What You Should Know About Gun Control Laws

Federal gun control laws state that certain classes of people may never sell guns, purchase guns for sale or possess guns. These are people who have been imprisoned for more than a year, fugitives, drug users, mentally incompetent individuals, illegal aliens, dishonorably discharged veterans, people under 18 for rifles or 21 for handguns, those with restraining orders placed against them and people convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence.

Additionally, federal law mandates that anyone convicted of a violent or drug-trafficking crime with the possession of a firearm is punishable by up to 20 years in jail. Additionally, if the firearm is a machine gun or equipped with a silencer, the perpetrator is subject to life imprisonment without parole.

The National Firearms Act of 1934 was the first of modern gun control laws to pass. Following Prohibition, this act imposed an excise tax of $200 on the manufacture and transfer of all Title II weapons, while also mandating their registration. Firearms moving past state lines had to be reported to the Department of Treasury (which is now the function of the Department of Justice). During this time period, rogues and gangsters ruled the streets, with headline catchers like Al Capone, Bonnie and Clyde, John Dillinger and Baby Face Nelson, which prompted President Roosevelt to take drastic measures.

The next bout of gun control laws didn’t come to pass until 1968 when The Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 was passed by Congress. Analysts say the assassination of President John F. Kennedy created public outcry over guns for sale and in possession in America. The Gun Control Act specifically defined specific groups of people who were not allowed to own firearms, such as those under 18, people on parole, citizens with criminal histories or restraining orders, dishonorably discharged veterans, ex-cons, the mentally incompetent and drug users. People could no longer purchase guns for sale from online/mail-order dealers or buy from individuals outside their home state.

Different presidents have had different policies concerning gun control laws over the past few decades. Reagan was pro-gun, but took a firmer stance after his attempted assassination. President Clinton passed the first-ever Assault Weapons Ban in 1994, which was questionably enforced. Critics said Clinton’s gun policies inflamed NRA members and led to the Democrats losing control of the House. President Bush let some of the old gun regulations expire and President Obama has remained ambivalent thus so far, allowing the Supreme Court to uphold Second Amendment rights.

How Effective are Gun Bans Overseas? Part 7 in the Right to Protect Yourself

The USA is not alone in facing this problem of mentally deranged individuals and criminals. Both Britain and Australia suffered mass shootings in the 1980s and 1990s, despite their already stringent gun laws. Both countries nevertheless decided that even stricter gun control was the most effective answer. Their experiences are enlightening.

British Experiences with Banning Gun Ownership

After the 1987 Hungerford shooting spree, the British government banned semiautomatic rifles and controlled shotguns the same as pistols and rifles. Magazines were drastically limited, just two shells with a third in the chamber.

The 1998 Firearms Act instituted a nearly complete ban on handguns after the Dunblane mass shooting by a mentally disturbed man. Owners of pistols were required to surrender them and the penalty for illegally having a pistol is up to 10 years in prison.

The law of unintended consequences has ensured the results are the complete opposite of what the gun control advocates expected. According to the Wall Street Journal*. Within a decade of the handgun ban and their confiscation from registered owners, crime with handguns had doubled according to British government crime reports. Gun crime, not a serious problem in the past, now is. Armed street gangs have resulted in some British police carrying guns for the first time.”

Despite the virtually complete ban on firearms, another shooting spree occurred in 2010. A taxi driver in Cumbria shot his brother then drove off through rural villages killing 12 people and injuring 11 more before killing himself.

Making Criminals out of Heroes

Yet absurdly strict gun control laws make criminals out of Britain’s heroes. In 2009 a former soldier found a bag in his garden containing a shotgun. He took it to the police station and was immediately handcuffed and charged with gun possession. His trial judge noted: “The intention of anybody possessing a firearm is irrelevant,” and gave him an extensive prison sentence. Fortunately, a public outcry eventually resulted in his release.

In 2012, a British war hero was sentenced to 18 months in military prison for possession of a Glock pistol gifted by the Iraqi forces he had been training. It was packed up with his possessions and returned to him after he had left to organize a funeral for close friends killed in action. He pleaded guilty to avoid a five-year sentence and was incarcerated until a public outcry set him free.

