California Gun Control Laws Challenged Once More

AR-15 type rifle magazines, (top to bottom) 10-round, 20-round and 30-round (Reuters)
AR-15 type rifle magazines, (top to bottom) 10-round, 20-round and 30-round (Reuters)

It’s been a rough week or so for California’s gun control advocates. California and Massachusetts rank as two of the nation’s most restrictive states when it comes to gun control. It seems California’s efforts to further those restrictions have hit a snag.

Following the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold a 9th Circuit ruling prohibiting concealed carry in public spaces, California’s attempts at tightening their already strict gun laws took another hit on Thursday.

At the request of attorneys for the NRA, U.S. District Judge Roger T. Benitez issued a preliminary injunction blocking a new law that requires CA gun owners to dispose of large-capacity ammunition magazines by Saturday or face fines and possible jail time.

“If this injunction does not issue, hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of otherwise law-abiding citizens will have an untenable choice: become an outlaw or dispossess one’s self of lawfully acquired property,” Benitez wrote. “That is a choice they should not have to make.”

The California affiliate of the NRA is still pursuing lawsuits seeking court decisions on the law, and those may take some time to work out — as court cases often do.

In the mean time, NRA attorney C.D. Michel welcomed the granting of the preliminary injunction.

“My clients are pleased the Court affirmed that the Second Amendment is not a second class right, and that law abiding gun owners have a right to choose to have these magazines to help them defend themselves and their families,” Michel said in a statement.

Where the Gun Control Law Comes From

This law came in the wake of the San Bernadino shooting in which shooters used high-capacity magazines and AR-15-style assault rifles to carry out their deadly attacks.

But the trend of tightened laws following mass shootings remains a hot topic for the NRA and America’s gun owners. Historically, after mass shootings take place, gun owners often flock to their local range or gun show to buy up more firearms. It’s a legal practice that draws a lot of back and forth from gun advocates and opponents.

In a country where gun owners are already white-knuckle reluctant to forgo their armories, this law is a definite win.

The judge ruled Thursday that the ban — put in place by the Legislature and California voters last year — strips gun owners’ Second Amendment rights and amounts to the government seizing people’s private property without compensation. Not exactly kosher for a country founded on the sovereignty and rights of the people.

Looking Back, Moving Forward

California law has prohibited the purchase or sale of large-capacity magazines since 2000, but despite that those who already owned them legally have been allowed to keep that. This ban — now blocked and stuck in the judicial system — would have changed that in a big way.

Attorney General Xavier Becerra has been a big proponent of the ban. He recently submitted new rules regarding the sale and possession of assault weapons. But California regulators met that with resistance, blocking the rules temporarily.

Still Becerra believes tighter laws are just around the corner. His lawyers seem to agree.

“Unfortunately this law will be delayed but we are confident it will go into effect, and soon,” said Ari Freilich, staff attorney at the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. He called out this San Diego lawsuit and ruling just one part of the NRA’s efforts “to delay and dismantle California’s law brick by brick.”

Had the ban been allowed to take effect, lawful owners of large capacity magazine assault weapons would’ve had to have sent their guns out of state for modification, destroy them, or turn them in to local law enforcement agencies.

Now, they’re free to keep their guns until further progress and decisions are made on the ban’s injunction.

“[The San Diego] court recognized that the Second Amendment is not a second-class right and that law-abiding gun owners have the right to own these magazines to defend themselves and their families,” said Chuck Michel, attorney for the NRA and California Rifle and Pistol Association.

Becerra said opponents’ Second Amendment challenge has repeatedly been rejected by other courts, allowing at least seven other states — including Massachusetts — and 11 local governments to limit the possession or sale of large-capacity ammunition magazines.

Give Us Your Input

So what do you think? Is this ban a fair one? Should lawful owners be allowed to use large-capacity magazines for purposes of self-defense or is it a slippery slope to open access for violent individuals looking to cause mass harm? The gun control debate rages on and we want you to weigh in the comments below!


Supreme Court Dodges Ruling in Major CA Gun Rights Dispute

A man openly carrying a gun in Texas. The Supreme Court has turned away numerous Second Amendment cases in recent years, to the chagrin of gun rights groups and some conservative justices.
A man openly carrying a gun in Texas. The Supreme Court has turned away numerous Second Amendment cases in recent years, to the chagrin of gun rights groups and some conservative justices.

