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Thread: 595 and the 5th Amendment

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    595 and the 5th Amendment

    In Haynes v. United States, the US Supreme Court held essentially that gun registration does not apply to criminals because of the 5th Amendment's protection against self incrimination.

    Now, if we apply that amendment to I-594, a couple of questions arise. In Washington, possession of a stolen firearm is a criminal activity, and this law requires that all firearms transfers [even those involving stolen firearms] go through a background check. Doesn't that requirement violate the 5th Amendment, because it in essence requires a person to provide evidence that he is in violation of the law? The same thing could also apply to a convicted felon who is trying to sell a firearm. It's also a federal crime for a prohibited person to attempt to purchase a firearm and it appears that this law requires the reporting of all such attempts [I don't have time to look up the exact federal law right now, so, I could be slightly mistaken]. Wouldn't that also violate the 5th Amendment?

    Of course the burden of proof is on the state to prove that a crime occurred, so, any firearm sold before December 4th is essentially exempt from this law.

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    Regular Member Difdi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jered View Post
    any firearm sold before December 4th is essentially exempt from this law.
    Not sold, transferred. I-594 and case law have expanded the definition of what a transfer is to the point that if someone touches someone else's holstered gun, a transfer has arguably taken place.
    Last edited by Difdi; 12-08-2014 at 08:38 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jered View Post
    In Haynes v. United States, the US Supreme Court held essentially that gun registration does not apply to criminals because of the 5th Amendment's protection against self incrimination.

    Now, if we apply that amendment to I-594, a couple of questions arise. In Washington, possession of a stolen firearm is a criminal activity, and this law requires that all firearms transfers [even those involving stolen firearms] go through a background check. Doesn't that requirement violate the 5th Amendment, because it in essence requires a person to provide evidence that he is in violation of the law? The same thing could also apply to a convicted felon who is trying to sell a firearm. It's also a federal crime for a prohibited person to attempt to purchase a firearm and it appears that this law requires the reporting of all such attempts [I don't have time to look up the exact federal law right now, so, I could be slightly mistaken]. Wouldn't that also violate the 5th Amendment?

    Of course the burden of proof is on the state to prove that a crime occurred, so, any firearm sold before December 4th is essentially exempt from this law.
    If you sold it then the 5th would apply, yes. You said "attempts" not "completes" .. going by what you posted only.

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    Thanks.

    The way that this law is written, it also appears to apply to a transaction involving a stolen gun between to felons. Which should make for an amusing prosecution.

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