So, in Britain, war heroes are jailed yet a Muslim extremist advocating violence walks free. Whenever the government passes prescriptive laws insisting there’s only one way – their way – to do something, government failure surely follows.

The Australian Ban on Guns

Six weeks after the 1996 Dunblane massacre, an Australian with a lifelong history of violence attacked tourists at a Port Arthur prison site in Tasmania with semiautomatic rifles. He killed 35 people and wounded 21 others.

At that time, Australia’s guns laws were even stricter than those in the UK. In lieu of the British requirement that an applicant looking to purchase a gun have a “good reason,” Australia required a “genuine reason.” Hunting and protecting crops were genuine reasons – but personal protection was not.

So Australia passed the National Firearms Agreement, banning all semiautomatic rifles and shotguns and imposing an even more restrictive system on other firearms. The government also launched a forced buyback scheme to remove thousands of firearms from private hands. In 1997, the government purchased and destroyed more than 60,000 banned guns at a cost of $500 million.

Australian Results

Such decisive government action on banning guns must have been highly effective, right? No. Not at all!

While the law and buyback generated much controversy, in 2008, the Australian Institute of Criminology reported a decrease of 9% in homicides and a one-third decrease in armed robbery since the 1990s, but an increase of over 40% in assaults and 20% in sexual assaults.

A 2003 study published by the Brookings Institution found that homicides just “continued a modest decline.” They concluded that the impact of Australia’s National Firearms Agreement was “relatively small.” Yet during the same period of time in America, deaths attributed to firearms dropped by nearly ten times the decline seen in Australia.**

The use of handguns went up sharply, but only one out of 117 gun homicides used a registered gun in the two years following the new ban. Suicides with firearms went down but suicides by other means went up. They reported “a modest reduction in the severity” of massacres in the five years since the government weapons buyback. These involved knives, gas and arson rather than firearms.

Lessons from Abroad

What to conclude? Far stricter gun laws in Britain and Australia have been ineffective, they have neither made their citizens safer, nor have they prevented massacres. But they have increased crime. The two major countries held up as models for the U.S. to copy provide evidence that making gun laws even more strict will NOT solve the highly obscure (to dimwits, obliviots, and politicians) problem: criminals and deranged individuals do not obey the law.

So across the world, government bans on people’s right to protect themselves with guns seem to be rather widely ignored. Thoughtful citizens recognize the endemic problem of government failuretheir government’s incompetence at that most fundamental of tasks: protecting their citizens.

It’s all enough to make you wonder. Do politicians really have the same goal as their citizens – the important task of ensuring everybody’s safety? Or are they unscrupulous sophists who want the population disarmed by any means. If so, why? Are they determined to stay in power and fear resistance? Aren’t the policies they implement entirely just?

Switzerland is very prosperous, despite a more or less complete lack of natural resources. It’s also among the most secure, Switzerland’s automatic guns above every fireplace in the land make it one of the safest countries in the world, and their constitution ensure politicians stay under control. So are Swiss policies the demonstrably effective ones for America to copy?

Food for Thought

“Eternal vigilance by the people is the price of liberty, and that you must pay the price if you wish to secure the blessing.”

– Andrew Jackson, 1767-1845, 7th USA President, advocate of a small and limited federal government

* The Wall Street Journal report on the unintended consequences of Britain’s gun ban is at:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323777204578195470446855466.html

* The lack of significant impact from Australia’s gun ban on both homicides and suicides is at:

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/will-banning-guns-stop-homicides-stats-from-england-and-australia-show/

© Copyright worldwide Cris Baker, LifeStrategies.net. Republishing welcomed under Creative Commons noncommercial no derivatives license preserving all links intact. All rights reserved.

Gun In The House – What Every Head Of Household Should Know

In 2014, as America looks toward the mid-term elections, a major shift in official servants is likely to take place. This will probably be attributed to how constituents view political successes and failures. One of the worst failures is gun control. The U.S. now sees all fifty states affirming some sort of second amendment rights like never before, some declining to register guns, others declining to compel citizen to obtain permits, other affirming Stand Your Ground laws and other programs which recognize the citizen as the first line of defense against violent crime.