The Supreme Court’s term comes to an end this week. As part of its rush to the finish, the Court’s nine justices were busy Monday deciding whether to hear a bevy of pivotal cases. Among them was a hotly contested gun rights dispute out of San Diego.

Well without saying much — but for a dissent from Clarence Thomas and Trump appointee Neil Gorusch, S.C.O.T.U.S. declined to rule on whether a person’s constitutional right to keep firearms for self-defense extends beyond the home. Which means the lower court’s initial ruling will be upheld.

What we know about the gun rights dispute.

In 2014, gun owners took offense at a law that denied them from being granted a permit to carry a concealed weapon in public without showing “good cause” for having it. The law also gave county sheriffs the final determination in granting the permit.

Back in 2013, Edward Peruta, a San Diego County resident, applied for a concealed carry, but was rejected because he failed to show he was in harm’s way. With the urging and support from a California affiliate of the NRA, Peruta and four others sued San Diego County. The state then intervened in support of the county.

In the landmark 2008 District of Columbia v. Heller ruling, the Supreme Court held that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual’s right to bear arms for self-defense in the home. However, the ruling did not extend that right beyond the home. San Diego lawmakers attempted to clear up that uncertainty by necessitating that gun owners show good cause for carrying guns for self-defense in public. Generally, CA gun laws forbid people from carrying guns, either open or concealed, in public spaces. Peruta and the four other plaintiffs were aiming to change that.

They argued that the sheriff’s definition of good cause violated the Second Amendment, saying “law-abiding citizens should be able to carry weapons in public for the general purpose of self-defense.”

What the Supreme Court’s action means.

Last June, the appeals court of the Ninth Circuit ruled that the Second Amendment does not in fact protect the right to concealed-carry in public.

The Supreme Court’s Monday decision upholds that ruling.

With five conservative judges and four liberals on the bench, many thought the tide might begin to turn for gun rights activists — beginning with this case. It appears not.

Does this decision spell bad news for gun owners in America? Thomas and Gorusch seem to think so:

“For those of us who work in marbled halls, guarded constantly by a vigilant and dedicated police force, the guarantees of the Second Amendment might seem antiquated and superfluous. But the Framers made a clear choice: They reserved to all Americans the right to bear arms for self-defense. I do not think we should stand by idly while a State denies its citizens that right, particularly when their very lives may depend on it. I respectfully dissent.”




When Bans Go Wrong: MA Struggles to Enforce Weapons Ban

AG Healey at an April hearing for the weapons ban lawsuit.
AG Healey at an April hearing for the weapons ban lawsuit.

On July 20, 2016, in the wake of the Orlando Pulse Night Club shooting, Attorney General Maura Healey issued a warning regarding the state’s assault weapons ban to all gun sellers and manufacturers in the state, stating that her office would be ramping up enforcement of Massachusetts’ already strict gun laws, including a crackdown on the sale of copycat weapons.

Clarifying the Weapons Ban

The notice, which is posted on the Massachusetts government website, clarifies what guns, according to the decisive ban, are considered “copy” or “duplicate.” The law, which was in place prior to the expiration of the Federal assault weapons ban in 2004, prohibits the sale of copies or duplicates of banned assault rifles, including two of America’s most popular firearms — the Colt AR-15 and the Kalishnikov AK-47. But in spite of the law, an estimated 10,000 copycat assault weapons were sold in Massachusetts last year alone.

According to Healey, the weapons ban has been purposefully misinterpreted by gun manufacturers for decades.

Essentially a gun is considered a copycat if it has the same internal operating system as one of the ones prohibited by the ban — either that or they are outfitted with important functional components that are easily interchangeable with those of a banned weapon. The Attorney General’s office hopes that these important specifications will force gun manufacturers and sellers to discontinue the manufacture and sale of duplicates.


In a Boston Globe op-ed piece published the same day as the enforcement notice, Attorney General Healey stated that each of those assault weapons were “nearly identical to the rifle used to gun down 49 innocent people in Orlando.” She continued, stating, “In the week after the Pulse nightclub massacre, sales of weapons strikingly similar to the Sig Sauer MCX used at Pulse jumped as high as 450 percent over the previous week — just in Massachusetts.”

