Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Progression from Background Checks to Confiscation

After the Newton shooting, there was a scramble by Democrats to require "universal background checks," which is just another way of attempting to ban private sales of firearms. One of the reasons noted in objections to "universal background checks" was that it was just a first step toward gun registration and, eventually, confiscation. Slate, for instance, reported that 48% of respondents believed that background checks would eventually lead to confiscation. The liberal media poo-pooed that objection. Think Progress, for instance, wrote:
Federally licensed gun dealers have conducted background checks for more than 40 years without ever creating a national gun registry, which federal law specifically prohibits. Under this agreement, federal dealers would conduct screenings for private sellers and keep the record; the federal government would not.
 However, not everyone is gullible enough to believe the government. Even groups that don't recognize the 2nd Amendment were concerned. According to ABC News:
... the American Civil Liberties Union has raised concerns about both records and background checks. “You just worry that you’re going to see searches of the databases and an expansion for purposes that were not intended when the information was collected,” Chris Calabrese, an ACLU privacy lobbyist, told The Daily Caller last week.
 In fact, it has been argued that background checks inevitably leads to registration which leads to confiscation. At the Monachus Lex blog, John Pierce wrote last April about how a universal background requirement under Pennsylvania law had, in fact, created a de facto registration.

And now we will likely see all of this put into practice in Connecticut. As you probably know, Connecticut is having a bit of a problem with civil disobedience over a new "assault weapon" ban:

By the end of 2013, state police had received 47,916 applications for assault weapons certificates, Lt. Paul Vance said. An additional 2,100 that were incomplete could still come in.
That 50,000 figure could be as little as 15 percent of the rifles classified as assault weapons owned by Connecticut residents, according to estimates by people in the industry, including the Newtown-based National Shooting Sports Foundation. No one has anything close to definitive figures, but the most conservative estimates place the number of unregistered assault weapons well above 50,000, and perhaps as high as 350,000.

And that means as of Jan. 1, Connecticut has very likely created tens of thousands of newly minted criminals — perhaps 100,000 people, almost certainly at least 20,000 — who have broken no other laws. By owning unregistered guns defined as assault weapons, all of them are committing Class D felonies.
What do the liberals want to do? Well, the Hartford Courant wants to first allow additional time to see if anyone else comes forward, and then start mass arrests. Their editorial board writes:
But the bottom line is that the state must try to enforce the law. Authorities should use the background check database as a way to find assault weapon purchasers who might not have registered those guns in compliance with the new law.

A Class D felony calls for a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. Even much lesser penalties or probation would mar a heretofore clean record and could adversely affect, say, the ability to have a pistol permit.

If you want to disobey the law, you should be prepared to face the consequences.
 Yup. The background check database is a de facto registration that, if the Courant had its way, would be used for confiscation and mass arrest.

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