What it Takes to Buy a Gun Around the World

Contrary to popular belief, most countries do allow citizens to possess a firearm — provided they go through an actual process first. The requirements include undergoing training on how to use a gun, taking a shooting test, buying proper storage, etc. The New York Times offers an interesting comparative analysis of gun buying procedures in the U.S. and 14 other countries (note that local laws may vary within most of these nations).

Here’s how America compares to Japan for example:

screenshot-www.nytimes.com 2018.03.02 17-46-34

Granted, most countries aren’t as strict as Japan, but take something of a middle ground. (Indeed, the Japanese see gun ownership as somewhat taboo.)

Tellingly, the only country in this sample with gun laws as permissive as America is Yemen, which is the runner up for the most private gun ownership in the world.

Here are some other highlights:

  • Austria has a three-day “cool off” period designed to reduce the chance of impulsive violence.
  • Australia considers guns a privilege rather than a right, so gun owners must provide a valid reason for owning a weapon (usually for farming or hunting), and gun clubs are required to informe authorities of inactive members.
  • Officials in South Africa, Australia and India may talk to several people you know to determine if you are fit to own a gun.
  • Some countries require buyers pass a shooting test or demonstrate safe handling procedures.

I am genuinely unsure how implementing at least some of these sensible policies could be objectionable to any responsible gun owner. What are your thoughts?

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