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Nancy Smith

Assault Weapons Registry ... Any Gun Registry ... Don't Do It

September 5, 2019 - 8:00am

The cockamamie suggestion of an assault weapons registry is back in the public conversation. That's a good thing. Thank you, state economists -- you've given me a chance to beat my drum for the Second Amendment.

Meeting Tuesday in Tallahassee, a panel of Florida economists weighed the burden of a proposed constitutional amendment that aims to ban assault weapons -- but grandfather in the guns already circulating, as long as their owners register them with the state.

I'm talking about a gun registry. 

The unsavory practice of the government taking names and compiling lists. 

Lists of whom? Lists of law-abiding citizens. We know from other states and nations that tried this, criminals don't register their firearms. Only the grudging good guys do.

Unsurprisingly, the panel meeting Tuesday hardly sounded as if it were clearing the proposed amendment for takeoff:

  • Members estimated the cost of building a Florida assault weapons registry at about $4 million;

  • Add to that $3 million ANNUALLY to maintain it;

  • It would take a year and a half, not 30 days as required, to get the registry up and running (“When you are talking about a gun registry, you are talking about potentially millions of guns,” said Ron Draa, Florida Department of Law Enforcement's director of external affairs.);

  • Draa told the panel to add in the cost of background checks; and

  • There's also a skewing factor -- the number of out-of-state people who would move to Florida and register guns.

Those are administrative details. But there are philosophical problems that make this constitutional amendment particularly offensive to me.

My husband and I never owned a gun and neither did any of our kids. But we always understood why our Founding Fathers put the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights, and it wasn't so we could hunt ducks and shoot clay targets.

If Ban Assault Weapons NOW (BAWN), the political committee behind this hugely offensive ballot proposal, want to believe "well-regulated militia" means the National Guard -- as the gun control crowd insists we interpret the Second Amendment -- if they want to believe it's perfectly OK to ban the guns they don't like and leave us with the ones that meet with their approval, who's going to look it up and prove us wrong? 

By all accounts, of all the powerful memories and emotions the Founding Fathers brought to the constitutional debates, none was stronger than their fear of standing armies. As David Young, author of "The Origin of the Second Amendment" observed: "The necessity of an armed populace, protection against disarming of the citizenry, and the need to guard against a select militia and assure a real militia which could defend liberty against any standing forces the government might raise were topics interspersed throughout the ratification period."

In other words, the Founding Fathers didn't want Americans powerless against their own government.

As for a gun registry, we only havw to look North to Canada to see it won't work.

Canada attempted a "long gun registry" -- a registry of all rifles and shotguns in the country. (They already had a handgun registry.) They estimated there were about 8 million long guns in private hands. Legislators were told that the registry would cost in the neighborhood of $119 million to implement, with $117 million of the cost covered by registration fees -- so for $2 million, they'd be able to register all 8 million guns, and "it would go quickly."

The law passed in 1995, with licensing starting in 1998 and all long guns were to be registered by Jan. 1, 2003.  By 2000, it was obviously not going according to theory. Registrations were backlogged and riddled with errors, and costs were WAY over estimates. An audit in December 2002 showed that costs were going to exceed $1 billion by 2005, with an income from registration fees of only $145 million.

Gun registries are sinister. They are about a loss of privacy, about a fear of freedom, but most of all, they are about confiscation. If registries have prevented a single homicide, let alone a mass murder, somebody will have to show me.

One last point: There is no such thing as cyber security. Consider that even the NSA has been hacked. So imagine for a minute all gun owners registering every weapon they own to their name and address. Now imagine some criminal hacking that registry and building an Uber-style app showing where each gun is located, what kind it is, and who lives in the house.

I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but in this day and age, it's a hacker's world out there. Create a gun registry of any type and risk creating a cottage industry for felons to raid. 

