Federal lawmakers proposed a new piece of legislation Thursday that, if passed, would impose stringent handgun restrictions across all 50 states.
Members of Connecticut’s congressional delegation were pleased to announce their “Handgun Purchaser Licensing Act,” assuring that the widespread adoption of their state’s handgun policies would result in fewer armed criminals.
“All states require licenses to drive a car or hunt or fish – so why not handguns, which can kill?” said Connecticut Democrat Richard Blumenthal, one of the bill’s sponsors, in a statement. “Requiring a license to purchase a deadly weapon is at least as important as requiring one to drive a car. This legislation should win broad, bipartisan support.”
Based upon Connecticut’s licensing system, here’s an idea of what the bill would require: First you have to show up to your local law enforcement office to fill out the required paperwork for a handgun license. Then you must submit to background checks and fingerprinting. Finally, you have to prove you are at least 21 years of age and a legal U.S. resident.
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), another supporter of the bill, believes that a federal handgun permitting system will help save lives.
“Permit-to-purchase requirements for all handguns keep guns out of the hands of criminals and those who would fail a background check, and our bill would help other states develop programs similar to ours here in Connecticut,” said Murphy.
Murphy’s statement refers to a recently released study from the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, which found that firearm-related homicides in Connecticut decreased 40 percent after the state implemented its handgun permitting scheme. While the numbers are compelling, keep in mind that correlation does not always equate to causation.
Still, Daniel W. Webster, director of the Johns Hopkins Gun Research Center, is confident that “these laws are effective in deterring the diversion of guns to criminals.”
However, the nation’s gun lobby disagrees with the study and the notion that more gun laws will keep bad guys from obtaining firearms.
“They selectively include and exclude data to create statistics that fit with the gun-control argument,’’ said Jennifer Baker, spokeswoman for the National Rifle Association.
“In a perfect world there would be no violence and we’d all be safe. But the fact is, gun control doesn’t make us safe. It creates more victims,” Baker continued.
(The following is a submission from freelance writer Brent McCluskey)