I am a gun owner, including several semi-automatic handgun and “assault” style weapons.
And I am in FAVOR of stricter gun control laws. But “control” is NOT synonymous with a “weapons ban.”
An attempt to ban assault weapons or high capacity magazines does nothing to ensure the proper “control” of the more than 350 MILLION firearms already owned by US citizens (and thousands more being bought at this very moment).
What we need is responsible gun ownership. And the answer to that problem is trigger locks and locks on ammunition and magazines.
Responsible Gun Owner Act
Felony (Class D) to possess, store or transport any…
- firearm lacking a combination, keyed or biometric trigger lock actively engaged
- ammunition outside of an approved, locked ammunition case
- magazines outside of an approved, locked ammunition case
Any of the above would be immediately confiscated from the defendant as evidence. If convicted the items would be forfeited to the government for proper destruction. The first offense could be argued down to a misdemeanor. A 2nd conviction would be a felony conviction. No convicted felon can ever own a firearm.
The only exception to the above. Individuals with an annually renewed Concealed Handgun License (CHL) for a “personal safety weapon.” A personal safety weapon defined: .22 caliber handguns with a barrel length 3″ or less with a capacity of no more than 5 rounds.
Why this will work.
Responsible gun owners should have no problem with this because they do this today without a law.
Irresponsible gun owners would become responsible or face losing their weapons, ammunition and magazines and possibly forfeit their right to own weapons in the future.
Gun manufacturers should like this because (like the Swiss Army knife makers with airport security) thousands of weapons will be confiscated and destroyed each year causing first time offenders to have to buy new. Gun manufacturers will also like the rush of CHL holders to purchase the newly classified “personal safety weapon.” by those who do not own that caliber or size of weapons
Law enforcement should support this because it ensures that regardless of the situation they cannot be “outgunned” by any lawful citizen when they attempt to detain the individual or make entry into a home.
Non gun owners should appreciate that trigger locked weapons, ammunition and magazines vastly reduces the potential ability of a gun owner inadvertently or intentionally harming themselves or others. It greatly reduces the chance of an impulse decision to shoot someone and having the immediate means to do so.
- Mental health professionals should appreciate Concealed Handgun Licenses would have to be renewed annually allowing those with recurring mental health issues to be cross referenced and denied a new license.
I enjoy shooting sports and tactical training with the MOST responsible gun owners I know; military combat veterans, active duty service members and Police officers.
Many of them have seen the realities of gun violence up close and personal. Many I talk to believe locks on weapons, ammunition and magazines would separate the responsible gun owners from the irresponsible or unstable individuals.
The real problem is not the weapon or the magazine: that makes for good talking points and television but will be ineffective in curbing gun violence. The real answer is raising awareness about responsible gun ownership and enforcing the laws on those who are unwilling to meet that standard.