A bill that would require mandatory gun registration is currently making its way through the Pennsylvania Assembly. House Bill 768, if passed, would require gun owners to register their firearms with the Pennsylvania State Police.
Part of the registration process would include filling out an application that included:
• Name, age, sex and date of birth
• Personal and business addresses
• Telephone number
• Social security number
• Citizenship status
• Make, model, caliber/gauge, type and serial number of each firearm
• Two photographs taken within 30 days immediately prior to the date of filing the application equivalent to passport size showing the full face, head and shoulders of the applicant in a clear and distinguishing manner
The application will be approved or denied within 30 days. If approved, a certificate will be provided to the gun owner, who is expected to carry the piece of paper with the firearm at all times. Police would also be allowed to stop people and ask gun owners if he or she is carrying their certificate with them.
Each firearm certificate would need to be renewed on an annual basis.
"It shall be the duty of a person owning or possessing a firearm to cause the firearm to be registered. No person within this Commonwealth may possess, harbor, have under the person's control, transfer, offer for sale, sell, give, deliver or accept a firearm unless the person is the holder of a valid registration certificate for the firearm," the bill reads. "No person within this Commonwealth may possess, harbor, have under the person's control, transfer, offer for sale, sell, deliver or accept a firearm which is unregisterable under this act."
This bill essentially turns law-abiding gun owners into criminals. If your grandfather wants to pass his shotgun down to you as a family heirloom, you'd have to register it. If a friend fears an abusive boyfriend will harm her, letting her borrow your gun for self-protection would be a crime.
But of course, those rules only apply for the average person. Just look at the exemptions:
(1) Firearms owned or under the direct control or custody of a Federal, State or local governmental authority maintained in the course of its official duties.
2) Duty-related firearms owned and possessed by law enforcement officers who are not residents of this Commonwealth.
(3) Duty-related firearms owned and possessed by corrections officers who are not residents of this Commonwealth.
(4) Firearms owned, manufactured or processed by licensed manufacturers of firearms, bulk transporters or licensed sellers of firearms at wholesale or retail, provided that such persons have all licenses required by law.
(5) A nonresident of this Commonwealth participating in a lawful recreational firearm-related activity in this Commonwealth, or on the way to or from the firearm-related activity in another jurisdiction, provided that the possession or control of the firearm is lawful in the jurisdiction in which the individual resides and that the weapon is either:
(i) Broken down in a nonfunctioning state.
(ii) Unloaded and enclosed in a case, firearmcarrying box, shipping box or other container.
(6) Private security personnel who possess or control a firearm or ammunition within this Commonwealth. Firearms under this paragraph shall be owned and maintained by the security firm employing the security personnel and shall be registered by the security firm in accordance with this section.
The reason Second Amendment advocates have worried about mandatory gun registries is because of the potential for firearm confiscation.
Think about it.
Gun owners follow the laws on the books. We respect rules, even if we don't agree with all of them (background checks seem to come to mind). If a government entity tells us we have to register our guns in order to possess them or face being prosecuted, we'll comply to avoid jail time. This is the perfect scenario for gun grabbers. They know we'll comply, even if it's reluctantly. Say we all – or a good majority of us – register our firearms. Guess who's going to be knocking on our door when they want to take away our firearms. That's right. You guessed it. The government.
This is the type of thing our Founding Fathers worried about. They wanted to make sure the American people had the ability to fight a tyrannical government, should the need ever arise. It was such a concern for them that they included the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights. When the government has a check list of who is armed – and what exactly they have in their possession – the people are sure to lose that battle.