Legislation introduced Monday by Democrat Congresswoman Suzan DelBene of Washington’s 1st District that would bar the government from creating a registry, ostensibly of Muslims, is getting plenty of support from liberal progressives, but what about applying the same principle to firearms and gun owners?
Several states register guns and their owners. Washington has long had a state pistol registry for which the scope was expanded by Initiative 594 two years ago, requiring paperwork every time a firearm is transferred. That applies not only to guns that are bought and sold, but also to guns that are merely loaned, and then returned.
This comes coincidentally as the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has released a new version of the Form 4473, the document that gun buyers must fill out when purchasing a firearm from a licensed dealer. This is to provide information for the National Instant Check System.
The NICS system is supposed to clear someone to purchase a gun. But on this form, the make, model, caliber or gauge, and serial number of the firearm is also recorded. Why, gun rights activists frequently wonder? Why does the government want that information?
For that matter, why does this form also ask about the ethnicity and race of the gun buyer? What’s that all about?
Among Second Amendment advocates, gun registration is toxic. So is licensing. The subject makes for some interesting conversations. After all, gun owners wonder, why should they have to jump through a bunch of regulatory hoops in order to exercise a constitutionally-delineated, fundamental civil right? Why, indeed?
Proponents often argue that cars are registered to their owners, and people must have licenses to drive.
The rebuttal is that driving is a privilege, not a right. If one wants to push the subject, since driver’s licenses are recognized by all the states, then the same recognition should apply to concealed carry licenses and permits. After all, bearing arms is a right, and since the Supreme Court’s 2010 McDonald ruling, the Second Amendment has been incorporated to the states via the 14th Amendment. The Second Amendment applies to all jurisdictions of the country, no exceptions.
DelBene’s legislation appears to make plenty of sense to her liberal supporters. What would they say to giving gun owners the same privacy protections and benefit of doubt?