Summary: No such animal.
Well, not exactly. There can be some common sense that is not an infringement on the 2nd Amendment, but so far it seems like that is the land beyond the fields we know. Inaccessible and alien. But there is a place for regulation that is at once smart, effective, and not placing an excessive burden on anyone.
Let me get one thing out of the way – the absolute nonsensical suggestion that we ‘ban anyone ever investigated by the FBI for terrorism’ thing. First, investigated is not convicted. We do not punish people for being suspected of crime. Except sexual or racial ones, but that is another post (preview – it’s total bullshit leftard assholes doing it, and they need to grow the fuck up). All it takes to be on that investigation list is an anonymous phone call claiming that person X has started talking about jihad, and you are concerned. That’s all. Bang, investigated. Even if all that consists of is a phone call to the local PD to see if there is anything to it. It’s still a file, still an investigation. Those advocating this seem to fail to understand that simple reality. Likewise, the no fly/terror watch list. Two lists, both easy be added to, and nigh impossible to be removed from. The Star Chamber has no place in America, despite the President using it to sanction assassinations of American citizens.
We can be better than that.
So what do I propose? It is simple, and breaks down into 3 tiers, and one dealer/manufacturer tier. A mere 4 points. I think it is simple, effective, and mostly foolproof. Yes, I know the universe is constantly inventing better fools (see Oberlin College, Mizzou, etc.), but this is both specific enough to work, and general enough to deal with new developments and information. It even scales. So here is what I think would work…
Background Checks At Point of Purchase
This is entry level stuff. You run a background check for every firearms and ammo (including powder, magazine/clips) purchase. Period. The technology is there the make that instant, and you run a more complete one the first time out. This first check also issues a FOID (Firearms Owner’s Identification) card. That way, you have both ‘licensed’ the owner, and made sure they are not a violent felon. And that is the qualifier too – violent. Someone who did time for a dumb-ass noncrime like ‘structuring’ shouldn’t be barred from ownership. But any violent felonies, or a quantity of misdemeanors, should be a bar to ownership.
To remove any loopholes, make all purchases require pickup at a dealer. Unless, and only unless, there is a familial transfer, which would require that the new owner register the weapon within, say, a week. Either in store or online. Since ammo would require a check, passing a gun down would be of limited use without ammo. Yes, that can be handed down too, but it is, I suspect, rarer.
This should be a two-tiered system – national and state. With the national system in place to both avoid people dodging state checks, and allow purchases anywhere at any time. This improves the current system, while helping keep both rights and security intact.
Seldom does someone need a gun at the exact moment that they buy one. So a waiting period, say a week, is not excessive. Why? Because if you have a shooting event coming, and are so ill-prepared as to not be ready for it in advance, then maybe you need to slow down, and remember that this tool you want to buy is dangerous. So, a week. For every class of weapon (not ammo, that would be a bit silly, especially if you’re at the range, no?). So, you wait a week.
Unless you have a restraining order or order of protection against an abusive ex. Then you are fast-tracked, and can buy within an hour – your check is sent to the front of the queue, and processed immediately. Too many people are stalked and killed by an abuser, and we need to encourage their agency as pertains to self-defense. Those orders are paper, and useless if things escalate. Police are too far away, in these situations, and it falls to the potential victim to defend themselves. So let them – no waiting period beyond the literal minimum to run a check.
So, we have an extensive, repeated, background check system and a week wait. But what about concealed carry? In most cases, this isn’t needed. Not in the least. And I suspect most gun owners know that. They may get carry permits just in case, but are not carrying all the time. So how do we implement this aspect of ownership? Much the same way as the above systems – state and national databases to be checked, and then a single training standard for how and when to carry, and how and when to employ the weapon. Yes, getting agreement on that may be more complicated than I want to present here, but the guidelines are, once the nonsense is stripped out, the same. Having a national standard, and forced reciprocity, would make carrying easier, but would also ensure that everyone was on the same page. You would, like a driver’s license, be required to renew and demonstrate that you still were physically and mentally competent in order to renew.
But… This is where the checks in the first section come back into play. Since I propose letting non-violent offenders own, I would limit their carry ability to the order of protection bar in step two. Home defense is a right that should not be restricted unless there is a need, but carrying in public is more, or should be more, akin to a driver’s license – a privilege, not a right. So any felon would be barred from carrying, again, unless there is a restraining/protection order involved.
And with the checks happening every time you buy ammo, if something has changed between the last buy and this one, your license can be revoked on the spot, and a local police officer sent to make sure your weapon or weapons are removed into holding. If there is a restoration, then you would be able to recover the guns, but otherwise, you are immediately held accountable, and if you loose the right to own a firearm, it is rapidly enforced.
Manufacturers/Sellers Test Fire For Ballistics
Guns have no rights. They are inanimate objects – tools – and thus receive no due process. So why do we not register a ballistic pattern for every weapon manufactured? This way, if a bullet is recovered, we can know where it came from without having to hope a gun is recovered. Since we are using technology to track sales, we know who bought what gun, and that weapon’s serial number is linked to a ballistic profile. So, bullet recovered, gun owner found. If they didn’t report it stolen, then they are an accessory. This encourages people to report the theft, and can help show innocence – if I own gun X, and the murder I am a suspect for used gun Y, it isn’t me. Or, it can be me, but will need more evidence.
I would like to see tamper-proof (internal?) counters developed, so that the gun tracks every bullet – so if I buy 200 rounds, and fire 201, that 1 came from someone else. Again, guns have no rights.
None of this infringes on the right to keep and bear arms – it can be said that by compelling an active registration, and requiring standardized training, that the Founder’s intent is being more fully realized – that those owning a firearm are, in a way, part of a militia, and there to contribute to the national defense. A real conversation on guns neither demands a de facto ban, nor demands removal of all limits or restrictions. Those are not only absurd suggestions, but a sign that the one making the argument is, frankly, a bit deranged.