06 February 2021

Gun Control

The Second Amendment and state constitutional protections of the right to bear arms have been a dismal failure and should be repealed.

Firearms, ammunition, kits and tools to make firearms and ammunition, and firearm paraphernalia should be heavily regulated.

No one should be permitted to own, possess, or use a firearm without a license accompanied by an in depth background check, rigorous examinations on the use of firearms, and practical safety training.

All firearms should be registered, and detailed records should be maintained for a sales of firearms, ammunition, kits and tools to make firearms and ammunition, and firearm paraphernalia.

There are only a modest number of legitimate uses for firearms and licenses should be specific to firearms for a specific purpose and only available upon a showing of need.

One legitimate purpose for firearms is to hunt animals. A license for this purpose should be limited to modest caliber hunting rifles and shotguns, with low capacity magazines, and should require that these firearms and ammunition be kept locked and outside of an urban area when not in use for hunting, that these firearms and this ammunition only be accessed outside of a locked container during hunting seasons at a place where the user has a hunting license that makes it legal to hunt.

Further, wildlife protections for, and encouragement of natural predators should be preferred as a way to manage excess prey animals over hunting when possible.

Another legitimate purpose for firearms is to address animals that are a threat to livestock. In most of the U.S., only hunting rifles and shotguns with low capacity magazines should be authorized for this purpose, and only for livestock and poultry farmers.

Another legitimate purpose for firearms is target shooting for sport. This should be limited to weapons allowable in Olympic type competitions, should be limited to use while in licensed target shooting facilities, and should require the firearms and ammunition to be kept securely locked in a licensed target shooting facility when not in used.

Another legitimate purpose for firearms is for self-defense and the defense of others from from criminals and dangerous animals. Openly carrying firearms in public for this purpose should be restricted to uniformed law enforcement, activated and deployed national guard or coast guard personnel, and licensed private security guards. This should largely be limited to handguns, modest caliber rifles, and shotguns, with low capacity magazines. "Low grade" military weapons for this purpose should be restricted to less powerful types for specially trained SWAT teams, and to activated and deployed national guard or coast guard personnel while engaged in military service and subject to military regulation and military justice. "High grade" military weapons should not be allowed for this purpose and instead should be limited only to military training on military bases and use in warfare by military personnel engaged in military service and subject to military regulation and military justice. The concealed carrying of firearms should be restricted to plain clothes law enforcement personnel.

Possession of firearms by licensed civilians who are not licensed security guards for self-defense and the defense of others from criminals and dangerous animals should be restricted to possession in one's own home, or on one's own business real estate or when in completely wild areas such as national parks and state parks and uninhabited public lands, with known populations of large predators who present a risk to humans. This should be limited to handguns of modest caliber (with large caliber handguns perhaps permitted in parts of Alaska and other places where large bears are known to be present). These firearms and this ammunition should be required to be stored in a locked container or safe when the licensed gun owner is not present, and when possessed outside of places where they are allowed to be possessed. 

Civilian gun owners should be strictly liable in tort for anyone harmed by firearms or ammunition belonging to them used in a crime, or used by anyone other than them in a way that causes any injury or death, unless they are stolen and the theft is promptly reported to law enforcement when discovered, in which case there would only be liability in tort for negligently failing to secure the firearms or ammunition. Failing to secure firearms and ammunition sufficiently to allow minors to access them should be considered per se child neglect that would constitute grounds to terminate a parent's parental rights.

4 comments:

Dave Barnes said...

Agreed.

Michael Malak said...

Gun owners are not presently civilly liable if their guns are stolen due to negligence?

andrew said...

@MichadelMalek

There can be civil liability for negligent entrustment of a firearm with someone that causes injury, but theft is generally an intervening cause that absolves the gun owner of liability, even if not promptly reported.

There is not generally an affirmative duty to safely store one's firearms, unless doing so is tantamount to negligent entrustment.

For example, you could probably have liability for negligent entrustment if you stored you loaded firearm in your seven year old son's sock drawer (and the seven year old then shot someone with it). But you probably wouldn't have negligent entrustment liability if you stored it in your sock drawer and there was a house rule clearly communicated to your seven year old and others in the household that children weren't allowed in your room when you weren't there.

Michael Malak said...

A gun safe/lock law would make sense, especially if minors are in the house