The US law on citizen gun ownership continues to divide the country into two factions after the Colorado killings and the Newtown shooting spree. I can’t help thinking about empathizing with what the two factions in the US are thinking about. As I reside in Britain, I can’t help but compare UK’s gun laws with the US, and maybe the US has a better or worse law than what we have.
UK’s gun laws permit any citizen to carry firearms as long as the citizens strictly follow the law. In Northern Ireland, policemen do not carry firearms. The UK’s gun laws had reduced gun homicides with only 7% of 100,000 people being involved in gun-related deaths. All UK firearms need to be licensed with a five-year firearm certificate from the police. The citizen can list all their firearms. By UK gun law, the owner is the only person to touch the firearm and anybody else using the firearm is an offender of the law. However, shooting clubs could own multiple rifles or pistols and allow their members to shoot the weapons. Semi-automatic and pump-action rifles are now banned by the UK legislation because of the 1987 Hungerford Massacre.
In the US, gun laws vary from state to state. However, in general, most states legally require a person to obtain a license or permit to use and carry firearms and must be registered with the local police. In some states, the firearms could only be carried through concealed means. Some states allow the open carrying of firearms in their states. In the US, Automatic and high-caliber weapons, such as machine guns, short barrelled shotguns and short barrelled rifles are banned from citizen ownership. The US gun law debates talk about having all states comply to having licensure to own weapons and reduce the sale of these weapons in the market.
Of the two, let’s look at the facts. Government made gun laws to regulate the sale of firearms that could soothe the personal security of their citizens while not making it a method for organizations with firearms to gain an advantage through weaponry. In light of the recent Aurora and Newtown shooting in the US, gun-related deaths could only be reduced if gun ownership is properly and strictly monitored through licensure. In the UK, the licensure of almost every known weapon owned by any citizen has helped reduce the number of gun homicides. The high penalties for gun crimes should also be proposed to the US legislation.
All in all, the UK law is a good example of a gun law that allows gun ownership while ensuring lower gun-related deaths in each country.