• Mr. Steven J. Muehler

Steve Muehler's Plan for Gun Control

Updated: Apr 23

With the recent massacre of 26 worshipers in a rural Texas Church, we again hear arguments about the topics of "Gun Violence", "Mental Health", "Firearm Regulation" and "Gun Control".

Before getting into my personal position, it is always important to understand the numbers.

First, according to the Congressional Research Service, there are roughly twice as many guns per capita in the United States today than there was in 1968, which is more than 300 Million Guns in all.

Gun sales have increased in recent years. According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, U.S. Gun Makers produced nearly 5.5 Million Guns in 2010, and nearly 10.9 Million Guns in 2013. Of this number, the overwhelming majority of those guns stayed on U.S. soil, only about 400,000 firearms were exported in 2013.

The population of the United States in 2016 was 323 Million. With the new firearms produced each year, the expected number of years a firearm is expected to remain operational, and the number of guns produced in previous years, there is essentially a gun in circulation for every man, woman, and child, more or less. But, that does not mean that every man, woman and child has a gun, as the number of armed households in the United States has declined to about 1 in 3, which shows that an ever larger number of guns is concentrated in a shrinking number of homes, making many gun owners the holder of "multiple firearms".

Gun Violence Numbers for 2017 (through 11/11/2017):

  • Total Number of Gun Incidents: 53,192

  • Number of Deaths: 13,375

  • Number of Injuries: 27,332

  • Number of Children 0-11 Killed or Injured: 633

  • Number of Teens 12-17 Killed or Injured: 2,825

  • Mass Shooting (reported & verified): 310

  • Officer Involved Incident were Officer is shot or killed: 269

  • Officer Involved Incident where Subject / Suspect is Shot or Killed: 1,792

  • Home Invasion involving a Gun: 2,133

  • Defensive Use with a Gun: 1,756

  • Unintentional Shooting with a Gun: 1,725

  • Approximately 22,000 Suicides Annually include a Gun.

(Source is gunviolencearchive.org and current as of 11/11/17)

Knowing that no solution is a perfect solution for the masses, my solutions are based on simple math and what I call "Common Sense".

First, the expansion of the Background Check and the Improvement of Background Check Processing has to be cornerstone of any new laws. Recent studies provide evidence that background checks can significantly curb gun violence, and may have even avoided the recent mass shooting in rural Texas. In one study, researchers found that a 1995 Connecticut Law requiring gun buyers to get permits (which themselves required background checks) was associated with a 40 percent decline in gun homicides and a 15 percent drop in suicides.

Second, My plan would call for annual "Gun License Background Checks" where applications can be submitted online. This license would be a federal license, where the consumer would get a drivers license like card issued by the Federal Government, and that individual would be allowed to purchase up to two new firearms per year in an over-the-counter transaction, and through approved online retailers that have proper licensing and processes to ensure that the buyers is the properly licensed individual.

We would develop a Federal Database where all guns sold in America are properly registered to a consumer, much like the current DMV system, only buyers of guns will not need to stand in long registration lines. Registration will simply be done by the retailers and online by the consumer (dual registration for proper verification).

We would start a process in which each "standard gun license" allows for the consumer to currently own and possess no more than three firearms. This "Standard License" allows for owners to posses up to three hunting rifles / shotguns and/or handguns. This license does not allow for the ownership of other classes of gun (carbine, machine gun, submachine gun, rifles with a clip that holds more than five rounds, and assault rifles).

We would establish licenses for individuals who wish to posses carbine, machine gun, submachine guns, automatic rifles that have clips that hold more than five rounds, and assault rifles. These types of licenses will require an annual inspection by local law enforcement to verify that the owner is still in possession of the firearms, verify the serial numbers of the firearms, and to verify that the guns are stored in a proper gun cabinet or case with a controlled access point (locked and not accessible by children, under one's bed will not be considered proper storage).

Licenses will also be available for individuals who wish to posses larger numbers of firearms. These licenses, much like in the above stated paragraph, will require an annual inspection by local law enforcement to verify that the owner is still in possession of the firearms, verify the serial numbers of the firearms, and to verify that the guns are stored in a proper gun cabinet or case with a controlled access point (locked and not accessible by children).

Each Standard License will be issued with a low annual fee to pay for the services detailed above. Licenses for larger numbers of guns and types of guns will have larger annual fees based on the number of guns owned and the types of guns owned, and a portion of these annual fees will be used to establish a fund for victims of gun violence.

Another important change will be the requirement that all gun sales are done through a licensed gun broker / retailer. No firearms will be allowed to change hands in a consumer-to-consumer transaction. Much like with the DMV, this process will be essential in the verification of the buyers legal ability to purchase a firearm and for the proper registration of the sale of the firearm to the new consumer.

This new legislation, once enacted, would require all current firearm(s) owners to apply for a license online within 60 days, and register all current firearms owned by the applicant. This will create the initial Federal Database of ownership of firearms in the United States, and gun registration certificates will be issued to those gun owners.

Items that modify the intended use of a firearm (like Butstocks) would also require Federal Registration and a License to posses.

Again, this is just an opinion with broadstrokes, and there would need to be people more educated than me to define the finer points, but from a "Common Sense" standpoint, this seems to be a program that makes that most sense for both sides of the issue. There are far to many guns in circulation to outlaw firearms, and there needs to be a way to try to keep guns in the hands of the most responsible citizens.

Steve Muehler is the Founder & Managing Member of the Private Placement Markets:

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