tThet

@tThet

Because writing is better than arguing with yourself.

3,548 words

Thank Guestbook
You'll only receive email when tThet publishes a new post

A Gun Nut's Gun Control Proposal

I love target-shooting, and the 2nd amendment is freedom-protection genius. Both will be lost if mass-shootings aren't stopped. This is my amateur attempt at a bill that will stop mass-shootings and reduce gun deaths. Unusually for gun control, it would protect people's use of guns for enjoyment, self-defense, and keeping the Queen off their backs. The gist is to:

  1. Make it very difficult for anyone to obtain unsupervised access to modern firearms; and
  2. Provide systems and subsidies for anyone to practice, enjoy, and benefit from the use of firearms.

It would make everyone happy: target shooters, gun-control advocates, hunters, quakers, preppers, democrats, historians, researchers, manufacturers, dealers, etc. I'm not a lawyer, and I have no doubt there are some errors that would need to be fixed for this to be implemented.

Preamble

In order to:

  1. Stop the scourge of mass shootings;
  2. Reduce the severity of crime;
  3. Continue the recreational use of firearms, including hunting, target-shooting, and collecting;
  4. Enable the people to defend themselves, their property, and their families;
  5. Facilitate weapons research and development; and
  6. Ensure future generations can overthrow tyranny, both foreign and domestic;

The federal government of the United States of America enacts this bill.

Overview

The bill establishes five classes of firearms and the licensing requirements to possess them without supervision. All licenses require background, references, and character checks. Some licenses (e.g., for muzzle-loaders, rimfire rifles) are available to anyone. Others (e.g., most repeating center-fires) require a specific need for a firearm (e.g., hunting, private security), or are only available to organizations.

The bill recognizes the importance for all people to be able to use firearms. However, it makes it impractical for most people to obtain a license for modern firearms. Instead, organizations such as shooting ranges can obtain such licenses, and anyone can purchase or rent firearms to be used and stored at such establishments. To help organizations securely store firearms, incentives will be paid by the government.

The scope of this bill is considerable, and it is not practical to implement all at once. It includes a roll-out timeline over ten years. No firearm is made illegal to possess immediately. Three classes immediately require a license to purchase, while others will be available under the existing background checks system. Buy-backs are offered at least a year before possession of a class of firearms is banned.

Definitions

Firearm – a portable gun (a barreled ranged weapon) that inflicts damage on targets by launching one or more projectiles driven by rapidly expanding high-pressure gas produced chemically by exothermic combustion (deflagration) of propellant. For the purpose of this bill, a firearm must be capable of killing a healthy adult from at least 10 yards.

For clarity, the following are not firearms for the purpose of this bill: air rifles, tasers, flare guns, body armor, gas masks, tanks, artillery, missiles, bows, crossbows, knives, paintball guns, airsoft guns regardless of appearance, replica or imitation guns, disabled guns, gun schematics, videos of people shooting guns, gun tools, machine tools, lubricants, rail guns, gauss rifles, slingshots, staple guns, nerf guns.

Ammunition – smokeless powder, black powder, any other common firearm propellant, cartridge cases, primers, bullets, and assembled cartridges. Ammunition does not include reagents, tools, or information to make ammunition as defined above.

Handgun – any firearm with a barrel less than 14 inches long, measured from the permanent end of the muzzle to the breech face.

Authority – the government department responsible for evaluating license applications, enforcement, and paying subsidies under this act. [ATF?].

Classes of Firearms and Devices

  1. Non-Restricted: muzzleloaders including muzzle-loading handguns; single-shot handguns (not revolvers); rimfire rifles regardless of capacity or action unless fully-automatic; rifles without a magazine (internal, detachable, or otherwise); suppressors for rimfire rifles; all ammunition.

  2. Self-Defense Weapons: any non-fully-automatic non-shotgun firearm with an internal, non-box-type magazine, and incapable of containing more than 4 cartridges including one in the chamber.

  3. Future Semi-Restricted: break action shotguns regardless of capacity; manually-operated (i.e., non-autoloading/semi-automatic) rifles regardless of capacity.

  4. Restricted: repeating shotguns including semi-automatics regardless of capacity; semi-automatic center-fire rifles regardless of capacity; repeating handguns (including semi-automatics and revolvers) regardless of capacity; all suppressors for shotguns and center-fire firearms.

  5. Prohibited: all fully-automatic firearms.

Licensing – General

Nobody shall be denied a license, in whole or in part, due to their political, philosophical, or religious beliefs, no matter how dangerous they may seem.

Licenses are valid for life unless revoked.