Despite having one of the nation’s toughest set of gun laws, Massachusetts continues to face an uphill battle in the firearms industry. According to Healey, manufacturers “market ‘state compliant’ copycat versions of their assault weapons to Massachusetts buyers. They sell guns without a flash suppressor or folding or telescoping stock, for example, small tweaks that do nothing to limit the lethalness of the weapon.”

Challenging the Ban

According to Healey, “In the dozen years since the federal assault weapons ban lapsed, only seven states have instituted their own assault weapons ban. Many of those bans have been challenged (unsuccessfully) by the gun industry, and we anticipate our directive may be too.”

Turns out, she was right.

This past January, the Massachusetts affiliate of the National Rifle Association sued Healey and Governor Charlie Baker, calling the state’s ban — and its revisions — unconstitutional and unlawful. The purpose of the suit was to have the ban declared “void and unenforceable.”

Jay Porter, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, stated, “Our position is that the state doesn’t have the authority under the Second Amendment to ban firearms that are commonly kept by responsible law abiding citizens for lawful purposes. … The Supreme Court has told us emphatically that the government cannot ban popular firearms which are commonly kept for lawful purposes.”

Weapon of War or Safety?

But the question needs to be asked, what lawful purpose do assault weapons have? The most commonly reported reason for owning a gun is self-defense.

However, Healey stated rather concisely in her op-ed that assault weapons like the AR-15, are “[weapons] of war, originally created for combat, and designed to kill many people in a short amount of time with incredible accuracy… These are not weapons of self-defense. They are weapons used to commit mass murder. And they have no business being in civilian hands.”

Since the enforcement notice, manufacture and sales of assault weapons has ended in the state of Massachusetts. But gun industry lobbyists and gun rights activists continue to fight what they consider unjust gun laws.

And their lawsuit is not without precedent.

Gun rights advocates have previously filed similar complaints in New York, Connecticut, and Maryland.

As of April 7, 2017, the judge overseeing the case met with both parties to discuss whether or not the July directive constitutes a new state regulation before he decides whether to move the lawsuit forward.

Since then no new information has come out. We will continue to update the story as it progresses.

In the mean time, we’d love for you to weigh in. What do you think of AG Healey’s assault weapons ban? Do you think people need semi-automatic weapons for purposes of self-defense? Let us know.


Why Massachusetts Has the Nation’s Toughest Gun Laws

The debate rages on for gun owners and gun laws in the United States
The fight for better gun laws continues to rage on despite decades of firearm legislation.

It’s no secret to Massachusetts gun owners that the Codfish State has some of the strictest firearm laws in the United States. And as the years have gone by, those laws have continued to tighten — despite the efforts of organizations like the NRA. So how exactly did it get to be this way?

The 1998 Massachusetts Gun Control Act

In 1998, Massachusetts passed what was hailed as the nation’s toughest gun legislation. That law sought to make the gun licensure process more comprehensive and difficult to navigate. It banned semiautomatic assault weapons, created additional licensing rules and sought severe penalties for those storing unlocked guns. Part of the legislation required all new firearm license applicants to complete a certified firearms safety or hunter education course.

The law also imposed a ban on covert guns, unreliable guns (junk guns), and certain assault weapons. Despite these restrictions, many argued the laws were ineffective in curbing gun violence. But as James Alan Fox, a Northeastern University criminologist stated, “The quality of your gun-licensing laws is only as good as those surrounding you.’’

The 2004 Revisions

In an attempt to further strengthen the 1998 laws, Massachusetts legislators enacted a series of revisions to the original act. As part of the revisions, the ban on certain assault weapons was continued; an extension was put in place for the term of FID cards and LTC from four to six years; a provision was added for a grace period of 90 days following the expiration of a license, as was an exemption of the LTC renewal fee for active law enforcement officers.

Beyond that, the 2004 revisions sought to establish a firearm license review board whose responsibility was to review applications from individuals convicted of certain misdemeanor offenses who were disqualified under current law.

The 2014 Laws

Following the devastating 2012 school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, Massachusetts lawmakers came together in an effort to overhaul the state’s gun laws — which many believed were too lax, despite the state’s consideration as one of the nation’s toughest states for gun owners.

The 2014 law stiffened penalties for certain gun-based crimes, instituted real-time background checks in private gun sales and created a firearms trafficking unit within the state police. It also gave police chiefs the right to use judiciary means to deny FID cards to people whom they felt were unsuitable to own a weapon.

