You are a responsible gun owner and have one (any kind) you no longer want for whatever reason. What do you do with it?
1. Turn it over to law enforcement?
2. Take it to a pawn shop?
3. Pass it on to a responsible friend or relative?
4. List it for sale in an ad somewhere?
How do you know it will never be put into the hands of someone who is not a rational, law-abiding citizen?
Then I got an e-mail from a team member in which he threathened to destroy some material of a show we're filming at the moment... so I'm ready to join the other camp. My frustration would greatly decrease owning a gun.
A tiny bit like adopting out an animal - rescues often require the animal returned to the rescue so they can find a new suitable home (for a gun, a responsible owner). Not the same but maybe you get my drift.
I think a minimum length of time for a thorough check would have to be 10-14 days. That would also be a good length of time for those who need time to "cool off".
I don't own a gun (would Sting from LotR qualify as a weapon? LOL), but I did grow up with them. In fact, long after I left home and stopped target practicing, a friend of my brothers mentioned what a good shot he heard I was. News to me, but whatever. We had everything from a .22 rifle to my dad's .44 revolver and 1906 30.06. My dad was a responsible man (learned the hard way with 8 kids and a mentally ill wife), but he never locked those guns up. He taught us how to use them, and even how to reload bullets. And the younger we were to learn, the better he liked it. (Did I mention he grew up in Depression era OK and TX?) Given our family's mental health, in today's world at least one of us would have blown away at least one other, if not all the rest. Today, I would call him an irresponsible gun owner. (Of course, if he were still here and I said that, he'd knock the crap out of me, but not use a gun on me. :o) Yes, I adored the man. Miss him like crazy.) He was a man who certainly would have used a gun to protect his family, and in some cases, he would have gone for revenge if he'd known certain things. He was a very responsible, trustworthy man. Knowing what I know about him and his temper, I don't think I'd have wanted him to own a gun if we'd lived in any other situation; we had a 160 acre homestead in the SE Alaskan bush. We HAD to have protection from the wildlife, not to mention 2-legged predators. Kids are kids. and I know we put ourselves in unsafe situations unknowingly. Hell, DAD did it knowingly (stories some other time). This is all beside the point, of which I've now lost somewhere.
Back to wait before purchase time: Is 2 weeks that unreasonable? Better than what we now have? Worse?
Basically federal background check are almost instantaneous. When we were up in Maine last week my uncle bought a Glock 19 and the check was completed in under 10 minutes.
Understand I'm not expert in these things, my father and brother give me much of the info (father has an FFL) and even then I look it up to make sure it's accurate. Also another thing a lot of people probably don't know, when you possess an FFL you give up your rights to 4th amendment (search and seizure) When in possession of that type license. govt agencies can come into your house or storefront and search without a warrant.
Understand too that once you might obtain these things there's still more to do like get your commercial driving license with hazmat designation if you ever want to move them from one place to another, not easy to get either.
There are a lot more regulations than people think. I'm not saying we shouldn't work to make it more perfect, we should.
- You can quote me
I want to take the time to read carefully what everyone has posted, but I do want to mention that most legitimate, licensed, responsible firearms dealers also buy guns. So if you have a gun you no longer want, the thing to do is sell it to a quality, licensed dealer, who must observe all laws in then selling it to someone else.
i never felt it a burden to learn the facts. I have pride in my family now, wasn't always the case. A direct relative of mine has fought in every war/conflict since The Great War. When I'm old enough, my father has seen that there are two of every rifle used in those conflicts to be passed onto my brother and I. It's history, and I'll be honored to take responsibility some day for them and hopefully be able to pass them down also.
Often my issue with a lot of advocates for more gun control are that they are not properly informed of what the present laws/requirements/classifications are. Many "common sense" laws being called for are already in place.
I guess it all boils down to that: what use is it going to be for you to own a gun? Are you in a situation where you can use your gun to your advantage, without escalating the incident and creating a bloodbath? Here in Venezuela I have been robbed two times, once with a knife (they let us go because they thought we were students) and the second time by two guys on a motorbike threathening us with a gun, which we never knew if they actually had. We suspected that they were actually cops, that happens a lot here. Appart from my personal experiences, I know that house robbers bring their own guns and busses get robbed by people taping a hand grenade to their palm. In the city, cars get robbed by bikers pointing a gun to the window. In the countryside, robbers listen in to the radios of car services, or are often connected to car service companies. Instead of rescueing you, they take your car and leave you at the side of the road, in the ideal case. That's how Monica Spears got killed (for those who know).
On none of these occasions would a gun do anything good. You need other ways to secure yourself, starting with a little bit of awareness of your environment.
In Belgium, unused guns are turned in to the governement by law. I think they rarely actually get turned in though... many families still own guns from WW2, but it's not something you'd mention to anyone.... more like a family secret.
Brambles, I don't think I could live in a place where the simplest choices were so dangerous. I'd spend my life as a hermit, cowering in a cave far, far away from people. Or become a criminal myself. I commend you on your bravery. You are a MUCH stronger person than I could ever hope to be.
In most cases, guns are owned by caring, responsible people, I know that. I guess in my opinion, it's a case of "all pay the price for the few" because of the selfishness?, cruelty?, greediness? of those few - type situation. (Does that sentence make sense?) If the only way we can keep the people safer is to have stricter laws and regulations over who can get them, then I'm of the opinion we should put a strangulation strength hold over access to guns. My guess is: Those laws and regulations are, for the most part, strict enough. It's the enforcement of them that sucks.
As for the wait period: IMO instantaneous background checks aren't good enough. There just is not enough information that can legally be put into the law enforcement system. The people who do the checks should be able to actually speak to law enforcement in the hometown of the purchaser; speak to family and neighbors of the purchaser, etc., etc. The background checkers might need to have a degree in psychology, for example, in order to qualify for that job and be able to make an educated guess as to who might become a problem if they owned a gun. And now we're back to constitutional law, right? "Punishing" someone for something they -might- do. Remember the days of health insurance not covering birth control? (Yeah, in some cases they still don't.) It's "that ounce of prevention" I want. Would I want to put a gun into the hands of one law-abiding, sensible person who is otherwise surrounded by idiots and/or criminals? Nope.
I apologize if I don't make a lot of sense here. It's difficult for me to hold a sensible conversation online because I rely on so much more than words.
I have 2 years to get my gpa up, my SATs respectable (psats were pretty good). What I do have going for me is my sports participation, being a co captain field hockey, which shows leadership, track, silver award in Girl Scouts - might try for Gold. So if it all comes together and I'm accepted, I would then gt the best college education ever and have to fulfill my service o the US Navy afterward.
As for "In most cases, guns are owned by caring, responsible people, I know that.", this is not my gut feeling. I have neighbors who have guns I have no issues with but I also know people who are absolutely not responsible gun owners.
There are a phenomenal number of guns in the hands of the public. Picking and choosing who should have them, how many there should be, whether they should be licensed (so they know safety rules, etc.) - I don't have any solutions. But when there are almost as many guns as people (88.8 per 100 people) and gun deaths are rampant, there are just too many guns.
And any way you cut it, with more guns, there will be more gun deaths.
I try to be like that too. I never want to have ideas about anything i can't change when presented with common sense.
I will read all the links you and others posted with an open mind