Gun Registration Pros & Cons

But that’s at the distributor level, not kept at a government level is it? That is, when we buy a gun, the commercial seller isnt required to copy ATF on the gun serial and who bought it are they? I was under the impression firearm serials and etc were kept by the store unless LE had just cause to subpoena a stores records. I honestly dont know…

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I just had a flash back to Red Dawn. The Russian Col. is confiscating weapons and the flunky doesn’t get anyone to admit that they have one “Go to the gun stores and take the 4473 and find the guns.” or words to that effect. Gun shops have 2 bits of information. The 4473 which can be destroyed after 7 years (a volume of paper thing) and the “bound ledger” which is to be kept FOREVER and then turned in to the ATF if you close up shop. If you have done paper “They” know you own guns, it just depends on who “They” are and what “They” want.




No pros, it bothers me I have to fill out the paperwork when I purchase one. I deal with it and cooperate fully of course, but no pros at all. Run a background check and if it comes back clean sell us the gun and move on. To me it’s that simple and how it should be.


Yes it is… but it is still not easy to link everything together.
There are few good readings about history of “Form 4473” and “National Tracing Center”.
Both have to be involved to link firearm with owner.


@Henry4 … just my personal opinion… This picture should land in MEME thread, not here.
Somehow posting US President face in line with other 6 doesn’t seem right. :thinking: :zipper_mouth_face:

I was thinking that we, as buyers, might catch a break if the FFL we used went out of business or it or the weapon was more than 20 years old. But I found a catch 22 when I looked it up.
" If a federally-licensed gun dealer (FFL) goes out of business, the ATF takes possession of all records of all firearms sales since the dealer opened shop—often decades of customer data—and enters them into their eTrace database." Still I believe at least one has slipped through their net.

I hope you don’t represent majority of Americans here… :face_with_raised_eyebrow:
Whoever he is, whatever he represents… he is the President of USA… and deserves respect. At least not to be shown with people who committed crimes against humanity.

Anyway… just opinion of non US born Citizen… perhaps I’m wrong, but was taught this way.

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I got the cold shoulder at my local Ace Hardware for several years. It was when Obama was in office. A number of people were standing around bad mouthing the President/Commander in Chief saying he should not be vetting a new justice for the supreme court, he should wait for whoever replaces him. I said "like it or not, he is the president and attempting to fill a vacant seat is him doing his job. I would be more disappointed in him if he didn’t. " You’d think I kicked somebody’s dog or something.

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I am sure some feel he did.

I personally did not like Mr. Obama BUT, while he was President he was just that. President of the United States of America and as such in that capacity deserved the respect of the office he held.

Just my opinion.



While he was POTUS, he was Commander-in-Chief. I therefore respected his rank and authority. It stopped there.


I appreciate it, and believe me I respect your posts on this forum. There is nothing personal, I’m just trying to be a Citizen who respects the Country, its greatness and the whoever holds the Office.

I would be somehow OK if this appeared in MEME thread… perhaps not happy, but would suck it up.
It doesn’t matter who, each one of 44 people served as president are treated by me with respect.


Zero pros. All cons.

Have a look at what Giffords (very pro-gun control) has to say about registration. Pretty much every item in the list is laughable.

Firearm registration laws can lead to the identification and prosecution of violent criminals by helping law enforcement quickly and reliably “trace” (identify the source of) firearms recovered from crime scenes.

Have you ever heard of a police detective say “Look, we found the gun at the scene of the crime, but there is just no way to track down who it belongs to!” Never. Because that just doesn’t happen.

First, having the weapon used in a crime is only one piece of the puzzle. Police attach knives, baseball bats, crow bars, hammers, and anything else used by criminals all the time and none of them have serial numbers. They do this by pulling DNA, video footage, eye witnesses etc. A typical scenario would go like this “We have footage of the perp on the convenience store camera, here he is throwing the gun into the dumpster after shooting the clerk and driving away in his car. We matched the DNA on the firearm to the perp”. None of that was helped by registration.

If the police happen to find a firearm at the scene of a crime, and have no idea who used it. AND If a criminal is dumb enough to not file away the serial numbers then the police simply call the manufacturer to find out which distributor got it. The distributor knows which LGS they sent it to. The LGS knows who they sold it to. And the first guy who bought it will very likely give up whoever he sold it to so as not to be attached to a murder. And so on until they figure out who had it last. But that point is all moot since very likely the number was filed off. And if it wasn’t filed off, it was probably reported stolen already.

The vast majority of firearms that end up in the hands of criminals were from the black market, which means guns that were stolen, guns that were straw purchased. Registration is useless in all those cases. Further it does nothing to prevent crime only to catch a criminal after he has committed a crime AND only in a scenario where you for some reason only have the firearm and not the criminal in hand.

Firearm registration laws also help law enforcement retrieve firearms from persons who have become legally prohibited from possessing them through criminal convictions or other prohibitions.

The only people who would register their firearms, by definition, are law-abiding citizens. No criminal on the face of the planet is going to register their firearm.

Depending on what a person who was legally allowed to have firearms did to become a prohibited person (committed felony and went to jail, domestic abuse scenario, deemed mentally incapable, etc), there are already tools in place for removing firearms from them. Usually involving a judge issuing guidance.

Additionally, proponents of red-flag laws and expanding NICS have attempted to put things like “no fly” lists into the system to increase the number of prohibited people. No-Fly lists that no one knows how they got on, and no one knows how to get off. But they also deny attempts to have lists for things such as known gang members added. So are the people pushing for this really that interested in disarming dangerous persons?

In all cases, this requires Law Enforcement to go to someone’s home and “take stuff” which rarely ever ends well. Imagine sending a team into Compton to go remove firearms from a known gang-banging felon. Yeah, kind of hard to imagine right? But its pretty easy to imagine going up to a suburban house and knocking and politely asking for firearms because of a warrant for too many parking tickets. So which one do you think will actually get enforced? And which one is likely removing a firearm from a truly dangerous person?

And lets add that red-flag laws are covering this as well. Those have their own set of pros (some) and cons (many, especially depending on the implementation) outside the scope of this topic.

In addition, registration laws help reduce illegal firearm sales and transfers by creating accountability for gun owners. A firearm owner who knows that law enforcement has the ability to trace the firearm back to him or her may be deterred from transferring the firearm to a potentially dangerous individual, and may be encouraged to store his or her firearm safely so as to prevent unauthorized access or theft.

Laughable. Every firearm owner already knows that any firearm found in a crime can get traced back to him/her (see gun tracing above). By definition, any law-abiding citizen will not sell a firearm to a criminal. And if there is any doubt, that law-abiding citizen seller can ask the other law-abiding citizen to get a background check from any local law enforcement office, usually for a small fee.

Also by definition, any criminal selling firearms to any other criminal does not care one iota about a registration as they are already breaking several other laws during the process.

No one wants their firearms stolen. No one. You will take whatever steps you feel appropriate to safeguard your stuff regardless if it was registered or not. If you want people to take greater steps to secure their “stuff” then education is the answer, not registration.

Registration laws are most effective when combined with laws requiring licensing of firearm owners and purchasers. (…“studies”…) This data suggests that licensing and registration laws make it more difficult for criminals, juveniles, and other prohibited purchasers to obtain guns, and help ensure that firearm owners remain eligible to possess their weapons.

“This data suggests”. Yeah… no. Criminals know exactly who and where and when they can buy a firearm. A criminal without any felonies or anything else in their history to make them prohibited KNOWS they will pass a background check. And if they can pass a background check, they will pass the checks to get a license as well. And when they know they can’t pass a background check, that’s when they get friends, family, KNOWN acquaintances to buy one for them (straw purchases, already illegal), or even easier just buy them on the black market.

All this does is make it more difficult for regular people to get a firearm.

And all of this is incumbent on the existing background check system being current and up-to-date which it isnt.

The American public strongly supports laws requiring gun registration. A nationwide survey conducted in January 2011 found that 66% of respondents favor laws requiring every gun owner to register each gun he or she owns as part of a national gun registry

You would think the left would have learned by now to stop trusting polls.

