Throughout the U.S., the topic of gun laws is considered a hot one. There are some people who choose to own firearms and some that don’t. The trouble is that some who choose to do so believe those that don’t would like to take away their Second amendment rights.
While U.S. gun laws are widely considered to be liberal, it’s helpful to view them in a broader context. Here are some examples of gun laws in countries around the world.
In Brazil, anyone over the age of 25 can own a gun as long as it is registered and not carried in public. The carrying of firearms is largely banned, and only people in high-risk professions, those whose lives are threatened, or police officers can carry a weapon.
People caught carrying a weapon without a permit face up to four years in prison, but this has not deterred the drug gangs, who are often better armed than law enforcement.
The law varies greatly between states, but in general a person has the right to own a gun provided they have the right licenses and permits. In some states, it is possible to acquire permits to carry a handgun in public, and in most places having a registered weapon at home is allowed.
The statistics show that there are 88.8 firearms per 100 people in the US, and this is one of the few countries in the world where you can find live auction sites for guns.
German citizens 18 and above can legally own firearms, but they are required to pass a “trustworthiness, knowledge, and accuracy” test first. In addition to that, they need to prove the necessity of gun ownership.
Three levels of licenses are available: Single shot long and short firearms, non-assault weapons, and collectors or dealers.
Canadian gun laws are worlds apart from those of the United States in terms of strictness. For those that are 18 and older wishing to own a weapon, there are a series of hurdles to jump through. Applicants have to pass a criminal record check, take a safety course, and get approval from a firearms officer.
In rare circumstances firearms permits are issued for self-defense purposes, but in general licenses are restricted for sporting and recreational purposes.
Few places on earth have tighter gun controls than China. Gun ownership here is strictly prohibited. A few people may get permission to own a gun for hunting and for protection from wild animals. Anyone caught selling illegal firearms can face the death penalty.
Mexico allows people to own revolvers, small pistols, and some rifles after successfully undergoing a criminal background check. The country has just one authorized firearm outlet in Mexico City.
Regardless of the attempts to stifle the flow of weapons, Mexico faces a growing problem of weapons being smuggled in from nearby countries.
The U.K. gun ownership laws are so strict that even most of the police force are unarmed. As for U.K. citizens, in addition to a license, a good reason is required to own a firearm. Reasons for wanting to own a firearm can include work-related and sporting, and the applicant must undergo certain checks and tests to prove that they are not a danger to the public.
Semiautomatic weapons and handguns are completely banned in the UK, except for a few exceptional cases.
Every now and then, the subject of gun laws take center stage in the U.S. Some people will argue that a complete banning of firearms is a good thing for society. However, taking a closer look at the laws in some other countries proves that this argument is far from conclusive.
Stricter gun control by government does not always equal fewer gun crimes, as is clear when we compare gun laws around the world. In some cases, this just punishes honest and responsible gun owners while simultaneously fuelling the problem of illegal gun ownership.