This is a repeat post. One I keep on speed dial due to the frequent need to pass along the information. Here goes …
Gun Laws and Control … again
There is an on-going discussion in the U.S. regarding gun control and the need for more laws to help curb gun violence. So, to help zero-in on what kind of law(s) is needed and where it/they best fit, let’s take a quick peek at only a very few laws already in the books (There are well over 20,000 gun laws).
DID YOU KNOW …
It is unlawful/illegal:
– for anyone other than a licensed dealer to import, manufacture, or sell/trade any firearm and/or ammunition.
– to produce, sell, or possess armor piercing ammunition, unless the sale is to a government within the U.S. Export of ammo of this type is permitted.
Possession of a firearm under the following circumstances is also illegal. For example, it is illegal for minors to possess certain firearms, possession of a machine guns is illegal, etc.
– to sell a firearm or ammunition to minors.
– to sell or possess machine guns or short barrel rifles and/or shotguns (permits are available in some instances).
– to sell a firearm to any person under indictment for or convicted of a crime punishable by more than one year is prison (a felony). Possession of a firearm under these circumstances is also illegal.
– to sell a firearm to an unlawful user (or addict) of an illegal controlled substance.
– to sell a firearm to anyone who has been adjudicated as a mental defective or has been committed to a mental institution.
– to sell a firearm to a fugitive from justice.
– to sell a firearm to anyone who is in the U.S. illegally.
– to sell a firearm to anyone discharged dishonorably from the U.S. military.
– to sell a firearm to anyone who has renounced his U.S. citizenship.
– to sell a firearm to anyone who is subject to a court order that restrains such person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner of such person or child of such intimate partner or person, or engaging in other conduct that would place an intimate partner in reasonable fear of bodily injury to the partner or child.
– to sell a firearm to anyone who has been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.
– it is illegal to possess a firearm in a school zone (does not apply to law enforcement or firearms safely locked in approved containment devices, etc.).
– it is illegal to discharge or brandish a firearm in a school zone.
– it is illegal to assemble a firearm replica in a school zone (fake guns or lookalikes also not allowed).
– it is unlawful to transfer or permit the transfer of any handgun to a juvenile.
– anyone who knowingly transfers a firearm, knowing that such firearm will be used to commit a crime of violence is subject to punishment up to 10 years in prison.
– it is illegal for violent felons to posses body armor.
– it is illegal to knowingly possess a stolen firearm.
The above listed are only a scant few of the gun laws and restrictions on the books.
Actually, according to the Brookings Institution of Washington D.C., there may or may not be approximately 20,000 gun laws on the books. They’re simply not sure of an exact number because of the sheer
cluster-muck volume and convolution of laws and restrictions regarding firearms in the U.S.
Additional gun law facts
– National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) is the call-in instant check conducted by salespersons prior to ringing up all gun sales. No exceptions. Inventory is monitored and records are audited by the ATF.
The background check call is to the FBI and it is for the purpose of determining whether or not the customer has a criminal record or is otherwise ineligible to purchase a firearm.
– 100 million checks have been conducted in the past 10 years. 700,000 of those checks resulted in denials.
– Many states do not require background checks on persons buying guns from private individuals—individual gun owners selling to others. For example, a background check is not required when Sam Spade sells his personal .38 to Jack Reacher.
– In 2016, 17,250 people were murdered. Of the 17,250, 374 victims were shot and killed with a rifle of some type. In comparison, 1,604 people were killed with knives or other edged weapons. Hands, feet, and fists were the instruments used to beat to death 656 people. That’s right, victims were beaten to death far more often than were shot and killed with rifles.
I’m not sure how, other than perhaps stopping the individual sale without a background check, adding to the 20,000 gun laws already in place will prevent criminals from obtaining firearms. Obviously people ignore laws regarding murder, rape, robbery, B&E, theft, shoplifting, bike theft, speeding, drunk driving, drug possession and manufacturing, jaywalking, interfering with police, pocket-picking, prostitution, gambling, moonshining, car theft, kidnapping, and, well, you get the idea. Criminals are going to get their hands on guns no matter what, which, or how many laws are in place.
