A Discussion About Guns and Gun Laws

Marauder06

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I like guns. I own many guns. I like to shoot guns as a hobby, and I keep guns in my home to protect myself and my family, because I believe it is my job as much as the government's to ensure the safety of myself, may family, and my property.

When the law permits, I carry a gun when I feel I need to. I believe in the 2nd Amendment and feel very strongly that the average American should have the ability to acquire, maintain, and under certain circumstances, carry and use firearms.

However, I also consider myself a bit of a realist. As such, I do not believe in unfettered access to firearms. I believe that there are some people who should never be allowed access to firearms, and I believe that some degree of regulation is good for our safety and for the security of our nation.

So, with all of that said, I'd like to start a discussion on guns and gun laws. Do you think our gun laws are effective? Are they too restrictive, or too loose? What would you change, if you could, and why?

I'd like to see a national right-to-carry program, where a concealed carry permit is legitimate in every state, much like a driver's license is.

At the same time, I think some legitimate tightening of the ways in which we are allowed to acquire firearms could head off a knee-jerk reaction that will see draconian laws introduced down the road.

I recognize that this is likely to be an emotional issue for a lot of us, so I hope we can keep this civil.
 

SkrewzLoose

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I believe that if/when more gun laws are enacted the criminal element will devise new ways to skirt around them.
While at the same time, Joe Citizen will continue to obey the laws. Despite how much he/she may not like them, the average gun owning citizen (like many on this board) will file whatever paperwork, register in whatever database and jump through whatever hoop is required because they want to avoid breaking the law. The average citizen will do what's right because they are good at heart and will try to create change through the proper avenues when required.
 

policemedic

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The federal laws are fine as they are, with perhaps one or two exceptions where they are too prohibitive; we simply need to enforce them-particularly as they apply to straw purchases, felons in possession or firearms, and crimes committed with firearms.

As examples of overly strict regulation, I offer the 'sporting purposes' test, and the NFA restrictions on SBRs/SBSs/suppressors
 

SpitfireV

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OK, a brief overview of how our system works.

You are a guy who one day thinks, I'd like to go hunting. What do I need? A gun! So you amble on down to the cop shop and see the firearms officer. He gives you a form to fill out, you go down to the post office and pay the fee involved and hand it back. Then you have to book a firearms safety seminar and pass the test they give you at the end about the rules of firearms safety.

Then you have to provide two references, one family, one not. They talk to your references about your general behaviour etc and you also have a home visit. Here they inspect your house to make sure it's secure and you've got a gun rack (by law when not in use firearms have to be locked up but a rack is enough for the A Cat licence. During this they talk to you and assess basically if you're a nutter or not. This whole process *should* take about a month but because I ended up dealing with three police regions over it (because the file had to be bounced around) it took me three. If at any time they think that you're a crim or not a fit and proper person you'll have your application terminated. So obviously that neccessitates checks on the police computer to make sure you're not involved in anything you shouldn't be.

This entitles you to a A Cat licence, which means you can buy bolt actions and most semi-autos (depends on what the rifle is and what you've got on it/what magazines are in it at the time).

If you want your B Cat (pistol), you have to be a member of a pistol club and shoot there at least once a month and be recommended by them to get the licence in the first place, as well as more stringent security requirements.

C Cat is Collections, which basically encompass anything under the sun. So M60s if you want, AA Guns, etc etc. Again, more security requirements and you have to prove you're a legit collector.

D Cat is a Dealer Licence which is pretty obvious.

E Cat is what the police call Military Style Semi Autos, so it's semis with a mag capacity of over 8 (except for rimfire), folding stocks, muzzle brakes and bayonet lugs and pistol grips.

In terms of difficulty to get, I'd wager it (roughly and forgetting D) goes A, E/B, C.

There are some oddities to the system, IE let's say you owned a Mini-14. On it's own, the rifle is A Cat. You can own a 30 round magazine with no licence but as soon as you put that magazine into that rifle it becomes E Cat. So there is some strangeness but overall it works well with some exceptions, being overzealous firearms officers and the occassional anti-firearms rant from the police. Actually they got taken to court because they suddenly started deeming the SL8 an E Cat rifle after years of it being A Cat, which they had no legal basis to do, so they got clobbered in court.