The News Service of Florida has reported that Ban Assault Weapons NOW still is waiting for 1) the Florida Supreme Court to sign off on the ballot wording and 2) the Division of Elections to receive 766,200 valid petition signatures. Two days ago BAWN had turned in a total of 105,062 valid signatures.

Economists are set to meet again today on the proposed amendment's financial impact.

Reach Nancy Smith at nsmith@sunshinestatenews.com or at 228-282-2423. Twitter: @NancyLBSmith

Comments

I greatly appreciate the effort you put into compiling this data. The fact that STATISTICS are completely absent in the Leftist claims is proof enough that they are lying and dont believe that the average American is intelligent enough to fact check. I'm curious as to who they think will carry out this confiscation.... more than 70% of Law Enforcement hold the Second Amendment as the foremost freedom in America... the other 20% probably havent worked the street in 20 years and arent about to start. This overt gun-grabbing will lead to a Civil War rivaling anything we have seen.

You'll notice I left out 10%... my local agency counts an Officer that works in 2 capacities.. say Patrol and SWAT.. as 2 Officers... this is done to meet the "minimum staffing" requirements... there is an atrocious amount of dishonesty in Government today

Just eliminate the damned things completely and there'll be no need for a "registry"!

If we eliminate them and make them illegal, all we need to do is call them "UNDOCUMENTED GUNS".

You are a fool!

So to stop cases of food poisoning, we can just eliminate food completely. I'm guessing you don't see a problem with that.

Lol!! Absolutely!! And to combat obesity we will ban forks!! We can end DUI's by banning cars!! Lol!! Some people are just taunting Darwinism...

This will never get to the 60% vote threshold required. I would hazard a guess that at least 30% of Democrats are strongly opposed to anti-gun measures. Add their votes to ours and this issue is dead.

If you take that attitude and don't vote, it WILL pass.

Floridians should restrict any form of registry.

Guns, what guns? I am scared of those rifles.

It's too bad I lost all my firearms in a tragic boating accident a few years ago.

Yes, I remember that accident. That was terrible, ALL of your guns lost in one terrible accident. You know what's even stranger? The SAME kind of thing happened to mine - when my car fell off a ferry. Darndest thing!

I once heard Marion Hammer say in a speech to Tiger Bay, I think: "Their only reason for registering your guns is to take your guns." Charlton Heston once said "...From my cold dead hands." I think that says it all.

I will not register my Legally owned and carried firearms. I will not give another inch to the anti civil rights activist. I will not be told how to protect my family and what tool I can use. The United States Constitution was written to protect the people not the government. Our rights are inalienable they are not given by man nor can they be taken by man. When will you understand the the police have no duty to protect you or your family? The parents of the murdered Parkland students found that out the hard way. If the police have no Constitutional duty to protect you then who will? The the answer has always been the same it's you. You are the only one responsible for your safety and your family safety you and you alone. I have never committed a violent crime whitch is more then I can say about some of our elected representatives. But I will tell you now myself and millions of law abiding gun owners will no longer be so law abiding. Remember we have a 1st Amendment Right and when that Right fails we go to our 2nd Right

RIGHT ON!!!! They want my guns, they'll have to find them first!

Ahhh, what's a few kids lost here and there in florida, should we ban swimming, feeding the alligators, and riding in cars too, on our way to nirvana?

MOLAN LABE!

Molon Labe!

The national socialists tried this back in the 1930's and we had a world war to stop them. NEVER AGAIN!

The cost of building and maintaining a weapons database is nothing compared to the cost of lives lost to gun violence. Is there a price tag on the children lost at Sandy Hook or Parkland? Hope not....

