View Full Version : Felons don't have to register there guns because of 5th amendment

12-30-2012, 5:57 PM
HAYNES v. UNITED STATES, 390 U.S. 85 (1968)

Petitioner was charged by information with violating 26 U.S.C. 5851 (part of the National Firearms Act, an interrelated statutory system for the taxation of certain classes of firearms used principally by persons engaged in unlawful activities) by knowingly possessing a defined firearm which had not been registered as required by 26 U.S.C. 5841. Section 5841 obligates the possessor of a defined firearm to register the weapon, unless he made it or acquired it by transfer or importation, and the Act's requirements as to transfers, makings and importations "were complied with." Section 5851 declares unlawful the possession of such firearm which has "at any time" been transferred or made in violation of the Act, or which "has not been registered as required by section 5841." Additionally, 5851 provides that "possession shall be deemed sufficient evidence to authorize conviction, unless the defendant explains such possession to the satisfaction of the jury." Petitioner moved before trial to dismiss the charge, sufficiently asserting that 5851 violated his privilege against self-incrimination guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment. The motion was denied, petitioner pleaded guilty, and his conviction was affirmed by the Court of Appeals. Held:

3. A proper claim of the privilege against self-incrimination provides a full defense to prosecutions either for failure to register under 5841 or for possession of an unregistered firearm under 5851. Pp. 95-100.

And by an 8-1 decision the Supreme Court agreed with Haynes that expecting him to register his short barreled shotgun when he was a convicted felon effectively violated his 5th Amendment rights against self-incrimination.

12-30-2012, 6:03 PM
And they never will.

12-30-2012, 6:19 PM

12-30-2012, 6:44 PM
Nothing more to say about a 1968 decision.