The Author’s Proposals To Increase Public Safety

All of the recommendations in “Living With Guns” on how to make it safer for all of us to live with guns turned up in one form or another in the package of legislative and executive measures proposed by President Obama on Jan. 16, after the Newtown massacre.

  1. Fill in holes in the national instant background check (NICS) database by requiring states to report in timely fashion the names of people found to be drug abusers, psychiatrically disturbed, or otherwise disqualified as gun purchasers under federal law.

  2. Increase state penalties for crimes committed with guns, or prosecute the criminals in federal courts when federal penalties are heavier than they are under state law.

  3. Close the loophole that exempts private sellers of arms, at gun shows or anywhere else, and online, from the requirement to clear buyers with the NICS database. Ignore NRA protests that this is an inconvenient imposition or intrusion on privacy.

  4. Crack down on straw purchasers, and on firearms dealers who knowingly sell to them or to disqualified buyers.

  5. Encourage all fifty states to pass legislation requiring state or local licenses to own a gun, mandate training in the use and storage of firearms, and institute state registration.

  6. Authorize national operational safety standards, or guidelines for state safety standards, for all firearms – not behavioral safety standards for gun owners, but standards for the mechanical safety of the guns themselves.

  7. Require everyone who owns firearms to report firearms losses, or thefts, to local law-enforcement authorities within forty-eight hours of the time of discovery.

  8. “Fingerprint” bullets and shell casings, to make it easier to trace guns used in crimes.

Purchase Living With Guns