SFPD Chief Squares Off Against Gun Rights Advocate Over Nationwide Registry

San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr called for a nationwide gun registry at an American Bar Association meeting in the city today.

“There needs to be some form of national gun registry so we know who has them, so we know that everyone who has them is cleared, checked, responsible,” Suhr said during a panel discussion on strategies to prevent gun violence.

“It gives law enforcement the best chance to keep everybody safe,” he said.

Panelist Gene Hoffman, chairman of the Calguns Foundation, a gun rights group, disagreed.

Hoffman said he supports background checks for gun buyers, but said he believes that a list linking gun owners and their weapons is “not necessarily the government’s business.”

Elizabeth Burke, managing attorney for Lawyers for a Safer America at the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, said that lawyers can help to reduce gun violence by filing lawsuits against dealers who sell firearms illegally.

The panel at the Moscone Center West was part of the ABA’s annual meeting, which continues in the city through Tuesday.

Julia Cheever, Bay City News

Please make sure your comment adheres to our comment policy. If it doesn't, it may be deleted. Repeat violations may cause us to revoke your commenting privileges. No one wants that!
  • badlittlecar .

    whole bunch of scumbags …………….and parasites sue the dealers and makers .they just want to make money and nothing else

  • badlittlecar .

    whole bunch of scumbags …………….and parasites sue the dealers and makers .they just want to make money and nothing else

  • Jack Jones Jr

    im Pro gun but there is nothing wrong with going through a background check to purchase a gun. if there is no check then felons can buy a firearm that are not suppose to have them

    • Jeff

      I am a current FFL dealer and you are wrong, every person who comes through my door has a background check done unless they carry a current and valid CCW permit from my state. There are already extensive background checks on the book for this, “Registering Leads to Confiscation”
      A Felon by any means cannot own or possess a firearm (legally), but many felons have been interviewed on standing legislations and all have stated “Go ahead and make them, I don’t follow them anyways. So your push for national Gun Registration is invalid. Find a good conceivable legislation and maybe I can agree with you on another forefront.

      That is all.

      • Jack Jones Jr

        in a lot of states Jeff there is no check at all you just hand the money over and the gun is yours, that I belive is what they are trying to change a uniform law for all states to have a background check before sale

        • Slicer

          Your incorrect, since 1994 or 95 you HAVE a NCIS back ground check EVERY TIME in EVRY State….Listening to people that think they know it all yet know nothing of which they talk.

          • Jeff

            Slicer, you are wrong on that fact. If the individual buying the Firearm has a valid and current CCW in my state (AZ) and many other states no NICS (not NCIS) check is required as an extensive background check has already been established on said individual. 27 CFR 478.102(d)

        • emerson1248

          Mr. Jones, I don’t know where you find these false facts of yours? Every State has background checks before sale, thats Federal law…Further your not going to find a gang-banger standing in line to register his gun, are you nuts???

        • locosway

          There is a federal background check and the form is a 4473. This applies to ALL states and ALL dealers. Some exceptions are with private sales, since some states do not regulate private sales. Honestly, how could a state regulate private sales? California tries to regulate private gun sales, but illegal guns are still here.

          So your information about background checks is wrong. Don’t believe me? Go to a gun store and try to buy a gun without doing a background check. You’ll either be thrown out or have the cops called on you.

    • mrsatyre

      You’re right, there’s nothing wrong with that at all. But when you require registering, which is a very different thing, then you start to repeat what has happened throughout history in every dictatorship in the world such as Nazi Germany, present day Cuba and Venezuela, China, North Korea, Iran, etc. Each of those (and many more) started off with mandatory registration, and quickly followed with seizure—which was obviously made so much the easier for knowing who had what and where. Then those people were subjugated or killed outright. All of them claimed such actions were for the civilized good.

    • Baca

      Mr. Jones It seems to me you have never purchased a firearm legally before.

    • technologist
      • Jeff

        Being an FFL dealer myself, If I sell at a gun show or off site event from my License location I am still required to run a NICS/Background check. I did not read the story, but it may have explained in it so sorry for any redundancy in my posting. Now the NICS check is not required for private party sales in my state.

    • jarrod

      Checks for records and recording purchases are diffrent

    • James1754

      Criminals do not buy firearms from gun stores.

