Quote of the day—Joseph R. Goodwin

Firearms with no serial number are just as “bearable” as the same firearm with a serial number, and there is no “common use” issue here as the presence or lack of a serial number makes no difference with respect to whether the type of weapon is commonly used. Finally, I can find no authority for the idea that a firearm without a serial number would meet the historical definition of a dangerous or unusual firearm.

Joseph R. Goodwin
United States District Judge
October 12, 2022

We don’t require serial numbers on books so why should we have serial numbers on guns? Books and ideas are far more powerful than guns…

Just imagine all the things that could follow from this:

  • No gun registration. They didn’t have gun registration at the time the 2nd was written, right?
  • Now, what is the point of 4473s?
  • With no 4473s I can sell or give guns to anyone that isn’t a known convicted felon.

If this happens, even if only for a year or two, it will make mass confiscation far more difficult for decades even if the bad guys reclaim political power and crank gun control up to eleven..

I expected this would happen eventually but I did not think it would happen this quickly. It might be a little too much too fast for political acceptance. The political left may be able to get some traction in the upcoming elections off of this sort of thing. The danger would be packing the court or some such thing if things move too fast.

Is there room on Mount Rushmore for Clarence Thomas? If not, he should be given his own mountain.—Joe]


14 thoughts on “Quote of the day—Joseph R. Goodwin

  1. “Now, what is the point of 4473s?”

    And, the NFA concerning autos and suppressors!

  2. Reading the entire 922(k) decision, 922(k) is unconstitutional not because it requires S/N on firearms for commerce but because it makes the possession of a firearm without a S/N illegal, for no valid reason.

    “These scenarios make clear that Section 922(k) is far more than the mere commercial regulation the Government claims it to be. Rather, it is a blatant prohibition on possession. The conduct prohibited by Section 922(k) falls squarely within the Second Amendment’s plain text”

    Thus 4473 will still be required as manufactures can be required to put a S/N on each gun manufactured and sold. Just like the tag on your mattress, only the end user has the right to remove the S/N.

    • Valid point. But removal of serial numbers and resale by private owners will become common. In a few months expect essentially all guns used in crimes to be untraceable via serial numbers.

      So, what is the point of 4473s other than, “Because we can.”?

      • The only valid point for the background check process is for good people to be assured that they are transferring a firearm to a not-proven-to-be-a-bad-person.

        There is no sense in which the legal requirement to use that process provides any practical utility if the transferor themselves is a bad person. Bad transferors simply won’t use it, and there is no way to stop them until after the fact… just as would happen if the legal requirement didn’t exist.

        The only way a “universal” background check system would make sense is if it was universally available, not universally mandated. Available all the time, everywhere, for any transferor, can’t be interrupted by gov shutdown, incompetence or power outage, produces no centralized records but gives the transferor a means to make a receipt that means “I checked, they were clean at that time, and I can prove it.”

        And there would be no reason to make any record of the firearm itself in that process. Check the person. The need for a serial number may be reasonable for commerce purposes, particularly warrantee reasons and inventory management, but there is very close to zero practical utility from the law enforcement point of view for serial numbers. So they trace a gun they recover… so what? Do they intend to return it to the last rightful owner before it was stolen years before?

  3. I’m still waiting for the judiciary to rediscover what “infringed” means so we can finally be done with the whole mess that is gun contol. The wheels of justice seem to turn at glacial speed with a lot of Brownian motion thrown in.

  4. Gun controls whole argument stands on the basis that government can stop crime with certain infringements, i.e. serial numbers and 4473’s. Restrictions on certain types of weapons or accessories.
    It was/is absurd on its face. It’s a lie. And has always been a lie.
    Hell, even Bonnie & Clyde just went and stole BAR’s from a national guard armory.
    Just as patriots stole “brown bess” muskets from red coats.
    And the cartels just haven’t found the need to set up their own machine shops, yet.
    Communists stated reasons are always LIES. Law based on fraud, or lies, is unenforceable under/as the law.
    You can’t have a suppressor without the hassle because you might break the law with it if you don’t have a tax stamp? Or that the background check that shows you haven’t been a criminal for most of your life, stops you from being one in the future?
    Is that the logic congress expects grown adults to except?
    The fraud is that government pre-judges you as a possible criminal suspect before the actual crime. No such power is granted in the constitution.
    But it’s good to see the court system starting to catch on. It’s only been what, 200 years now?

