Skip to comments.Clutching frantically to 'Heller,' 3rd Circuit OKs Ban on Unnumbered Guns
Posted on 07/30/2010 8:50:32 PM PDT by Rabin
"In an important Second Amendment decision that charts a course for evaluating the validity of gun laws now that the U.S. Supreme Court has declared the right to be an individual one, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has refused to strike down a federal law that bans possession of guns with obliterated serial numbers McLaughlin held that the Second Amendment does not protect a right to own handguns with obliterated serial numbers and that 922(k) does not meaningfully burden the "core" right recognized in Heller -- the right to possess firearms for defense of hearth and home."
See also (The Legal Intelligencer, http://www.law.com/jsp/pa/this_week.jsp)
(Excerpt) Read more at law.com ...
The Constitution grants no power to criminalize the possession of any guns, numbered or otherwise. No reference to the Second Amendment is necessary to conclude that the statute is not and can never be Constitutionally valid.
The 3rd Circuit is no has not read the Constitution since their oldest judge was in grade school.
Before Congress said so, I don’t think guns were numbered. More unconstitutional infringement on my God-given rights.
I don’t have a problem with this. We have a right to bear arms, but nothing says those arms must be allowed to have no serial number. I own a number of guns, and all of them have serial numbers. It isn’t a big deal.
The Constitution grants no power to the government to deny the possession to ANY free man. If an ex-con cannot be trusted with a gun, then they should not be released from prison.
Would it be OK if they all had the same numbers on them?
Lots of older guns, very high quality guns, do not have serial numbers and are perfectly legal.
So what is the difference?
You might find that very situation if you had a couple guns by the same manufacturer produced before serial numbers were mandated. You could be looking at a part number and be confused as to why it reads the same on both weapons. But you would have to be in law enforcement to be that confused about weapons.
I think the main purpose of the serial numbers is to tracks sales thru dealers. Older guns have already been sold.
Folks who remove serial numbers usually are not doing it because they are good people who were bored one afternoon. And if they were, there would be no way to catch them since there is no good reason for a cop to inspect your gun unless you have been involved in shooting someone.
Given that only 3 states allow ‘Constitutional Carry’, I think we have bigger fish to fry.
Isn’t this requirement that guns have serial numbers an infringement? Next, the government might require all guns to have “safety locks” or GPS chips.
Unfortunately, the constitution does not say that the right to manufacture firearms shall not be infringed.
Would you have a problem with your serial numbered gun being confiscated and then told days later that you don't have a right to them because the serial number has been defaced?
Who is going to believe you? Oh but you have pictures of them, well the authorities have the ACTUAL gun with no serial number.
All the CMP rifles still have thier original serial #s and all of those refurbished by others have theirs too.
I guess I haven’t worried a lot about anyone seizing my guns. I did have to keep them in the base armory once, but no one filed off the serial numbers.
But if someone seizes my gun, you had better bet they are giving me a receipt with the serial number on it, which would also make it pretty tough for them to say it was removed by me...wouldn’t it? And the serial number prevents them from giving me back some piece of junk and keeping my like new pistol.
Nothing specifically says that the arms must be allowed to be anything other than single shot muzzleloaders, or that they must not be required to have a nine foot barrel extension permanently welded on. Still comfortable with the line of reasoning?
Nothing specifically says it cannot be a B-61 nuke. Still comfortable with that line of reasoning?
A serial number does not impact the gun’s ability to function. I can protect myself as well with a gun that has a serial number as one without. All the guns I carried in the military had serial numbers.
Let me guess. You are old. Like dirt. Knew Moses when he was a PVT.
No one FILES anything these days, duffer. They grind them. With electric tools.
You know, rural electrification program and all that crap in the 1900s.
If someone seizes your weapons (no-one is going to seize your gun) they are NOT going to give you a receipt. You will be deceased at that point.
This isn't Queensbury rules and gentlemen. It's raw, ugly power.
Welcome to 2010.
some guns can be ordered with custom serial numbers
Well, young punk, it is like this...no one is going to run up to my door and demand to see my guns. Ain’t happening. Ain’t going to.
Welcome to Arizona, 2010.
By your reading of the Constitution, there's nothing to stop it.
“What in the Constitution gives the Federal government the power to require serial numbers on firearms?”
I suspect the commerce clause: “The Congress shall have power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States...To regulate Commerce...among the several States...”
As I noted before, a serial number has no impact on gun function, so it does not violate the 2nd Amendment.
You obviously don’t know squat about my views, or the Constitution. Read up, and post again when you hit 15.
And if you mouse over my name, and see my sign-up date, you would have to admit that I was a very precocious 4 year old if I hadn't reached the age of 15 yet. Didn't know about that, either, did you, duffer.
Guess Congress wasn’t worried about tracking the sales of individual newspapers across state lines.
Saw your sign up date...figured you started at 3 and hadn’t matured much. Someone on FR for over 10 years ought to have read the Constitution sometime.
Guns with obliterated serial numbers are usually those used for criminal purposes. No sane gunowner would deface a weapon by obliterating its serial number.
Serial numbers are production numbers put their by the manufacturer to show when it was produced (i.e. a Lot number).
