Historically speaking, firearm registration invariably leads to firearm confiscation – the only significant variable is time.
This was true in Canada:
Ten months after Rock’s remarks, Parliament passed the Canadian Firearms Act, and confiscating legally owned firearms is precisely the first thing the new law did. The first of three major provisions to go into effect banned private ownership of well more than half of Canada’s legally registered pistols. Any handgun of .32 or .25 caliber and any handgun with a barrel length of 105 mm (4.14″) or less–more than 553,000 legally registered handguns–became illegal with the stroke of a pen.
Pistol owners, of course, had been promised that registration would never lead to confiscation when Canada’s national handgun registry was enacted in 1934. When the newer law passed five years ago, they were given three options: sell their handguns to any dealer or individual legally qualified to buy them (not a real option because the number of potential buyers was so small); render them inoperable; or surrender them to the government without compensation.
This was true in Australia:
He is describing what happened when the Australian government, on pain of imprisonment, made him hand in his registered .22 rimfire rifle so that it could be destroyed. After a multiple shooting in Tasmania, in April 1996, in which 32 people were killed by a madman using a self-loading rifle with a military appearance, the federal government, under newly elected Prime Minister John Howard enacted laws banning all self-loading rifles and shotguns. All pump-action shotguns were also confiscated. (Pump-action guns were also confiscated in Germany in 2002, and the “Million” Mom March favors similar confiscation in the United States.)
The firearms being surrendered in Australia were not the property of criminals. The guns were plainly sporting arms that had always been legal.
This was true in once-Great Britain:
Under regulations implementing Britain’s 1997 Firearms (Amendment) Act, gun club members must now register every time they use a range, and must record which particular gun they use. If the gun-owner does not use some of his legally-registered guns at the range often enough, his permission to own those guns will be revoked.
However, then Labour Party leaders brought Dunblane spokesperson Anne Pearston to a rally, and, in effect, denounced opponents of a handgun ban as accomplices in the murder of school children. Prime Minister Major, who was already doing badly in the polls, crumbled. He promptly announced that the Conservative government would ban handguns above .22 caliber, and .22 caliber handguns would have to be stored at shooting clubs, not in homes.
A few months later, Labour Party leader Tony Blair was swept into office in a landslide. One of his first acts was to complete the handgun ban by removing the exemption for .22s.
This was true in California:
In a letter dated November 24, 1997, The Man Who Would Be Governor declared that SKS rifles with detachable magazines, unless the owners can prove they acquired the rifles prior to June 1, 1989, are illegal “and must be relinquished to a local police or sheriff’s department.” This is a reversal of the opinion held by Mr. Lungren from the time he took office in January 1991, and which has been conveyed in numerous training sessions for peace officers, criminalists and prosecutors during the past four years.
This was true in New York City:
In 1991, New York City Mayor David Dinkins railroaded a bill through the city council banning possession of many semiautomatic rifles, claiming that they were actually assault weapons. Scores of thousands of residents who had registered in 1967 and scrupulously obeyed the law were stripped of their right to own their guns. Police are now using the registration lists to crack down on gun owners; police have sent out threatening letters, and policemen have gone door-to-door demanding that people surrender their guns, according to Stephen Halbrook, a lawyer and author of two books on gun control.
This was true for numerous other countries and locations… And this was especially true when one sociopolitical entity was doing its damnest to subjugate another:
The Jew Alfred Flatow was found to be in possession of one revolver with twenty-two rounds of ammunition, two pocket pistols, one dagger, and thirty one knuckledusters. Arms in the hands of Jews are a danger to public safety.
Police First Sergeant Colisle
Via an arrest report from Berlin, October 4, 1938.
He was arrested based on the above while attempting to comply with an order to turn in all firearms to the government. His firearm was legally owned and registered. It wasn’t until November 11, 1938 that the Weapons Control Act of 1938 went into effect making it illegal for Jews to own firearms. Hence, he was arrested while complying with the law at the time.
After his arrest he was turned over to the Gestapo and transported to Terezin in October of 1942. He died of starvation in the Theresienstadt concentration camp in December 1942.
The worst part is that Mr. Flatow was damend if he did, and damned if he did not – since his firearm was registered, in accordance with the laws in Germany up to that time, if he had not turned it in voluntarily, the police would have known exactly where to look for him and his firearm, and his life probably woud have ended in much the same way. Thus, given that “devil and the deep blue sea” Morton’s Fork facing law-abiding firearm owners (and specifically firearm-owning Jews), Germany’s firearm registration policy – and those politicians who voted for it, and those citizens who supported it – effectively murdered Mr. Flatow by enabling the confiscation of his otherwise lawful property, and facilitating his illegal arrest.
It is precisely due to that seemingly inevitable outcome that I will never register my firearms, should the question ever come up – such an act is nothing more than a ham-handed prelude to a larger, unconstitutional grab for power, and I refuse to make a totalitarian government’s life any easier. (On the flip side, what do you think an ATF Form 4473 is, other than a remarkably ineffective registration system…? Food for thought.)
However, the above blockquote is not solely interesting for its support of “registration leads to confiscation”, but also for the last sentence in the police report: “Arms in the hands of Jews are a danger to public safety.” Such a statement is obviously racist, derogatory, discriminatory, and without any basis in fact or reason… however, how often do you hear anti-rights nuts making nearly identical proclamations? “Arms in the hands of men are a danger to women.” “Arms in the hands of anyone in a high-population area are a danger to public safety.” “Arms in the hands of restaurant patrons are a danger to public safety.” The appeals to “public safety” go on and on and on, and are about as basless and nonsensical as claiming that firearms in the hands of a socioreligious subgroup of humanity somehow pose a threat to the rest of the world – so why is that claim by the German police officer so inherently distasteful, while all of the strikingly similar claims by anti-rights nuts are somehow more acceptable? How does that work?
Also, note how the subject of the statement is “arms”, not “Jews” – the latter is part of a dependent clause, while the former is not. It would appear as though anti-rights nuts’ fixations on the tools rather than the people is not exactly a new development, and it would further seem as though those who continue that irrational behavior are in some very good company…
Regardless of their motivations, though, anti-rights nuts should understand one thing, and understand it well – neither I, nor a very large number of other firearm owners, will register our firearms, regardless of whatever laws are passed, rules are signed, or orders are given. Such a requirement provides us no benefits – firearm registration has never demonstrably lead to a decrease in violent crime – but we would hazard tremendous risks for complying, and based off known, quantifiable, recorded history of the matter, it is not a path any of us wish to tread down.
The irony, of course, is that the anti-rights nuts are willing to kill me and other liberty-minded individuals for not registering our firearms (should the requirement be imposed), which only serves to prove my point…