One of the hallmarks of the gun-control lobby has always been the need for firearms registration; be it for the expressed need in “monitoring” gun-associated crime, or to prosecute those owning illegally. Recently, as fallout of the December 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings, and the ongoing issues of mental health in violent crime, States have worked to pass their own varying levels of gun-control measures despite the inactivity in Washington. As a result, in locations such as New York City (NYC), city leaders began issuing notifications in December that clearly demonstrates the fruition of firearm registration leading to confiscation. And again, those steps are being repeated elsewhere in California while residents beyond warily eye creeping regulations that would make it illegal to own firearms or accessories once considered in President Obama’s early 2013 gun regulation proposals.
In late November and early December, approximately 500 residents of NYC began receiving notices that under Administrative Code 10-306 (b), a 22-year city-wide ordinance against weapons that hold in excess of five rounds, NYPD was actively searching the State’s database of registered firearms within the city limits and those residents were now “required” to turn-in their firearms to the police, demonstrate evidence of their destruction, or proof that the weapons were no longer located within the city. (Howerton) This 1991 provision is not part of, and is in fact the basis for, the 2013 SAFE act passed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in the dead of night without public review. (Noble) Admittedly, city officials expect less than 10% of those who are sent notices to actually comply ahead of its April 16th, 2014 deadline; and given Gov. Cuomo’s forthcoming election prospective, it sets an interesting scenario where the city law enforcement is placed in the middle of complying with the harsher gun regulations and the political mandates of city leaders. (Okyay) But the fact remains city police are actively utilizing the requirement for new purchase registration (something only law-abiding citizens have comply with) to confiscate a gun owner’s property (note – not criminals as they exist “outside” the law), regardless if it is applied to firearms or collector/antique weapons with a historic or high dollar value.
But on the heels of NYC’s regulations, California appears to be following suit in what local leaders there have deemed a “model” for surrounding Californian communities and possibly beyond. In a number of measures advanced by local city leaders, California politicians added Assembly Bill 809 in 2011 that imposes the same record-keeping requirements on rifles and shotguns that currently applies to handgun purchases throughout the State. However, starting on Jan. 1, 2014, the California Department of Justice will begin retaining that information on rifle purchases, data it had formerly been compelled to destroy within five days per AB 809. Dealers will need to register all purchases with the State. And in light of the confiscations ongoing in NYC one California resident commented,
“You wonder, what does this information mean?” said Nancy Stewart, a 55-year-old paralegal who lives in Grass Valley. “My ultimate concern is if someone knocks on my door and says you’ve got three guns, we need [to take] two of them.” (White)
Juliet Leftish, legal director for the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence and one of AB 809’s sponsors said,
“One of the things the Legislature found persuasive is that long guns play a large role in our state’s epidemic of gun violence.”(White).
But this justification fails to hold water when compared to scientific data demonstrating that by far, a majority of gun related crime in California’s larger cities is attributed to handguns. So the reality is that while a majority of California residents may not ascribe to gun control measures, because of the progressive politician’s actions in a few major cities, they will soon be on a similar path to that of NYC and should expect similar efforts of confiscation. Indeed several police raids have already been taken against “Armed Prohibited Persons” utilizing California Department of Justice’s Armed Prohibited Persons System (APPS). California is the only state to use a program like APPS, which cross references five firearms databases to find people who legally purchased handguns and registered assault weapons since 1996, with people banned from owning or possessing firearms, such as felons or the “mentally ill” (which under State law has a wide array of definitions to include US service members and veterans), and in accordance to any new State legislation – such as AB 809. (Guy)
Fact of the matter is gun violence is a reality in our American society, just as much as automotive accidents or assaults. And while our Founding Fathers thankfully had enough forethought to include the safeguards found in the 2nd Amendment, they couldn’t have possibly foreseen today’s technologies, social/political climate, or just how complicated the issues would become between freedom v safety. But we have to recognize the Right to Bear Arms was established after The Founding Fathers followed on the heels of a brutally oppressive government. And rightly so, they also recognized that when a government becomes oppressive of the people and is no longer concerned with the Rule of Law, dismisses representation of, by, and for the People, then if falls on the People to replace said government. But as seen in NYC and California, any government registration on legal gun owners only predicates blanket confiscation when those in political power deem gun owners “politically and socially hazardous” to their objectives. So be aware of the gun control measures discussed in your area. Hear what your county Sheriff’s opinion is on gun control measures. Just as in NYC, increasingly local sheriffs are refusing to carry out the SAFE Act based on the possibility of a Constitutionality issue, and only add to the complexity for Gov. Cuomo’s political ambitions. Get involved with your local gun stores. Support them and work to build a community to assist when Progressive politicians move against them to close their gun stores or insist citizens turn-in their weapons. Together we can help change both the landscape of the gun control issue, and like the November recall elections in Colorado demonstrated – if our elected officials who favor gun control, such as Sen. Eve Hudak, Sens. John Morse, and Angela Giron, refuse to vote the will of their constituents those leaders can be easily remanded under the State’s Recall Measures.
Guy, Jim. “California Department of Justice agents sweep Fresno, Clovis for illegal guns.” November 13th, 2013. The Fresno Bee. 2013 December 17th, 2013 <http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/11/16/3613913/state-agents-sweep-fresno.html>.
Howerton, Jason. “Gun Confiscation Notice an NYC Resident Reportedly Received Will Likely Send Chills Down Your Spine.” November 27th, 2013. The Blaze. December 5th, 2013 <http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/11/27/the-gun-confiscation-notice-nyc-resident-reportedly-received-will-likely-send-chills-down-your-spine/#>.
Noble, Mary. “NY Passes America’s Toughest Gun Laws After Newtown. .” January 16th, 2013. Politix. December 15th, 2013 <http://politix.topix.com/homepage/4162-ny-passes-americas-toughest-gun-laws-after-newtown>.
Okyay, Raquel. “Empire State Gun Owners Bracing for Cuomo’s Confiscation Scheme.” 8 December 2013. Guns & Patriots: Human Events. 15 December 2013 <http://www.humanevents.com/2013/12/08/empire-state-gun-owners-bracing-for-cuomos-confiscation-scheme/>.
White, Jeremy. “California gun owners warily eye rifle, shotgun database requirement.” December 16th, 2013. The Sacramento Bee. December 16th, 2013 <http://www.sacbee.com/2013/12/16/6003230/california-gun-owners-warily-eye.html>.