Home » Gun Control: Why Do We Need Licenses To Own Guns

Gun Control: Why Do We Need Licenses To Own Guns

Automobiles must only be licensed for use upon public roads, and licenses are not required for the purchase of cars. There are no waiting periods or background checks on the purchase of cars. People who misuse their cars are punished for their own actions, and particular types of cars aren’t banned or taken away from those who use them safely.

Unlike driving on public roads, which is a privilege, owning a gun is a right explicitly protected by the U. S. Constitution . The right of self -defense is fundamental and inalienable, but requiring a license to own the means of self defense gives government the ower to deny that right, for whatever reason. Licensing of law-abiding citizens to carry a concealed weapon is permissible, because, like driving, the government has an interest in maintaining public safety by ensuring as best it can that only the law-abiding carry in public.

However, some supporters of the right to keep and bear arms oppose requiring a permit for concealed carry, and prefer a permitless system like that of the state of Vermont, which simply punishes misuse of guns, rather than restricting their lawful use. Restricting the ability of law-abiding citizens to own and use firearms on their own roperty, and in defense of their homes and families, punishes them before they have even done anything wrong.

In 1990, guns, which gun control supporters claim are “designed only to kill,” were involved in about 1,400 accidental deaths, 18,800 suicides, and 13,600 murders, for a total of 33,800 firearm-related deaths. There are more than 200,000,000 firearms in private hands in the United States. Also in 1990, motor vehicles, which are not “designed to kill” were involved in about 46,000 accidental deaths and 1,900 people decided to suck on an exhaust pipe to end their lives, for a total of 47,900 motor-vehicle related deaths.

There are about 143,000,000 passenger cars in use in the United States. From looking at the numbers, these licensed and registered vehicles routinely kill more people than the unlicensed and unregistered deadly weapons do. This isn’t because these devices “designed only to kill” aren’t used a lot; U. S. gun owners go through roughly 4,000,000,000 rounds of ammunition a year.

Much has been made by some gun control advocates of the fact that there “are more gun dealers than gas stations” in the United States. While arguably true (there were 269,079 Federal Firearms Licenses (FFLs) in 1990 according to he Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and about 205,000 gasoline service stations and auto dealers combined in 1990), it doesn’t require a federal background check to run a gas station or to sell cars so those numbers aren’t definitive.

Those Federal Firearms License holders who had no retail location, often called “kitchen table dealers” by anti-gun activists (and who, until recently, were a significant percentage of FFL holders), got their licenses primarily for the added convenience of being exempt from waiting periods or to facilitate purchases from out-of-state dealers or mail-order companies. There’s nothing wrong about wanting to be exempt from the regulations which the supporters of gun control have placed on the right to keep and bear arms.

By undergoing the FBI background check required in order to get an FFL, these people have shown that they are law-abiding. Such low-volume gun “dealers” have been the target of BATF policy makers recently, and many have had their licenses revoked for not having a retail location. It should be noted that in many areas, the private sale of firearms by unlicensed individuals who the BATF does not consider to be in business are legal, and almost completely unregulated.

After all, firearms are considered property, and so long as the owner does not knowingly sell or transfer a gun to a person who is underage or who is forbidden by law from owning firearms (such as felon), one may dispose of one’s own property as one sees fit. How ironic that the low-volume “dealers” who have gone to the trouble and expense of obtaining an FFL are the ones the BATF has chosen to target, rather than going after armed felons and the illegal and/or unlicensed dealers who supply them. The fact is, most people use guns at least as responsibly as they use their automobiles, and the vast majority of gun owners never harm anyone.

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