Going Forward

Despite the efforts Massachusetts lawmakers to stiffen firearm laws and curb gun violence, many argue that these laws aren’t enough on their own. Jim Wallace, head of the Massachusetts-based Gun Owners Action League and a vocal gun rights advocate, said “more laws don’t necessarily mean good laws.”

But if you look to countries like Australia, where strict gun laws have led to a massive decline in gun violence and gun-related murders,, Wallace’s assertion might not stack up. It seems to go without saying that a nation’s level of gun ownership would be proportionate to their gun-death rates. Following nationwide buyback and confiscation efforts in Australia, there hasn’t been a single mass shooting since 1996.

The problem is, in America gun ownership is very much apart of the culture. It’s one of the nation’s most coveted and controversial amendments. Australia is a small country compared to America. A nationwide buyback and confiscation program would probably not go over very well. So it’s clear that the issue goes deeper than law. Moreover, many argue that gun laws only serve to hurt those gun owners who go through the proper legal channels to obtain their firearms, while criminals will continue to find easy ways to arm themselves.

So tell us your thoughts. Do you think stricter gun laws means fewer gun-related crimes? Do you think statewide legislation is enough to curb gun violence? Or is there something deeper at play which we must first address?


Original Bob’s: The Best Gun Range in Massachusetts

According to a federal study, Massachusetts had the lowest gun death rate in 2015. Much of that is attributed to the state’s tough gun laws. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, there were 213 gun deaths in the state in 2015.

John Rosenthal, cofounder and chairman of the Newton-based Stop Handgun Violence, said of these statistics that “gun laws work to reduce gun violence.” But for those looking to further their gun training, a good place to start would be a gun range. So for your sake we’re bringing information on the top Massachusetts gun range straight to you. Original Bob’s Shooting Range and Gun Shop located in Salisbury, MA. Here are just a few perks of Original Bob’s that might entice new and long time gun owners.

Massachusetts gun ranges are few and far between due to strict gun laws, but Original Bob's offers the whole experience
Massachusetts gun ranges are few and far between due to strict gun laws, but Original Bob’s offers the whole experience
  1. Only Public Gun Range in Massachusetts – Boasting one of the only public gun ranges in Massachusetts, Original Bob’s offers gun enthusiasts a safe space in which to test out their firearms. They also rent semi-automatic pistols, revolvers, and rifles for $10 each, according to their website. Renters are able to choose from a solid array of guns with which to test out in the shooting lanes.
  2. On-Site Gun Shop – As well as touting one of the only public ranges in Massachusetts, Original Bob’s also has an adjoining gun shop with tons of diverse inventory available for sale. From semi-automatic handguns to revolvers to rifles to shotguns, prospective gun owners are often able to find the exact gun to fit their firearm needs. Their prices also appeal to buyers from all sorts of economic backgrounds, with costs ranging from as low as $316 to $1849.
  3. Gun Use Trainers – Are you a first time gun operator? Well lay your anxieties to rest at Original Bob’s where on-site gun trainers are there to usher you through the process of renting and firing the guns in the shooting range. These same trainers offer customers private pistol lessons and gun safety classes as well. Whatever level of skill you might have upon entering Bob’s, their staff of experts and seasoned gun users will assist you in satisfying your gun ownership needs, as well show you everything from loading to disassembling your guns.
  4. Options for Unlicensed Customers – According to Original Bob’s website, unlicensed customers may rent and operate a firearm. The only restrictions state that you must be in a party of at least two customers. Moreover, all shooters must be at least 21 years of age with valid government issued IDs (i.e. driver’s license, military ID, passport). If an unlicensed guest is accompanying a licensed one, they must be at least 18 years or older with a valid government issued ID.

    In a state of with such strict gun laws as Massachusetts, Original Bob’s Public Shooting Range and Gun Shop offers one of the most unique gun-related experiences in the region. Whether you’re looking to buy your first firearm or shoot one of the more tried and true rifles in your locker, Original Bob’s offers you a wide array of experiences and expertise to deepen your knowledge as you seek a Massachusetts gun license.

The Historic Battles of Lexington and Concord in Massachusetts

The history of gun use in Massachusetts is as storied as America itself. Long before the Declaration of Independence was written, guns played an important role in American life. While gun control pervaded many echelons of English society, things were different in the New England colonies. In those times, no one needed a gun license. Rather it was quite the opposite.

