's Blog February

Setting Aside our Biases and Looking at Evidence Based Solutions: 10 Common Sense Gun-Control Steps

By James Copple

1. Impose universal background checks for anyone buying a gun, a measure that four out of five Americans support.

2. Impose a minimum age limit of 21 on gun purchases. This is already the law for handgun purchases in many states, and it mirrors the law for buying alcohol.

3. Enforce a ban on possession of guns by anyone subject to a domestic violence protection order. This is a time when people are upset and prone to violence.

4. Limit gun purchases to no more than two a month and tighten rules on straw purchasers who buy for criminals. Make serial numbers more difficult to remove.

5. Adopt micro-stamping of cartridges, so they can be traced to the gun that fired them and is useful for solving gun crimes.

6. Invest in “smart gun” purchases by police departments and/or the U.S. military, a move that could promote the use of such devices. Smart guns require a PIN or can only be fired when one is wearing a particular bracelet or other device. Children can’t misuse them, and they are less vulnerable to theft.

7. Require safe storage to reduce theft, suicide, and accidents by children.

8. Invest in research to explore and study which interventions could be most effective in reducing gun deaths.

9. Require certification or licensing requirements to assess firearm competence (similar to those required to operate a motor vehicle). Train people to use their firearms.

10. Set up a national gun buy-back program, with amnesty for illegal purchases, to remove guns from the streets and reduce the number of guns in circulation. Guns acquired through buy-back programs would be destroyed and couldn’t be resold or put back into circulation.

There are loopholes in many of the existing gun laws that need to be closed. We should use this 10-point platform to begin discussions and develop reasonable gun-control measures. There are 350 million guns in circulation in this country, and it is largely an unregulated industry.


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