Gun permit renewals needed

Since the United States experiences 31 percent of the world’s mass shootings, stricter gun purchase requirements and a changed societal mentality of gun safety must be altered to protect our country.

According to the Congressional Research Service, the United States is responsible for 48 percent of legally owned guns in the world, despite comprising 5 percent of the world’s total population. India followed in second at 7 percent of the world’s gun owners.

To increase safety for American citizens, a stricter process should be enacted at a federal level when one goes to purchase a gun with enforced permit renewals every few years.

While state laws differ, federal laws dictate one must pass a background check that includes criminal convictions, domestic violence and immigration status before legally purchasing a gun. No strict police regulations are in place for private sellers, who account for a third of
gun sales.

Despite the high concentration of 89 guns per 100 people, our regulations fail in comparison to other countries. Others require variations such as joining a hunting or shooting club, completing firearm safety courses, obtaining personal or professional references, police-inspected home gun safes and psychological evaluations.

If the United States included these steps in its gun purchase process, it would not rob the Second Amendment rights of stable-minded citizens who choose to protect their home with such but instead keep them safe from those who should not be permitted to carry.

Whatever process prevails for gun purchases, the background check and mental evaluation should have to be redone every few years if the owner would like to retain the gun. One’s mental health and circumstances can fluctuate throughout a lifetime and while he or she may be eligible to carry at one point in life, things can change.

These laws would not rip guns out of the hands of those who lawfully and rightfully own firearms but put in place protections and checkpoints to monitor who can get a gun. The process to obtain such a powerful weapon capable of so much should not be rushed or taken lightly.

If driver’s licenses and passports are renewed and reevaluated every few years, gun ownership eligibility should be too.

About Lauren Shelburne

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