The Trouble with Registries
by Mad Rocket Scientist
Recent news articles have highlighted the California system of firearms registries & confiscations. For most news outlets, this seemed to be a ho-hum article of how the system works. They make mention of the case of Lynette & David Phillips, a perfectly law-abiding couple who had their firearms confiscated due to her mental illness.
The problem is, she is not dangerously mentally ill. At least it doesn’t appear so, since she has not been committed to a mental institution, or been adjudicated as mentally unfit or unsound. Instead, it appears that an error on her intake form flagged her as potentially dangerous.
It’s possible that some of you do not see any issues here. If so, lemme ‘splain. No, too long, lemme sum up.
Two people, who did nothing wrong, have had their property confiscated and destroyed by the state, and they have (as far as I know) no recourse to get the property back, or to be compensated for it’s loss. In this particular case, these people have lost their 2nd amendment rights, while having their 4th and 5th amendment rights trampled.
Their mistakes were A) seeking help for a health issue, and B) not being willing to politely tell 9 armed and armored police officers to go piss up a rope and come back with a warrant.
Ignoring the constitutional question of being deprived of property absent due process (these people never got to opportunity to consult an attorney, or go before a judge or jury, or were even granted the opportunity to dispose of the firearms in another manner), is it really a good idea to give citizens yet one more huge reason to not seek the help of a mental health professional?
The U.S. has a major problem with the social stigma of mental health and mental health care horror stories, and now they have one more, a rather strong one.
Oh, and when gun owners like me balk at the idea of registries absent very strong legal protections, this is what we hold up as an example of why it is a bad idea, good intentions aside.
And then there is the whole constitutional issue still staring us in the face 0 although no one really seems to care about the 4th and 5th Amendments anymore. (Until theirs are personally trampled, then it becomes an issue).