Oakland seeks waiver to be first California city to register guns

When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns. So goes the saying that aptly describes Oakland California, the murder capital of California. A bill introduced by Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Alameda, would exempt Oakland from a state law that prohibits cities from requiring gun owners to register their weapons with a city agency. Under such a waiver, Oakland could create more restrictive gun laws than the legislature, and even charge gun ownership fees. But will this stop the gun based crime?

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According to Will Kane at SFGate, both Oakland Councilwoman Schaff and Police Chief Bonta “acknowledged that such regulations would do little to stop criminals who already own illegal guns.”

John Donohue, a professor at Stanford Law School who has studied the effects of gun control on crime, said such a law, if passed, would have little immediate impact on crime.

“I still like the idea of the knowledge you could get from the registry,” Donohue said. “But whether it is a cost-effective, immediate crime solver, I am still a little dubious.”

Most gangs and criminals, Donohue said, “are either sending someone to Nevada to pick (guns) up, or they’re meeting up with someone who went there for them.”

One gun owner in Oakland wasn’t enthusiastic about the possibility.

“As somebody who lives in a dangerous part of Oakland, I think what the City Council is likely to do with this is create an additional cost on my right to self-defense,” said Max Allstadt, 37, a carpenter who lives in West Oakland. “The Oakland City Council is responsible for my need for self-defense through years of incompetent crime fighting policy. They created my need for self-defense.”

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  1. Wrangler John says

    I recall a court case years ago that held that persons prohibited from owning guns can not be prosecuted for failure to register them. The reason was that registering said firearm would violate their 5th Amendment protection against self-incrimination. Hence, we are left with the fact that only the law abiding can be prosecuted for failure to register firearms. The most effective policy for reducing crime is to allow individuals to carry self-defense firearms with either a no permit required or shall issue concealed weapons permit system.

    • John Henning says

      Not true, though I understand the argument they (if caught) would be in possession of a firearm as a prohibited person AND an illegal firearm of what ever class it needs to be registered under. Again though they would have to be caught with it first.

  2. ray says

    these jokers in office are blind to trends of area that have lots of gun restrictions. Just a hint: crime rates don’t go down just because you make it more cumbersome for the law abiding. You just make more helpless victems.

  3. Harry Schell says

    If there is no value against crime, then this is just harassment of law-abiding citizens and ANOTHER reason to relocate from Oakland. What are these people smoking? Do they have no better things to do?

    This is like the Canadian long-gun registry, an utterly useless move which wastes money and time. People with no better ideas can claim they “did something”, but that is not why law should be implemented.

    The political class in CA is sounding more vacant and illegitimate by the day.

  4. boris says

    What makes people think that gang members or felons would register their guns? I can guarantee you that criminals will not register guns they do not care about the “law”…