My personal feelings on firearms is that they're much like a car or an aircraft, you shouldn't be allowed to just go out and get one without having either training or someone responsible with you. They're a tool but here they're certainly not a right. Actually we have one of the highest per capita rates of firearms ownership in the world but firearms crime per sey is somewhat low. I say somewhat because I'm not totally sure what the stats are exactly. I do feel people should be licenced* to own one and in general I think our system works pretty well, but I would like it if fucking hunters would actually ID their targets for once (this is where we have our death by firearms mostly).

*I do understand it is a legal and cultural issue for you guys, I'm stating my own personal views in terms of NZ.
 

policemedic

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OK, a brief overview of how our system works.

Brief, huh :nerd:

Actually, that was a very good post. I had no understanding of the NZ process until you explained it; thank you for that.

It seems diametrically opposed to what I'm going to do tomorrow. I'm going to walk into the local police supply store, show them my driver's license, and fill out two forms (which are very similar to each other). One is a federal form, a form 4473 Firearms Transaction Record (I attached one). The other is a form SP4-113 prescribed by the PA State Police to facilitate the PA Instant Check System query and which will allow the PSP to enter the handgun into their database (which they say isn't a registry, but really is, but that's another conversation). The clerk will make a big show out of checking the paperwork and making sure I'm really me (I'm on a first name basis with the staff) and then they will call the PSP Instant Check System. A PSP employee will run my name to ensure I'm not a prohibited person and will issue an approval number that the clerk will duly note on the form. I'll pay them, they will say thank you and come again ("...and bring coffee next time!"). Then I'll be out the door with my new blaster.

To answer the next logical question, being a LEO doesn't get me special processing. It used to, but since they instituted the PICS check there is no waiting period for anyone (unless there is a problem with the check, of course).

With regard to the references required in NZ, what happens if your references write, "I don't like guns and don't think anyone should have them," or some other such nonsense? Does that result in your license being denied?
 

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Viper1

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My two cents:

Should Americans be allowed to own guns?: Yes. I own a couple shotguns and a couple handguns. I am a realist. Gun violence happens in America, it happens in NC, and I want to have the necessary protection so me and LV have a fighting chance.

Should certain guns be for sale to the American public?: No. There is no reason why anyone needs an AK-47, a Barrett .50 cal, or a even an AR.
 

JBS

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In response to this thread, and also to Viper 1's post, I think one's views about firearms are determined by what one's beliefs are regarding the purpose of the 2nd Amendment.

If one believes that the purpose of the 2nd Amendment is because the Founding Fathers- radical revolutionaries who took their lives into their own hands by violently overthrowing British rule- were simply fierce defenders of the right to hunt, then yes, we have no need for tactical assault weapons, or even a Glock. The only thing citizens should have is a bolt action hunting rifle, and maybe small shotguns that can fire birdshot to take foul.

If one believes that the Founding Fathers wrote the 2nd Amendment as a means of guaranteeing that the citizenry might forever be capable of overthrowing some future, out-of-control tyrannical government (or failing that a temporary shut down of the government in the face of anarchy or massive invasion), then owning AR-s and Barretts and AK's take on a different significance.

For me, the question is, "what does one believe is the purpose of the 2nd Amendment?"

Just to be clear, I don't think we should keep these kinds of weapons just so we can overthrow the government or repel the "Red Dawn" invasion that gives every survivalist a wet dream. On the contrary, the fact that there are 300 million weapons in America means every adversarial nation on this planet fully understands that invasion of the United States is impossible. It would take a modern occupational expeditionary force consisting of a 700 million man army, plus logistical support and supplies for the next 50 years. Similarly, any theoretical group that might attempt a coup d'état in America by force would know from the outset that any such attempt would be destined to failure, as the inevitable uprising would be unquenchable. A heavily armed population is the surest deterrent against tyranny, invasion, or usurpation of power.

We shouldn't have weapons for some revolutionary gun battle in the streets of America, we should have weapons to prevent any such event from ever taking place. For me, hunting has nothing to do with the 2nd Amendment.
 

0699

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OK, a brief overview of how our system works.

...

My personal feelings on firearms is that they're much like a car or an aircraft, you shouldn't be allowed to just go out and get one without having either training or someone responsible with you. They're a tool but here they're certainly not a right. Actually we have one of the highest per capita rates of firearms ownership in the world but firearms crime per sey is somewhat low. I say somewhat because I'm not totally sure what the stats are exactly. I do feel people should be licenced* to own one and in general I think our system works pretty well, but I would like it if fucking hunters would actually ID their targets for once (this is where we have our death by firearms mostly).

*I do understand it is a legal and cultural issue for you guys, I'm stating my own personal views in terms of NZ.

