Prior to this thread, I've given this topic some thought, and I feel that a potentially valid defense against a federal registry is for several populous states to pass state constitutional amendments prohibiting the state government and local governments from expending any funds to maintain or enforce any registry of lawfully possessed firearms.
It's clear from past SCOTUS cases that the Feds cannot compel state governments to spend money to enforce federal law. This idea is legally much more airtight than dubious laws directly prohibiting federal agents from acting to enforce federal law within a state's boundaries.
The registry would be very expensive for the Feds to maintain if state and local governments are effectively barred from helping the registrars in any way. The failed Canadian registry provides an excellent example of how ineffective a federally-funded registry would be from a cost standpoint, giving fiscal conservatives plenty of opportunity to attack it, without even having to bring up any 2A, 4A, and 5A issues.
In most states, changes to the state constitution require a popular vote at some level, thus preventing a NY-style midnight legislative overturn of the zero-funding law.
I predict that a zero-funding amendment would pass easily in conservative states such as TX. It would appeal equally to 2A activists, small-government advocates, and to fiscal conservatives.
"Smokey, this is not 'Nam. This is bowling. There are rules... MARK IT ZERO!!" - Walter Sobchak
Last edited by carguychris; February 27, 2013 at 01:41 PM.