By: Rodolfo “Rudy” Pérez, Leesburg News Writer
Another school tragedy has occurred in our nation. This one seems to have hit us harder than any other before since it was elementary school children that suffered at the hands of firearms. This terrible tragedy has once again brought gun control into a topic for discussion. Do we need more gun control? The answer is simple, yes.
If you purchase a firearm at any gun store, the gun store is required by law to do a back ground check to ensure that you have no criminal record or mental disabilities and then, if you qualify, register the firearm under your name. For some reason however, gun shows are exempted from this requirement. This is where our first step needs to be taken as 40 percent of firearms are sold at gun shows.
Registration is the second step. In the state of Florida, Registration of a firearm is mandatory when purchased from a gun store, but if you purchase a firearm from your friend, it is not. This means you legally own the firearm, but it is still registered to the previous owner. This is the number one way criminals get guns and it needs to stop. If we require all firearms to be registered to their owners, it would make it much more difficult for criminals to get firearms in the first place.
For example, if person A sells a friend a gun without the proper registration transfer to person B who has a felony on his record, and person B commits a crime with the gun, now person A can be held accountable for giving a firearm to a criminal, person B, in the first place. If person A would have gone through the proper registration transfer, the gun shop doing the registration transfer would inform person A that person B is not allowed to own a gun and he cannot sell his gun to him.
Next is firearm courses; the state of Florida require you to take a firearm safety course when applying for a concealed weapons license, not to purchase a firearm. So we are required to have a firearm safety course to carry a gun but not to buy one. Does that make sense? We need to start requiring firearm safety courses for anyone who is purchasing a firearm for the first time. This can help prevent many tragedies because many gun owners are unaware of the proper way to lock up or hide a firearm from children. These courses can teach gun owners the proper steps to prevent children from getting access to their firearms.
These are but a few steps that can be taken to prevent loss of life and many more can be taken. I personally would not oppose a required psychological test before purchasing a firearm, but other may consider that extreme. We need to stop over reacting thinking the government will ban all guns. The right to bear arms is a right we will never lose. Gun control laws are necessary to make it harder for criminals to get firearms, not to stop civilian from owning firearms.