This is almost entirely due to the failure of gun control for its stated purpose. For decades – since the Gun Control Act of 1968, for instance – gun control has promised to protect people; it has worsened conditions so obviously that all states have now adopted gun rights over gun controls. What went wrong?

It was because gun control was wrong in that it attempted to take the place of America’s original first responders, the people who were already on scene.

Every head of household wants the best for loved ones, and sometimes the best information can help come to the smartest decisions. Where gun bans might come under question for a head of a household where the decision has been taken out of his/her hands, perhaps it’s time to re-examine the question to take the situation in hand where it belongs. Here is what the head of every household must know and assess.

1. Police have no duty to protect individuals. Since the inception of an organized police force in the middle 1800’s, protection of individuals has not been a duty of American Police. Constantly thrown out, dismissed or found against the plaintiff, courts have ruled as the Supreme Court did in 2005 in the case of Castle Rock v. Gonzales: no constitutional right to police protection. There are also dozens more. [See keyword: no constitutional right to police protection.] Most legislators do not know this, but attorneys, judges, police and gun owners know it.

2. Police understand that in fighting crime, the target is the first line of defense. For meeting personal aggression and crime to widespread disaster, you’re on your own. Most violent crime is over in moments, and when seconds count, police are moments away. Or hours away. Individual citizens already have the legal authority to use up to lethal force when in the reasonable apprehension of grave danger, but are politically discouraged from acting. Gun bans obfuscate this authority to act, and boost the statistics of injured, murdered or abducted persons for political gain in gun ban states.

3. Citizens have the right – and the legal authority – to stop a crime in progress. This is throughout substantive and codified law, the affirmative defenses in tort and criminal law, the average reasonable person doctrine, the doctrine of standing in the shoes of another, and other places within our system, such as public policy and public interest.

Furthermore, many law enforcement agencies affirm the armed citizen as purposeful as an ally of law enforcement in that one does not fight crime after the fact nearly as well as one fights crime at the scene of the crime. It’s like saving lives by training citizens in First-aid and CPR because the Paramedics are not always there as immediately as a bystander is. The authority and latitude of the two are quite similar.

Here are some figures of significance before refusing to own a gun in the house. FBI sources [www.FBI.gov] show that in the United States consecutive years about 14,177 persons were shot to death or death by gun. But the same FBI source shows that armed citizens de-escalate violent crime more than 2.5 million times every year, each respective figure according to reports turned in to the FBI from law enforcement around the country. Compared to the thousands of criminal shootings average every year, there are 2.5 million non-criminal defenses against crimes which were never completed, thanks to an armed citizen, often without firing their personal weapon.

4. Handgun training is conducted by Military, local police officers, NRA Licensed Instructors and FBI. Courses are readily available to the average citizen and at reasonable cost. Law enforcement and gun owners are not foes, but allies. The FBI reports about 1.23 million total criminal offenses nationwide. At more than 200 million guns in the hands of some 80 million adults, citizen gun owners are not the people committing the violent crimes in America. 2.5 million times every year, armed citizens are the people stopping the crimes from completion, often their own murder, rape or abduction.

Hurting households by vexing the latitude a family has to act in the absence of police, gun control hides citizen authority and frustrates self-defense when facing grave danger. This is in no way in the public interest.

Taking a Look at Anti Gun Campaigns

There are a number of well-respected organizations that take an anti gun stance, such as the ACLU, the American Medical Association, the American Federation of Teachers, the American Bar Association, People for the American Way and the National Organization for Women, to name a few. Celebrities like David Arquette, Alec Baldwin, Bob Barker, Drew Barrymore, Kevin Bacon, Tony Bennett, Jon Bon Jovi, Mel Brooks, Steve Buscemi, Kevin Costner, Sean Connery, Cheryl Crow, Walter Kronkite, Danny DeVito, Jane Fonda, Andy Garcia, Whitney Houston, Spike Lee, Jack Nicholson and hundreds more have lent their names to campaigns speaking out about the gun issue. Perhaps one of the most vocal critics against guns is the influential Brady Campaign.

