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Don't be too quick to endorse gun rules from other countries

Mar 25, 2013 - Dennis Koppenhafer, Shoshoni

Editor:

Ellen Dudley of Dubois wrote saying that we need to adopt gun control measures like those in other countries, specifically the U.K, and Australia. She mentioned other nations as well, but all are similar in their restrictions, so I want to look at them in particular.

In both the UK and Australia a person must apply to the government for a purchase license and must provide a "genuine reason" to purchase and own a firearm. The reasons allowed are pest control, hunting, target shooting or collecting. Self -defense is not accepted as a reason to own a firearm.

In Australia and the U.K. secure storage (gun safes) must be available before owning a firearm. In Australia after the required 28 day waiting period and background checks are done a person may or may not be Issued a permit to purchase. There are five categories of firearms in Australia. Without going into great detail, it basically comes down to this: No pump-action or semi-automatic firearms are allowed to the general public. Repeating rifles (bolt action) rifles are allowed, but a "genuine need" for a repeating firearm must be shown. In addition you must show a "genuine need" to own a center-fire rifle. All handguns, including air guns, are restricted to target shooters that belong to a club and shoot a designated number of matches per year. Ammunition amounts are restricted.

Similarly, in the U.K. no semi-autos, pump actions, pepper spray or machine guns are allowed. Only shotguns of one or two shots, black-powder guns, manually loaded cartridge pistols and center-fire rifles are allowed, and heavily restricted. A "good reason" to own is also required, and self-defense is not considered a reason.

I don't know how Ellen can consider these laws to be something we want in the U.S. Many folks that own and use firearms safely cannot afford the cost of a gun safe.

Many people use firearms for self defense every year. Without them a person may be powerless to fend off an attack by people or animal, and one of our basic rights is to be secure in our homes and our person.

She obviously forgets that the police are not required by law to protect you despite the slogan "To protect and serve." They will protect if possible, but generally arrive at crime scenes well after the crime has been committed.

She lives in bear country ,and hunters, hikers, etc. face the possibility of encountering one. I imagine she either carries a repeating center-fire rifle and possibly a backup handgun or pepper spray just in case she encounters one. If she had to abide by the laws she touts, she would have neither pepper spray nor handgun, and possibly only a single shot rifle. Bet she wouldn't like that.

Finally, if she thinks these laws are OK, then I would gladly have her give me her semi-auto and pump rifles/shotguns, all her handguns, etc. and I will provide her with a nice single-shot rifle and a side by side or over-under shotgun to fill her hunting needs.

And, I wouldn't want her to use any of them for self defense. That is a no-no.

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