Registration: Another Gun Control Measure that Doesn’t Work

posted on March 17, 2019
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As the left-leaning House of Representatives pushes forward with their gun control agenda that its most vocal advocates have promised, one can justifiably be concerned that those elected officials have their eyes on instituting a registration scheme of some kind.

 The end game, they say, is to find a way to curtail crime that involves guns. Gun rights supporters know better; they see such a ploy as nothing but a way to make gun ownership more difficult for law-abiding Americans.

 Now, more evidence has come to light that gun registration is a waste of money and simply doesn’t serve a purpose.

 Canada and Australia have both marched toward some types of gun registry requirements, thinking such plans would magically end all worries about violent crime. Instead of being a miracle cure, the gambits have come under criticism on a couple of fronts:

  •  Up North, Quebec is struggling with getting law-abiding gun owners to comply with its registration;
  •  Down Under, a national audit has uncovered major shortcomings with the registry that New South Wales operates in Australia.

Quebec’s nanny-state government thought it could just snap its fingers and demand the registration of long guns—that people would just rush to be first in line to comply.

The politicians there have since found out otherwise. As the deadline approached, the government saw about 350,000 registrants from an estimated 1.6 million law-abiding gun owners. One aspect of the law that has come under fire is a requirement that a gun owner has to notify the government when the firearm is not in its regular storage space for a certain amount of time (so much for extended hunting trips)—and that is one of the rules the province is looking to ease. But such concessions still leave the main thrust of registration in effect, and apparently isn’t enough to get gun owners out in droves at the government offices.

In Australia, meanwhile, the national government has found out that New South Wales’ system of tracking law-abiding gun owners is woefully inadequate.

 The auditor general’s study, released recently, shows that 7 percent of license-renewal notices have been returned most months because addresses are no longer valid. The report also criticized the fact that decisions about revoking permission to own firearms were made by junior staffers. And the reasons for revocation apparently are so lame that more than a quarter of such decisions were overturned on appeal.

 Lack of compliance by gun owners and ineffective maintenance of registries are just two of the problems with existing registration systems that government entities have tried to institute.

 While there was no cost analysis mentioned in either of those cases, you can bet the programs have been leaking money like a sieve. Granted, a government generally isn’t run in a cost-effective manner, but when our country has its sights on incorporating plans that have been fiscal failures elsewhere, that is the hallmark of fiscal irresponsibility.

 Critiques of the schemes in those countries don’t even consider the less tangible—though no less important—concerns about the invasion of privacy.

 And lastly, there is the reality that a national registry is the necessary first step toward confiscation. The government needs to know you have something it wants, before it can try to take it.

 All those things fly in the face of the principles that serve as the very foundation of the United States—ideals rooted in the concept of individual liberty. That’s what is at risk when legislators talk about such things as a gun registry. That’s what the NRA and gun rights supporters are really fighting for.


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