A licensee is automatically licensed for all classes of firearms below the class of their license.

Any license can be denied if the applicant is unstable, mentally unsound, in financial, social, or emotional distress, insane, or bankrupt or financially desperate.

Any license denial may be challenged by the applicant in court. The burden shall be on the authority to show clear and convincing evidence that the license denial was justified under this bill. If the denial is overturned, the authority shall cover the applicant's legal costs. If the denial is affirmed, the applicant is not required to cover the authority's legal costs.

A license shall be denied to anyone who has been:

  • convicted of a felony;
  • convicted of more than two misdemeanors in the past five years;

Every license applicant shall submit at least two non-family references who can vouch for the applicant's stability and temperament.

The authority shall contact police in the applicant's jurisdiction for any information they may have regarding the applicant's suitability for a license.

The authority, at its sole discretion, may contact or interview the following people for information regarding the applicant's suitability for a license:

  • the applicant;
  • their spouse;
  • their references;
  • any past romantic partner from the past five years;
  • anyone deemed relevant to the applicant by the local police;
  • any law enforcement organization;
  • any tax collection agency (e.g., the IRS);
  • any financial institution (e.g., bank) used by the applicant; and
  • for an applicant under 21, any educational organization the applicant has attended (e.g., their high school principal).

Any license decision not made in the allotted time may be immediately challenged in court. If a license is later granted, by a court or authority, after being denied or exceeding the allotted time, the authority shall pay the applicant $5/day from the end of the allotted time to the time a license was granted.

Licensing – Revocation

The authority may revoke a license if they have evidence the applicant is no longer suitable for any license (e.g., becomes unstable, mentally unsound, in distress of any kind, is convicted of a felony or more than two misdemeanors in five years).

A license may not be revoked because the licensee no longer appears to need the relevant category of license (e.g., no longer works in private security).

Upon revoking a license, the authority may obtain a warrant to seize all the licensee's firearms.

If the revocation is defeated in court, all the firearms shall be returned to the licensee.

If the revocation is sustained or not challenged, the licensee may require the authority to:

  • transfer the firearms to another licensee (potentially including a shooting range the licensee may access); or
  • attempt to sell the firearms and provide all proceeds to the licensee.

Licensing – 1. Non-Restricted

The applicant must be at least 16 years old.

The cost of an application is $45.

An application shall be processed within 45 days.

Licensing – 2. Self-Defense Weapons

The applicant must be at least 21 years old.

The cost of an application is $20.

An application shall be processed within 30 days.

Licensing – 3. Future Semi-Restricted

The applicant must be at least 16 years old.

The applicant must have resided in or owned a rural property for at least 1 year; or
The applicant must show they plan to use firearms in this category for hunting. This will consist of:

  • The applicant obtaining any state certifications required to hunt; and
  • The applicant shall have the financial means to pursue the sport of hunting while meeting their existing debts and obligations.

Whether the applicant resides in a rural property is a question of fact that may be disputed in court. However, any municipality with a population density of less than 500 residents per square mile shall be deemed a rural area. Any detached property on at least one acre of land in a rural area shall be deemed a rural property.

The cost of an application is $60.

An application shall be processed within 60 days.

Licensing – 4. Restricted

The applicant must be at least 21 years old.

This license is available to organizations which meet the following criteria:

  • it consists of at least three individuals who meet the general licensing requirements and are at least 21 years old;
  • it has facilities to store firearms that forbid one person obtaining unsupervised access to them. This typically takes the form of:
    • a store with fixed business hours, that locks up after-hours, and has at least two employees on-site at any given time it is not locked; or
    • a shooting range or other compound, that has at least one paid staff member on-site when open, or that stores firearms in a secure location that requires multiple keys/passwords/individuals to access.
  • it has an alarm system in place to notify local police if a firearms storage location is breached.

An organization may be pre-approved for a license contingent on the required facilities being constructed.
Typical applicants are expected to be shooting ranges, police forces, private security firms, militia groups, and gun dealers, but any organization that meets the criteria is eligible.

