Students from Parkland, Florida are organizing a series of protests and walkouts around the country to protest gun violence. The goal on March 14 is for students and staff across the country to walk out of their classrooms for 17 minutes at 10 a.m. "to protest Congress' inaction to do more than tweet thoughts and prayers in response to the gun violence plaguing our schools and neighborhoods,” Women’s March EMPOWER branch said in a statement. "We need action," it said. "No special interest group, no political agenda is more critical than timely passage of legislation to effectively address the gun violence issues that are rampant in our country."
In the spirit of these ideas, here are some ideas for tough federal gun laws:
For people convicted of any domestic violence, even a misdemeanor, lets enforce a lifetime ban on firearms possession?
A government license (FFL) should be required for anyone who wants to manufacture, import, or sell firearms. The FFL should be mandatory not only for formal businesses, but also for people who make repetitive transactions for the purpose of profit. This would cover people at gun shows. Anyone who engages in the firearms business without an FFL should be punished by up to five years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.
Manufacturers, importers, and dealers who are granted an FFL should have to keep meticulous records of every transaction. Their records and inventory should be subject to random inspections by the ATF. If an FFL goes out of business, all the records of past sales should be delivered to the ATF.
Before an FFL can sell a firearm to a non-licensed citizen, the citizen should have to get government approval. This should apply not only to store sales, but also if the FFL sells at a gun show. Internet, retailers can be allowed to advertise and sell on the internet, but the actual transfer of a firearm should only be allowed at an FFL’s place of business: Properly logged in and out and with a background check. The internet gun seller must also be an FFL.
The purchaser should be required to answer detailed questions certifying their background information. The government should know the purchaser’s race, and whether or not they are Hispanic. Before the sale is finalized, the FBI or a state equivalent needs to be contacted by the FFL for a background check on the purchaser.
Anyone that purchases two or more handguns in a week should be automatically red-flagged and reported to the federal government and to local law enforcement. Their name should go on a Federal Form and be submitted to the FBI.
All handgun manufacturers should provide a safe storage device for every gun. Even if the buyer owns a gun safe, the buyer should always be provided a locking device.
Licensed manufacturers need to engrave a serial number on every firearm. If someone alters or removes a serial number, the person should face five years imprisonment.
Felons should be prohibited from owning guns. The lifetime prohibition should include non-violent felons who have been law-abiding for decades; anyone who was convicted of marijuana possession in 1971 should be presumed to be a continuing menace to society.
A lifetime ban on gun ownership should also apply to anyone who has ever been committed to a mental institution. Mental illness is not necessarily permanent, but the ban should be.
Patients prescribed medical marijuana should be banned, even in states where use is legal. All medical marijuana cardholders should be automatically banned, regardless of whether they are current users.
Only persons over 21 should be able to purchase a handgun. 18-to-20-year-olds that defend our country with automatic weapons cannot be trusted with handguns within our country. A law should prohibit rifle or shotgun purchases by anyone under 18.
Assault rifles must be virtually banned. Assault Rifles, according to the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, are “short, compact, select-fire weapons that fire a cartridge intermediate in power.” Two examples are the Russian AK-47 or the American M-16 rifles. No civilian should be able to transfer or possess any assault rifle that was not already in circulation by 1986.
Older assault rifles in citizen hands should be registered with the government. If someone wants to acquire one, both the buyer and seller should have to file an application with the ATF. The tax for a transfer should be $200, to discourage ownership. The ATF should require fingerprints and two recent photographs. Local law enforcement should be notified. The FBI should conduct a background investigation, and the registration process should take months.
If the purchaser is permitted to acquire the assault rifle, they should be required to maintain records proving that the rifle is registered, and notify the ATF of any change in address. In order to take the rifle out of state, the owner should need written permission from ATF in advance. If the owner dies, the government takes possession of the rifle if it not properly bequeathed to an estate.
There are many other types of automatics firearms. They all should be controlled just as strictly as assault rifles. A violation of the laws on these guns should be a felony with up to 10 years imprisonment—and longer in cases of multiple violations.
The previous idea list is just the baseline for federal laws. Individual states should be allowed to enact more restrictive laws.
Do you think the above would work? Do you think it would make firearms the most regulated item in the US? You would be correct. However, you should know that all of the above restrictions are already in place. Several are from the 1980’s or 1990’s. The majority are from the Gun Control Act of 1968. The tax stamps and laws on automatics are from the National Firearms Act of 1934.
Let’s enforce the laws on our books.
Jim Benoit's thoughts on guns, gear, & training
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