When gun registration is discussed what is actually meant is tracking people with their address and phone numbers with a specific list of guns with serial numbers in their possession.
I do not expect gun registration to significantly reduce deaths or injuries, unless followed by confiscation. When commentators and elected officials advocate registration, the means that gun registration results in fewer deaths and injuries is rarely or ever described.
Several states already have gun registration, but I have been unable to find studies showing that after implementation of registration that gun homicides declined much more rapidly from states without gun registration (homicide rates in the US have declined from 9.5 per 100,000 per year in 1993 to 4.7 in 2011 - a greater than 50% decline see http://www.fbi.gov/... ). If anyone knows of authoritative studies on US gun registration that were not done or financed by advocates of any side of the gun registration issue please provide them with links.
The likelihood of passing a national gun registration is very low, as Republicans are strongly against it in the House and the number of Democratic members of the House who will oppose registration will almost certainly outnumber the number of Republicans who will support it.
A different government policy that would have strong prospects to significantly reduce deaths and injury, without gun registration, would focus on how people handle guns. Take the classic NRA mantra the "Guns don't kill people, people kill people" as inspiration to center the policy on people.
Licensing Owners Proposal
Require citizens and residents to pass a written test and an operations test before they are licensed to buy or have transferred, guns or ammunition. After a 3 year transition period, gun owners will also be required to be licensed. Licensing tests should cover safety, keeping guns away from young children, and unstable people, proper storage, laws and procedures for self defense and defense of others, etc.. Administration of gun operation tests will be done by active police officers at police gun ranges or police approved gun ranges. The rate that people pass these tests should be about the same as for drivers licenses and be administered by the states and combined with concealed carry licensing procedures for states that have concealed carry. It should be noted that homicides by those with concealed carry permits is extremely low.
Data from state licensing would be synchronized nationally, for a national database accessible only to law enforcement.
After a 3 year transition period, possession or attempted fraudulent purchase without a license would have severe penalties - one year in jail if not in conjunction with the commission of a felony, and an additional 3 years if while committing a felony through state laws.
People who live the life of crime and gangs are less likely to seek licenses, and would not be eligible with a felony conviction or outstanding charge. In addition those with a criminal mindset would be less likely to want to meet with police for their gun operation test. This population will then either risk high penalties if caught with a gun, or switch to some other weapon or no weapon.
Significantly fewer deaths and injuries should result directly from the safety, safe storage and defense procedure training.
There should also be fewer people with guns as some people will choose to go without guns rather than take the effort for training and testing to get the license.