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Why Not Regulate Guns Like Cars?
The Volokh Conspiracy ^ | 13 December, 2012 | Eugene Volokh

Posted on 12/14/2012 8:38:06 AM PST by marktwain

I was just on a HuffPost Live panel with, among others, Elie Mystal (Above The Law), and he suggested — as a gun control proposal — that guns should be regulated like cars. This prompts me to repost an item I posted several years ago:

Cars are basically regulated as follows (I rely below on California law, but to my knowledge the rules are similar throughout the country):

(1) No federal licensing or registration of car owners.

(2) Any person may use a car on his own private property without any license or registration. See, e.g., California Vehicle Code §§ 360, 12500 (driver’s license required for driving on “highways,” defined as places that are “publicly maintained and open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular travel”); California Vehicle Code § 4000 (same as to registration).

(3) Any adult — and in most states, 16- and 17-year-olds as well — may get a license to use a car in public places by passing a fairly simple test that virtually everyone can pass.

This is pretty much how many gun rights advocates would like to see guns regulated, and is in fact pretty close to the dominant model in the over 35 states that now allow pretty much any law-abiding adult to get a license to carry a concealed weapon: No need to register or get a license to have a gun at home, and a simple, routine test through which any law-abiding citizen can get a state license to carry a gun in public.

Now I suspect that many gun control advocates would in reality prefer a much more onerous system of regulations for guns than for cars (though Mystal seemed to say that he was indeed suggesting a very similar regime for guns and for cars). Of course, one can certainly argue that guns should be regulated more heavily than cars; thoughtful gun control advocates do indeed do this. But then one should candidly admit that one is demanding specially burdensome regulation for guns — and not claim to be “merely asking that guns be regulated like cars.”

Incidentally, I don’t claim any great originality on these points: Others have made them before me, see, e.g., David Kopel’s Taking It to the Streets, Reason, Nov. 1999. But some things are worth repeating.

UPDATE: I originally omitted the “of gun owners” in item (1); I included it in response to a comment pointing out that manufacturers must generally place VINs on cars, much as federal law already generally requires serial numbers for guns.

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Government; News/Current Events; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: banglist; cars; regulation; volokh
Many ignorant anti-freedom zealots do not know how regulated guns are already.
1 posted on 12/14/2012 8:38:18 AM PST by marktwain
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To: marktwain

The Constitution guarantees a right to self-defense. It did not guarantee some fictional right to own a coach and six.

2 posted on 12/14/2012 8:42:14 AM PST by wideawake
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To: marktwain

Well, I’d say the primary reason I’d be against this is that driving a car does not have its own special amendment, 2nd only to free speech and right to assembly in the — specifically laid out in the Constitution.

Thus, there is no need or basis for it unless the proposers wish to enact another amendment that vacates the second amendment.

3 posted on 12/14/2012 8:42:20 AM PST by Gaffer
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To: marktwain

Of course, we can look at the rate of car thefts, unlicensed/insured drivers, dui/dwi/owi etc. as a reminder of how ineffective such laws are to those who are law-breakers.

4 posted on 12/14/2012 8:43:40 AM PST by Dr. Sivana (There is no salvation in politics.)
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To: marktwain
For one thing, there is nothing in the Constitution that reads "A well regulated means of transport being necessary to preserve travel in a free state, the right of the people to keep and drive automobiles shall not be infringed."

Therefore guns should not be regulated as much as cars are.

5 posted on 12/14/2012 8:48:04 AM PST by tpmintx (Proven11/6/12! People who work for a living ARE outnumbered by those who VOTE for a living.)
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To: marktwain

In keeping with liberal thought processes - why not regulate people like farm animals?

We regulate dynamite, why not ketchup?

Are these people for real?

6 posted on 12/14/2012 8:48:59 AM PST by GOPJ (Detroit should be renamed 'Michael Mooresville'...)
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To: marktwain
Why Not Regulate Guns Like Cars?

2nd Amendment.

Next question.

7 posted on 12/14/2012 8:49:50 AM PST by oldbrowser (Put Obama in check, now.)
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To: marktwain

Good post.

8 posted on 12/14/2012 8:51:22 AM PST by sauropod (I will not comply)
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To: marktwain

Dear Government,
Thank you for your gracious permission to defend my own life, liberty, and property if I follow your simple nine-thousand point plan, pass a test, and get the proper licensing.

