Reader Kelsey Morgan writes:
There’s no shortage of rules and regulations surrounding gun ownership and an individual’s right to keep and bear arms which are relatively universal and consistent throughout the US. And then there are those more extreme examples that are peculiar to individual states. While some of these laws may arguably make some sense, how many of these restrictions exist solely to keep law abiding Americans from exercising their Second amendment rights?
In the current heated political climate regarding gun control laws — and the potential for rolling some of those back under the new administration — what silly regulations stand out the most?
In California, Maryland, Virginia, and New Jersey, a person is only able to legally purchase one firearm a month. Ostensibly, this is an an effort to thwart criminals’ ability to “stockpile weapons.”
The majority of people who legally purchase firearms are upstanding citizens. And concealed carry permit holders are the most law-abiding demographic in the nation.
How many criminals are actually going to abide by this law in the first place? There’s more than one way of obtaining a firearm. So while law-abiders sit on their hands, waiting for the calendar to flip to legally buy another self-defense weapon, the bad guys are out there continuing to do what they please, “stockpiling” their arsenals, with zero regard for legal niceties.
In New York, it’s illegal to possess a handgun that isn’t registered with the state, even in the privacy of your own home. And there’s also no grace period for people moving into the state to register their firearms.
So even though the firearms may be legally owned, the second your moving truck crosses into the Empire State, you’re committing a crime–whether or not you intended to register your (now illegal) firearm that very same day. Which may explain why so few people move to New York.
In Massachusetts, it’s illegal for some private and for-profit gun ranges to use targets that resemble humans (AKA silhouette targets). While that may make sense if you’re there to zero in your hunting rifle, the law seems more than a little silly for anyone who purchases a handgun for the sole purpose of self and home defense.
Meanwhile, in a majority of US states, like South Carolina, it’s illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to possess a firearm, period. In other states, the minimum age is as high as 21. (Not purchase, by the way, to simply possess.) This includes hunting rifles for recreation and handguns for self defense.
Sure, it makes sense to regulate the purchase of guns by minors, but the fact that simply possessing one between the ages of, say, 16 to 18 is illegal is extreme. Shouldn’t lawmakers be more concerned with those social issues affecting teens like drug abuse and addiction, rather than attempting to control their ability to exercise a civil right when with an adult?
This is hardly an exhaustive list of Second Amendment-infringing laws. And I’ve excluded more “mainstream” regulations like background checks, tax stamps, fingerprinting and other requirements, the only practical purpose of which is to put up hurdles for law-abiding citizens seeking to acquire firearms and exercise a constitutionally protected right.
Anyone who’s been part of the gun-owning community and has paid attention knows that these laws do little or nothing to prevent “gun violence,” as criminals and other violent offenders will manage to get their hands on guns one way or another. Even in places with more onerous laws than we deal with in the United States.
All these laws accomplish is preventing good guys from obtaining the means necessary to protect themselves should they be victimized by bad guys. Same as it ever was.