History of Early Massachusetts Gun Laws

As far back as the late 17th century, colonial governments required its citizens to bear arms. In Massachusetts Bay, guns were readily available, and widely distributed among the population. In 1632, a Plymouth Colony statute ordered “that every freeman or other inhabitant of [the] colony provide for himselfe and each under him able to bear arms a sufficient musket and other serviceable peece for war.” With the looming threat of attack from indigenous tribes, citizens were required by law to undergo gun training, and in some cases, to carry it with them if they planned to travel farther than one mile from their own home. For many Americans nowadays, self defense is the primary reason for owning a gun. It’s powerful to know this principle has its roots more than three centuries ago.

Over a hundred years later, in the 1770s descent began to reach its fever pitch in the British colonies. In response, British Parliament passed the Coercive Acts. This came a year after the Boston Tea Party. These acts ordered a ban on the import of firearms into the colonies, as well as systematic confiscation of arms and gunpowder, and if necessary using violence to forcibly remove guns from the hands of colonists. In Pennsylvania, the Patriots of Lancaster issued a decree saying, “in the event of Great Britain attempting to force unjust laws upon us by the strength of arms, our cause we leave to heaven and our rifles.”

History of Massachusetts Gun Use
Americans have been bearing arms since the 17th century.

Around this time British officials came to realize that pretty much ever colonist over the age of 16 owned a musket and stock of gunpowder. Not only that, but by then gun ownership had been essentially mandatory, even among householders, for nearly a century. In order to quell rebellion in the colonies, the British did everything they could to disarm New England’s population. On September 1, 1774, 260 of General Thomas Gage’s soldiers sailed up the Mystic River and seized hundreds of barrels of powder from the Charlestown powder house. This came to be known as the “Powder Alarm.” In response, American revolutionaries declared that any attempt by the British to violently confiscate firearms from the colonists would be interpreted as an act of war. And that’s exactly what happened on April 19, 1775.

The Battles of Lexington and Concorde

At dawn on April 19, 1775, over 700 Redcoats marched from Boston to Lexington and Concord to seize arms. They were met by a militia of more than 200 patriots, ages 16 to 60–all of them carrying their own guns with few exception. Outnumbered, the militia at Lexington suffered major casualties and fell easily to the British army. They were less fortunate, however, at Concord. After unsuccessfully searching the town for munitions, the British began their march back toward Boston–where on Concord’s North Bridge, a massive town militia had gathered to drive them off. After only three minutes of gunfire, the Redcoats retreated.

While Concord wasn’t exactly a pivotal turn in the Revolutionary War, it provided a major morale boost to the colonists. More importantly, patriots began to realize that guerilla warfare would serve them well against British forces. Using their knowledge of the American terrain, militiamen overwhelmed the Redcoats, both in numbers and in combat style. Although the war raged on for a little less than a decade, the storied history of gun use in the American colonies proved pivotal for the revolutionaries. In the end, America gained her independence because of its well-armed militias spanning the eastern seaboard, and because of their sheer resolve to expertly bear their arms.

While gun use in Massachusetts looks a lot different today, and the government now discourages as opposed to encourages gun ownership among its populace, it is nonetheless important to know the role that firearms played in the birth of the United States.



What Do You Know About Gun Safety? A Primer on the Four Golden Rules

One of the most sacred laws of the land in America is the right to bear arms. It was with their guns that American revolutionaries fought against the tyranny of British rule. But that was 24o years ago. Nowadays people use guns for a variety of different reasons: hunting, self-defense, emergency preparedness, target practice, sporting pursuits. The list goes on.

But, as Americans are endowed with the right to bear arms, so too are we tasked with learning the ins and outs of gun safety. In 2015 alone, at least 141 deaths of minors were attributed to unintentional or accidental shootings, according to a nationwide review conducted by The Associated Press and USA TODAY Network. Moreover, each year the number of deaths by accidental shooting hovers somewhere around 500.

Hence why obtaining a gun license can be difficult and often discouraging. In order to encourage responsible gun use, lawmakers have taken steps to ensure that gun owners learn the necessary tenants of firearm safety. As in the state of Massachusetts, one must complete a state-approved firearms safety course before qualifying for a license.

As part of that course, you will most likely learn the four basic rules of gun safety. Though you might use your guns in a number of different ways, these four rules apply no matter who you are, no matter where you are, and no matter what you intend to do with your gun. If you make sure to follow these rules carefully and consistently, you can be certain you’ll never have a firearms accident. Fortunately for you, we’re going to present them here as a primer for any courses you will take in the future.

