State Registration Schemes

I’m not all that familiar with Washington State gun laws on registration, but this looks like the same thing that happens in Pennsylvania. I don’t think this is an issue of federal law at all, and the original posting that Dave Hardy links to misunderstands FOPA, as Dave points out.

Much like Pennsylvania, this information is likely obtained from state required forms, which don’t fall under the purview of the federal government. In Pennsylvania’s case, the “Record of Sale” is used to compile a computerized registry. If Washington State has a state form for gun purchases, it’s coming from that. Otherwise, Washington State is a partial Point-of-Contact state for Brady Act purposes, so it’s Washington State, not the FBI, which process background checks for every handgun sold. It’s also likely that system is tied in with a state “registry” as well. In Pennsylvania, a registry is supposed to be illegal by statute, but the State Supreme Court ruled that computerizing every Record of Sale was not a registry, because it wasn’t a complete record of firearm ownership. Of course, in the past, that hasn’t stopped the police from treating it as such, and confiscating guns at traffic stops for not being “legally registered” to the owner.

9 thoughts on “State Registration Schemes”

  1. Yup. I doubt highly that every gun was listed in his case. What many do not realize is that Washington has a pistol registry for new pistol purchases. That form is sent to the local sheriffs office as well as Olympia.

    I guess I should write up a post detailing all of this because there have been a few changes in the past couple years many aren’t aware of.

    1. If you do, send it to me. Too busy these days so I miss a lot on RSS, but I’d like to highlight that after talking about it here.

      1. Will do. I’ll try and get to it this weekend on some down time. Then again, the wife bought me the pre-release of Hitman Absolution so I may just play games all weekend.

        No matter what I’ll probably get a chunk written next week while traveling.

  2. While it’s not directly on-point to this post, I note that Michigan has long had a quasi-registry similar to the one used in Pennsylvania. It’s outlined here by the State Police.

    From Barron’s description, the process is similar to that of Washington State. (I think that the MI Legislature put this process in place during 1927, so it’s not a new thing.)

    Do you know if there’s any NRA push against this kind of State-level registry? Whenever one branch of the MI Legislature wants to repeal our State Registry, the NRA sends out emails about it. But the Governor and the other branch usually ignore the effort, so the bill goes nowhere.

  3. I don’t remember filling out any state paperwork, but it’s been a while.
    I think I just showed my CPL and filled out the federal forms. There definitely wasn’t a state background check or 3 day waiting period involved.

    1. Ecurb, if you bought a handgun at retail in Washington, you filled out a white state form. As noted, one copy goes to the state DOL, one to your local CLEO, and one is retained by the dealer.

      There is NO secondary registration (private sales), nor any controls (other than the prohibition on selling to prohibited persons) so the State Pistol Registry is essentially worthless within a few years.

      We ran a bill in Oly about 14-15 years ago to kill the Registry (HB 1716?) but it failed to pass.

  4. What ever justice(s) “because it wasn’t a complete record of firearm ownership” truly deserve to be hit over the head with a baseball bat until they gain rational cognitive abilities or lose them completely.

    By that definition, there will NEVER exist a true gun registry. You’ll always have some firearm possessed by someone which is not on the registry.

    If that was really their rational, then sorry. Yes, they deserve a baseball bat for violating their oaths to uphold the constitution of the commonwealth.


  5. Sorry for being so ranty, but I am really beginning to lose faith in the system. And am TIRED of out and out false actions that go against our constitutions, and in no way are plausible. But they make them so…

    The breach of constitutions is just getting worse and worse. Now, they’re trying to turn anything electronic into searchable without warrant.

    Pretty much, in another 20 years I fear we’ll have the “Right to gripe” and that will be it. And then that will be lost too..

  6. Actually, there’s a nationwide way to find out who bought what that’s been running for a few years now. Let’s say you see a Sale this Black Friday at a Big Box Retailer, and you purchase an AR and Ammo and Accessories. Easily near a $1,000. So when you check out, most people nowadays just break out the Credit Card, because how many of us have a couple of Grand in the Back Pocket?

    So if the Feds ever want to find out who bought what, they just check the Credit Card purchases, and your name pops up.

    Or they can go the other way. They can be looking at you, and monitoring what you buy. And on last month’s Visa bill, there’s your purchase.

    Is it Legal? Who knows? With the RICO Statutes and the Banking Laws and the Patriot act, plus we KNOW how well many Feds obey the Laws, if they ever want to have a Database on the “Insurrectionists,” It wouldn’t take that long.

    Welcome to America.

Comments are closed.