Thread: 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.
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.