Good overview. I think the bolded part is most important for us here to remember. Although I don't own any guns myself, I do believe we have a god-given right to self-defense and a gun is the best way to do so.
 

koz

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My two cents:

Should Americans be allowed to own guns?: Yes. I own a couple shotguns and a couple handguns. I am a realist. Gun violence happens in America, it happens in NC, and I want to have the necessary protection so me and LV have a fighting chance.

Should certain guns be for sale to the American public?: No. There is no reason why anyone needs an AK-47, a Barrett .50 cal, or a even an AR.

There's also no reason that any car should go more than 70 mph because no one needs to go faster than the speed limit. No one needs more than one six-pack or bottle of wine in their house as no one should get that drunk. In fact why have alcohol at all since it's bad for you? (Remember that thing called prohibition?) It didn't stop people from drinking and it only made criminals rich. The list is endless of things we don't NEED. These things kill FAR more people that guns.

Why do you think you should be able to own shotguns or pistols? Far more murders happen with pistols than AR's, AK's, Barretts.
 

pardus

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OK, a brief overview of how our system works..



What is missing here is a few very pertinent facts that are quite germane to this topic.

NZ used to have high per capita gun ownership that changed with the gun laws Spitfire wrote of, which brings me to...

I held a firearms license in NZ for a long time, in that time there were 3 different systems in place.
The first was a little red book that one was required to write each and every firearm in, serial #, make, model.
They then went to a great system, you had a lifetime license, you brought and sold firearms freely without any govt/police oversight/knowledge.
That went along for years until one mentally unstable prick went nuts with a .22 rifle and killed a bunch of people.
Then we had our lifetime license revoked and the system Spitfire mentioned put in place (sans the semi auto license). Which made us register the firearms (Overnight thousands of rifles disappeared as people said fuck you to the new law. We knew what was coming next). Then they added the semi auto license once they knew what everyone had registered.
Firearms prices initially plummeted as people tried to get rid of them instead of face the hurdles and costs involved in maintaining them (oh and there was no grandfathering existing firearms). Firearms prices in NZ now are probably 4 times the price they are in the USA. If you want to get a semi auto imported into NZ you must hand one you already have to the cops so they can destroy it.
The license is designed for one thing, that is to reduce the number of firearms in the public domain. The police are very anti-gun and will threaten firearms owners with loss of their license for a multitude of reasons. I was forced to report to a police station (or loose my firearms license) to explain why i had purchased a BOOK from Paladin press in the USA. I was questioned and evaluated as to whether they would revoke my firearms license because of that. I dont even want to get into how they knew Id purchased the book in the first place!

NZ has become a nation of softcocks in some regards, firearms is one of them. Guns are seen in a negative light by the general public.

New Zealand should stand as a warning to the USA of what can go wrong.
 

Viper1

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There's also no reason that any car should go more than 70 mph because no one needs to go faster than the speed limit. No one needs more than one six-pack or bottle of wine in their house as no one should get that drunk. In fact why have alcohol at all since it's bad for you? (Remember that thing called prohibition?) It didn't stop people from drinking and it only made criminals rich. The list is endless of things we don't NEED. These things kill FAR more people that guns.

Why do you think you should be able to own shotguns or pistols? Far more murders happen with pistols than AR's, AK's, Barretts.

Car speed limits, amounts of alcohol in a house and prohibition have absolutely nothing to do with guns or my previous statements. In my personal opinion, there is no reason why a private citizen should be able to purchase an AK-47, a Barrett .50cal, or even an AR-15.

Be that as it may, I do know some guns owners with AR in their homes. No big deal. I'm not going to waste my time to write my Congressman to get the law changed. One possible solution? Allow gun clubs to have those types of machine guns were people can go learn about the weapon and light off some magazines. Make it into a business, a sports club, a history club, etc. That's just one idea and like I said, I'm not going to push for major changes.

I already gave you my reason on why I own pistols and shotguns, and I believe that should be the right for every responsible American.
 

koz

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Car speed limits, amounts of alcohol in a house and prohibition have absolutely nothing to do with guns or my previous statements. In my personal opinion, there is no reason why a private citizen should be able to purchase an AK-47, a Barrett .50cal, or even an AR-15.

Be that as it may, I do know some guns owners with AR in their homes. No big deal. I'm not going to waste my time to write my Congressman to get the law changed. One possible solution? Allow gun clubs to have those types of machine guns were people can go learn about the weapon and light off some magazines. Make it into a business, a sports club, a history club, etc. That's just one idea and like I said, I'm not going to push for major changes.

