Sunday, December 16, 2012

harnessing the private sector to keep guns from bad guys

The following is how gun violence could be drastically reduced in the United States by holding the correct parties accountable.

The solution lies in states rights and accountability. And the private sector.

If the parties in the firearms industry are properly assessed the cost of gun violence, the firearms industry will create its own system for keeping firearms out of the hands of bad actors.

Individual states should be allowed to assess fines against any and all parties in the chain of custody for firearms used in illegal shootings. From manufacturer to the person who provided the criminal the firearm.
How would this work?

Say Illinois assigns a fine of $25,000. If John Q. Idiot shoots and kills his neighbor in a dispute over a loud party, then the chain of custody for the firearm is established back to the date the law was passed.

Everybody in the chain of custody has to pay $25,000 (per homicide victim) to the next of kin of the deceased.

If the chain of custody crosses state lines, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco & Firearms will establish the chain of custody as far back as the manufacturer, if the weapon was manufactured after the effective date of the law.

Will the government keep records of all firearm sales? No. Private owners will be responsible. But whoa to the private owner who does not have his records in order if one of his firearms was used in an illegal homicide. Then serious criminal penalties will be applied. And ATF will still find out who provided the firearm.

Individuals who do not want to assume responsibility for the following owners of their firearms will have two options. One is to have the firearm destroyed or two to sell it to a licensed dealer in the state where they live. This will remove the private owners of the firearm of responsibility going back to the previous dealer.

Government will not be in the background check business. This will be left to the private sector.

Government will not be in the business of tracking the movement of legally owned and operated firearms. This will be the responsibility of people who choose to own firearms or choose to operate firearm dealerships.

I assume that most firearm dealers will choose to buy insurance. I assume the insurance industry will come up with a system that identifies customers who are a good risk.

I further assume that there will be three basic risk levels. The lowest risk candidates will be able to buy weapons with relatively low additional fees. The next level of risk will be able to buy, but there will be additional fees. Then there will be a bunch of people who will be told they need to demonstrate they are low risk candidates before dealers will sell them weapons.

I predict that this system will dramatically reduce the flow of firearms to criminals and crazy people in a short period of time.

It will also reduce the flow of firearms across state lines. This will allow states to set their own firearms policy instead of being pressured by other states to be more permissive.

It will also drastically reduce the volume of firearm sales.

But the level of firearm sales is not protected by the U.S. Constitution. The system would not infringe on anyone's right to own a firearm. However, it does create an economic incentive for firearm owners to be responsible when transferring firearms.

1 comment:

  1. Would it create another economic incentive to murder? Steal a gun, murder a family member, reap the reward? I can come up with several plots where that might be done (with more or less cleverness).

    And maybe the person who commits murder gets caught and goes to prison for a long time ... but maybe that person's child is next of kin and inherits.

    People who commit murder don't expect to be caught.