    • Jack Jones Jr

      ok i understand now i did not realize the recording of the sale was what this was all about

  • Jack Jones Jr

    im Pro gun but there is nothing wrong with going through a background check to purchase a gun. if there is no check then felons can buy a firearm that are not suppose to have them

    • Jeff

      I am a current FFL dealer and you are wrong, every person who comes through my door has a background check done unless they carry a current and valid CCW permit from my state. There are already extensive background checks on the book for this, “Registering Leads to Confiscation”
      A Felon by any means cannot own or possess a firearm (legally), but many felons have been interviewed on standing legislations and all have stated “Go ahead and make them, I don’t follow them anyways. So your push for national Gun Registration is invalid. Find a good conceivable legislation and maybe I can agree with you on another forefront.

      That is all.

      • Jack Jones Jr

        in a lot of states Jeff there is no check at all you just hand the money over and the gun is yours, that I belive is what they are trying to change a uniform law for all states to have a background check before sale

        • Slicer

          Your incorrect, since 1994 or 95 you HAVE a NCIS back ground check EVERY TIME in EVRY State….Listening to people that think they know it all yet know nothing of which they talk.

          • Jeff

            Slicer, you are wrong on that fact. If the individual buying the Firearm has a valid and current CCW in my state (AZ) and many other states no NICS (not NCIS) check is required as an extensive background check has already been established on said individual. 27 CFR 478.102(d)

        • emerson1248

          Mr. Jones, I don’t know where you find these false facts of yours? Every State has background checks before sale, thats Federal law…Further your not going to find a gang-banger standing in line to register his gun, are you nuts???

        • locosway

          There is a federal background check and the form is a 4473. This applies to ALL states and ALL dealers. Some exceptions are with private sales, since some states do not regulate private sales. Honestly, how could a state regulate private sales? California tries to regulate private gun sales, but illegal guns are still here.

          So your information about background checks is wrong. Don’t believe me? Go to a gun store and try to buy a gun without doing a background check. You’ll either be thrown out or have the cops called on you.

    • mrsatyre

      You’re right, there’s nothing wrong with that at all. But when you require registering, which is a very different thing, then you start to repeat what has happened throughout history in every dictatorship in the world such as Nazi Germany, present day Cuba and Venezuela, China, North Korea, Iran, etc. Each of those (and many more) started off with mandatory registration, and quickly followed with seizure—which was obviously made so much the easier for knowing who had what and where. Then those people were subjugated or killed outright. All of them claimed such actions were for the civilized good.

    • Baca

      Mr. Jones It seems to me you have never purchased a firearm legally before.

    • technologist
      • Jeff

        Being an FFL dealer myself, If I sell at a gun show or off site event from my License location I am still required to run a NICS/Background check. I did not read the story, but it may have explained in it so sorry for any redundancy in my posting. Now the NICS check is not required for private party sales in my state.

    • jarrod

      Checks for records and recording purchases are diffrent

    • James1754

      Criminals do not buy firearms from gun stores.

    • Jack Jones Jr

      ok i understand now i did not realize the recording of the sale was what this was all about

  • mrsatyre

    It’s sad that so many LEOs have no idea what separates ‘them’ from ‘us’. Absolutely nothing. If you get right down to brass tacks, aren’t we all responsible for maintaining order? If someone gets out of line, you let them know. You stand up for yourself and your neighbors and they do the same for you (in a perfect world, granted). But we live in a society which is continually eroding the distinction between being a citizen who take responsibility for his/her own behavior to one in which citizens are absolved of the consequences of their actions by a self-professed Father-Knows-Best gov’t. Give some people shiny pieces of metal and a title and they will imagine themselves different and special and above the people without shiny piece of metal and titles. Fact is more of ‘us’ are being targeted by bad guys than ‘them’/ Shouldn’t WE be the ones defending ourselves instead of ‘them’ when there a) unquestionably aren’t enough of ‘them’ and b) ‘them’ ain’t required to protect ‘us’ anyway??? http://gothamist.com/2013/07/26/subway_stabbing_victims_suit_agains.php

    • Baca

      well said sir

    • technologist

      Gun Homicide Rate Down 49% Since 1993 Peak; Public Unaware: http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2013/05/07/gun-homicide-rate-down-49-since-1993-peak-public-unaware/

      Tell me again, what problem is additional Federal and state regulation attempting to solve?

