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Bud Leiner

Information Technology Specialist, Arizona Department of Insurance

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I propose the United States implement a national firearms licensure, certification, and training.

The United States should implement a firearms' owner identification program. The program should consist of licensure and qualifications. The licensure would be used to quickly eliminate non-authorized firearms ownership; such as felons or those deemed mentally unfit. The qualifications will restrict the type, caliber, and restrictions of firearms the individual can purchase; for example, handgun, rifle, semi-automatic, or automatic. With properly designed legislation, the possession of "entry level" firearms would be allowed by default. These might include short-range, small-caliber weapons like .22 caliber handgun.
Further, the ownership of the firearm itself would be identified by issuance of a certificate of ownership or a similar document. The current owner will document the transfer of the certificate with the firearm to a new owner; and the new owner will be responsible for registering the firearm in their name.
These two requirements would be accompanied by firearms training. An owner who completes specific training would receive additional qualifications on their license.
Finally, the fees for this licensing and registration would cover administrative costs and provide additional funding for local law enforcement. This support to local law enforcement would be a direct reflection of the public perceived need for firearms for protection.

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    Feb 15 2013: How would this play with the the 2nd amendment? I could see a state program under the those Constitutional clauses that address militias and their relationship to the federal government.
  • Feb 11 2013: Youll have to forgive if i lack certain etiquites in response as this is my first post onto ted. I'd like to say that I partially agree with your idea. The idea of multi level gun controls is a fairly proven system in canada, we have 3 types of licenses (very basically non-restricted being 18 inch or longer barrel, restricted being a 16 in barrel or pistol, and prohibited being fully automatic or "scary" guns. I say scary because many have been banned based on no other premise.) I like the system we have as far as classification with the exception of prohibs, just because a firearm is fully automatic or looks scary does not mean im going to use it as a weapon. It can be treated like any other firearm, it just goes faster. In relation to automobiles, if you put a responsible driver behind the wheel of a Ford Focus you will have the same safe results as putting that driver behind a Lambourghini. Now, take a second driver, new to the road, and put him in both those vehicles. In the lambo he is more likely to press the accelerator perhaps a touch harder than he should. This is where I agree with your suggestion of badges or license levels. Earn you right to play with bigger toys. Now, people will say a car is much different than a gun, however I ask you to think of this. Yes, a ford focus is like a semi automatic, its a touch slow, but works just fine. The lambo is much faster and more powerful, as an automatic assault rifle would be. However, in the hands of a non-responsible person, lets use intoxication in this example, both vehicles become deadly weapons. I would not recommend a new shooter to buy a 50 BMG rifle, but starting with a .22lr and working up to do an in person practical test/demonstration of skills to move to 9mm would be a great way to go.

    As far as a registration goes, canada has had a long gun registry that was implemented, and is actually being taken down.
  • Feb 11 2013: Could we once say this was done with the draft? I wasn't drafted, but my grandfather taught me about firearms safety, and I was in the Marines. Wait all this is in the data banks. If you buy a gun often you are checked out, and private sales are not supposed to be irresponsible. So we need more rules - are you saying that? While it may not seem so, you are. And former Navy seals shouldn't arm and take crazies to the gun range. Okay that's a sad case. Stuff happens and there are crazy people out there. Why really knows? - but the data suggests that the crazies will just substitute. I am not sure that a criminal who intentionally uses a pistol has thought things out - Too easy to catch him Do we want smarter murders by law? A little different-America easy gun laws Mexico hard laws Mexico's murder rate is twice ours.
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    Feb 10 2013: I am not in agreement with your premise that existing government control measures are insufficient and need to be expanded. Felons and others deemed unfit to own firarms do not comply to the system. There lies the problem. Black market gun sales are difficult to control. On the other hand itis very simple to control gun ownership by law-abiding people who willingly comply to all the existing government requirements. The psycho of Sandy Hook used a fully legal, registered weapon which police easily traced to its registered, legal owner using government required records. All those children are not gone because there were not enough gun registration regulations. They are gone because someone other than the registered owner of the weapon gained access to it. We need to change the way we deal with emotionally disturbed people who have been rightfully diagnosed as dangerous to themselves or to others. As for the sane, but just plain evil people who use weapons to rob, steal, and kill, no amount of registration regulations will prevent them from getting a gun. Thank you!
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      Feb 10 2013: Edward, I will mostly agree with you. First, existing control measures may be adequately defined, but not fully applied or adequately enforced. Second, these recent events (such as Sandy Hook; Aurora, Colorado; and LAPD) or similar future events, could not be fully prevented by regulation alone. That is one reason I appreciate Casey's recommendation of education.
      However, in my opinion, these events, along with a need to increase the safety of our citizens, necessitate we take some action to increase the enforcement of the existing regulations. One recommendation might be requiring background checks to be retained for some meaningful period to demonstrate a retailers compliance with those regulations; and, those documents should be legally admissible to demonstrate compliance. That likely requires some application of responsibility for misuse, whether by the owner themselves or an unauthorized user whom was not prevented from accessing the weapon. This could be analogized to a child operating a motor vehicle without the parents consent.
      If you don't mind engaging more, do you have suggestions to reduce the likelihood of psychotics or malfeasants from having the ability to act on these impulses?
      Thank you for your input.
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        Feb 10 2013: I too believe the existing regulations are sufficient in number but lacking in enforcement. New regs are not the answer to the horrors you mention. I believe the psychotherapist profession should be made to report all patients who are deemed to be a likely danger to themslves or to others to ATF, Homeland Security, local and state police, and the FBI. Such persons, upon second opinion diagnosis, should not be allowed to purchase or own a firearm. Also, anyone sharing a residence with such persons should be accountable to implement failsafe security measures to keep any and all firearms in the residence out of the hands of such persons. Such laws should be at least as strictly and efficiently enforced as our tax laws. We must stop allowing people known to be dangerous , both the mentally ill and the habitual criminal, to roam our neighborhoods at will.
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    Feb 10 2013: lets start in grade school, responsibility is something that needs to be taught not ignorance
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      Feb 10 2013: Thank you, Casey.
      I agree. We do need to determine how to initiate the change in the educational process in this day and age of "gun freedom." We should also consider if hands-on should be mandatory or elective. I would suggest an introductory course for primary education level; restricting it to discussion and demonstration. In secondary education, the students would be more prepared for hands-on usage instruction, but I would suggest this as an elective. The alternative would be non-live-fire training for those oppose to or fearful of live-fire training.