The problems inherent in the statutory and regulatory structure discussed in my previous post lend themselves to a variety of potential reforms. In this post, I will outline many potential reforms and their intended effects on the distribution system as a whole. I recognize that some are more politically feasible than others. But, as noted, there are serious holes within the distribution system that require serious fixes. Continue reading The Current State of Federal Firearms Regulation [Part II]
In the United States, firearms are a leading public health problem. Over the past decade, the total number of firearms-related fatalities has averaged approximately 31,000 deaths per year, comprised largely of firearms suicides, homicides, and unintentional or accidental deaths. In addition, it is estimated that almost 500,000 fatal and nonfatal violent crimes are committed each year with a firearm. Compared to peer developed nations, these numbers are staggering.
In order to address these problems, there has been a large movement for firearms regulation in general, and restrictions on distribution in particular. This strategy is premised on several fundamental assumptions. First, that distribution is relatively concentrated such that regulation is meaningful. Second, there are classes of individuals that are deemed particularly high-risk for violence to the extent that ownership of firearms should be limited or barred. Third, in regulating distribution, these individuals can be identified and prevented from obtaining access to firearms. And fourth, such restrictions will aid in lowering the overall prevalence of firearm fatalities and crimes in which firearms are used.
Federal Firearms Licensees (“FFLs”) play an integral role in this system of regulation. Continue reading The Current State of Federal Firearms Regulation [Part I]