By Jon Dougherty
Legislation currently making its way through the Pennsylvania Assembly would require all residents of the state to register the guns with the state police if passed.
House Bill 768 would establish a registration process that includes:
• 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
Applications would be approved — or denied — within 30 days. If approved by state masters, gun owners would be provided with a certificate which they must then carry with the registered firearm at all times.
Also, the bill allows police to randomly stop gun owners to see if they are carrying their government-issued certificate.
Each gun certificate would have to be renewed every year, and — most likely — there will be a fee for registration since it will require the state to pay someone to process the paperwork.
“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.”
Without question, this bill would pose an “infringement” on the right to keep and bear arms that is supposedly guaranteed by the Second Amendment — not to mention it would instantly turn all gun owners into criminals if they failed to register with government masters.
As TownHall notes, grandfathers who want to pass their heirloom shotguns down to sons or daughters — or grandkids — would require the receiver to register it. If a female friend is fearful of an abusive boyfriend, Pennsylvanians would be forbidden from lending her a handgun for self-defense. And so on.
Naturally, under the bill, all police officers, federal agents, and other government officials are exempted:
(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, firearm carrying 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.
If the measure passes it is very likely going to be challenged as an unconstitutional infringement on the right to keep and bear arms. But what would have been a slam-dunk rejection once upon a time is no sure bet in a day and age when the federal judiciary is filled with activist judges instead of constitutionalists.
Gun registration is the precursor to gun confiscation. No wonder gun owners are concerned; the Second Amendment is constantly under attack by big government statists.
- Follow Jon Dougherty on Twitter at @JonDougherty10