This license is available to an individual who:

  • is at least 21 years old; and
  • owns their own private shooting range; or
  • has a net worth of at least $60,000 and can demonstrate they are bona fide collectors; or
  • has a net worth of at least $40,000, desires to practice target shooting, and does not live within 50 miles of a public range which meets the following criteria:
    • it can store firearms for less than $100/year/firearm;
    • an individual can shoot there for at least 4,000 hours/year at a cost of no more than $200/year;
    • it is allowed and able to host all forms of shooting competitions including practical shooting disciplines;
    • all restricted firearms (i.e., anything that is not a destructive device) may be shot there;
    • has firing positions at least 300 yards away from targets; and
    • can enable an individual who stores their firearms at the range to start shooting within 30 minutes of arriving during at least 3,600 hours/year; or
  • owns a farm which requires Restricted firearms for protection from wildlife; or
  • can demonstrate that there are specific people or groups of people that are determined to hurt the applicant or their family; or
  • requires access to Restricted firearms for work. This includes, but is in not limited to:
    • researchers;
    • police;
    • private security;
    • wildlife control workers;
    • people who make videos about firearms;
    • people who make movies including firearms;
    • talk show hosts that brand themselves as owning guns;
    • professional target shooters;

The cost of an application is $200.

An application shall be processed within 180 days.

Licensing – 5. Prohibited

This license is available to organizations which meet the following criteria:

  • it consists of at least four non-familially-related individuals who meet the general licensing requirements, are employed by the organization at least 15 hours/week on average, and are at least 21 years old; and
  • it has a net worth of $100,000; and
  • it has facilities to store firearms that forbid one person obtaining unsupervised access to them. This will require:
    • multiple keys/passwords/etc. to gain access to the firearms; and
    • it will be impossible (or set off alarms) to access the firearms outside of typical business hours; and
  • it has an alarm system in place to notify local police if a firearms storage location is breached.

An organization may be pre-approved for a license contingent on the required facilities being constructed.
Typical applicants are expected to be large or urban shooting ranges, gun dealers for police and military, film producers, gun manufacturers, and museums, but any organization that meets the criteria is eligible.
The authority shall automatically issue this license to any organization eligible to possess this class of firearms prior to this bill.

The cost of an application is $2000.

An application shall be processed within 180 days.

Offenses

The authority or any police organization may seize any firearm, without compensating anyone, possessed, without supervision, by a person who lacks the required license.

Supervision by an individual licensee means that the licensee can see the user, or the licensee has some means to monitor the firearm. Where unlicensed and licensed individuals reside in the same residence and no licensee is present, firearms must be stored in locked containers that cannot be broken into without tools or easily carried by a typical individual.

Supervision by an organization means at least two people, including at least one member of the organization, can see the firearm, or otherwise monitor its location. A member of the organization does not need to have been on the license application, but cannot simply be a first-time customer (i.e., people with annual shooting range memberships are members).

It is a felony to intentionally provide unsupervised access to (i.e., sell and let walk away with) a firearm to somebody without the required license, unless the seller had reason to believe the buyer had the required license.

For clarity, this bill places no restrictions on:

  • who may operate firearms. Under this bill, anyone whatsoever may go to a shooting range, or a lot of other places, and use firearms provided at least one other person is there. Anyone can go hunting provided a licensee is nearby at all times.
  • who may own firearms. A two-year old child who is somehow a convicted felon may legally purchase a heavy machine-gun under this bill, but cannot take unsupervised possession of it.
  • the suitability of types of firearms for different applications. An individual can use a heavy machine-gun to hunt ducks without necessarily violating this bill (though local laws may object to the practice).
  • anyone manufacturing any firearm for which they have the required license, or under the supervision of an appropriate licensee.

Special Regulations for Class 2. Self-Defense Weapons

  • A licensee may only possess (unsupervised) one class 2 firearm at a time.
  • The licensee shall notify the authority within 15 days of obtaining, buying, selling, or losing a class 2 firearm.
  • A class 3 licensee under the age of 21 may not possess class 2 firearms.
  • A class 4 or higher licensee is exempt from the above class 2 special regulations.

Systems

The authority shall establish the following:

  • a database of licensees, applicants, and past applications;
  • license cards providing licensee identification, the class of license, and a license number;
  • an online system by which any potential seller (or gifter) can confirm a licensee's status by entering the licensee’s name, license number, and optionally the name of the seller and their reason for performing the check. This system will send a message to the licensee informing them of the query and the optional information if provided.

Incentives

Any shooting range shall be reimbursed up to 80% of the costs of installing secure firearms storage facilities required for a class 4 license.

Any shooting range shall be reimbursed up to 80% of the costs of hiring people to maintain one staff member at the range at all times, if the organization has a class 4 license.

The authority shall subsidize the shipping of firearms between licensed public shooting ranges to keep the costs below:

  • $5/firearm/one-way-trip for in-state transports, to be completed within 5 days; and
  • $10/firearm/one-way-trip for transports within the continental US, to be completed within 12 days.