    • spencer60

      Actually, a large majority of LEO are on the side of the citizens.

      A recent survey by PoliceOne Magazine showed 70% of officers were against any kind of registry and 90% support concealed carry by law abiding citizens.

      The thing to remember here is that police chiefs are appointed politicians, not cops.

    • William Jones

      These aren’t LEOs, they are politicians, and the worst of the bunch.

      • tagletigre

        Suhr was appointed by the dilly mayor Lee.

  • mrsatyre

    It’s sad that so many LEOs have no idea what separates ‘them’ from ‘us’. Absolutely nothing. If you get right down to brass tacks, aren’t we all responsible for maintaining order? If someone gets out of line, you let them know. You stand up for yourself and your neighbors and they do the same for you (in a perfect world, granted). But we live in a society which is continually eroding the distinction between being a citizen who take responsibility for his/her own behavior to one in which citizens are absolved of the consequences of their actions by a self-professed Father-Knows-Best gov’t. Give some people shiny pieces of metal and a title and they will imagine themselves different and special and above the people without shiny piece of metal and titles. Fact is more of ‘us’ are being targeted by bad guys than ‘them’/ Shouldn’t WE be the ones defending ourselves instead of ‘them’ when there a) unquestionably aren’t enough of ‘them’ and b) ‘them’ ain’t required to protect ‘us’ anyway??? http://gothamist.com/2013/07/26/subway_stabbing_victims_suit_agains.php

    • Baca

      well said sir

    • technologist

      Gun Homicide Rate Down 49% Since 1993 Peak; Public Unaware: http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2013/05/07/gun-homicide-rate-down-49-since-1993-peak-public-unaware/

      Tell me again, what problem is additional Federal and state regulation attempting to solve?

    • spencer60

      Actually, a large majority of LEO are on the side of the citizens.

      A recent survey by PoliceOne Magazine showed 70% of officers were against any kind of registry and 90% support concealed carry by law abiding citizens.

      The thing to remember here is that police chiefs are appointed politicians, not cops.

    • William Jones

      These aren’t LEOs, they are politicians, and the worst of the bunch.

      • tagletigre

        Suhr was appointed by the dilly mayor Lee.

  • DBear

    When will people learn that criminals by definition do not abide by laws?! These proposed laws will do nothing to stop criminals from obtaining weapons, nothing! The law that is being proposed is unconstitutional and has already been deemed so by the U.S. Supreme Court. We already have more than enough laws in place that we do not enforce with actual criminals!

  • DBear

    When will people learn that criminals by definition do not abide by laws?! These proposed laws will do nothing to stop criminals from obtaining weapons, nothing! The law that is being proposed is unconstitutional and has already been deemed so by the U.S. Supreme Court. We already have more than enough laws in place that we do not enforce with actual criminals!

    • Quelkin

      If we had nothing to worry about but gun violence from criminals alone it would be a step forward.

      • DBear

        I do not understand your position on this, it really does not address the content of the article or my post.

        • Quelkin

          Went through an existing hole, leaving no trace.

  • Ɠ⊙иƶǾдҡĿдиɗ

    I’ll support a publicly viewable government sponsored gun registry that lists weapons and addresses of law abiding gun owners on one condition: There must also be a publicly viewable registry of all law enforcement officers and district attorneys, their names, home addresses, with up to date photos.

    Deal? Didn’t think so, Chief. Look up “Isonomy”.

  • Ɠ⊙иƶǾдҡĿдиɗ

    I’ll support a publicly viewable government sponsored gun registry that lists weapons and addresses of law abiding gun owners on one condition: There must also be a publicly viewable registry of all law enforcement officers and district attorneys, their names, home addresses, with up to date photos.

    Deal? Didn’t think so, Chief. Look up “Isonomy”.

  • joedog

    Let’s make the personal information about all police officers a matter of public record – how much they earn, how much overtime, number of arrests, number of citations and value of fines taken in as a result of those citations, number of arrests that fail to result in convictions (aka false arrests), what firearms they own, and what firearms are issued to them, and their home addresses.

