Over at TTAG’s Facebook page, Todd Ellner gave me a ration of you-know-what for being closerthanthis with the NRA. Huh? TTAG’s criticized the gun rights group for not reaching out to African Americans, Hispanic, gays and women. We’ve slated them for being slower than continental drift when it comes to reacting to breaking news. And we’ve called the NRA out for waving the blue shirt (fears of U.N disarmament). Mr. Elmer also didn’t like the fact we’re against ALL “reasonable restrictions” on firearms. Rather than debate on generalities, I asked him for examples of “reasonable restrictions” Here’s his reply . . .
OK – here are a few
1) Firearms trusts cannot be used by people who would otherwise be barred from owning the weapons in question. The current proposal to require fingerprinting and vetting of all people authorized by these trusts is a good one
2) The background check requirements that the NRA fought so bitterly against in the last couple months really were a good idea.
3) Modify records-keeping so dealers can’t destroy 4473s as some do out of misguided political convictions. And when they go out of business the ATF gets them. Make each form and NICS check come with a unique identifier, not identifying the weapon or the recipient but the transaction. If the dealer can’t show that he still has the form that goes with the transaction, then loss of FFL and legal consequences. If a pharmacist can do this a gun dealer should be able to.
4) A couple dozen dealers are responsible (pro- and anti-gun types agree as well as legitimate academic researchers) for a disproportionate number of illegal sales, straw sales, out-of-state sales, sales without NICS check and sales of weapons which end up in criminal hands. Don’t defend them. Come down hard on them. I’ve seen this proposed a few times. Each time RKBA lobbyists have screamed.
5) Stop blocking the appointment of the top tier of ATF management. It’s gone beyond silly posturing to active sabotage of the legitimate business of government [ED: Todd Jones was recently confirmed as the new ATF jefe.]
6) Self-defense with Castle Doctrine and No Duty to Retreat when it’s not safe to do so is great. I’m a strong proponent. The current crop of SYG laws has been used as “Kill all the Witnesses” laws. Their use by criminal gangs to skate after gunfights with other gangs on the grounds that the combatants had a right to be in the public place is a sign that laws are really horrible pieces of legislation. Governor Dukakis left office decades ago. Time to stop fighting that battle
7) A single nationwide shall-issue standard for CCW with nationwide reciprocity. Require significant, not prohibitive and not homeopathic, training and competence testing for that license. Iowa, I’m looking at you; if you are so impaired that you can’t drive a car with corrective lenses it is not safe for you to carry firearms in public.
8) End the importation bans on Chinese firearms and ammunition and the new ban on re-importation of old weapons like Garands
9) Re-fund and re-open the Courts that were supposed to allow felons who had served their time to get their civil rights back. In return, institute a policy for prosecutors to stop bargaining away felon-in-possession charges right off the bat.
10) More complicated and requires political will: Drastically reduce the use of paramilitary training and equipment for civilian police. Stop using them as a market for what would otherwise be military contracts. This is a 40 year old problem. Curbing it would reduce the arms race between criminals and police (cf. NIJ study whose reference escapes me that trends in criminal weapons choice mirror police choice with a lag of a few years).
Those are some specifics. Hope they provide useful clarification.
And when it’s not safe to shoot, it’s not safe to shoot. Recent deadly wildfires in Utah and Colorado were caused by people shooting in areas with dry vegetation. The howls when officials suggested a moratorium on outdoor recreational shooting were loud. Your right to shoot for fun or practice does not extend to setting fires that kill people and cause millions of dollars worth of damage.
Oh yes, one other reasonable restriction: Requiring less environmentally harmful ammunition for hunting waterfowl is NOT a Commi plot to take our guns. It won’t kill anyone to use bismuth, steel, copper or some other alloy for those few dozen shots when you’re actually out on the water. That lead does real, measurable harm.