Yesterday, I signed off saying that the NRA’s position regarding registration of firearms was this: No way. I also gave the reason why: they feel registration will lead to confiscation, as has happened in other countries. They feel that the Government should not be talking about registering weapons but, rather, protecting children in schools, that the registration of firearms will not stop the next maniac that shoots up an elementary school. One of their concerns is that such data would become public record and, therefore, vulnerable to hackers or leakers. They point to cases like this …
In the state of New York you may only possess a handgun if you have a license, which lists every single handgun you own. In Rockland County, the Journal News used public records to obtain the name and address of every handgun owner in the county. Those names and addresses were published, in their paper and on their website. The list included guards in the state’s prison system, whom all would agree should have weapons. The felons in those prisons told unpopular guards that they now knew where they and their families lived and would pass that info along.
Is this an isolated or extreme case? The NRA does not think so. They feel this is precisely the information criminals seek. One, they know not to break into that home when people are there because those owners will be armed. Two, if they decide to break in when the owners are away, they know they may find weapons, which they can use. They also feel that gun registration, in the past, has not lowered crime rates, and point to New York City as an example, as NYC tried long gun registration. They also feel that spree shooters would not fall under the registration umbrella.
In 1941, Congress passed the Property Requisition Act to allow the federal government to seize property needed for national defense, but specifically forbade using this act to seize-register guns. In 1986, the Firearms Owners’ Protection Act, the NRA flagship bill that forbids the creation of a federal registry of guns or gun owners, became law. In 1993, with the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, it required that once a check was completed, the record of an approved sale must be destroyed. So, the NRA will fight registration with all they have.