    This is obviously necessary to allow Americans to be safe from corrupt and incompetent police officers.

    • James1754

      How much any government employee makes is a matter of public record. Now do not blame the average cop for this chief’s opinion. The average cop would not agree with him.

  • joedog

    Let’s make the personal information about all police officers a matter of public record – how much they earn, how much overtime, number of arrests, number of citations and value of fines taken in as a result of those citations, number of arrests that fail to result in convictions (aka false arrests), what firearms they own, and what firearms are issued to them, and their home addresses.

    This is obviously necessary to allow Americans to be safe from corrupt and incompetent police officers.

    • James1754

      How much any government employee makes is a matter of public record. Now do not blame the average cop for this chief’s opinion. The average cop would not agree with him.

  • Deal Breaker

    If these are the measures wanted/being placed on the law abiding American, Please tell me the actions being made on criminals and the mentally unstable? I hope you target the criminals first because targeting the law-abiding citizen will result in a colossal mistake that will keep repeating itself over and over.

    Currently, there is an abundance of laws for firearms in America that are failing to be enforced. The solutions being drafted up and broadcasted are aimed at diluting our Second Amendment rights due to the lack of enforcement of the current laws.

    This country was founded by geniuses but is currently run by idiots; such as this SFPD Chief.

    • Forthright

      The Police chief for SF runs the country?!?!?! Wow, the White House might be surprised to hear of that!!! LOL

  • Deal Breaker

    If these are the measures wanted/being placed on the law abiding American, Please tell me the actions being made on criminals and the mentally unstable? I hope you target the criminals first because targeting the law-abiding citizen will result in a colossal mistake that will keep repeating itself over and over.

    Currently, there is an abundance of laws for firearms in America that are failing to be enforced. The solutions being drafted up and broadcasted are aimed at diluting our Second Amendment rights due to the lack of enforcement of the current laws.

    This country was founded by geniuses but is currently run by idiots; such as this SFPD Chief.

  • spencer60

    So why do the cops need a list of firearms owners?

    Canada had a list like that, and scrapped it after they finally realized that it was a complete boondoggle.

    It was costly, inaccurate, and served absolutely no purpose for law enforcement, since police have to assume that people are armed anyway, no matter what a list says.

    The only reason for registration is for later confiscation. In every case this century, a national registration has been followed by confiscation, in part or in whole, within a decade.

  • spencer60

    So why do the cops need a list of firearms owners?

    Canada had a list like that, and scrapped it after they finally realized that it was a complete boondoggle.

    It was costly, inaccurate, and served absolutely no purpose for law enforcement, since police have to assume that people are armed anyway, no matter what a list says.

    The only reason for registration is for later confiscation. In every case this century, a national registration has been followed by confiscation, in part or in whole, within a decade.

  • Joe Valverde

    Most in the law enforcement and military community are pro gun rights. I agree with Mr.Satryre in that each of us are responsible for OUR own safety. Police are there AFTER the fact 99% of the time. I’m not one to be complacent and lazy. I assume responsibility for the safety of my family and myself. Politicians and anti-2nd amndmt groups assume that if I want to purchase a firearm then I must be a violent, disturbed criminal. It says more about them than anything.

  • Joe Valverde

    Most in the law enforcement and military community are pro gun rights. I agree with Mr.Satryre in that each of us are responsible for OUR own safety. Police are there AFTER the fact 99% of the time. I’m not one to be complacent and lazy. I assume responsibility for the safety of my family and myself. Politicians and anti-2nd amndmt groups assume that if I want to purchase a firearm then I must be a violent, disturbed criminal. It says more about them than anything.

  • James1754

    Police chiefs, as political appointees, tend to be anti-firearm and reflect the view of the administrations they work for, this does not tend to be the view of the rank and file.
    Anyone connected with the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence(this used to be Handgun Control Inc. and in those days they were at least honest that they wanted to ban all private ownership of firearms) is about as biased a group as can be found.

    The reason that firearms owners are totally opposed to a national firearms registry is that these have, historically, lead to confiscation by the government involved.

