In the wake of the Newtown Tragedy and the creeping holocaust of gun deaths that plague this nation we must finally address the problem that we have been facing for years: inept, unenforced, and impotent gun laws and regulations. I will use this blog to address the problem of a violence culture that plagues our society at another time, but for now I simply wish to outline some simple, Constitutional regulations that will make people safer and make our gun laws up to the international standard observed in most Industrialized nations.
1. The ATF Needs a head administrator. There is no excuse for the Administration tasked with regulating a constitutionally protected item going without a leader for 6 years. The GOP has blocked any and every person President Obama has put forward. This must end. And if it does not end the President must take action and use his executive authority to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution and its 2nd Amendment by creating a regulatory agency that actually does its job.
2. We must pass a comprehensive Assault Weapons Ban. This needs to go beyond the 1994 Crime Bill amendment dealing with certain assault weapons and accessories. We must ban all extended clips, all weapons used by our military or by the military of any other nation, and all ammunition designed for these weapons. And we must not create a giant loop-hole by allowing weapons already bought to be “grandfathered” in. An individual in possession of any of these illegal weapons and material should be given a year to turn them in. If you do not turn in the illegal items to your local police or to the ATF then you will pay a fine…$5000 seems a nice round number. If you do not turn them in after another 6 months has passed you will get a criminal citation and the police will come to confiscate the weapon. Another fine, this time $10,000, will be assessed for their trouble. No prison time, no “camps” or “black helicopters”, just give up the deadly weapons and equipment. You even get a year to do it.
3. Gun and ammunition manufacturers and sellers should be taxed at 50% for every gun made or sold and at 75% for every bullet made or sold. This tax will go into a fund to pay for gun safety classes, the administration of the ATF, and a national gun buyback program that will have offices in most major cities and in every state. A fair price will be set for any gun, legal or illegal, that is brought in.
4. Mandatory gun safety training, paid for by the aforementioned tax, for any person who purchases a weapon not intended for sport or hunting, administered by specially trained local law-enforcement or ATF Agents. This gun training license will be up for renewal ever 3 years, and if failed or skipped the gun owner will have 6 months to take the test again and pass or risk losing their gun for a period not to exceed 1 year. If the test is failed or skipped 3 times in a row gun ownership rights will be suspended for a period not to exceed 3 years.
5. There will be a national gun registry that lists the social security number, name, and gun registration number of every weapon owned. These records will open only to law enforcement after a judges order or a warrant is issued. This registry WILL NOT be used as a “crime fighting” tool, and it cannot be used to track or to inform others of gun ownership status. This registry will be administered jointly by the ATF and the Social Security Administration.
6. No person who has been hospitalized for suicidal action, mental illness leading to an assault or threat of an assault against another person, or who has been found not guilty of a violent crime due to mental incapacity shall be allowed to own or purchase a firearm of any kind.
7. No one convicted of a violent crime shall ever be allowed to own or purchase a firearm of any kind. No one convicted of domestic violence or child abuse of any kind shall be allowed to own or purchase a firearm of any kind. People who are subject to an order of protection issued by a Judge, magistrate, or law enforcement authority shall be limited firearms used for sport and/or hunting purposes. Once the order of protection expires/is lifted the individual shall have all gun rights restored if that individual has not been convicted of a violent crime or child abuse of any kind.
8. Trigger locks will be mandatory for all guns, including those used for sport and/or hunting. All weapons transported in a vehicle shall have the lock on them and shall be placed in a clearly marked container in the trunk of the vehicle.
9. No one under the age of 18 shall be allowed to own or handle a firearm that is not for sport and/or hunting.
10. Firearms will be banned on all federal land, all state land, in all public buildings, schools, hospitals, and places of worship, except in the case of law enforcement or licensed security officers.
11. Individuals shall not be allowed to purchase more than three  firearms manufactured for a purpose other than sport and/or hunting made after 1945 in any one year period. The exception being guns that are specifically antique in nature or have been rendered incapable of firing live ammunition. Individuals shall not be allowed to own more than ten  firearms manufactured for a purpose other than sport and/or hunting made after 1945.
12. Private ownership of fully automatic weapons or equipment/material used to retro-fit a semi-automatic weapon into a fully automatic weapon will be banned without exception.
13. Firearms shall not be allowed on any commercial aircraft or form of transportation that crosses state lines, the exception being firearms that are manufactured for sport and/or hunting purposes.
14. Gun Shows will not be allowed to sell firearms of any kind to any individual without first adhering to all applicable laws and regulations listed above.
15. All “stand your ground” laws will be overturned.
16. Concealed carry shall be outlawed in all circumstances for any individuals who are not members of law enforcement.
17. Public open carry will be restricted to areas not prohibited by the laws and regulations listed above.
18. Legally buying firearms in one state to sell privately in another shall be illegal.
I think if we pass and follow these basic regulations we will be a safer society for gun owners and those who are in danger of being impacted by gun violence. Nothing I suggested above would abolish the right to bear arms for anyone who follows the rules and takes responsibility for their gun ownership. Guns are a part of American life and most likely always will be. That does not mean we need to live in a modern day wild west.