Sensible gun laws worth a try

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The common sense gun laws advocated by Nick Orihel (Bee Nov. 19} would delight the gun manufacturers.

When almost anyone can pack a gun, the number of casualties by the daily mass shootings may be reduced somewhat, but the number of domestic and neighborly arguments terminated by a handy gun would be increased many fold.

Australia was plagued with mass shootings until laws were passed. Many laws were a patchwork by the provinces, but they were coordinated with the National Firearms Agreement, which reduced the carnage considerably. The Agreement provided:

• A person who possesses a firearm must have a firearm license and must demonstrate a “genuine reason” for holding a firearm license.

• Firearms must be registered by serial number.

• Categories of guns, from single shot to military type, are defined and who can use them.

• Transfer of ownership of guns is regulated.

• A gun buyback program by the government purchases privately owned firearms.

The effects of those gun laws include:

• The number of firearm-related deaths declined 47 percent.

• In 2014, 35 people were victims of firearms homicide

• Suicide deaths using firearms more than halved.

• Only 0.06 percent of licensed firearms are stolen.

Let’s give it a try.

JOSEPH HENRY WYTHE

Sandpoint

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