Sarcastic Citizen

9 posted on 12/14/2012 8:55:16 AM PST by mnehring
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To: wideawake

The Bill of Rights defines extant rights as those that are granted by God and natural human rights. The first 10 amendments to the Constitution, collectively the Bill of Rights, enumerate those rights as existent and irrevocable.

Congress shall make no law... shall not be infringed... shall not be violated... shall not be required... No state shall violate...

These clauses assume existence prior to the drafting of the words. There are writings that presume freedom to move about the country, across borders, without cause or questioning, but they are not outlined in the Bill of Rights.

10 posted on 12/14/2012 8:56:42 AM PST by rarestia (It's time to water the Tree of Liberty.)
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To: marktwain

You would have a gun safe built into every house. In the upscale houses you would have 3 gun safes. Inexpensive houses and mobile homes would just have a gunrack by the door.

If the price of ammunition rose 20% the Federal Government would release war reserves of ammo to bring the price back down to the consumer’s comfort level. Ammo would carry a 50% tax to finance public shooting ranges. The Teapot Dome
scandal would have been about a lead mine.

Every 16 year old would be looking forward to the day when he could take the family revolver to school. The rich kids would get a high capacity semi-auto pistol on their 16th birthday and endanger everyone when they learn to use it
in public.

Ted Kennedy would have shot Mary Jo Kopekne instead. Ted would be a few thousand dollars richer (bullet:$0.25 vs car:$3000) Ted would stop carrying his own gun and instead, hire bodyguards to carry fully-automatic weapons under
their coats for him.

You’d have a pair of fun-loving gunsmiths on Public Radio doing a show on gun problems. They’d be named “Tap & Rack”.

Al Gore would claim he invented the .50cal cartridge and say he was sorry.

11 posted on 12/14/2012 9:08:25 AM PST by TurboZamboni (Looting the future to bribe the present)
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To: marktwain

****that guns should be regulated like cars. ****

He may be on to something! Let’s regulate guns LIKE CARS!

1. All guns confiscated by police will be sent to Missouri, sold to scrappers for destruction.

2.Instead of destruction the guns will be cleaned and refurbished.

3. The guns will then be run down into Arkansas were they will be issued new clean titles, no questions asked, for $50.00.

4.The guns will then be sold as “clean or new” to unsuspecting buyers.

That is why one should be very careful of buying a used car in Arkansas.

12 posted on 12/14/2012 9:24:02 AM PST by Ruy Dias de Bivar (SAVE THE SUMATRAN RAT MONKEY!)
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To: TurboZamboni

Reality is not so far off of what you suggest.

13 posted on 12/14/2012 10:13:27 AM PST by marktwain
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To: marktwain

lets see,

licenses are recognized in all 50 states.

advanced licenses are given for more advanced tests.

there is ZERO discretion for deny a license to a law abiding citizen.

you can carry your license ANYWHERE.


14 posted on 12/14/2012 10:16:30 AM PST by longtermmemmory (VOTE! and
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To: marktwain

When did cars become a constitutionally protected right?

15 posted on 12/14/2012 10:27:42 AM PST by Steamburg (The contents of your wallet is the only language Politicians understand.)
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To: Gaffer
2nd only to free speech and right to assembly

I don't believe the order of the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution (the Bill of Rights) is indicative of their relative importance.

Congress' September 25, 1789, joint resolution contained twelve amendments; however, the states ratified only the last ten of the proposed twelve.

The 'first' amendment voted on by the states involved a method to determine the number of people that each U.S. Representative would represent. The 'second' amendment prohibited a sitting Congress from increasing its pay; the amendment was not ratified in 1789, but was ratified as the 27th amendment in 1992.

Our current First and Second Amendments are first and second only because the first and second proposed amendments to the Constitution were not ratified.

16 posted on 12/14/2012 10:57:29 AM PST by Scoutmaster (You knew the job was dangerous when you took it)
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To: Scoutmaster

Okay. Yet they are numbered. C

17 posted on 12/14/2012 11:15:59 AM PST by Gaffer
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To: marktwain

Why not leave guns and cars alone and regulate politicians?

18 posted on 12/14/2012 2:36:47 PM PST by DPMD
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Why not leave guns and cars alone and regulate politicians?

Yes, that is the whole idea of the Constitution. We need to restore it, and the idea of limited government.

19 posted on 12/14/2012 3:58:14 PM PST by marktwain
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*******Are these people for real*****

No they are not able to think and are stupid on top of that. Don't even know the constitution, as its not taught, the schools need dumb people, they make dumb citizens..

20 posted on 12/14/2012 5:55:22 PM PST by goat granny
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