Gun Registration Bill on the Way

I love the age of social media when lawmakers who support our civil liberties can give us a little insight into what kinds of bills we can expect from our opposition:

Thanks to Rep. Bloom for standing up for our rights!

I realize that it seems like a no-brainer that a gun registration bill wouldn’t stand a chance in Pennsylvania, but I find it is helpful to see what our opponents want to push. This is their way of testing the waters, and they will try to strike if they manage to find more support for such bills in the future.

I also suggest that anyone with an “on the fence” state representative – someone with maybe a B, C, or D rating – should shoot an email to their lawmaker telling them that they hope he/she refuses to sign on to this bill. Since it’s a memo sent in advance of the bill, it will speak volumes to them that you pay that much attention to the issue. Politicians notice when we watch…

15 thoughts on “Gun Registration Bill on the Way”

  1. The problem with this is that, for all intents and purposes, we already have firearm registration in PA. You don’t have to take the gun to the police and go through all kinds of nonsense, but they still record your information, as well as the information on the firearms you transfer through FFL holders.

    Sure it isn’t *every* gun, but it’s common knowledge that the Commonwealth Police have been maintaining records of sales/transfers for decades. Their records may well date back 80-100 years.

      1. This. It’s not that I’ve tried to circumvent any laws, but every gun I’ve ever owned was acquired out of state and/or inherited from someone who the state of Pennsylvania has no reason to know about. I hesitate to admit it openly because it sounds more than a little paranoid, but I’ve been thinking of expanding my little collection lately and one of the reasons I’m taking my time is I still haven’t decided whether I really want the government knowing what I’m buying.

        1. It’s not a matter of circumventing laws at all! The state police have no record of any of my guns because I have not purchased any guns since moving here. They were all completely lawfully purchased in other states when I lived in those states.

          1. I know it’s not a matter of circumventing laws now, and I didn’t mean to imply that you had. But if PA passed this law today would you march down to the state police barracks and give them a list of all your make, model and serial numbers? And if that’s something you think you’d rather avoid – which seems the case since you’re advocating against passing such a law – is it unreasonable to think that the next time you want to buy a gun it might be better to find a private seller because you don’t really trust the state knowing what weapons you have?

            Again, I know it sounds paranoid, but something about the president saying I shouldn’t be allowed to own scary looking semiautomatic rifles and his political allies saying they’d like a list of what I already own just makes me want to snug up the chinstrap on my tin foil hat a little tighter.

  2. Is there a way to charge lawmakers with treason for attempting to infringe on our rights? If they willfully know that a law infringes on our rights and still seek to introduce it – they should certainly be charged and tried for treason.

    1. Rather than engaging in fanciful thinking about how you would prefer to deal with lawmakers who have a different opinion on what is considered an infringement, I think it’s more useful to just contact on-the-fence legislators and remind them that we’re watching what they support and don’t support in an election year.

  3. “I realize that it seems like a no-brainer that a gun registration bill wouldn’t stand a chance in Pennsylvania. . .”

    Being sarcastic only for its theatrical value, allow me to remark, “They got PA Act 17 of 1995 passed, didn’t they?” And what was that but automation of a registration system, in the process of implementing the Instant Background Checks that the NRA had already been demanding for a couple decades?

    I’ll stay away from the history because it tends to get me sputtering, but accomplishing what they did entailed a lot of divide and conquer and other advanced boob-bumping techniques. (H/T to H.L. Mencken.) But I have no reason to doubt it could be accomplished again, with a new issue. They’d name it “Sportsmen’s Omnibus Anti-Crime Bill” or something, just like in 1995.

    And might I remind it was mainly the Republicans who got it passed, leveraging it off their success at getting an AWB passed in the House, back in 1993; though in that case citizen action got them to un-pass the bill in a most embarrassing way only a month or so later. By 1995 they’d gotten their act together.


    Anyway — never say never.

  4. Handguns are already effectively registered in PA anyhow. Of course any long arms (including evil assault rifles) that a new law would require me to register would be “sold” before the new law would take effect.

    1. No, they aren’t. It’s only that way for people who have bought their guns in Pennsylvania. I’m not the only person here who bought firearms before they lived here. Our guns aren’t on any document in the Commonwealth.

      1. Must be nice to have moved here from another state, but for those of us who have lived here all along, handgun registration is already a reality.

        1. I’m merely making the point that there are other – perfectly legal – means by which to obtain firearms that aren’t on the list. Considering those firearms could be lawfully transferred to direct family members, it still is an issue that impacts even lifelong Pennsylvania gun owners.

  5. “No, they aren’t. It’s only that way for people who have bought their guns in Pennsylvania. I’m not the only person here who bought firearms before they lived here. Our guns aren’t on any document in the Commonwealth.”

    Bitter is echoing one of the excuses the PA State Police use(d) to argue their registration system isn’t a registration system; that every firearm owned in PA isn’t required to be in it. Thus (along with other excuses) they have our state Supreme Court’s blessing to do what is specifically prohibited by state law — dare I say (another sputter) what was Act 17 of 1995.

    Us old guys can’t resist memory lane, but, I was one of the few people (that I know of) who said at the time that the vaunted “prohibition of a registration system” written into that law would never be enforced, one way or another, and was therefore worthless to be counted as a “virtue” of it. Of course everyone said I was paranoid and out there orbiting the moons of Jupiter, or something. So here we are 17 years later. . .

    (Nothing above is intended as critical of what Bitter said; just pointing out the parallel, FWIW.)

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