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When gun registration is discussed what is actually meant is tracking people with their address and phone numbers with a specific list of guns with serial numbers in their possession.

I do not expect gun registration to significantly reduce deaths or injuries, unless followed by confiscation.  When commentators and elected officials advocate registration, the means that gun registration results in fewer deaths and injuries is rarely or ever described.

Several states already have gun registration, but I have been unable to find studies showing that after implementation of registration that gun homicides declined much more rapidly from states without gun registration (homicide rates in the US have declined from 9.5 per 100,000 per year in 1993 to 4.7 in 2011 - a greater than 50% decline see ).  If anyone knows of authoritative studies on US gun registration that were not done or financed by advocates of any side of the gun registration issue please provide them with links.  

The likelihood of passing a national gun registration is very low, as Republicans are strongly against it in the House and the number of Democratic members of the House who will oppose registration will almost certainly outnumber the number of Republicans who will support it.

A different government policy that would have strong prospects to significantly reduce deaths and injury, without gun registration, would focus on how people handle guns.  Take the classic NRA mantra the "Guns don't kill people, people kill people" as inspiration to center the policy on people.

Licensing Owners Proposal
Require citizens and residents to pass a written test and an operations test before they are licensed to buy or have transferred, guns or ammunition.  After a 3 year transition period, gun owners will also be required to be licensed.  Licensing tests should cover safety, keeping guns away from young children, and unstable people, proper storage, laws and procedures for self defense and defense of others, etc..  Administration of gun operation tests will be done by active police officers at police gun ranges or police approved gun ranges.  The rate that people pass these tests should be about the same as for drivers licenses and be administered by the states and combined with concealed carry licensing procedures for states that have concealed carry.  It should be noted that homicides by those with concealed carry permits is extremely low.  

Data from state licensing would be synchronized nationally, for a national database accessible only to law enforcement.

After a 3 year transition period, possession or attempted fraudulent purchase without a license would have severe penalties - one year in jail if not in conjunction with the commission of a felony, and an additional 3 years if while committing a felony through state laws.

People who live the life of crime and gangs are less likely to seek licenses, and would not be eligible with a felony conviction or outstanding charge.  In addition those with a criminal mindset would be less likely to want to meet with police for their gun operation test.  This population will then either risk high penalties if caught with a gun, or switch to some other weapon or no weapon.  

Significantly fewer deaths and injuries should result directly from the safety, safe storage and defense procedure training.

There should also be fewer people with guns as some people will choose to go without guns rather than take the effort for training and testing to get the license.

Originally posted to nextstep on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 10:04 AM PST.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA.


Should Democrats advocate Licensing Owners instead of gun registration

21%9 votes
43%18 votes
0%0 votes
4%2 votes
29%12 votes

| 41 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (6+ / 0-)

    The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

    by nextstep on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 10:04:07 AM PST

  •  As a gun owner... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nextstep, Glen The Plumber

    ...I could get behind something like this.  

  •  It's not an either/or question (5+ / 0-)

    We can, and should, do both.

    We were not ahead of our time, we led the way to our time.

    by i understand on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 10:24:48 AM PST

  •  Responsible gun owner will be willing to do this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nextstep, Kickemout

    unfortunately, the criminals (who are most likely to perpetrate gun crimes against others) won't go through any licensing or registration process.

    Gravitation cannot be held responsible for people falling in love. - Einstein

    by moose67 on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 10:25:21 AM PST

  •  I am proposing a movement (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glen The Plumber

    something like mothers against gun violence wherein before allowing a child to enter the home of a friend we inquire whether there is a gun in that home.  I know I what I would do given that information.  

  •  My only concern is with the additional jail time (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nextstep, Glen The Plumber

    If you're looking at 10+ years, what's three more?  Why not make it 5 years for no felony, 15 years for felony?

    •  druthulu, good point (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Glen The Plumber

      I was thinking of a national minimum when choosing those numbers, states could have longer penalties.  

