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Hearings for the 1966 FID Law March 2 1966


Here is the link to the pdf of the actual hearings for A165 Public Hearing for the proposed Sills Act for the Firearms ID law on march 2 1966. Find out who opposed the law, who supported it, who attended the hearings, the politics of the time surrounding the proposal. Find out who Arthur Sills is and how he changed the way firearms were bought in New Jersey.




This has been uploaded to Google Drive, made public and the link is below.







In addition, for those wishing to do more research on the history on New Jersey's Gun Laws. The two links below should be helpful.




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We can all see how effective the FID system has been on preventing gun crime in NJ. Thanks mr. Sills for making me have to endure enormous hassle and misery in order to exercise my constitutional right. Im sure criminals all over NJ are grateful for your efforts at keeping guns out of the hands of law abiding citizens.

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Thanks for posting the Sills Act transcripts, I lost the pdf's that you emailed me.


I have been wanting for ages to get this converted to text so I could upload it in parts in here and avoid attachments. I tried a few pdf to text apps and they just didn't pan out. Then I been meaning to just type it out and haven't had the time, I'm glad this worked out instead. And thanks for your blob, a lot great info there.

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I hope to go over more of this as time permits.


Page 90A.

Second paragraph from the bottom. Its says "public health, safety and welfare" was a term used by a 'Baltimore bill that has been held by the courts to permit search without warrant even of a home.' . Note that "public health, safety and welfare" are mentioned in other parts of the hearing.



Page 63A

The arguments are for a 'revoked list' of people ineligible to purchase firearms instead of mandating an firearms ID Card.



Page 14

Sills mentions that he appeared in June 1965 at Senator Dodd's committee. This points to the allegation that Sills was working with Dodd on a gun control bill. Senator Dodd was holding Gun Control hearings for some years leading up to the 1968 GCA. It would be interesting to see what Sills said at the 1965 Dodd hearing.



Pages 15 and 16

Sills mentioned about children being murdered by 'deranged' parents or by getting shotguns as gifts.



Pages 5 and 6

Sills mentions a list of occupations where people get fingerprinted so he is implying that getting fingerprinted to buy a rifle is no big deal (in his view of things).


Page 7

Toward the bottom of the page, Sills says that because of an obscure 'weapons and explosive law' in 1898 ...that somehow makes this proposed FID law 'constitutional'.



Page 15

On the bottom, Sills is trying to say that people who oppose this legislation would be disqualified as unfit to purchase firearms. Somehow insinuating that if you have 'legitimate' use for firearms that this bill poses no threat or hardship of any kind. Thus somehow implying that the bill should pass and everyone who is legitimate should support it. So I guess that statement could have intimidated some people at the hearing into keeping quiet and not speaking up that the proposed law is a violation of the second amendment and should not be passed. Interesting how he worded things...



I'll try to pick out more things later on. But I get the impression that the he was hell bent on having this thing passed no matter what even implying that the FID legislation is no hardship. Tell that to the people waiting weeks and months for their permits.

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I have never read that before. It is remarkable that today, nearly 50 years later, we are still having the exact same debate and arguing the same exact points and to some extent similar data comparing homicide rates from states with strong gun control to those with with less gun control. I though it interesting that data on violent crime rates in England were mentioned as well......We continue to go around and around on the carousel...

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Some more excerpts and comments from the March 2 1966 for A165 the FID 'Sills Act' Hearings


Page 7

Mr Sills uses the term "resonable" when discussing his bill. (Can anyone recall how many politicians have said over the years since then that a particular gun control bill is a reasonable one? I would venture to guess that today's anti-gunners might have got some of their 'talking points' from Mr Sills back in the 1960's.)



Page 18

Mr Burton (Pro-gun side) makes the point that if the hearing were held during the evening or on the weekend there would be thousands of people attending.


Page 19

Mr Burton makes the point that police officers are against the bill because of staffing and administrative concerns. In addition that Police Chiefs would have to be the ones to make medical and psychiatric judgements regaring physical fitness. He mentions that fingerprinting is reprehensible to honest citizens. To single out sportsmen is discriminatory unless every citizen is fingerprinted.


Page 20

Mr Burton notes that the Firearm Purchasers Identification Card the so-called "Lifetime $2 Permit is now up to $25 in New York" and notes that section 32B would require a certification for every purchase in addition to the permit. He says this is like wearing suspenders and a belt.

Mr Burton is concerned that A165 is aimed at total registration of all firearms. which Mr Burton claims is the real goal of this bill because the required certification contains the serial number.


Page 23

Mr Burton notes the requirement of gun club members to be listed with the state police. Mr Burton goes on to page 30 bringing out some excellent concerns and important points. Then Mr.Burton goes with a Q and A session.


Page 36

Mr Burton notes that there have been congressional hearings that said if there were total confiscation of firearms the problem would solved.


Page 37

Mr Burton refers to the 1965 Senate Hearing with Mr Sills (the architect of the FID legislation) in which Mr Sills said that " If registration is the answer, and I think it is, then that is what should be done"


Page 39

Mr Burton mentions that in 1963 Los Angeles tried to pass a very-strong anti-firearms law, a man who testified for them turned out to be a member of the Communist Party in favor of the law.


Page 54

Director of the NRA Louis Benton speaks. He mentions that he started meeting with Sills in Late 1964 and met again in March 1965 to read Sills version of the (FID law) bill. He brings out great points including how strict gun control has worked in Britain with crime up 250% . He goes on to say that "We don't need identification cards" and "We don't want to start a police state." (The proposal for the 1966 FID law goes back a few years before this).


To summerise this. If anyone wishes to take the pdf and re-type it and put it on a blog, then by all means please do. This is public information and I doubt it is copyrighted material. I think there were some good arguments against the bill. One wonders if the internet was available back then, and..or, if more people showed up in opposition perhaps the bill would not have passed. The bill was challenged a few times. The more famous challenge was the Burton vs Sills http://www.constitution.org/2ll/bardwell/burton_v_sills.txt .


It is hope that by looking at this hearing from 47 years ago as historical context in hope of either someday overturning this law, having it modified and or replaced with something much better by looking what methods were used to bring this about in the first place.


It is interesting to see how Mr Sills was involved with the anti-gun movement, not just in New Jersey but nationwide in his contributions to the Dodd hearings which ultimately drafted the 1968 GCA. Also noteworthy, but more chilling ... was the talk going around in Washington about how total gun confiscation would solve the problem. Almost like the concerns and fears that some believe we face today.


It might be noted that two years after New Jersey started their Firearm Purchasers ID Card, Illinois came out with their FOID. Firearms Owners ID card. Massachusetts pobably started their FID card scheme in the 1970's I believe. I hope somehow the pdf of the hearings can be used as a study to look at the tactics and hype that were used in order to pass this through into law.

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