    • “because you might break the law with it?
      When analyzing other parts of the constitution, that is known as “Prior Restraint.” It was a particularly strong argument when used on the First Amendment, there is no reason it shouldn’t be used when examining laws affecting the Second Amendment.

      And let’s not get into when “Strict Scrutiny”, “Intermediate Scrutiny” and “Rational Basis Test” should be used. In my opinion, if we are dealing with what the Federal Government may and may not do under the terms of the Constitution, “Intermediate Scrutiny” and “Rational Basis Test” are outcome-based analyses and therefore unconstitutional in themselves.

      • Exactly right. All those flavors of “scrutiny” amount to “let’s invent some unconstitutional rule to allow the government to infringe on the Constitution so long as they can concoct an excuse we’ve decided to accept.”

      • And we can see how clearly the government has used its weasel words as a usurpation of power over the 1A, against say, pornography? Worked great!
        But it appears the idea stuck. Because now you’re not allowed to tell your neighbor how to help cure the flu on social media.
        Prior restraint my ass. Just more black-robed bullshit.

  5. As Timo says above. The only valid reason for serial numbers is for the manufacturer themselves.
    I would posit that infringe on commerce in arms. Is an infringement on our individual rights. As most arms made in the 1700’s were made and sold through commerce. As was powder.
    Fraud, and it’s all based on fraudulent logic.

  6. Given product liability issues (and the related court judgements), manufacturers – almost certainly – want serial numbers which, even on guns, are no different from serial numbers on toasters, televisions, Toyotas and batches of medicine. Downstream of manufacturing, however, the value declines.

    As for prohibited persons, it’s a 6-point matrix: “Is this a prohibited person Y/N,” “is this object a firearm Y/N,” and “is/was this prohibited person in possession of this firearm Y/N.”

    No serial number is necessary to determine “violation Y/N” so the necessity of recording/tracking serial numbers beyond the manufacturer’s doors, is pretty low. Manufacturers will probably want to be able to determine this batch of serial numbers was sent to Acme Gun Store Inc – product liability again – but as to who buys it from Acme , the mfg would probably like to know but even in today’s complcated legal environment being able to track ownership beyond the first retail sale can be extremely limited, as has been frequently demonstrated.

  7. While I applaud the ruling I seriously doubt it will stand on appeal. And an appeal is inevitable. The ability to tie a firearm to a person is very very important to people seeking to control those people. And the vast majority of black robed pirates agree with the government on that issue. I fully expect this one to be overturned. Never underestimate the ability of a judge/court to contort, twist or mutate something to match their wishes. The only way this stands is if the SCOTUS takes it up….before the conservative justices get replaced by the criminals in power.

  8. I have my father’s first guns, a single shot .22 and a top break 12 gauge shotgun, from pre-WWII. Neither gun has a serial number. There must be millions of such guns.

    Today’s modular firearms have made serial numbers largely useless. I can easily change calibers on my AR-15 by changing uppers. Say from 5.56 to .300 Blackout. What is the use of the serial number on the lower receiver?

    Finally the whole concept of identifying criminals via serial numbers on guns has been proven useless a few years after GCA 68 went into effect. The Son of Sam murders was the perfect test case. The killer used an unusual gun with limited production. All guns had been serialized. Yet the BATF was unable to locate the gun used in the crime. In fact, they were only able to find about 90% of the guns sold. The original owner had pawned the gun used in the crimes. The pawn shop sold it to the criminal.

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