I already gave you my reason on why I own pistols and shotguns, and I believe that should be the right for every responsible American.


And I believe it's the right for every responsible American to own a semi-automatic rifle.

Cars and alcohol are absolutely no different than firearms. I use the previously mentioned for enjoyment besides the component of defense. Just as someone who responsibly uses a car - I shouldn't be able to tell them that they can't own the newest sports car because I don't believe in them.
 

Th3 Maelstr0m

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The problem is people make conclusions based off of how it makes them feel versus actually researching the statistics.

The gun control debate really baffles me. This CO shooting happens and people say we need to ban AR's. Why? They are used in less than 1% of all homicides.

"Since police started keeping statistics, we now know that ‘assault weapons’ are/were used in an underwhelming 0.026 of 1% of crimes in New Jersey. This means that my officers are more likely to confront an escaped tiger from the local zoo than to confront an assault rifle in the hands of a drug-crazed killer on the streets.” -Deputy Chief of Police Joseph Constance, Trenton NJ, testimony - Senate Judiciary Committee in Aug 1993​

According to the ATF, 90% of violent crimes do not even involve a firearm. Of those that do involve guns 94.4% are gang related (Homicide trends in the United States, Bureau of Justice Statistics, January 17 2007).

There is no evidence that gun control does not do anything to eleviate violent crime. Look at statistics in a bunch of the states & countries before and after they established gun control, & you will see that crime either did not change or violent crime went up.

& if you don't think people should own an AR/AK, read up on the Rodney King riots & how Korean storekeepers kept their stores from getting destroyed.

According to the National Crime Victimization Survey, 2000, Bureau of Justice Statistics, this is what is prevented EVERY DAY just by SHOWING A GUN (not by firing one):
- 550 rapes
-1,100 murders
- 5,200 other violent crime

Per year, people in the US use guns to defend themselves against criminals 2.5 million times translating to once every 13 seconds. (Targeting Guns, Dr. Gary Kleck, Criminologist, Florida State University, Aldine, 1997 & Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, Fall 1995)

13 lives are saved thanks due to firearms for every accidental death, suicide, and homicide (Targeting Guns).

& then there is that tiny fact that you have an inherent, Constitutional right to possess firearms, and lots of them.

In summary, if you want to support the Constitution, human rights, lower crime rates, are a feminist passionate about combating rape & female victimization, or have the slightest inclination to better the world, then support gun rights, not gun control.

Aaannnd, I'm late for work.
 

SpitfireV

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Brief, huh :nerd:

Actually, that was a very good post. I had no understanding of the NZ process until you explained it; thank you for that.

It seems diametrically opposed to what I'm going to do tomorrow. I'm going to walk into the local police supply store, show them my driver's license, and fill out two forms (which are very similar to each other). One is a federal form, a form 4473 Firearms Transaction Record (I attached one). The other is a form SP4-113 prescribed by the PA State Police to facilitate the PA Instant Check System query and which will allow the PSP to enter the handgun into their database (which they say isn't a registry, but really is, but that's another conversation). The clerk will make a big show out of checking the paperwork and making sure I'm really me (I'm on a first name basis with the staff) and then they will call the PSP Instant Check System. A PSP employee will run my name to ensure I'm not a prohibited person and will issue an approval number that the clerk will duly note on the form. I'll pay them, they will say thank you and come again ("...and bring coffee next time!"). Then I'll be out the door with my new blaster.

To answer the next logical question, being a LEO doesn't get me special processing. It used to, but since they instituted the PICS check there is no waiting period for anyone (unless there is a problem with the check, of course).

With regard to the references required in NZ, what happens if your references write, "I don't like guns and don't think anyone should have them," or some other such nonsense? Does that result in your license being denied?

They're oral interviews. I don't know what the police would do but I don't think someone would nominate someone like that in the first place, unless it was like a sole surviving family member or something. As you know, police are used to dealing with shit and cutting through the bullshit so they'd just tell them to answer the questions I think lol.

Good overview. I think the bolded part is most important for us here to remember. Although I don't own any guns myself, I do believe we have a god-given right to self-defense and a gun is the best way to do so.

God given, or Man given? :p I joke, I'm just being facetious and don't want to open that particular can of worms!

What is missing here is a few very pertinent facts that are quite germane to this topic.

NZ used to have high per capita gun ownership that changed with the gun laws Spitfire wrote of, which brings me to...