One of the best means, by far, of removing illegally possessed firearms from the hands of bad guys was during police interactions with known criminals. But that along with bulletproof metal boxes on wheels and black clothing with lots of pockets was said to hurt the feelings of some, so the tactic was basically tossed. As a result, bad guys no longer fear being caught carrying illegal guns. And they do. There are lots and lots of illegal firearms on the street today. The average person has absolutely NO idea of the alarming number illegally-possessed guns on the streets.
Not long ago, an officer I trained in the police academy was shot while arresting a man who’d just killed someone—shot them to death—during an argument about the sister of one of the two men. Someone in the crowd of cell-phone-videoing, protesting, and interfering-with-cops bystanders took a shot and wounded the officer.
The round severed the officer’s femoral artery before exiting his body via his abdomen. Had it not been for the tourniquet applied and wound-packing by a responding trooper who’d worked as a nurse prior to becoming a police officer, the officer would have most likely died on the scene. His blood loss was severe. Fortunately for the wounded officer, the trooper arrived when he did and a helicopter was able to quickly transport him to a trauma hospital.
This happened in an area known for gun violence that was once curtailed by proactive policing tactics, such as stopping and talking to known criminals and then asking if they’d agree to a quick pat-down for weapons. The result of those stops quite often produced illegal weapons, either during the pat-down or the recovery of guns thrown to the ground as the crooks ran away.
I’m not saying a stop and frisk would have positively prevented this particular shooting, but there’s a good chance that it would have, or another like it.
*By the way, a hands-on workshop/training session about “wound-packing in the field” is featured at the 2018 Writers’ Police Academy. Click the link to view a video of the class. Extreme realism!
REMEMBER, MOST RIFLES DESCRIBED AS ASSAULT RIFLES ARE MERELY EVERYDAY RIFLES WEARING FANCY DO-DADS—NO EXTRA FIREPOWER, ETC.
Each of the above rifles is a Mini-14. They are the same rifle with the same firepower.
So, what gun laws do you think should be added to the 20,000? Do you have an idea that would prevent shootings? Reduce magazine size, maybe, to allow only 6-8 people to be killed at once before reloading? What about confiscating all guns, leaving only criminals having them? Would that work? What new law would have prevented the shooting in Las Vegas or the Florida school just yesterday?
What if it were illegal—today, right now—to possess a rifle of any type? Would a bad guy say to himself, “Well, it’s illegal to use a rifle, and I don’t want to get into trouble, so I’d better not do it?” Of course not. A crook is going to get their hands on guns the same way they do now, illegally.
It’s already illegal for a convicted felon to possess a firearm, yet they do. It’s illegal for people to rob banks, yet they do. It’s illegal for people to block highways, yet they do. It’s illegal for people to break windows and set police cars on fire, yet they do. Would adding more laws prevent those people from committing those crimes?
Anyway, as always, I welcome your comments … as long as they don’t include cop-bashing, politics, religion, race, profanity, etc. I will delete those statements.
I’m taking a chance here. I’ve always avoided this issue like the plague because it is such a sensitive topic. Keep in mind that I have not fired a gun in two decades, so please do not assume to know my thoughts and feelings on the subject.
Here goes nothing … (my finger is poised above the delete button :).
*By the way, the two “rifles” pictured in the center of this article are air rifles.
Crossman M4 Pump Air Rifle.
Umarex BB Air Rifle.
They are not firearms, but they look menacing, right? It’s all about cosmetics, though, and the same is true about the rifles many refer to as assault rifles. They may look scary to some people, but they’re nothing more than a regular rifle dressed up with fancy attachments. As you can clearly see, it’s possible to dress up a BB gun to make it appear as something it’s not.
The revolver pictured above is also a BB gun. You can purchase one at Walmart for less than $50.
This one is a rubber training gun.
In any situation—good light, bad light, low light, no light—it’s difficult to tell which are real and which are not, right?