Number one is that the polls are clearly asking the wrong people. See Trump v Clinton. See in Virginia when they said the “people have spoken they want gun control” and then tens of thousands of armed Virginians showed up on the state capitol doorsteps in protest. See Bernie vs Biden polling before, during, and after the early caucuses. I don’t know how they determine who they are asking, but whatever their methodology is… it is clearly flawed.

Number two, and likely more importantly, is that the polls rarely actually ask you about what laws they are proposing. They will ask… “Do you think ASSAULT WEAPONS OF WAR should be banned?” And of course, anyone who is not knowledgeable about firearms and not knowledgeable about current laws will say “well of course, who needs THAT”. Then you have lawmakers who take that, and (as in Virginia this past session) attempt to redefine “assault weapons” to mean pretty much every semi-auto produced in the last century and a half. Or they ask “Should dangerous people not be allowed to have firearms?” And of course, anyone who is not knowledgeable about existing laws says “of course, they shouldn’t” Then you have lawmakers who take that and say “see we need MORE gun control laws”.


The 4473 form only shows that I bought a particular firearm. While it is true that I have bought many firearms, I do not own any. I gave them as gifts to relatives that are now deceased. So the authorities will have to look at their individual estate plans. Not my responsibility to know where they are today. Maybe someday I will keep one for myself. Though I heard they are dangerous.
I’m just here for the memes.


Before I say this and get that “you kicked my dog” reaction that someone mentioned earlier, I have voted and supported one issue above all others my entire adult life and that issue is ‘pro 2a’.

But here is how I expect it works… A serialized firearm is found at a crime scene, law enforcement reaches out to firearm manufacture, firearm manufacturer identifies the FFL that received the firearm, FFL records indicate who the firearm was transferred to. Now if I am the purchaser I am going to maintain records that verify without question the chain of custody for liability purposes (drivers license and a signed ‘I have received on this date one xxx’ receipt, police report, FFL receipt, or whatever).

To make the conversation intresting consider the possibility of a change in laws that would make it legal for all of those maufacturer and FFL records to be subpoenaed and acted upon by state and federal agencies (for the greater good as it was described on a separate thread)

Simply stated, registration isnt necessary to trace your firearms purchases to you (even under current laws) and in a litigous society I would not relent possession of a firearm purchased in my name without establishing traceability.

Add to this an element of human nature, rather you call it pro or con, which is ‘if I know this firearm can be linked to me I am likely to be more cautious with its chain of custody than if I believe it can’t be traced to me’. Similar to the euphemism that ‘locks only keep honest people honest, yet we still use locks’

Gun registration never stopped my nephew from taking a 25 caliber from the small collection my Father had left for his Inheritance to me and knowing (my son and nephew)as well as I do, it was traded for either money or a handful of pills. Both of these guys were in their 20’s neither of them worked! But they both were drunks, thieves, and the entire family knew it, but if they were caught everyone just looked the other way. My boy called the sheriff and they beat me, kicked me in the stomach, unleashed the K-9 and it chewed the calf of my leg off! I’ve paid for all the court costs and parole plus I have been to the state capital 3X’s for nothing but to have a lawyer take $2000.0??? But the insurance is paid for the new BMW he drove there in.! My auto is a 1994 model and I can’t get the collection of old handguns my Daddy left to ME AND NOT THE SO CALLED JUDICIAL SYSTEM.!.!

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Welcome Billy.
I can’t help but ask a dumb arse question or two…

  1. how is it that a twenty something drunk thief gained access to your firearms…?
  2. why is a drunk thief calling the police on you rather than you reporting the firearm stolen the moment you realized it was out of you control…?

To be clear I find any form of national registry to be about as comforting as a national data base of all the calls I make. One of the reasons we saw an uproar over the NSA having Meta data on American citizen’s phone calls. FFL records have to be kept for 20 years. However they don’t have a national data base to know who has those records. The only way they could trace a weapon would be to have the weapon and trace it through the manufacturer to the seller and then maybe the buyer. But I would hate to think if they had a crime that the lab said was committed with a 9 mm Beretta based on the lands, groves and twist on the bullet and they could pull up everyone that owed such a 9 mm in the whole country. Still I believe only 9 states have a requirement that you have to use a FFL for private sales. No FFL no records. No records no national data base. Just like no national phone call data base.

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