Recent event have had me thinking of what kind of common sense gun laws were should have at the Federal level. I think I've come up with some that can work, but may not be too popular. Let's see what you think.
1. Gun Owners Must Have A Firearms License: This is a blanket license that will be like a drivers license, in that it will have different endorsements. Each type of weapon (revolver, semi-automatic pistol, rifle, shotgun, etc) will be it's own endorsement. The license itself will require the completion of a 40 Hour general gun safety course. Each endorsement will require a specific 10 Hour safety course on that type of weapon. The license can be renewed every two years without additional courses. The endorsements, however, will require another 1 Hour refresher course every two years.
In addition to the safety courses, applicants will be required to pass a mental health screening and an in-home inspection of where the firearms are to be stored. Both or these requirements will be required for each renewal.
This would be a National License, so that the requirements can be standardized across all States, and all aspects will be supervised by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. That means that this will be a National registry of everyone that is qualified to own a firearm.
2. Gun Owners Must Carry Specific Firearms Liability Insurance: Just like you're required to have liability for your car, you need to be liable for your weapons. Each owner can have one policy, but each individual weapon must be covered. These would be recorded by serial number and only allowed to be removed with a copy of a bill of sale or certificate of destruction (see below). If your gun is stolen and used in a crime you would still be liable, since you didn't take adequate preventative measures to keep it in your possession.
3. Each Firearm Owned Must Have A Permit: This would be a locally governed item and must be done for every weapon. The first step would be to have the correct endorsement on your license (see #1). Beyond that it would be up to the local jurisdiction as to what is required. No sale of a weapon will be allowed without a valid permit for said weapon.
What I would like to see, though, is that the permit process is integral to buying the weapon, since it would be tied to the serial number (like the insurance). That would allow for a built in waiting period, since you'd need to go through the permit process after selecting the firearm you want to purchase.
This would also allow vendors at gun shows to take orders, but not to hand over weapons, as the permit process would still have to be observed.
4. Fully Automatic Weapons, And Parts To Convert Weapons Into Such, Will Be Fully Illegal: Yes, I know that this is technically already on the books, but I'd like to see it expanded for items like bump stocks and anything that would make a weapon behave like it's fully automatic.
5. Those Found With Unpermitted Firearms, Without A Valid Firearms License, Or Without Liability Insurance Will Be Fined $10,000 And Jailed For A Minimum Of Two Years, Per Offense: Yup, this is harsh, but I think it's a tool that law enforcement needs. This way, if someone has a single uninsured, unpermitted firearm and they don't have a license, the can spend 6 years in jail and will owe $30,000. That just might make people think twice about what they want to do.
6. The Use Of A Firearm In The Commission of Any Crime Will Immediately Double the Minimum Sentence And Remove the Possibility of Parole: Let's say that robbery is punishable by 2 years minimum in prison. If you used a gun for that crime, then you now must spend at least 4 years in prison and can't be paroled. Again, this just might make people think twice.
7. Ammunition Will Not Be Allowed To Be Sold Online: Right now anyone that wants to buy Sudafed has to produce their drivers license at the pharmacy. This would make it the same for ammunition. You'd have to drive to a physical location and produce your firearms license in order to buy ammunition. This will then be entered into the ATF system so they can see who's buying what and how often. Controlling the weapons helps, but weapons can't fire without ammunition.
8. Private Owners Will Only Be Allowed To Sell To A Store Or Surrender To The Police: In order to get rid of a weapon, it can either be turned into the police, who will destroy it, or owners can sell it to a valid firearms dealer. This would generate either a certificate of destruction or a bill of sale, either of which can be used to remove a weapon from the insurance policy above. Selling to another private owner will no longer be allowed, which should increase the ability to track weapons.
I should also point out that no one would be grandfathered in under these rules. There would be a grace period to get the license, permits, and insurance, but EVERYONE would be required to go through the process for themselves and each weapon they own.
Are these fairly strict? Yes, they are. Will they stop gun violence? No, they won't. I would hope, however, that they would reduce the instances of mass shootings, as well as give law enforcement more tools to make us all safer.
I would love to hear rational, thought out opinions on this. What changes/additions would you have to this list?