Amicus Briefs Filed to Defend Serial Number Gun Ban in Fourth Circuit

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best Ar15 Trigger triggers iStock-FabrikaCr-949369336

U.S.A.-(– In a previous article on AmmoLand, the West Virginia case was described where the federal ban on possession of a firearm with the serial number removed, was found to be unconstitutional. The case is USA v Randy Price.

Serial numbers were never designed as a means of confiscating firearms. They have been subverted for that purpose.

Demanding that firearms have serial numbers and that those numbers are not removed so that firearms can be linked to particular individuals is key to setting up a system for gun confiscation. Those who wish for an unarmed population understand this. They have marshaled vast resources to keep the federal ban on possessing firearms that have had the serial number removed.

The Biden administration has appealed the district court ruling to the Fourth Circuit. The defendant is represented by an attorney appointed by the court. It is unclear what defense of the district court ruling will be heard by the Fourth Circuit.

Amicus briefs have been filed to reverse the district court ruling by:

The amicus briefs may be viewed on the PACER system.

In the District Court opinion, no attention was paid to the direct and clear threat requiring firearms to have serial numbers and the prohibition on possessing firearms where the serial number has been removed to maintain an armed population.

A ban on firearms with serial numbers removed is a direct seizure of power over the ownership of arms, which the Second Amendment is designed to protect against.

The federal law makes the confiscation of guns from the population much easier. The serial number law makes gun registration possible. Gun registration is gun confiscation. House-to-house searches are unnecessary when a particular firearm can be linked to a particular person. This is the reason those who want a disarmed population are pulling out the stops to keep this law, although it is a clear infringement of the Right to Keep arms, protected by the Second Amendment.

Several European countries require serial numbers on all major gun parts, such as barrels, slides, and frames.

A court appointed attorney has relatively limited resources. No amicus briefs have been filed, as of the December 22, 2022, by any of the organizations which are dedicated to protecting the right to keep and bear arms.

The foremost argument by those fighting to keep the ban is the claim that firearms with serial numbers removed are not in common use for legitimate purposes.

This is the sophistry of the first order. The removal of a serial number does not change the function of a firearm at all. A .38 revolver with or without a serial number is still a .38 revolver. Revolvers are a type of firearm in common use.  It is a change in legal nomenclature, which was required by the federal government in the first place.  The argument is circular. It states firearms may be banned if the federal government defines them as contraband.

The argument could as easily be made that pink guns are not in common use; therefore, they can be banned.  The banning of colored guns has been proposed.

California uses its handgun roster to ban guns based on non-functional criteria. If a model is offered in a different color, it has to be tested in that color, an expensive and time-consuming process. The California handgun roster is being challenged in court.

There is no historical precedent for a ban on firearms that have had the serial number removed. It is recent law enacted in 1990. It has almost no effect on crime.

The secondary argument in the amicus brief is the claim that tracing guns is an effective crime fighting tool. It is not and never has been.  Showing numbers of people who have been prosecuted for possessing a firearm with the serial number removed does not show any ability to stop a crime; it only shows prosecutions of victimless crimes.

Firearms tracing is a failed system designed to move to a universal firearms registration system. Showing the ban on possession of firearms with the serial number removed to be unconstitutional renders the decades-long project to enact universal firearms registration futile.

Organizations supporting rights protected by the Second Amendment may not wish to invest scarce resources in a case with a less-than-stellar defendant. It may be worth the effort to get the argument on the record that the ability of the government to ban the possession of firearms that have had a serial number removed is an infringement on Second Amendment rights.

About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

Dean Weingarten

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You can always rely on these anti-gun groups to focus exclusively on guns, in order to restrict their sale and use. NEVER to zero in on criminals, to punish them for misusing guns. All their organized efforts are predictable to the point of boredom.


All federal firearm laws are illegal, but then so is the fraudulent regime in charge of things.


The Brady Act covers the restriction against a federal firearms registry.
Subsection 103(i) of the Brady Act prohibits the establishment of a registration system of firearms, firearms owners, or firearms transactions or dispositions with any records generated by NICS, except for records on persons found ineligible to receive or possess firearms.

Roland T. Gunner

But ATF and DoJ have been ignoring that for 40 years.


