U.S. Supreme Court’s 1968 Haynes v. U.S. decision:
Haynes, a convicted felon, was convicted of unlawful possession of an unregistered short-barreled shotgun. He argued that for a convicted felon to register a gun was effectively an announcement to the government that he was breaking the law and that registration violated his Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination.
The court, by an 8 – 1 margin, agreed, concluding: “We hold that a proper claim of the constitutional privilege against self-incrimination provides a full defense to prosecutions either for failure to register a firearm…or for possession of an unregistered firearm.” (Summary from American Rifleman, March 2000, page 20) So, when these gun registration schemes are announced, be aware that only lawful gun-owners are required to register their firearms. Unlawful owners are exempted from registration laws due to their constitutional protection against self-incrimination.
Implicit in the finding is that criminals are protected. If they all make us criminals, by making our firearms illegal, then wouldn't we also become protected from registration by our 5th amendment rights?