Monday, March 25, 2013

Supreme Court Justice Warren E. Burger on Gun Control


The Right To Bear Arms

A distinguished citizen takes a stand on one of the most controversial issues in the nation

By Warren E. Burger, Chief Justice of the United States (1969-86)
Parade Magazine, January 14, 1990, page 4

If we are to stop this mindless homicidal carnage, is it unreasonable:
  1. to provide that, to acquire a firearm, an application be made reciting age, residence, employment and any prior criminal convictions?
  2. to required that this application lie on the table for 10 days (absent a showing for urgent need) before the license would be issued?
  3. that the transfer of a firearm be made essentially as with that of a motor vehicle?
  4. to have a "ballistic fingerprint" of the firearm made by the manufacturer and filed with the license record so that, if a bullet is found in a victim's body, law enforcement might be helped in finding the culprit?
These are the kind of questions the American people must answer if we are to preserve the "domestic tranquillity" promised in the Constitution.

1 comment:

  1. Is it unreasonable? Yes.

    1. Only one of those items really matters. Age only is important if we're specifying the age of majority.

    2. It's not clear if he means a license to carry or to own. I'd be happy if a license to carry were issued in ten days. In many places, ten months is possible. But waiting periods only make sense to give the background check time, and with computers today, that's unnecessary.

    3. It basically already is. If I tow a car to your property, I can sell it to you without all the red tape. The government only gets involved if you want to drive the vehicle off your land. I question even that much regulation, but I also note that the Constitution specifically protects firearms.

    4. Ballistic fingerprinting is a fantasy. The world isn't like a CBS crime show. Machine parts and rifling change over time, and swapping out a barrel on a semiautomatic pistol is simple. States that require fingerprinting of guns before sale have shown little to no effect in solving crimes.