The Brady Center claims to be “the nation’s largest, non-partisan, grassroots organization leading the fight to prevent gun violence.” The anti gun campaign is named after Jim Brady. He was Ronald Reagan’s press secretary and was shot during the 1981 assassination attempt by John Hinckley Jr. Left permanently disabled in a wheelchair, Brady became a key figure in the gun control debate. His wife became actively involved a few years later when she found her six-year-old son playing with a relative’s loaded handgun. It’s important to note that the campaign isn’t advocating a ban on all guns, but rather more comprehensive gun regulations to keep these weapons out of the hands of dangerous individuals and shady dealers.

First of all, the Brady Center wants to encourage sensible laws to regulate those who buy and sell guns. “Brady believes that a safer America can be achieved without banning guns,” their website states. “We believe that law-abiding citizens should be able to buy and keep firearms,” but criminals and children should not have access to these weapons. Next, they feel there should be strict anti gun ownership laws regarding Uzis, AK-47s, .50-caliber sniper rifles and other assault rifles. Lastly, they believe in securing weapons so unauthorized people cannot get their hands on them and in training people to use their weapons safely.

Anti gun campaigns often emphasize the economic burden of gun deaths and injuries. In a June 2008 article in the East Bay Press News, Matthew Green tells the story of a man who was shot multiple times, which amounted to a $75,000 hospital bill for just 9 days of care. Since the man had no insurance, the state MediCal insurance covered the tab. In 2007, the Highland Hospital Trauma Center in East Oakland spent $33 million treating 2,337 patients with gun shot wounds. It’s estimated that tax payers shoulder the real burden of gun violence, paying 50 to 85% of the costs.

How Tough Are Gun Laws In Florida?

Gun Control has been a major topic throughout the past decade in politics. Many people feel that there should be stricter gun laws, while others feel that the major crimes that are done with a gun are by people who acquired the guns illegally, and therefore the constitutional right should not be taken away from those who follow the rules.

It can be scary to think that almost 1,000,000 people are running around in your state with the ability to carry a gun, but you cannot just show up and get a permit. There are classes and tests involved with getting a gun permit.

Florida has seen a rise in Justifiable Homicides and Murders that involve a gun. These statistics can mean several things. More people are able to protect themselves, and an increase in murders with a gun does not necessarily mean an increase of murders or that the guns were legal. It is difficult to look at statistics and see exactly what is going on with a state, and many statistics can be used in order to skew the truth.

It is up to every citizen of Florida to know and understand that laws of gun control. There are several new laws that are in place that were created in order to make sure that the rights of gun holders are protected as well as the citizens that are not in a position to protect themselves.

Some of the new Florida laws in regards to gun control:

Qualification Law

The police are required to issue a permit for a concealed weapon to any qualified applicant.

Protect Yourself Law

The Florida legislature understands that we are living in a dangerous crazy world, and they do not want their residents to feel like they are not able to protect themselves for fear of legal ramifications. The is why they created a law which gives every person in the state the right to defend themselves by whatever means necessary should they have reason to believe that their life is being threatened.

Gun Mobility Law

Most people do not purchase a gun and get their concealed weapons license to just sit their gun in a drawer at home. Most people want to be able to take their gun with them. This is why there is a law in Florida that allows an individual to bring their gun with them to work. They are not allowed to bring it inside their place of business. It must remain in the safe compounds of their locked vehicle.

Gun Information Limitation

Up until recently many people worried that the fact that they owed a gun or carried a concealed weapons permit would hinder their ability to adopt a child. A new Florida law states that neither an adoption agency nor a doctor is able to inquire about if your own or carry a gun.

Criminal Cases Involving a Gun Sentencing

Many of the recently added Florida Gun Laws have been created as a way to protect the rights of the actual gun holder, but there have been laws to help get some of the gun abusers off the street. The 10-20-Life Law has created a level of minimum sentencing that the courts are permitted to give for criminals of violent felonies that are done with the use of a gun. This means that if a person pulls a gun while committing one of these felonies they will get a minimum of 10 years, use the gun and they will get a minimum of 20 years, and actually shoot someone and they can get up to life in prison.