Gun Control Legislation

31 petitions

Started 3 months ago

Petition to Julia Brownley, Kamala D. Harris, DIane Feinstein

Guns - require training and require social connection. Isolation is disqualification.

What is lacking in the gun control debate is new ideas that can help effectively bring an end to these horrific acts. Instead we argue in circles about the same ideas that have been discussed for decades. I believe I have a new idea that both has a real chance to put a stop to these murderous acts while at the same time being more palatable to the gun lobby. I need your help in spreading the idea, and then ultimately making it a reality. BACKGROUND The idea takes inspiration from another industry where there can be significant risk, albeit more individualized, and where this risk has been quietly and effectively addressed with minimal contention or fanfare - the SCUBA industry. Recreational SCUBA diving has the potential to be dangerous to an untrained individual. As a result, the industry has established a set of certifying organizations that offer training. Individuals take a certification class and then, upon passing a proficiency test, are given a certification card. There are a whole series of potential cards first covering basic skills and then covering a variety of specialties. Earning more certifications has become a desirable achievement, the higher certifications almost like trophies among participants. The highest certifications are instructor certifications, allowing an individual to then teach these classes and administer tests, thereby making this a broad, decentralized system. Virtually no dive shop, dive excursion company, or resort worldwide will permit anyone to participate in dive activities without being able to show a certification card. This is not due to any laws. I will give some credit and say it is in part due to concern for the safety of a fellow human, but certainly it is also in part due to a concern for liability. No shop wants to be the shop who got an untrained diver killed through lax enforcement. Similarly, at the certification level, no SCUBA organization wants to be the one that issued a certification to someone who later proved they were unqualified by being injured or killed. Everyone is motivated to make sure the system works - and it does. APPLICATION So, then, I believe this model can serve as an excellent model for a safer gun culture. The second amendment states clearly that its motivation is to enable a “well regulated militia”, so this is what I propose. We should enable the formation of independent (non-government, but government regulated) militia organizations. These organizations would be the analogue of SCUBA certification organizations. They will offer training to members and issue certification cards. These cards should recognize proficiency in a variety of specialties, to build a similar desirability as the advanced SCUBA certifications. Similar to SCUBA, those certifications would lead up to instructor-level certification. Gun dealerships, gun stores, gun shows, and - importantly - all ammunition sales, will be encouraged to require proof of certification before selling the item. Basic rifles would require a basic certification, while more sophisticated or dangerous gear would require more advanced certification. Dealers and militias would have a legally required level of documentation, keeping records of certifications and of which certifications are used as proof in a sale. Ideally, sales records, not just of guns but ammo also, would be transmitted back to the militia in question and kept on record. There’s always been a concern among second amendment enthusiasts about having such records on file with the government. That’s why the decentralized model the SCUBA industry uses is helpful. These would not be government records. They would be spread over some number of independent local militias. Only if a militia member commits a crime would the government have access, and to only that one militia’s records. If such certification cards are available, I think that responsible gun and ammo dealers would be strongly motivated to check the cards, certainly if this check is required by law. The militias would be motivated to watch for unstable individuals among their members. No one would want to be the weak link that allowed a mass shooting to occur. At the very least, if there is a militia with bad intentions, it becomes a focal point for law enforcement, rather than having to watch evenly across the entire, broad population. GOAL The goal here is not to prevent any gun owner from participating in any legal activity they would otherwise partake in. They simply need the certification card. The intent is that these certifications would be readily available from a variety of sources, and would not present a substantial obstacle to a law-abiding citizen. If someone does not like or do not trust existing militias, they are quite welcome to form their own - although, there being no right to an unregulated militia, their militia would need to satisfy the same records and regulatory requirements as the others. The primary goal is very simple - to bring a requirement for social connection to gun activities. Don’t try to eliminate guns, eliminate the lone gunman. Certification cards should have limited life span, requiring militia members to come back to their organization for renewals. It’s important to also control access to ammo, because a gun, once obtained, lasts a long time, but ammo must be replenished. That provides recurring opportunities for human contact. Adding this social element to gun ownership would not be an undue hardship on any gun owners I know. Most are social already, hunting or visiting the target range with friends and family. Most would be quite alert if a militia or club they were part of had a member who was acting strangely. I think this idea can have a much more positive effect than a ban on a particular weapon, or than detached government regulations (if for no other reason, then at least because it’s a new idea with no entrenched opposition as of yet, and it tries to avoid trigger points of gun control opponents.) I also believe that the decentralized, more community-oriented organizations would be more able to tune specifics to the local environment, and would be more able to make reasonable judgements about the mental health and stability of certification candidates, as compared to a large central government bureaucracy. Furthermore, this creates a number of entrepreneurial opportunities. SCUBA certification organizations are private, for-profit businesses. Training classes and certifications earn a reasonable profit. The NRA could be quite active in helping to enable these militia organizations (although I believe the NRA is too large and centralized to effectively achieve the local involvement this plan intends if it directly acts as a militia itself.) I believe this entrepreneurial angle can help to incentivize agreement with the proposal. If this system works as I believe it can, not only would it become much more difficult for a lone shooter to obtain the weapons and ammunition to perform their horrific act, it would become much more likely that a mentally disturbed person would be identified and would find help long before they reach that point. They would have to spend time with someone - a trained instructor who knows what to look for - or they would not be able to arm themselves. I admittedly cannot guarantee it will prevent all of these heinous crimes, but I believe it can prevent many, and therefore represents a major step forward - one that can pass a Republican congress and is therefore achievable. This I believe is completely in keeping with the spirit of the second amendment - a right to bear arms associated directly with a well regulated militia. AN ILLUSTRATION To illustrate how this idea would work in practice, let’s say “Eric” would like to obtain an AR-15 rifle. Eric would need to find a certified AR-15 instructor he can get training from. That instructor would need to be selected from a group of individuals certified by any one of the regulated militia organizations. Eric might first have to attend some basic level training and get a gun safety certification as a prerequisite to his AR-15 training. Then he would attend AR-15 training. Once Eric completes the training, there would be a proficiency test he would need to pass. If he passes the test, and the instructor thinks he is qualified (and doesn't raise concerns about Eric’s mental health and stability) then Eric get his certification card. In some sense, this certification process serves as a "way ahead of time" background check, in contrast to the "just in time" background check we try to enforce now, which only begins once the purchase is attempted and must therefore be quick and cursory. Now that Eric has a certification card, he can go to a store or go to a gun show, and a vendor would be willing to sell him an AR-15 after seeing his certification. That vendor would also report the sale back to the militia that issued Eric’s certification, which would serve as a check on the validity of Eric’s certification card. The militia would record the sale. There would be a similar checks and record-keeping when Eric buys magazines or ammunition. If Eric started amassing large amounts, his certifying militia would have visibility of that and would have the ability to notice it. SAFETY BIAS Assume all of these checks are passed, then you still end up with a guy with a gun. The hope, and the premise of the idea, is that if Eric has bad intentions, somewhere along the way someone on the militia side will think, "wait a minute, this seems bad.” Instead of having to act on that feeling or Eric gets his gun, the default action is the reverse. If they choose not to act and not to certify Eric, then he will not be able to obtain weapons or ammunition. This puts the bias in the safer direction. I envision that these militias are on the small side, numerous, and pretty local. So when a check occurs, it’s not someone saying, "member #9959591 is buying a lot of stuff." It's someone saying, "What's Eric up to? I think I'll check on him.” SUMMARY I believe this idea, though it isn’t a perfect solution, if implemented would have a substantial benefit and would prevent many horrible crimes. Furthermore, I believe it’s an idea that most advocates for the second amendment can agree with and get behind. That gives it a fighting chance to become law. Perhaps you don't like my idea. If not, that's OK, I don't pretend to have all the answers. I'm not offended if you disagree. However if you do like this idea, then please help spread the word. Find a way to help bring it to reality. I need your help. "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." - 2nd Amendment

