What If There Were Serious Gun Controls in America?
Republished from the libertyBlog.
Following the Las Vegas shooting in the above titled article from The Hill in November 2017, the question arose "What would the political landscape look like if serious gun control measures were put into law?
The authors preface a list of "common sense gun controls" by saying "In the spirit of these proposals, here are some ideas for tough federal gun laws — most of which should have been enacted years ago."
The list includes:
- Domestic Violence abusers, even if just a misdemeanor, get a lifetime prohibition on firearms possession.
- Government licensing for anyone intending to "manufacture, import, or sell firearms" whether as a business or for profit.
- Manufacturers, importers, and dealers are required to maintain meticulous records which are inspect-able by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) at any time.
- All citizens should be required to get government approval before purchasing a gun whether at a gun store or gun show.
- Gun customer should answer dozens of questions, including ones about their race. Additionally, FBI background check should be conducted.
- Buy two or more guns in a week? You should go on a watch list.
- All guns should have a serial number.
- Felons should be forever excluded from being able to buy guns, even if it was a 1971 marijuana possession.
- Ever committed to a mental institution? Lifetime ban to purchase a firearm.
- Medical marijuana patient? Even in a state where it's legal? Lifetime ban.
- Automatic rifles outlawed with exception of very few artifacts and relics.
- Violation of any of these laws should be punishable by 10 years in prison.
It's a pretty good list. When posed to people who have never purchased a gun before, it almost seems, dare I say, "Common Sense"?
The problem is what the article most articulately points out. These laws are already on the books and have been for a long time.
If you think that this legal system would make firearms the most-regulated common consumer product in the United States, you would be correct. Every one of the above restrictions is already federal law, and has been for decades. A few of these date back to the 1980s or 1990s. Most of them are from the Gun Control Act of 1968. The tax and registration laws on automatics are from the National Firearms Act of 1934.
For decades researchers have found that many Americans do not understand how strict gun control laws already are. Some elected officials and journalists are similarly misinformed. Widespread ignorance about existing law makes things easier for anti-gun lobbyists who always insist that every notorious crime proves that we need more gun control laws.
Perhaps we should attempt to educate ourselves about guns before we attempt to legislate them. If not, the results can be quite hilarious: