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Thread: Firearms Owner's Protection Act (FOPA)

  1. #1
    Regular Member
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    May 2008
    Southwest, Michigan, USA

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    Found this on the DC forum and did a little digging:

    From Wikipedia...

    "The act also forbade the U.S. Government or any agency of it from keeping a registry directly linking non-National Firearms Act firearms to their owners, the specific language of this law ( Federal Law 18 U.S.C. 926 (2) (a)) being: No such rule or regulation prescribed after the date of the enactment of the Firearms Owners Protection Act may require that records required to be maintained under this chapter or any portion of the contents of such records, be recorded at or transferred to a facility owned, managed, or controlled by the United States or any State or any political subdivision thereof, nor that any system of registration of firearms, firearms owners, or firearms transactions or disposition be established. Nothing in this section expands or restricts the Secretary's authority to inquire into the disposition of any firearm in the course of a criminal investigation." (my boldness added)

    My first reading leads me to believe this only applies to any US gov't agency and not the States. However, if there is any Federal involvement, i.e. NCIS background check, a system to maintain those records may not be established. The FOPA is confusing to me in that it appears to apply Federally but includes control of information by any State of any political subdivision.

    Anybody have any better handle on the FOPA?

  2. #2
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    Aug 2008
    RTM Fennville, Michigan, USA

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    I belive what this is referring to is the existence of firearms owne PRE this act. People who bough pistols and firearms in 1960 would not have to bring them in to be registered, as they were bought before the act was enabled.

    I could be entirely all wet on this, but my thoughts on it. This may spur some interest from members to rebuttal me.

  3. #3
    Regular Member Michigander's Avatar
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    Aug 2007
    Mulligan's Valley

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    I would suggest sending that question to the MSP, or maybe the ATF. That would be a pretty cool law to use to shut down the registry in Michigan.
    Answer every question about open carry in Michigan you ever had with one convenient and free book-

    The complete and utter truth can be challenged from every direction and it will always hold up. Accordingly there are few greater displays of illegitimacy than to attempt to impede free thought and communication.

  4. #4
    Michigan Moderator DrTodd's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
    Hudsonville , Michigan, USA

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    Don't take this information as anything more than how I remember a discussion a long time ago. Also, I would love to get rid of the MI registration process, so don't waste your time arguing against what I write as if I support the registration of firearms; I don't. I am passing this along for thoughtful consideration, not to further any agenda.

    This is just how I remember it, taking a Federal Law college class shortly after it was passed. I seem to recall that FOPA dealt w/ the Gun Control Act of 1968. What this means is that it is limited to information/ lists that are generated from the GCA, which specifically deals with FFL holders and information the BATF received from them. Since the State of Michigan doesn't get the info from Federal Firearm Licenses or from the actual Federal paperwork, rather from you when you buy the pistol and return to the station to get the "inspection", the professor stated that it had no effect on MI's "safety inspection" unless the information came from the BATF. At the time, there were some states that used BATF information to determine who was purchasing firearms.

    If one were to logically argue that Michigan's gun registration amounted to a list of firearm owners, one could also argue that the CPL is a list also. It would stand to reason that cpl holders necessarily have firearms. Although very few firearm owners have a cpl, I would imagine that the # of CPL holders who owned firearms would be nearly 100%.

    Giving up our liberties for safety is the one sure way to let the violent among us win.

    "Though defensive violence will always be a 'sad necessity' in the eyes of men of principle, it would be still more unfortunate if wrongdoers should dominate just men." -Saint Augustine

    Disclaimer I am not a lawyer! Please do not consider anything you read from me to be legal advice.

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