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On that gun registry we don’t have

I was thinking about this case and a quote really stuck out:

But, prosecutors say he also has six weapons, bought within seven months, and all unaccounted for, except for the one they say Cletus Rivera used to kill Officer Scott Wertz on August 6th.

We know that Federal law prohibits the federal government from establishing any system of registration of firearms, firearms owners, or firearms transactions and dispositions. So, how then do prosecutors know that this man bought these firearms? Recall that:

… ATF relies upon federal firearms licensee (FFL) records to trace firearms recovered in crimes through its National Tracing Center. Inaccurate or incomplete record keeping makes the tracing of firearms involved in violent crimes virtually impossible.

So, they likely traced the gun to this man. Then, without the use of a registry, somehow figured out he’d bought other guns? Rather curious if you ask me. And, by curious, I mean total bullshit. Is there a state database in PA?

6 Responses to “On that gun registry we don’t have”

  1. drstrangegun Says:

    The “registry” would lie in the 4473 forms held at the FFL. If I’m not too unfamiliar with the process, ATF calls FFL, says “hey, check on this or that date for a Mr. Happy in your 4473 stack there, wouldja?”

  2. gattsuru Says:

    Or, more precisely, they call for information regarding the sale of gun model x, serial # yyyy.

    Because while the right to privacy protects a medical event with obvious implications to the majority of those observing held between a woman, a doctor, an anesthesiologist, and a couple nurses; an act of sale between two consenting individuals must be common knowledge.

  3. Joe Huffman Says:

    The way I would imagine this knowledge was obtained would be something like this: The police visit the local gun stores and say, “This guy was just arrested for supplying a gun to a criminal. Has he purchased any other guns from you recently? We want to find out how many other guns might be in the hands of criminals. Can you please help us?” The FFL holder says, “Here’s my 4473’s from the last year. Will you help me look through them? What did you say his name was again?”

  4. Sebastian Says:

    The State Police has been maintaining sales records for years, so there is defacto registration for handguns within Pennsylvania. State law specifically forbids this:

    Notwithstanding any section of this chapter to the contrary, nothing in this chapter shall be construed to allow any government or law enforcement agency or any agent thereof to create, maintain or operate any registry of firearm ownership within this Commonwealth. For the purposes of this section only, the term “firearm” shall include any weapon that is designed to or may readily be converted to expel any projectile by the action of an explosive or the frame or receiver of any such weapon.

    My understanding is that the State Police was taken to court over this issue, and argued that they didn’t have a gun registry, but just a registry of every sale. So it was really a sales registry, and Commonwealth Court bought this bullshit argument. There have been attempts to remedy this problem, but it won’t happen as long as Fast Eddie is in the Governor’s mansion.

  5. SayUncle » What gun registry? Says:

    […] Recall that: Federal law prohibits ATF from establishing any system of registration of firearms, firearms owners, or firearms transactions and dispositions. Instead, ATF relies upon federal firearms licensee (FFL) records to trace firearms recovered in crimes through its National Tracing Center. Inaccurate or incomplete record keeping makes the tracing of firearms involved in violent crimes virtually impossible. […]

  6. SayUncle » Bloomberg and guns again Says:

    […] which proposes that NICS data is destroyed within 24 hours. Currently, there is essentially a backdoor gun registry. A full-fledged registry is illegal, under federal law, except for weapons regulated […]

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