Law enforcement officers are warning there are dangerous risks associated with a Democratic-sponsored proposal to create a public gun registry.
Kevin Hassett, president of the Retired Police Association of the State of New York, told Fox News that the bill is a “gross intrusion on your rights and your protections.”
Hassett, who is a former police officer, said a public gun registry presents significant risks for retired law enforcement officers like him, and he went so far as to deem the legislation “anti-police.”
“What good is it for someone who I may have arrested to finally find where I live, see how many guns I have? To what end?” Hassett asked. “How does that stop illegal firearms? How does that stop shootings?”
T.J. McDermott, a retired detective, echoed similar concerns, which he characterized as “downright frightening.”
“We’ve become a society where it’s easy to vilify [the police],” McDermott told Fox News. “[Now they’re] turning police into victims.”
Both Hassett and McDermott doubted that a public gun registry – or even increased firearm ownership regulations – would deter criminals who blatantly violate the law.
“How does a national gun registry prevent shootings?” Hassett asked. “Criminals don’t register their guns … there will always be people who don’t comply with the law.”
McDermott added that a registry would even help criminals find firearms, by requiring law-abiding citizens to register details including how many they have, where they are stored and how they are stored.
“You just let every criminal, anyone that’s bent on bad behavior or obtaining a gun illegally … know exactly where to go to find the guns,” McDermott said.
GUN CONTROL BILL FROM REP. SHEILA JACKSON LEE WOULD CREATE NATIONAL FIREARM REGISTRY, REQUIRE LICENSING
As previously reported by Fox News, the legislation was introduced by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, and would implement several other restrictions on gun ownership in addition to creating the national gun registry.
The minimum age to purchase a gun would be set nationwide at 21. In order to obtain a general license, the law would also require a completed background check, a psychological evaluation and completion of a training course.
To obtain a license for a military-style weapon, an individual would be faced with more stringent requirements – including psychological evaluations of spouses, former spouses, and at least two other family members or close associates.
Penalties for failure to comply with the laws range from fines of up to $150,000 to decades in prison.
Jackson Lee’s office did not return Fox News’ request for comment.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
The proposal for a national gun registry, however, is not new.
The National Rifle Association called the idea “dangerous” in a 2013 interview with NPR because it could potentially infringe on people’s right to own a firearm.
“A registry of people who own firearms – citizens who’ve broken no law, who are not prohibited from owning firearms – would be very dangerous because it can easily result in confiscation of those firearms,” former NRA President David Keene said at the time.
A gun registry in theory would make it easier to potentially link individuals to certain gun-related crimes, and prevent illegal gun sales.
But critics, like Hassett and McDermott, say it could also punish and deter law-abiding citizens from exercising their Second Amendment rights, while doing very little to remove illegal firearms from the streets.