Kris Raney
85 supporters
Update posted 9 months ago

Petition to Mike Pence, President of the United States, Michelle Obama, Barack Obama

A Decrease in School Shootings Through Increased Checks before the Purchase of Any Gun

America has the most mass shootings than any other country in the world. While these shootings may happen due to bullying, mental disorders, misdiagnosed mental disorders, etc. a main factor is the legal purchase of not just a gun, but an automatic assault rifle, by someone who is not fit to own one. Donald Trump, the president of the United States may be tweeting his condolences about the most recent school shooting in Florida (February 14, 2018) but meanwhile he is doing nothing to promote real change. He is public in defending the 2nd Amendment, or the right to bear arms, and is clear that he doesn't really want to reform anything regarding gun control, despite the 19 mass shootings that have already happened two months into 2018. I started this petition because without the voices of the citizens of the United States, nothing will happen. We need to change these laws, and it is clear that the Trump administration won't act on it without the urgency of the masses. AR-15's should not be sold to those with mental disorders and the intention to hurt those innocent. The only way to know for sure, who you are selling a semi-automatic gun to is through insistent background checks, a set limit on the amount of bullets/ammunition you can purchase, as well as other regulations that need to be put in place. It is time to change these laws and legislatures, innocent men, women, children going to work, to school, to church, to college, should not be shot at and killed. So, please help me in aiding a change in America, we need all the help we can get. 