Buyback

All firearms and parts bought-back under this bill shall be compensated at 90% of the pre-tax MSRP of the item.

For items no longer in production at the time of the buy-back, the greater of the following shall be used in lieu of the pre-tax MSRP:

  • the MSRP at the end of the production life, adjusted for inflation;
  • the most recent price the specific firearm was sold for prior to the enactment of this bill; or
  • the typical resale price of similar firearms in new condition.

The authority need not buy-back any firearm manufactured after this bill is enacted.

The authority shall auction all bought-back firearms and parts to licensees [typically gun dealers] unless it can demonstrate there is no demand for an item. No item shall be auctioned until the buy-back for the class of item in question is complete.

Roll-out Timeline

Immediate Effect:

  • A license is required to purchase class 2, 4, or 5 firearms.
  • Class 1 and 3 firearms are still eligible for purchase under the existing background checks system.
  • All incentives.

Two years from enactment:

  • The authority shall offer to buy-back any class 2, 4, or 5 firearms from anyone who:
    • has been denied the required license;
    • has not applied for such a license.

Three years from enactment:

  • A license is required to possess class 2, 4, or 5 firearms. Buy-backs are no longer available for these classes of firearms.

Four years from enactment:

  • A license is required to purchase class 1 and 3 firearms.
  • The authority shall offer to buy-back any class 1 or 3 firearms.

Five years from enactment:

  • A license is required to possess all firearms.

Ten years from enactment:

  • All class 4 suppressors are re-classified as class 3.

Miscellaneous

  • All dollar amounts stated in this act will be adjusted for inflation relative to January 1, 2019.
  • All NFA provisions regarding short-barreled rifles, short barreled shotguns, and suppressors are repealed.
  • This bill does not affect the regulation of transferable machine-guns or destructive devices under the NFA.
  • If not already in existing law, any manufacturer of a new firearm shall mark the date of manufacture on the firearm in a permanent manner.

Why Gun Nuts should want Gun Control

I'm a gun nut. I visit the range every other weekend, and spend way too much time watching gun videos on Youtube. I've shot 3-gun and IPSC matches. I'd be happy to live in a world where everyone always wore rifle plates and carried an M16A4.

Alas, that's not going to happen. Most Americans are too lazy to go to the gym twice a week, let alone carry around a 30 lb arsenal all the time. Especially when the odds of it providing any benefit today are far lower than winning the lottery (apart from burning calories, solving the obesity problem, and thus saving thousands of lives...).

So most people walk around defenseless (including me). And any maniac can easily slaughter however many people they desire if they get unsupervised access to modern weapons. Obviously, banning anyone from having such weapons would make us all live happily ever after.

Sadly, no. Evil, resourceful people will always find a way to kill lots of innocents in order to burn their own names into the history books. Homemade explosives, trucks, and knives work fine. Manchester-UK, Nice-France, and Sagamihara-Japan provide excellent examples of each, respectively. The truck attack in Nice killed more people than Vegas, the deadliest single-perpetrator mass-shooting I am aware of. Are the victims of those atrocities better off than those of a mass-shooting? Of course not. Who is better off when guns aren't used? Gun owners.

Here's a scary vision of where America will go if effective gun control is not implemented:

  1. Gun massacres continue.
  2. The Democrats take the Presidency, Senate, and Supreme Court. They ban semi-automatic center-fire rifles painted black.
  3. Gun massacres continue.
  4. The Democrats ban rimfire rifles painted black, and handguns with slogans on them.
  5. Gun massacres continue.
  6. The Democrats ban gun raffles, and online ammunition sales.
  7. Gun massacres continue.
  8. The Democrats ban all guns except breach-loaders.
  9. Gun massacres continue.
  10. The Democrats ban NunChuks.
  11. World leaders screw up. WW3 or US Civil War 2 breaks out. Suddenly, everyone needs a gun.
  12. America rolled over in 24 hours. Foundations poured for NYC's new death camp.

Effective gun control could prevent this. The massacres would still happen, but they wouldn't call for increased gun control. And when the world crashes down, we will have weapons and be skilled in their use. I cannot foresee it happening soon. I would have written the same thing in Russia in 1911.

What is effective gun control? That's a subject for another post. It doesn't involve banning the color black. Semi-automatic rifles are available in Canada, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Finland, France, and a lot of other places with small gun-homicide rates. Copy them.

Right now, the Republicans have leverage: they control the Senate and Supreme Court, and the Democrats cannot refuse any net-increase in gun control. So they should implement it, to ensure that the genius of the 2nd Amendment is still in effect, for that inevitable day that we need it.