  • The First Universal Rule of Gun Safety:
    Always treat your gun as if it’s loaded. Or more simply, all guns are always loaded.

Now what does this mean exactly? It means treating every gun with the same respect that you’d treat a loaded gun, regardless of whether it’s loaded or not. In other words, you wouldn’t jokingly point your loaded rifle at your best friend’s face, so you obviously wouldn’t if it was unloaded. It doesn’t matter if you’ve checked or not. There may be a bullet hiding in the chamber. That’s why Rule Number One is so important, and why it precedes all the other rules. Because it means, no matter the situation, that we’re using our firearms with mindfulness and care.

  • The Second Universal Rule of Gun Safety:
    Never point the gun at something you’re not prepared to destroy.

This one’s pretty simple. It essentially states Rule One more clearly. No matter what you’re doing with your gun–whether you’re unloading it, correcting a jam, cleaning it, or showing it off to your friends–you must always be aware of which direction the muzzle is pointing. Even for something as basic as setting your gun down after use, make sure it’s pointing in a direction that won’t cause destruction or harm. Otherwise don’t pick it up in the first place.

  • The Third Universal Rule of Gun Safety:
    Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target and you have made the decision to shoot.

    As with every other moment of use, the decision to shoot should be approached with conscious attention and care. This rule is simple: keep your finger off the trigger and it won’t accidentally discharge. These days firearms are made so they won’t ‘just go off’ on their own. For anyone operating a gun, unless you’re engaging a target, their finger should be placed high on its frame–not on the trigger, not hovering near the trigger guard. And the definition of a target is equally simple: a target is anywhere you deliberately point a gun. If you’re not deliberately pointing a gun somewhere, your finger is high on the frame. That’s it.

  • The Fourth Universal Rule of Gun Safety:
    Be sure of your target and what’s behind it.

    It’s important to know that bullets can go through an intended target. Which means you must ensure that your target has a proper backdrop to receive fire. It seems obvious but you’d be surprised how many accidents happen when you’re not entirely aware of the environment surrounding your target. Whether you’re disassembling and cleaning a glock, or practicing on a makeshift shooting range (such as cans in your backyard), you have to make sure that, one: there isn’t anyone lurking behind the target or potentially in the line of fire, and two: that there’s a solid backstop behind it to absorb the bullet. You might be wondering what qualifies as a solid backstop. That depends entirely on what type of gun you’re operating, its power, and the kind of rounds you’re using. Buckshot, for example, will fall to rest with sufficient open space, whereas bullets from a hunting rifle could travel for miles without a solid surface to hit.

    So there you have it, the four universal rules of gun safety. Do not take these rules lightly. To quote from Spiderman, with great power comes great responsibility. Guns are some of the most powerful machines in the world, and so owning one is a serious responsibility. In order to ensure safe and proper use, always follow the four basic rules. As you go through a firearms safety course, you will probably go much deeper into the nuances of each rule. But for now maybe print this out and keep it handy whenever you pull your rifle off the rack.

    The Four Universal Rules of Gun Safety:

1. Treat all guns as if they are always loaded.
2. Never point the muzzle at anything you are not willing to destroy.
3. Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target.
4. Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.



Compelling Reasons Why Gun Ownership and Right-to-Carry Should be Reconsidered

Numerous people are still advocating and pushing for a “constitutional right” to own and carry a gun, believing that more guns will result in fewer incidences of crime and violence. While the debate on this issue can be exhausting, it is best that feelings and assumptions be set aside when discussing this matter but an objective reasoning is used instead. Below are reasons why gun ownership and right-to-carry should be carefully reconsidered:

More Guns = High Rate of Gun Violence

Statistics reveal that in 2015 alone, the following gun-related violence have been recorded in the U.S.:

School shooting – 64 incidences, including occasions where no injuries were reported after a gun was fired.

Mass shooting (defined as a single shooting incident which results in the killing or injuring of four or more people) –  372 incidences, killing 475 people and injuring 1,870.

All shootings – 13, 286 people were killed and 26,819 were injured by firearms, which is approximately 1.4 million individuals.