Rory Tevlin
3,992 supporters
Started 9 months ago

Petition to U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate

Effective Gun Laws Eliminating Unauthorized Access To Firearms: Proposal To U.S. Congres

School shootings are almost becoming a new accepted state of affairs in our country because no effective laws are in place or being proposed to stop it.   Below is a proposal that should be put into a bill by our U.S. House of Representatives and submitted for a vote, further below which is the rationale and policy-reasoning behind these proposals: ----------------------------------------------- 1) Mandatory psychological testing (in addition to criminal background checks)- for all persons applying for anything more than a single barrel pump shotgun that loads up to 4 shells.- Your testing result determines the type of gun(s), if any, you could have access to. Passing the criminal background check and this psychological testing can grant access to the standard array of non-mass-casualty-causing rifles and handguns. Passing a higher psychological test result or more stringent test would be required for semi-automatic weapons. An even more stringent FBI-regulated test and background check would be required for anything full-auto. - Standard psychological test results expire every 5 to 10 years, requiring re-testing.  2) Mandatory life in prison for any gun broker who knowingly facilitates a gun sale without ensuring that an up-to-date psych and criminal check has been done on a potential buyer. 3) Mandatory registration with local law enforcement of any private gun sale, mainly to enable law enforcement to ensure that an up-to-date psych and criminal check has been done on a potential buyer. 4) Reckless homicide charge against any person who privately sells a gun to another person without complying with mandatory registration of that sale with local law enforcement, where that gun has been used to unlawfully kill another person, carrying a minimum sentence of 10 years (max of 25 years) per each person killed. 5) Reckless endangerment charge against any person who privately sells a gun to another person without complying with mandatory registration of that sale with local law enforcement, even where that gun has not been used in a crime, carrying a minimum sentence of 4 years (max of 25 years - a lot of discretion depending on the circumstances) per each gun sold.  6) Mandatory gun storage laws- guns must be kept locked within an ATF-approved gun storage unit to which the gun owner has sole access, except when such gun is removed by the owner and kept within the owner's reach and control at all times 7) Reckless homicide charge against any person who does not comply with the mandatory gun storage laws, where that owner's gun has been used to unlawfully kill another person as a result, carrying a minimum sentence of 7 years (max of 20 years) per each person killed. 8) Reckless endangerment charge against any person who does not comply with the mandatory gun storage laws, even where no gun from that owner has been used in a crime, carrying a minimum sentence of 6 months (max of 20 years) per each gun not properly secured. ----------------------------------------------- The two-fold problem of mass shootings stems from people with mental health issues obtaining firearms. The above proposals can completely eliminate school shootings by vetting who has access to certain weapons and eliminating the possibility of unauthorized access. Any bill passed into law by Congress is subject to being challenged on constitutional grounds, and if challenged, runs the risk of being struck down.  This proposal will not be defeated such a challenge, as it can not rationally be argued to infringe or restrict any constitutional rights.  Both Second Amendment rights and the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness stated in our Declaration of Independence need to be reconciled and balanced evenly, because the Second Amendment currently is outweighing our children's right to life and their pursuit of happiness. The above solution would effectively satisfy both rights. Mass shooters are not following the laws because mentally disturbed individuals committed to using guns for crimes are not going to be deterred by laws, especially if they are on a suicide mission like a mass shooting. Laws that create a system that prevents the mentally ill or unauthorized individuals from obtaining and using firearms could likely eliminate mass shootings as it would put a complete stop on those people from getting their hands on guns in the first place. Such requirements are even less restrictive than those imposed on our nation's military, who defend this nation, as their weapons are kept in an armory similar to a bank vault to which they do not have personal access. Reverse engineer the problem. You have psychologically challenged people getting their hands on guns. How? Two main sources are private sales, and having access to them from someone else in their household. Another source is that they can just go out and buy them from a gun store.  A mentally ill individual should not have access to this type of weapon, as our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is entirely compromised and at risk by them doing so.  Statistically (as we see more frequently in the news), when guns are allowed to be kept unsecured in a household, eventually somebody with a mental disorder in some household somewhere is going to get their hands on it.  We read after the fact how their family never knew or suspected that the shooter had a mental disorder.  Mental health diagnoses should be left to professional testing, not our loved ones' gut feelings.  And because of the bias that a loved one has for their family member and the refusal to acknowledge a mental health issue in hopes that it doesn't really exist, unless laws are in place requiring safe storage, guns will continue to be accessible to potentially dangerous individuals.  We need to eliminate the risk of mass shootings at its roots, before the shooting happens.  Please sign and share this petition so that we can submit it to our legislature in hopes for some real common sense and effective gun laws to finally take effect.  

Nicholas Dell'Anno
127 supporters