriff another to the state cops….it’s one reason I avoided it when I had my FFL and just sold long guns…there are some exceptions to this registration scheme…such as guns that you inherit from a parent…

  11. avatar John says:

    A dremel will get rid of any serial numbers in a few minutes. So even if someone wanted to use a gun they bought legally they could just remove the serial numbers.

    1. avatar frank speak says:

      that just buys you more trouble…easier to just report it stolen….

    2. avatar SAFEupstateFML says:

      If the serial is stamped you will need to go most of the way through the frame. It’s not easy but so long as there is enough metal under the serial left it can be recovered. Now if there was never a serial or it was molded or a few other formings it’s not getting traced.

    3. avatar rosignol says:

      Possession of a firearm with obliterated serial numbers gets you in deep sh!t if you’re caught.

      1. avatar SAFEupstateFML says:

        When it’s not plead out or ignored for whatever reason yes it does.

  12. avatar NORDNEG says:

    A piece of advice,,, you can’t get rid of serial numbers by grinding them off,,, you need more drastic cutting in the area of the numbers,,,only a pro could cut & weld that well & people don’t have the time or know how to deal with that,,, a electron microscope can bring up numbers that he been ground off…

    1. avatar possum says:

      Maybe on a polymer frame inserted steel inset, I’d bet I could geubd them deep enuff on a steel frame, I don’t know . Where did you get your information? I would like to know more about this.

      1. avatar SAFEupstateFML says:

        Back when I had to do any of it a low concentration HCl acid was used on the ground area and the metal would fizzle and leave a (briefly) visible and hopefully legible serial that we would photograph. The election microscope could probably pick up on the density of the stamp compressed number section of the metal a lot better than the field science we had to get by on.

      2. avatar GluteusMaximus says:

        When serial numbers are stamped into metal that compression goes much deeper than the visible numbers. They can be retrieved by experts

        1. avatar DN says:

          that is why criminals now grind off and then restamp — which beats experts virtually all the time

        2. avatar SAFEupstateFML says:

          Glute you are quite right and I can assure you experts are nice but not needed to ID. DN I will need you to elaborate on your point because I had no problems figuring out 1 metal was removed and 2 the stamp was a redo (finish was 3 kinds of wrong) on the one example that remotely hits what you mentioned. Was metal added back in then stamped? Honestly curious to the process you mentioned.

        3. avatar CC says:

          There are literally thousands at the BATFE where numbers are removed that cannot be determined at all. The bad guys today know how to do it so it cannot be determined.

  13. avatar JR Pollock says:

    John Lott himself said in a radio interview that in most cases of a gun being recovered at a crime scene is because the perpetrator was shot, and is lying right next to the gun.

    Criminals have no problem finding another criminal to furnish them a gun. If there’s one criminal in a family, there’s usually others. Some of those criminals have never been apprehended and adjudicated for their criminal acts, so they’re free to engage in straw purchases. Then there’s the baby mommas, one of whom straw purchased a Glock and a 50 round drum magazine for her gang banger boyfriend. He used it to murder an Omaha, NE police officer on her last shift before taking maternity leave.

    She was prosecuted for straw purchasing and furnishing a firearm to a prohibited person, and an Obama appointed judge gave her 4 months of house arrest. Judge said the felony conviction was punishment enough

  14. avatar Timothy Toroian says:

    The left either doesn’t want to engage in actual crime-fighting OR has no idea how to do it. Either is the reason we have so much of it and I suspect they don’t want to because the more crime there the more they can insist there must be more controls on people. Don’t forget, it was Rahm Emanuel who said: “Never let a good crisis go to waste”.

    1. avatar Mad Max says:

      The reason the Left has no interest in fighting crime is because the Left consists primarily of criminals.

  15. avatar EWTHeckman says:

    That bill is far more abusive than a simple registry:

    The bill would require gun owners in the Keystone State to register their firearms with the Pennsylvania State Police. Owners would have to provide the police with the make, model, and the serial numbers of all their guns.

    Along with the application that the gun owner must swear to under oath, the gun owner would have to submit fingerprints, two photographs that are no older than 30 days and go through a background check for each firearm that they own. This background check is the same one that they must go through to purchase a gun.

    In addition to this requirement, they must also provide the Pennsylvania State Police with their home and work address, telephone number, social security number, date of birth, age, sex, and citizenship. This requirement is more information than a person needs to vote.

    If the State Police rejects the person’s application, then they will have ten days to appeal the decision. The owner must turn their firearms into the State Police within three days of receiving notification of the rejection. If a person does not appeal the decision within ten days, their right is forfeit.

    A gun owner cannot transfer any unregistered firearm. Anyone caught with an unregistered gun is guilty of a crime even if they are unaware of the firearm registration status. Also just holding an unregistered firearm at a range is a crime.

    The gun owner must keep all firearms unloaded and disassembled or bound by a trigger lock. If a firearms owner doesn’t secure their firearm that way, they would be guilty of a crime. This rule even applies to homes with no children.

    The gun owner has 48 hours to update the State Police if they change jobs, phone numbers, addresses, or anything else on the application. If they do not update the State Police, then they could be prosecuted for violating the law.

    The certificate which will cost $10 per firearm will expire after one year. The gun owner would have to start the process over again to renew their certification. This process must be done 60 days before the certificate expires. The procedure can get confusing for gun owners with large collections.

    https://www.ammoland.com/2019/03/firearms-registration-act-introduced-in-pennsylvania/#axzz5iaB7yBdG

  16. avatar M1Lou says:

    What registries do effectivley, is allow citizens to be harassed and abused by law enforcement and the bureaucracy. It will allow prosecution for minor administrative errors like having a government worker fat finger one number of your serial number and you missed it.

    Registries need to be fought tooth and nail due to the potential for abuse. We have already seen many instances where registries are abused by government throughout the world.

  17. avatar GS650G says:

    Pa isn’t as gun friendly as people think it is. They are also ripe for turning into an anti gun state as bad as N.Y.. Don’t think for a minute the state constitution or preemption rules will prevent it.

    1. avatar SAFEupstateFML says:

      For the moment the rest of PA can tell Philly and Pitt to pound sand but I am sure there are population redistribution scams at work much like what we see in our state.

  18. avatar tmm says:

    Eventually, gun laws do not make citizens of criminals, they make criminals of citizens.

  19. avatar Geoff says:

    FOPA forbids the Federal AND State Governments from having a registry of guns and the owners.
    https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/926

    1. avatar CC says:

      Which is why FOPA is a major target of gun ocntorl advocates (it is listed on Everytown, Moms, VPC, Marche for our lives “manifesto”) want to reverse. It is that aspect of it they will go after and just need a simple majority to reverse.

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