Firearm Owners Protection Act also makes creating a database of firearms or firearm owners a crime, specifically barring the gov from creating a firearm owner registry or registry of firearms. The BATFE is in clear violation of the law, and must be held accountable, with everyone involved fired and prosecuted for their crime. And the registry destroyed.


when did the law ever matter to the thugs


To regulate is to infringe. Which the law of the land FORBIDS.



didn’t the requirement to have each individual firearms uniquely serialized begin in 1968? if so, then there is not really a historical tradition for them to rely upon. the tyrants claim that non-serialized firearms are not in common use kind of falls flat on its face when looked through a historical lens. 54 years with serial numbers, 246 without serial numbers, not really even close. from the tyrants amicus brief, “Such laws assist state and local law enforcement officials in tracing firearms used in criminal activity and are thus crucial “in investigating serious crimes.” excuse me for being ignorant but,… Read more »


I understand that back in the day they wanted the “serial numbers” so they can return a stolen firearm to the owner. Which was never the real reason!


the “tell” here is that it is “them” who demand the numbers for purposes they state are “necessary”. But isn’t that the call of the one who OWNS the gun? Years ago I got an electric pencil to scratch my name on all my hand tools, Now if they are stolen they can know some guy named CHarlie once marked them. That does NOT lead back to me as owner unless they get the tools in a raid of some theft ring/fencer. Then I can identify them as mine, but the markings wint lead THEM back to me. Smoke and… Read more »


scam, numbers were for contracts,then they thought of oooo we could use this to take them


Perhaps four months back, right here on Ammolamd, there was an account out of Chicago describing a single semi auto handgun that local coppers had, through comparing markings on fired projectiles, had posiively linked to some 150 crimes all committed involving the use of that one handgun, over a period of about two and a half years. They could not establish anything certain beyond that it was the sme gun, but they could not trace it to manufacurer or model or any sales records, let aline any individual owner. Finally they picked up the gun having been abandined at yet… Read more »


Tracing a firearm requires that the gun be left at the scene of the crime. Usually the bad guys tend to take their guns with them. Also the serial number usually will only trace the gun back to the first buyer.

I would love to see data regarding how many BATF serial number traces lead them to an arrest and/or conviction. I’ll the number is lower than a snake’s belly!

Joe R.

The 4th enumerated Right in the Declaration of Independence is also the ONLY enumerated Right that is repeated 2x in any founding document and only one to come with an associated “duty” to exercise. That Right, is the right to chuck your government “whenever” you deem necessary, recited 2x in the 2nd Paragraph (and implied a 3rd x in the opening paragraph). No way bona fide U.S. Citizens have that Right, yet still have to ask their government that needs replacing, for the means, or the permission to obtain the means to do so. Therefore the 2nd Amendment demands (at… Read more »


For the last 41 years I’ve always said “registration leads to confiscation”


Guns that never had a serial number too be removed must be exempt . 80% that are completed without serial numbers must also be exempt . Only criminals remove serial numbers , but they are still there due to the stress on the metal . Acid brings the numbers out even if they have been removed . The arguement is hollow and will do nothing to curb crime .

The other Jim

“The amicus briefs may be viewed on the PACER system.” PACER makes a person Register and Pay for each page accessed. Don’t know what the outcome was over the Class Action against PACER but the U.S. Government/US Court System continue to rip-off the people. “The judiciary collected $923 million in PACER fees during the fiscal years 2010 to 2016, according to court filings.” “William Narwold of Motley Rice, who represents the nonprofits with Deepak Gupta of Gupta Wessler, declined to comment, saying the agreement remains confidential.” National Trial Lawyers and others should have William Narwold file another Class Action for… Read more »

Patriot Solutions

We have pro-gun precedent set in Colorado by criminals, including violent criminals who posess and use guns for constitutionally protected activities. They are not required to get permits either.

Bruen clearly states just about every infringment is illegal. 2A is the supreme precedent above all others and it does not protect violent criminals using guns to commit crime.

The insurgents have criminalized Rights and the fact that courts can produce so much smoke and mirrors bull shit over a clearly written single sentance of plain English just proves how full of shit they all are.

Last edited 1 month ago by Patriot Solutions

Somewhere between 80 to 90% of all firearms used in crimes are stolen or Black Market. Around 6% were legally purchased through an FFL, and less than 6% are purchased through private sales. This is according to the last data I looked at which was 2020 I believe. It varies year to year, but only by 1 to 2%, and that’s been consistent for nearly 40 years. So based on that data, a Serial Number is a very ineffective tool in crime prevention, when 80 to 90% of the “Serialized” firearms are Stolen/Black Market. How many crimes/cases are solved every… Read more »

Roland T. Gunner

Neither the State, nor any of it’s agencies, should have the power to appeal ANYTHING against the interests of a citizen.


Dean, I love the “best AR15 Trigger” iStock photo at the top. ALL the “best” triggers should function properly with the “third hole.”


Where is the NRA – GOA – FPC…etc.??
Seems like a little help here is needed.


I expect the Supreme Court would uphold a requirement to not remove serial numbers (though I wouldn’t agree). I expect they will say that it does not infringe the right to “keep and bear arms.” The argument that such numbers can be used to confiscate will be seen as speculative, and they would argue that though a law confiscating firearms would be unconstitutional, the constitution does not ban serial numbers. They wouldn’t get to the argument whether such serial numbers were common place when the 2nd was adopted, because they will have determined that the numbers don’t infringe on the… Read more »