Gun Control Overseas
Think gun control is bad here? Letís look at other countries and see how it is there for comparison.
The United Kingdom
Its popular misconception that firearms are illegal in the UK. This isnít actually correct. Itís close mind you, but not totally true. You can own certain types of firearms and even suppressors if you go through enough red tape. According to figures from the Guardian, in 2011 no less than 1.8 million legally held guns were on record just in England and Wales alone. Granted this is still only about 3300 guns per 100,000 populations, but itís something. †
However, what these firearms are and how they are obtained may shock you. Most of these 1.8 million (about 75%) are shotguns. These are usually single and double barrel hinge actions as autos and pumps are extremely rare. The other firearms are bolt action single shot .22 rifles, larger calibers being banned from private ownership. Modern handguns are banned outright in England. This applies to any firearm with an overall length of less than 30 cm. Even pellet pistols with muzzle energy of more than 6-pounds and all CO2 powered air pistols are illegal. However, muzzle-loading handguns are permitted.
For any firearm or shotgun allowed, you need to have a firearms certificate. This certificate is issued by the local police forces, lasts for five years and costs about $100. Each individual firearm or shotgun owned has to have its own certificate and of course is registered for later inspection. Of course, to obtain the certificate you have to first show Ďgood reasoní for possession of each firearm that will be verified. The certificate takes about 8-weeks to get and has to be approved before the holder can get the firearm.
The US and Australia have always been close allies. Who doesnít like Foster's right? Well, Australian firearms laws are a tad different from ours. For one thing, the 1996 National Agreement on Firearms changed a lot of stuff there. Each Australian that wants a firearm has to show cause for its ownership. Self-defense is not a cause. After a 28-day waiting period and extensive background check, the approved Aussie can pick up a bolt action or single shot rimfire rifle (22), break action shotgun, air rifle (yes you have to have a permit) or paintball gun. If you make a special application you can be approved for a semi-auto rimfire rifle holding up to ten rounds or a semi auto shotgun holding less than five or a single shot or bolt action centerfire rifle.†
Airsoft guns are banned in all states, as are most non-firing replicas and suppressors.† While centerfire handguns are not totally banned, it is very hard to have one.† You have to be a registered target shooter and a member of a recognized club before being considered for a permit. A probationary period of six months spent shooting club-owned handguns, and participating in a set number of matches is required. Then you can file to obtain a 9mm or .38 holding less than ten rounds.
Currently, about 5.2% of Australian adults (765,000 people) own and use firearms for purposes such as hunting, controlling feral animals, collecting, and target shooting.
Very few countries totally ban firearms. Even North Korea has an estimated 130,000 privately owned firearms in the hands of its lucky proletariat workers.† In several countries such as Cuba and East Timor firearms ownership by the public is outlawed. Oh yeah, that reminds me, Venezuela just banned it too.†
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