J. Edgar Hoover, before the Warren Commission, in 1964:

Mr. HOOVER: There is argument, of course, that by passing firearms legislation you are going to take the privilege of hunting away from the sportsmen of the country. I don’t share that view with any great degree of sympathy because you have to get a license to drive an automobile and you have to get a license to have a dog, and I see no reason why a man shouldn’t be willing, if he is a law-abiding citizen, to have a license to get a firearm whether it be a rifle or revolver or other firearm. It is not going to curtail his exercise of shooting for sport because the police make a check of his background. If he is a man who is entitled to a gun, a law-abiding citizen, a permit will be granted.

[Fifty years later you can still buy a firearm at a gun show without a background check.]


    • Well, the point can be argued — and certainly has been. I don’t think that requiring registration of firearms, with a background check, constitutes any kind of material infringement of the right to bear arms, but I know that many people disagree with this view.

      • It is a material infringement if you consider it gives the government the ability to very quickly and very efficiently come straight to your house and everyone else’s and confiscate them. If they are forced to go door to door and actually search every single house (the majority of which probably don’t have any) then a tyrannical (hypothetically speaking) government has a much slimmer chance of succeeding in that effort.

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