Historically speaking, registration has invariably lead to confiscation; the only major question is how long it takes for the latter to follow the former. If you happen to be unfortunate enough to live in Australia and know or be related to suspected criminals, that time just got a lot shorter:
Raids yesterday morning by detectives working in Taskforce Acer 17 netted firearms police feared could be passed to criminals.
The weapons were held legally by registered gun owners, but police intelligence revealed 20 had "connections to family or associates who were persons of interest to the Acer Taskforce team".
Officers simultaneously hit 21 properties at 8am to ensure the licence holders were complying with all conditions.
A total of 21 guns – including 15 shotguns and ammunition for an AK47 rife – were seized.
Pay very close attention to the way the article was written; much of what I am about to point out could easily be shoddy wordsmanship on the part of the author, but I have to wonder how much of it is honest, if too honest, reporting.
First, we are presented with the news that the police are worried that firearms could be passed to criminals – not "had" been passed, not indications of an immediately-in-the-future passing, only a somewhat unfounded potentiality. ‘Cause, y’know, only certain firearms could be "passed to criminals", and that phrase certainly could not be extended to cover all firearms… Righto then.
Second, these people the police raided had all of the appropriate paperwork, registrations, permissions, and whatnot else to own their firearms – as the article itself clearly stated, they were legally owning guns. The folks who had their property taken – by force – from them were not the "criminals", but folks who had jumped through the numerous and draconian hoops necessary to own a firearm in Australia.
Third, to reiterate, the people from whom the firearms were taken were not criminals; they simply happened to know or be related to criminals. So, tell me, how many people in your extended family have a court record? Is there any way, short of full-blown legal disownment, of removing those individuals from your family? How many people do you know well enough to know whether or not they actually have a criminal history? Your neighbors? Your friends? Your co-workers? Would you care if they actually had a history? What kind of history?
Which brings us to the fourth point – "of interest to" is not even close to equivalent with "convicted on the basis of evidence collected by". Sure, some of those folks may actually be honest-to-God convicted-and-released criminals or otherwise Very Bad Men (TM), but here in the States the only thing you have to do to make yourself a "person of interest" to the local police department is make a spectacularly tasteless joke about politicians. I shudder to think how low that particular bar is Down Under.
Fifth, if the police were only making sure that these legal firearm owners were "complying with all conditions", should we assume that the firearms were confiscated from people who were not "complying with all conditions", or should we assume that cute little phrase is nothing more than a convenient cover story that dovetails nicely with some arcane Australian firearm regulation regarding allowing the police to check on your gun storage? And if the "registered gunowners" were not "complying with all conditions", then why were they not taken back to the local constabulary along with their property?
Finally, why is "ammunition for an AK47 rifle" important, apart from a smattering of hysteria? We can fairly rest assured that no actual AK-47 was turned up in the investigation, nor any AK-47-clones, otherwise they would have made the paper as well, and given that particular platform has been chambered in over two to seven calibers and bores (depending on how loose your definitions are), that phrase is precisely meaningless. Hell, if you count a Saiga 12 as an AK-47 clone variant, the ammunition for those shotguns would count!
No matter the trivialities or technicalities involved, however, we are left with one inescapable fact: 21 firearms were "legally" confiscated for no worse crime than being related to or knowing a suspected criminal. How? Those firearms were registered, and the police knew exactly where to find them.
Which is pretty much exactly what the anti-rights cultists want for America – register all the firearms, figure out where they all are and who all owns them, and then start confiscating them piecemeal on the basis of absurd and trumped-up allegations. Those people drink too much – confiscate their guns. Those people had negligent discharges – confiscate their guns. Those people unintentionally carried a firearm into a "gun free zone" – confiscate their guns.
Sound outlandish? Well, even looking past the fact that I have seen all those ideas, and more, seriously proposed by hoplophobes, would that be more or less outlandish than confiscating lawfully-owned property just because someone might be related to an alleged criminal?
And remember – every person who wants you to register your firearms is telling the world that they would have the government kill you if you did not comply.
(Courtesy of Gun Free Zone.)