The cost of building and maintaining a weapons database is far outweighed by our Human Rights to self-defense, the Second Amendment Right to Keep and Bear Arms, and the Ninth Amendment's Rights to Self-Defense under the penumbra of rights. You don't have a right to demand a database over the expense of my rights. Yes, I understand lives lost to gun violence is troubling. Can you justify the murdering of 250,000,000 innocent people by their own governments because of "common sense" and "reasonable" gun control laws that morphed into total confiscation. Once total confiscation occurred, professionals, teachers, doctors, lawyers, press, and other well off people were rounded up and either shot, sent to concentration camps, or just disappeared. It was 15,000,000 in Nazi Germany (with at least 6 MILLION Jews), 50 Million Russians, over 100 Million Chinese (thanks to Mao Tse-tung's "Cultural Revolution; Mao is the darling of the Left-wing in the US), over 10 Million by Fascist Imperial Japan, over 5 Million by North Korea, over 2 Million by maniac Pol Pot's regime, over 2 Million by North Vietnam, and now Cuba, Venezuela and Iraq. Everyone needs a little history lesson before they "knee jerk" react to gun control, which always leads to gun confiscation. We need a history lesson in the HUMAN RIGHTS of self-defense against government and bullies.

Are you so naive to believe that a data base (used to facilitate confiscation) is going to prevent any of this?

If you are so worried about lives lost, when are you going to give up your car, your doctors, your hospitals, baseball bats and hammers, food? All of those kill more people in a year than any rifles. Semi-auto or bolt action. In fact, blunt force attacks kill more per year than any rifles do. So I guess you need to register your hands and any of the above mentioned item you own or use.

The same can be said for the wall . If it can keep one killer out of America, it's worth it ?

Truth of it is this registry will do nothing to stop the killing first and foremost we need to stop giving killers any media time do not make them infamous kill them try them if they survive otherwise let's stop and take the time to remember every victim funny thing is everyone wants to talk about the victims until it takes to much time you spend all the air time spent on talking to the killers family's let's figure out who they are no let's talk about the victims yes a man did this terrible thing that's all nothing more nothing less then talk about each and every victim there is definitely a moral issue here but it isn't firearms it's in what we as a society ask to see on the news it's what we tune in to watch next time your news station mentions a killer or criminal on the news turn the channel

Ask any insurance company...there is, and has been, a price for a life....deaths from no seatbelts, deaths from being left in a hot car, deaths due to a lack of vaccinations, and on and on. Gun violence, and generally violence against another human being is and cannot be condoned, but draconian measures will simply drive responsible gun owners underground. Work towards better solutions.

Fathers are deprived of a relationship with their children every day by government Family courts. It is a known fact, supplemented by many academic and legal studies that in divorce child custody proceedings, fathers lose custody over 90% of the time. After 5 years, they lose contact with their children in over 75% of all cases due to interference with parenting time by the mother, the courts' refusal to enforce parental rights, and unscrupulous lawyers, whose stock in trade is making false allegations. Given that insurance companies and the University of Indiana Medical School have come out and said that DNA is worth $10,000,000, how much will the medical profession be willing to pay for over 200,000 people dying from medical mistakes and malpractice? How much will auto manufacturers pay for 35,000 auto deaths each year, or how about fast food companies, cigarette, and liquor companies that cause over 700,000 heart and pulmonary related deaths, pay? Or, how much will states and local governments pay for allowing mentally disturbed people and murderers back on to the streets to obtain "black market" firearms and kill more people? Don't blame it on guns or gun manufacturers. Blame it on the protagonists that let the shootings happen.

People like Daisy do not understand and I think they need to be on a list.

... and even a robust firearm registry program would not have prevented the Sandy Hook Elementary murders. Why not? The firearm used was lawfully owned by the murderer's mother, his first victim. Several massacres (Ft. Hood, Washington Navy Yard, Pulse Nightclub, Las Vegas music festival) have been committed by individuals who passed multiple background checks, some by people who held licenses and government clearances which presumed these were trusted individuals. The sorts of individuals who would be in charge of handling such registries, for instance. You cannot stop evil with a list, but you mass murder is often defined by gun control. It's the person holding the one gun who has control until a good guy shows up with another firearm. Stop thinking we're going to ban our way out of this madness, and start thinking about planning and preparing good guys to fight back.

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