I held a firearms license in NZ for a long time, in that time there were 3 different systems in place.
The first was a little red book that one was required to write each and every firearm in, serial #, make, model.
They then went to a great system, you had a lifetime license, you brought and sold firearms freely without any govt/police oversight/knowledge.
That went along for years until one mentally unstable prick went nuts with a .22 rifle and killed a bunch of people.
Then we had our lifetime license revoked and the system Spitfire mentioned put in place (sans the semi auto license). Which made us register the firearms (Overnight thousands of rifles disappeared as people said fuck you to the new law. We knew what was coming next). Then they added the semi auto license once they knew what everyone had registered.
Firearms prices initially plummeted as people tried to get rid of them instead of face the hurdles and costs involved in maintaining them (oh and there was no grandfathering existing firearms). Firearms prices in NZ now are probably 4 times the price they are in the USA. If you want to get a semi auto imported into NZ you must hand one you already have to the cops so they can destroy it.
The license is designed for one thing, that is to reduce the number of firearms in the public domain. The police are very anti-gun and will threaten firearms owners with loss of their license for a multitude of reasons. I was forced to report to a police station (or loose my firearms license) to explain why i had purchased a BOOK from Paladin press in the USA. I was questioned and evaluated as to whether they would revoke my firearms license because of that. I dont even want to get into how they knew Id purchased the book in the first place!

NZ has become a nation of softcocks in some regards, firearms is one of them. Guns are seen in a negative light by the general public.

New Zealand should stand as a warning to the USA of what can go wrong.

Thanks for the stuff on the pre-Aramoana systems, it's a bit before my time. I would agree that the hand one in/get on system is retarded but I don't agree with lifetime licences but for the same reason as I outlined before re cars and aircraft. In a lifetime there's a good chance you might lose your marbles and then you really shouldn't have access to firearms IMO. I would also argue that the thing with your book wasn't a result of the system itself but rather the firearms officer using the licencing system to another end. I remember you telling me about that book and it would *strictly* be an illegal import (probably where they picked it up or someone's reported it who hated you. That would be a small list? :D ). The semi thing isn't quite right, it's correct for E Cat rifles but not A Cat semis. I know, it's retarded. The system needs fine tuning.

In response to this thread, and also to Viper 1's post, I think one's views about firearms are determined by what one's beliefs are regarding the purpose of the 2nd Amendment.

If one believes that the purpose of the 2nd Amendment is because the Founding Fathers- radical revolutionaries who took their lives into their own hands by violently overthrowing British rule- were simply fierce defenders of the right to hunt, then yes, we have no need for tactical assault weapons, or even a Glock. The only thing citizens should have is a bolt action hunting rifle, and maybe small shotguns that can fire birdshot to take foul.

If one believes that the Founding Fathers wrote the 2nd Amendment as a means of guaranteeing that the citizenry might forever be capable of overthrowing some future, out-of-control tyrannical government (or failing that a temporary shut down of the government in the face of anarchy or massive invasion), then owning AR-s and Barretts and AK's take on a different significance.

For me, the question is, "what does one believe is the purpose of the 2nd Amendment?"

Just to be clear, I don't think we should keep these kinds of weapons just so we can overthrow the government or repel the "Red Dawn" invasion that gives every survivalist a wet dream. On the contrary, the fact that there are 300 million weapons in America means every adversarial nation on this planet fully understands that invasion of the United States is impossible. It would take a modern occupational expeditionary force consisting of a 700 million man army, plus logistical support and supplies for the next 50 years. Similarly, any theoretical group that might attempt a coup d'état in America by force would know from the outset that any such attempt would be destined to failure, as the inevitable uprising would be unquenchable. A heavily armed population is the surest deterrent against tyranny, invasion, or usurpation of power.

We shouldn't have weapons for some revolutionary gun battle in the streets of America, we should have weapons to prevent any such event from ever taking place. For me, hunting has nothing to do with the 2nd Amendment.

I think this is an important post, with any legal right you need to look deeper into the spirit of the law and the intentions of the writers.
 

o2bird

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I just picked up an XDS on Saturday at a gun show here in Phoenix. Told him ill take it, filled out a one page form, handed him my License and CCW permit. He wrote down my info, handed me a receipt and my case. Whole process took less than five minutes. Then i walked out to the parking lot and got stopped by a guy trying to sell me a 1911 with the serial numbers dremeled off. Arizona makes it real easy to get a gun legally, but it is still easier to get one illegally. Which IMO is the way it will be no matter what restrictions go into effect.
 
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