      There is also the ranking of penalties to other felonies which will vary by state.  In some states a violent rape of a stranger conviction does not get a 5 year sentence.   In my mind the violent rape should have a longer sentence than a person in possession of a gun without a license having committed a crime and no prior convictions.

      The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

      by nextstep on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 11:15:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is already being done (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    for carry / conceal permits - at least in Connecticut.

    You need to take a safe shooters course (written and actual at range) then you bring that certificate and references to your local police office - you get finger printed and the officer will usually ask you some questions and request you show that you know how to handle the weapon - they then submit this to the STate at which point you either pass the background check and are mailed a letter enabling you to apply with the state.

    You could possibly expand this to all guns - you may get some push-back but it's not unreasonable.

    This way the shooter is licensed - not the gun.

    The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

    by ctexrep on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 10:51:54 AM PST

  •  I've been advocating this, too (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I think it's a path of lesser resistance than some of the other things we're talking about.

    But note that there are already Facebook campaigns saying that the Constitution is the only permit gun owners need to carry a gun. There will be serious pushback.

    Also expect that if the license costs money (or at least "too much" money), then there really are potential Constitutional issues. But I think having a registry of people who have proven they are capable of using a gun fits within the "well-regulated Militia" clause, even under the current Court's verdict that gun ownership isn't a militia thing.

    We could make it work - if only we could get VP Biden's commission to listen. The FP diary from the other day kind of indicated they weren't leaning toward licensing owners.

    Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

    by Phoenix Rising on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 11:00:06 AM PST

    •  Licensing of Owners may get some NRA member (0+ / 0-)

      support if not the NRA itself.

      The NRA has the country's largest gun safety train programs in the country where people make a second income giving training classes.  They take great pride in this program.

      If the law permitted private parties to give training this would reduce the negative reaction to required licensing.

      The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

      by nextstep on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 11:22:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  why not do both? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    like we do for cars AND drivers?

    •  Make the courses free. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Licensing tests should cover safety, keeping guns away from young children, and unstable people, proper storage, laws and procedures for self defense and defense of others, etc..  Administration of gun operation tests will be done by active police officers at police gun ranges or police approved gun ranges.
      You want this? Fine, I'll vote for it IF you include that these courses are to be provided by nearby police departments.

      The major problem with your proposal is the same thing that is effectively banning legal abortion in the south... Sure, it's legal to get an abortion in the south but there are no facilities and the travel / cost obstructions are prohibitive.

      You either include that these courses shall be provided by nearby police departments (local / county / state barracks), at no cost to the trainee, with at least one course available biweekly (that's each two week period), with reasonable accommodation made for schedules.

      Because if you mandate courses but don't provide IN THE LAW to mandate that those courses be available, then you effectively create a ban. Know why? Because I will be your example: There is no testing at all for a license to carry in PA. I would like to take training. In the last two years, the only training class I have heard about was fifty miles away, required TWO days off from work, and cost more than three hundred dollars. Hence, the obstacles effectively prohibited me from attending.

      You want courses, then mandate that the cops offer them.

      It's safe to trust a sane person with the keys to nuclear weapons, but it's not safe to trust an insane person with the cleaners under the kitchen sink.

      by JayFromPA on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 03:57:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  We register automobiles and license drivers. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    We can do the same with guns.

  •  We do not have any form of national gun (0+ / 0-)

    registration. What study did you read? I don't believe that it can be meaningful.

    State-level registration is inherently ineffective, since it is trivially easy to move illegally-obtained guns across state lines, particularly in the NJ-NY-CT area. We are talking here about obvious measures, such as allowing BATF to keep the records of background checks on gun purchases, and closing the private sale loophole with a process that allows owners to complete sales through licensed gun dealers at reasonable cost.

    Claiming that registration necessarily leads to confirmation is bannable Conspiracy Theory.

    America—We built that!

    by Mokurai on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 08:03:20 PM PST

  •  Registration facilitates controlling transfers (0+ / 0-)

    Which itself might or might not help, but it is a real reason to consider registering the guns.

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