Becerra Admits California Gun Registration A Failure

(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

Gun registration is a terrible idea. While I get that many anti-gunners really somehow think registering firearms will somehow magically make criminals unlikely to use a gun, it just doesn’t work that way.

About all gun registration is really good for is to know where the armed law-abiding citizens live so you can make them disarmed law-abiding citizens at some point. That’s pretty much it.

Well, California decided to register so-called assault weapons. It went about as well as you might imagine. It’s so bad that California’s now-former attorney general even admitted it was a failure.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra’s office quietly signed a settlement agreement in federal court admitting his agency’s gun-registration website was so poorly designed that potentially thousands of Californians were unable to register their assault weapons and comply with state law.

Under the terms of the settlement filed Wednesday in U.S. Eastern District Court in Sacramento, the state Department of Justice is required to notify each district attorney and law enforcement agency to put on hold “all pending investigations and prosecutions” for those suspected of failing to register their assault weapons.

The settlement agreement is a major setback for one of California’s signature pieces of gun control legislation. It comes 11 months after a federal judge said the state’s newly implemented online ammunition background-check program was so glitchy that tens of thousands of otherwise legal firearms owners were barred from buying ammunition — in violation of their 2nd Amendment rights.

The settlement, which still needs to be approved by a federal judge, was filed the day before the U.S. Senate voted to approve Becerra as the new secretary of the U.S. Health and Human Services Agency. The Senate approved his nomination 50-49 on Thursday, with only one Republican voting to confirm him.

The problems with California’s gun-registration website didn’t come up during the confirmation hearings, but critics say they should have. Becerra is now running an agency responsible for monitoring the nation’s healthcare system and tracking its healthcare data.

Yeah, it really should have come up during the confirmation, but it didn’t so here we are.

Look, I get that not everyone agrees with me about registration, but maybe we can all agree how wrong it is to try and prosecute people for failing to register a firearm when the website that they were supposed to use to register them simply didn’t work. How many made good faith attempts to try and register before the deadline and couldn’t because the site was so jacked up?

Then again, as noted, California also barred people from buying ammunition for no good reason, so there was that as well.

And yet, California is often held up by the left as an example of how every state should be. They want us all to follow California’s lead, especially on guns. This despite Becerra’s admission that his department completely screwed the pooch on registration.

The best possible solution is for the state to scrap registration entirely, though we all know that’s unlikely to happen. It’s a shame, too, because it won’t do anything except empower the left to take those guns if the time comes.

 

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Jul 27, 2021 12:30 PM ET