At any rate, my understanding wouldn’t affect my view of the Manchin-Toomey bill. Family members would still be able to sell to one another, over the Thanksgiving turkey or over the Internet, as they prefer. There would be no regulation of noncommercial sales. The bill would prohibit a national registry and impose a 15-year felony sentence for any public official who tries to start one.Ms. Carlson's understanding is completely flawed, but this is being pushed as a "pro-gun" provision, and on cursory examination, we might agree that a 15 year sentence for a public official that tries to start a registry is pro-gun. Unfortunately, Manchin-Toomey doesn't require that. Careful reading is required, and Dave Kopel provides that careful reading for us.
The limit on creating a registry applies only to the Attorney General (and thus to entities under his direct control, such as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives). By a straightforward application of inclusio unius exclusio alterius it is permissible for entities other than the Attorney General to create gun registries, using whatever information they can acquire from their own operations. For example, the Secretary of HHS may consolidate and centralize whatever firearms records are maintained by any medical or health insurance entity. The Secretary of the Army may consolidate and centralize records about personal guns owned by military personnel and their families.Thus, we see that Manchin-Toomey as currently written allows other agencies of the Federal government to compose such a registry. DHS, or HHS could start a registry without fear of prosecution. And, if the law only prohibits Justice from starting a registry, do we think for a minute that Justice would prosecute itself? Surely, you jest!
I would remind Ms. Carlson that a simple Google search would provide the answers to her fact-checking before she publishes an article. But, she's a professional journalist writing for Mayor Bloomberg. Facts are important to neither she, nor her boss.
I'm still waiting for that reasonable conversation. I doubt that Maggie Carlson will turn up in comments, or in my email in-box.