It is helpful to the police to track stolen weapons when they recover a suspect item by tracing its serial number back to police reports of stolen weapons, and then back to the original manufacturer.
When U.S. M-16’s started to show up in Latin America, one report said that the serial numbers were traced back to lots sent to So. Vietnam during the war. The implication was, that if this was true, that the No. Vietnamese or a cut-out dealer was selling arms to the Sandinistas and/or FLMN.
All cars must have serial numbers and VIN numbers. No one seems to argue against this so a gun/weapon serial number is no different and doesn’t take any skin off my butt.
I want street criminals who possess weapons with obliterated serial numbers to go to jail for it, and the weapon taken off the street. You and I will be safer if this charge is brought against them.
BOT, Exactly so.
“no power to the government to deny the possession to ANY free man”.
Shucks how about un-oblits between say 3 and ten Gig. This kinda crap comes out of an agenda in a black robe.
States, on the other hand do.
And what part of the Constitution gives the feds that power?
kb, “guns without serial numbers and guns with obliterated numbers” there is a difference.
Granted, but so what?
I’m pretty sure it’s already a federal offense to have a gun with the numbers removed. Guns made before serial numbers were common are grandfathered in, most of them are cheap rifles and shotgund.
I agree. I went back to my post, I thought maybe I had gone nuts again. My only point is some older guns were produced without serial numbers.
They are legal to own same as the rest. Thus using the term guns without numbers when what is meant is guns with obliterated numbers results in a failure to communicate.
I can think of no legitimate reason to obliterate a number. If I saw a gun with an unreadable number I would assume it was stolen and I know it would be a felony to have it in my possession. The dating, historical provenance and other information available by serial numbers is an interesting part of the hobby of gun collecting.
If that’s what is wanted, wouldn’t it make sense that effacing a serial number should be declared a crime only in conjunction with some illegal act being performed with the gun (such as a murder or robbery). We don’t want the 2nd Amendment’s purpose to be effectively nullified by proliferating paperwork type crimes.
Nonsense. I would remove the serial numbers from all of my guns were it not for criminal penalties. They are my guns. They belong to me; not you, and not the government.
It is only due to the infringement of demanding serial numbers that the onerous infringements of registration can exist. The entire FFL system is dependent upon them. Thanks to the existence of serial numbers, every firearm I own is registered by the federal government and the state of Kalifornia.
Do you really think that our nation's Founders would agree that the federal government may demand serial numbers on firearms. How about on knives, swords, and pointed sticks?
What would our Founders think of the federal government outlawing the manufacture of machine guns but allowing continued possession of those already manufactured? How could such an infringement exist if not for serial numbers?
Humans already bear a "serial number" in the form of unique DNA. If the government can demand prior registration of all firearms, then it can demand prior registration of all DNA.
Lets say that your guns are stolen, and then recovered with the serial numbers removed. In this case, there is no doubt that they are yours, because they all have custom made stocks by you, you have pictures, and the thieves were caught with only these guns, and video was taken at your residence of the thieves removing them.
Is it right that these guns are now illegal, and cannot be given back to their rightful owner?
I keep and bear arms...all of which have serial numbers. In what sense, then, does requiring serial numbers infringe on “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms”?
And Congress does have the right to regulate commerce between states. Some states have considered (passed?) laws affecting handguns made and sold in one state...although the ease with which they could be sold out of state might still put it under Congress’s Constitutional authority.
It’s just another arm of the unconstitutional Wickard wickedness. If you have and keep the gun in your state, its constitutional participation in interstate commerce has ended. A state could constitutionally have something to say about the gun so long as it does not prohibit you from keeping one; but the US government can only get involved with that through unconstitutional action.
I suppose they expect you to sue the thieves, as though they had destroyed the weapons.
Not if you make your own.
Would you be okay if it was a federal felony (this case is about a federal felony) to deface the serial number on your stereo?
Where, you ask, is the federal power to felonize the stereo defacing? Commerce clause, goes the argument.
Back to the car example, it is a federal crime to alter, obliterate, etc. vehicle VIN numbers too.
In United States v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174, the Supreme Court ... held the shotgun was unprotected by the Second Amendment. Id. at 178.
"Absent evidence we cannot say" is converted into, "we have the evidence, and we say."
Why should the public accept binding decisions from a court that is defective?
18 USC 922(k) forbids receiving or possessing. Doing so is a felony. Possess one gun with an altered or obliterated serial number, and you are barred for life from possession of a firearm.
In contrast, the federal VIN defacing law, 18 USC 2321, include the element of intent to sell, and the VIN alteration crime depends on (requires) a corresponding violation of 18 USC 511, which covers the act of VIN alteration.
Also in contrast, even if the vehicle is forfeit (See 18 USC 512), mere possession is not a strict liability felony, as it is for firearms.
You are just digging yourself a bigger hole. Under your proposition states would be able to outlaw all gun ownership.
If the gun is made in your state, you may have an argument, although the reality is that the Courts have already ruled you do not.
Once guns are made in one state and sold in another, you have no argument. Congress can regulate how a gun made in one state is tracked and sold in another, and that is IAW the Constitution.