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Registration in Pennsylvania

Kim du Toit, or one of his readers, rather, points to a bill that would bring gun registration to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  This bill doesn’t stand a chance, but there’s something everyone in Pennsylvania should be aware of.

The Pennsylvania state police already operate handgun registration in conflict with the Uniform Firearms Act.   Last year Pennsylvania Supreme Court heard a lawsuit bought against the state police over this section in the Uniform Firearms Act:

Notwithstanding any section of this chapter to the contrary, nothing in this chapter shall be construed to allow any government or law enforcement agency or any agent thereof to create, maintain or operate any registry of firearm ownership within this Commonwealth. For the purposes of this section only, the term “firearm” shall include any weapon that is designed to or may readily be converted to expel any projectile by the action of an explosive or the frame or receiver of any such weapon.

The Supreme Court ruled that the State Police database wasn’t, in fact, a firearms registry, even though they can easily find out what hanguns I own, but merely a record of sale.  Because it was created from the sales data the state police collects, and wasn’t a comprehensive registry, it was no registry.

This surprised everyone, including legislators, who were pretty sure they had passed a prohibition on exactly this.   I was told by my state representative that there would be a  legislative solution, but it didn’t make it through last year.   My guess is there’s no way it’s going to get past Ed Rendell.

So I hope Kim’s reader will not only write his state represenative and state senator about this registration bill, but ask that the legislature act to end the de-facto gun registry currently being operated by the state police.

2 Responses to “Registration in Pennsylvania”

  1. Dano says:

    Nice to see that this is seeing daylight.

    Text of this bill
    http://www.legis.state.pa.us/CFDOCS/Legis/PN/Public/btCheck.cfm?txtType=HTM&sessYr=2007&sessInd=0&billBody=H&billTyp=B&billNbr=0760&pn=0881

    Quick interesting bits –
    You would have to notify the State Police 48 hours BEFORE sale/transfer… so no more gun shows.
    Background check + fingerprinting
    Registeration would have to be renewed every year for a $10 fee per gun

    Any reason why you hope only Kim’s reader will write? I’d think that every one in PA should.

    Is there something in the water these days?

  2. Sebastian says:

    Everyone should, I think. I was just addressing him specifically.

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