One of the recurring themes here at Bearing Arms is that gun laws don’t work. It’s a recurring theme because, well…they don’t. Time and time again, we see that they fail to stop criminals from hurting the innocent.
The worst of the bunch is gun registration, which we’ve seen lead to confiscation far too easily. The thing is, however, they never confiscate the guns from the criminals. They can’t because criminals don’t register their guns.
The kicker is that criminals also don’t have to register their guns.
Well, the laws on gun registration may not explicitly say it, but convicted felons are actually exempt from legally having to register their firearms. After a fashion, at least.
Here are the guys at The Loadout Room to explain it:
There are many U.S. cities and states which require registration of firearms and elaborate licensing schemes. You might think that this is the sort of infringement which is prohibited by the Second Amendment of the Constitution. While the U.S. Supreme Court has affirmed the Second Amendment as an individual right, it will be years before unconstitutional city and state laws are challenged and struck down.
The application of the Fifth Amendment is more defined. In the case of Haynes v. United States, (1968) the requirement to register guns has been ruled an unconstitutional infringement for a certain protected class. The good news is that you can readily join this class. The bad news is, you have to become a felon or prohibited person to enjoy freedom from registration.
Haynes v. United States, 390 U.S. 85 (1968), interpreted the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution‘s self-incrimination clause. Miles Edward Haynes was a convicted felon who was charged with failing to register a firearm under the National Firearms Act of 1934. Haynes argued that as convicted felon prohibited from owning a firearm, requiring him to register was essentially requiring him to make an open admission to the government, a violation of his right not to incriminate himself.
The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Haynes in a 7-1 decision. This decision blocks state prosecutions of criminals who fail to register guns as required by state law gun registration schemes. Law abiding citizens must comply with the schemes and pay the associated fees.
I hadn’t thought of that until I read this late yesterday, but they’re right. You can’t be required to incriminate yourself, and gun registration schemes would do just that for convicted felons.
Since many of the people who commit crimes in the first place are convicted felons, gun registration doesn’t help nearly as much in solving most crimes as some people may like to think.
But think about how this is a total kick in the rear. A resident of Hawaii or California has to register his or her firearms in order to comply with legal requirements, but the felon across town doesn’t. How is that right?
It’s not. It’s yet another reason why firearm registration schemes need to die in a fire. They don’t keep anyone safe, they just punish the law abiding. What’s worse is that same law is one the convicted felon won’t be charged with breaking if caught with a firearm, and yet anti-gun zealots will keep peddling registration schemes like they’re something good.
Next time, ask them just how they think a law that basically only applies to the law-abiding, not just in practice but on every level, will keep anyone safe and see what they say.