It is important to note that the number of gun-related violence instances described above are so much higher compared to other highly-developed countries such as the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia. In fact, from all the cases of murders in the U.S., 60% were carried out using guns, compared to only 10%, 18%, and 31% in the UK, Australia, and Canada, respectively.

Strong Correlation Between Household Firearm Ownership and Firearm Homicide Rates.

A study published in American Journal of Public Health in 2013 revealed that the number of gun-related deaths from homicide is grossly higher among states with higher rates of gun ownership; implying that gun ownership is an effective predictor of firearm homicide rate. Specifically, the rate of gun homicide increases by almost 1% for every percentage increase in gun ownership.

Other countries that shifted to a highly-restricted gun-access, like Australia, experienced a dramatic decline in the rate of murder.

When Australia introduced highly stringent gun control laws, including making the use of firearms in self-defense a crime, the said country’s gun homicide and suicide rates dramatically declined as well as the rate of murders and robberies. 

The reasons above are not mere suppositions but verifiable facts. Ultimately, it is best that the public base their opinion on hard facts rather than what “feels” or “seems” right, particularly if it means life and death of someone. If you do choose to own a gun, in the very least make sure you have a license to carry your gun in whatever state you reside.

Numbers Don’t Lie: Is a Weapon of Violence Able to Stop Violence?

For many years, pro-gun advocates have continuously encouraged and fought for the “right” of citizens to carry handguns, asserting that this will deter the occurrence of crimes. They believed and tried to convince the public that owning a gun will scare off criminals and help law-abiding citizens to protect themselves as well. In other words, they are contending that more guns would stop the violence especially if people take a gun license course to properly understand firearm safety.

These messages have resonated for years resulting in numerous people believing it. Nevertheless, it is important to note that just because this mantra has been accepted by many, does not automatically make it true. How can the mass availability of guns, a tool meant to injure, prevent the occurrence of crimes and violence? Objective studies and specific numbers should back up this claim.

What do the numbers say?
There are research studies that have been carried out to ascertain if gun ownership (including right-to-carry or RTC) is effective in deterring crimes and violence. While the results of early studies have remained inconclusive, new data collected in more than a decade revealed compelling results about the effects of RTC.

In general, the comprehensive study showed that the implementation of RTC laws is positively associated with the increase of violent crimes. Specifically, it was found that the 33 states in the country which adopted RTC laws experienced a significant increase in the rate of violent crimes. A careful analysis of the records within the 10-year period of RTC implementation versus the years wherein RTC laws have yet to be adopted showed that the rate of violent crimes increased by as much as 19% during the years of RTC implementation.

Does this support the claim that allowing citizens to carry guns will make for a more peaceful environment? No. At the end of the day, numbers do not lie. This means that it is critical that instead of believing the rhetoric and creative soundbites, people should look at existing facts and numbers.

Gun Control in Different Countries Around the World

Gun Control in Different Countries Around the World

The debate about gun control in America has never been at such an all-time high. The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution provides for the right of the people to own and bear arms. It has been one of the founding principles of the country and has been a right many Americans want to keep. As much as people know about the gun control legislation in America, including Massachusetts gun laws, it is important to look at the laws in other countries so as to accurately compare and contrast ourselves.


Many analysts have viewed Canada’s gun control legislations as stricter when compared to those of the U.S. Just like Washington; Ottawa sets gun restrictions and regulations at a federal level where territories, provinces, and municipalities can emulate and supplement. The law requires that the gun owner should be at least 18 years old, pass a background check, and go through a public safety course.


The turning point for Australia’s gun control laws was during the Port Arthur massacre of April 1996 where a young man killed 35 people, and wounding 23 others. This was when the national government pushed for critical changes that banned both automatic and semi-automatic rifles, made licensing and ownership rules stricter. Today in Australia, to obtain a gun you need to show that you have a genuine need for a particular kind of gun and also take a firearm safety course.


Because military service is compulsory in Israel, guns are a part of Israel’s way of life. In agreement with the law, most 18-year olds are drafted into the military and receive weapon’s training. However, after being in service for two or three years, the Israelis are discharged and are required to follow civilian gun legislation.

To get a gun license in Israel, you need to be at least 21, speak some Hebrew, and must show a genuine reason to carry the firearm.

As compared to other countries, the U.S. seems to have more lax gun legislation as compared to other countries even after the slew of shootings that have killed and maimed hundreds. However, it is a constitutional right that has been debated upon severely and has been upheld regardless.