  • James1754

    Police chiefs, as political appointees, tend to be anti-firearm and reflect the view of the administrations they work for, this does not tend to be the view of the rank and file.
    Anyone connected with the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence(this used to be Handgun Control Inc. and in those days they were at least honest that they wanted to ban all private ownership of firearms) is about as biased a group as can be found.

    The reason that firearms owners are totally opposed to a national firearms registry is that these have, historically, lead to confiscation by the government involved.

  • emerson1248

    Do me a favor and don’t try to keep me safe. I can handle that myself thank you, and I don’t need the likes of you telling me what I can and can’t do in my own Country. That’s the land of the free in case you missed that part in school…

  • emerson1248

    Do me a favor and don’t try to keep me safe. I can handle that myself thank you, and I don’t need the likes of you telling me what I can and can’t do in my own Country. That’s the land of the free in case you missed that part in school…

  • bumm

    To really make this fellow’s plan work efficiently, all perpetrators of
    crimes should have to fill out standardized forms before committing the
    crime, and submit copies to the authorities in his home town and the
    police department closest to the location where he intends to commit the
    proposed crime. The criminal could be assigned a number so that his
    gun registration could easily matched with his crime commission
    application. Then, after receiving approval and a permit to commit the
    crime, it would be a simple clerical procedure to match the perpetrator
    and his weapon with the crime, and send out a summons to the address
    listed on the forms to the criminal with orders to present himself to
    the nearest law enforcement officer. Obviously, putting inaccurate
    information on ANY of these forms would be a violation of the law.

  • bumm

    To really make this fellow’s plan work efficiently, all perpetrators of
    crimes should have to fill out standardized forms before committing the
    crime, and submit copies to the authorities in his home town and the
    police department closest to the location where he intends to commit the
    proposed crime. The criminal could be assigned a number so that his
    gun registration could easily matched with his crime commission
    application. Then, after receiving approval and a permit to commit the
    crime, it would be a simple clerical procedure to match the perpetrator
    and his weapon with the crime, and send out a summons to the address
    listed on the forms to the criminal with orders to present himself to
    the nearest law enforcement officer. Obviously, putting inaccurate
    information on ANY of these forms would be a violation of the law.

  • Pete Brown

    Greg Suhr is a child molester so maybe he should worry about himself and not the rest of us.

    • MZ

      Do you have any evidence for this?

  • Pete Brown

    Greg Suhr is a child molester so maybe he should worry about himself and not the rest of us.

    • MZ

      Do you have any evidence for this?

  • sfsoma

    Suhr couldn’t keep his job in SF if he said otherwise.

  • sfsoma

    Suhr couldn’t keep his job in SF if he said otherwise.

  • StevvC

    Does this guy think for a moment even one of the bad guys will be registered? Just another law for criminals to break. Armed citizens are his best allies.

    • zbecktx

      Guess what then? Catch bad guy with unregistered gun = gun seized and bad guy goes to jail. The corollary of your logic is that we shouldn’t outlaw burglary because bad guys are going to break into your home anyway.

      • StevvC

        Don’t follow your logic? I’m not a bad guy, I am armed. Can get rid of bad guys if necessary.

  • StevvC

    Does this guy think for a moment even one of the bad guys will be registered? Just another law for criminals to break. Armed citizens are his best allies.

    • zbecktx

      Guess what then? Catch bad guy with unregistered gun = gun seized and bad guy goes to jail. The corollary of your logic is that we shouldn’t outlaw burglary because bad guys are going to break into your home anyway.

      • StevvC

        Don’t follow your logic? I’m not a bad guy, I am armed. Can get rid of bad guys if necessary.

  • John Thomas Rouke

    Police Chief Greg Suhr ,

    It’s worked so many other places like 1936 Germany, Soviet Russia, Cambodia, WWII era France, Poland, and Italy… Yeah it’s a good idea! I won’t ever lead to confiscation of civilian owned firearms will it?

  • John Thomas Rouke

    Police Chief Greg Suhr ,

    It’s worked so many other places like 1936 Germany, Soviet Russia, Cambodia, WWII era France, Poland, and Italy… Yeah it’s a good idea! I won’t ever lead to confiscation of civilian owned firearms will it?

  • Mike Wales
  • Mike Wales
  • Dylan Kosi

    This is insane. This country is becoming a police state. Period.