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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

We are one election away from Tyranny. The country is moving left, and embracing tenants of communism. Americas youth are socialists. The democrats are now communists. It matters little what the 2nd Amendment says if governments choose to violate it. Even if confiscation laws violate the constitution it will be years until the cases reach the Supreme Court, and in the interim our arms will be siezed and destroyed, countless Americans Swatted and murderd by police during confiscation raids, banks accounts and property siezed, and families and lives of good decent Americans destroyed. If Florida had elected the communist from Jacksonville as its governor Floridians would be facing a firearm registration scheme by now. I am grey now but hopefully have enough years left to fight the communists at every turn. Its going to take all our energy and a ton of treasure to defeat the communist assault on our freedoms. Surrender is not an option.

A great leader of freedom once said "From My Cold Dead Hand ". I stand by his spirit and live by his words. RIP Charlton Heston, the greatest leader of the NRA.

Yeah great Trick Very nice explanation and easy to understand Keep it up. Thank u so much for the helpful post and tips

"The purpose of the 2nd Amendment was to make sure that able bodied men, (as in people, not necessarily all male), had LIKE weapons as the military, so as to be able to fight at a "moments" notice with the same arms as our military." I think George hit the nail on the head here. But it was not the British the founding fathers were worried about. It was the Federal government. The States were to retain authority in all matters except those specifically assigned to the Federal Government. The Constitution includes the system of checks and balances we all know about to prevent the government from becoming too strong. But just in case, The Bill of Rights, including first and second ... The Right of Free Speech and Right to Bear Arms ... was added before the States would ratify the new constitution. So it's not just about having a pistol with a magazine capacity sufficient to fight off a home intruder.....although that is hugely important. What it's about is ... What if the Federal Government ever became so strong and intolerable as was the case with King George and the colonials. It's about the people having the capacity to stand up and undo and unjust system of government. In case we had to issue another Declaration of Independence. (Please read or reread the Declaration of Independence if you haven't done so lately. I don't think I ever read it all the way through until this last Fourth of July.). So we do need Military style, high capacity, firearms in case a President or the Congress or anyone else ever became so powerful that the people saw the need to change our system of government. Who said "When the Government fears the People there will be Liberty. When the People fear the Government there will be Tyranny?" That's right on the mark too.

Let's remember that under the 1938 Nazi Weapons Law (that the 1968 U.S. Gun Control Act was modeled after almost verbatim) a "well regulated" militia was known as the Waffen SS and Gestapo. Because of registration of all firearms and ammunition, and the law requiring exact location of the firearms in the owners' homes, the Nazis kicked down doors of all who did not turn their firearms into the State, arrested those who were noncompliant, and but them in concentration prison camps, or shot them.

The purpose of the 2nd Amendment was to make sure that able bodied men, (as in people, not necessarily all male), had LIKE weapons as the military, so as to be able to fight at a "moments" notice with the same arms as our military. Just in case, (in this case, the British), they wanted to try a take over again. Therefore, select fire weapons should be available to ALL Americans, yet you have to get permission from the government to do so. IF you have to get permission from the government to exercise a right, then there is NO FREEDOM!!! This is why the Socialist/Communist/Democratic Party has been taken over by Progressives. The term Progressives was adopted because it appears to be innocuous, but it's really there to fool the average person into thinking it's essentially meaningless. Why do you think Hillary Clinton proclaimed herself as a "Progressive" when she was running for President? Progressives take a little freedom a little bit at a time. The biggest difference between Socialists & Communists is Socialist take over incrementally, (like Progressives), Communists take over at the barrel of a gun. Hence the need to register then confiscate ALL guns, except, of course those who have them illegally. Why do you suppose most bad people are called "outlaws"??? Please, THINK before you sign any petition or VOTE!!!

I took a bullet for this Country , Just try to take my Gun !!!!!!!

If they do this, next will be semi-automatic handguns. Vote republican.

And everyone is sure that ALL criminals and illegal gun owners will follow the law right? This is an assault on law abiding citizens and make no mistake, its about CONTROL, of you and your freedoms.

I graciously stand for American’s rights as afforded to us by the constitution. My belief is that with our rights individuals can choose to use them or not. When our rights are restricted, we all lose that choice to exercise or freedom. By having rights, we create a better society. I stand with dignity aside all American gun owners knowing these are people with integrity who will defend rights for all Americans. When I hear rhetoric about gun control, I realize these are Americans who are dividing the country and feel empowered to use tyranny for their agenda disguised as wanting safety. I tell many of my neighbors I am a gun owner so they will have someone to stand behind in a time of crisis.

no citizen would turn in their weapons, let them come and get them it would be a blood bath. Make no doubt about it get ready for the next civil war to begin

An Armed Society is a Polite Society. I don"t know who first said this but he or she was SPOT ON..............

Jeff Cooper coined that phrase.

Science fiction writer Robert A Heinlein coined that phrase in 1948 or earlier.

An armed citizenry is a free citizenry. An unarmed citizenry is a slave work force, subject to the whims of the tyrannical government.

And this on the heels of the illegal ban on bump stocks. Looks like the antis are really wanting a civil war because that is what will happen when confiscation starts.

I will be true to my oath of office and vigorously defend our Constitution and our inalienable right to bear arms.

Has there ever been a gun control law that has ever prevented a crime from being committed ?

Not at all

No

When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government."

Does the government fear us? Or do we fear the government? When the people fear the government, tyranny has found victory. The federal government is our servant, not our master!"

The only and safest way for avoiding violence by people with guns is complete and total confiscation. Once that is completed, then the government can take over the mass killings, with MUCH greater efficiency, of those who disagree with them.

Does the government fear us? Or do we fear the government? When the people fear the government, tyranny has found victory. The federal government is our servant, not our master!"

Just imagine for a moment. The average IQ of a criminal right now is 85. If they make it illegal to have a gun without it being registered, there will be MILLIONS more "criminals" in the country, and their average IQ is probably an easy 10 to 20 points higher. Many of those probably even have IQ's above 130 or even 140. Now just imagine what kind of crimes MIGHT be committed by people who have had the law turn on them and make them criminals for something that is supposed to be protected by our Constitution. This will be a world changer.

And the date that only wants to show you the wall shackles in the basement is sincere too. By the time some people realize the danger they are in, it is too late.

I'll register my 2nd Amendment guns when 1st Amendment journalists have to register.

They should register journalists. Most of them from the NY Times, WaPO, CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, MSNBC and the rest of their ilk are either plagiarists or create "fake news" based on their far left radical political agenda. It's not news. It's a "dog and pony show".

Theoretical registration leading to confiscation turned to reality in Honolulu in 2017 when registered firearm owners (registration of firearms are required in the islands), who were also registered medical marijuana card holders, received a letter demanding they turn in all their firearms and associated paperwork (carry permits, etc.). This was under the reasoning that marijuana use, whether for legal medical reasons or otherwise, automatically disqualifies people from owning guns. Only national outrage stopped the mass confiscation for the time being. However, it did take place. Please refer to the link: https://reason.com/2017/11/29/hawaii-which-requires-registration-of-al/

don't forget the confiscations that occurred in New Orleans after Katrina. Here's a link to a story at the NYT: https://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/09/us/nationalspecial/police-begin-seizing-guns-of-civilians.html

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