These days, it’s popular to call for treating guns like cars. We should license owners, register the guns and require insurance.
So let’s look at the reality of doing that. We’re going to make the requirements for buying and owning a gun exactly the same as those for a motor vehicle.
Let’s start with buying a gun. No background checks, no Form 4473, no license, no insurance. A state-issued ID card and perhaps a Social Security number along with the cash to make the purchase and ensure the gun is properly titled.
You don’t need a driver’s license, or license plates or insurance to own a car. You only need those things if you wish to operate your motor vehicle on public roads. So if the only place your gun will ever be is your home or your property, you don’t need those things, either.
But how does one get the gun from the place of purchase to the home? Have someone deliver it, of course. Probably won’t need a flatbed truck or a tow, but anyone with a permit and insurance can deliver it.
But just as most people want to drive their car to different places, let’s say you want to be able to take your gun with you. So you take the required education course, demonstrate proficiency to a state official and get your permit.
You now need insurance. Of course, the insurance rates are going to be based on the risk faced by the insurer but it probably won’t be too bad. No underwriter is going to issue a policy that covers criminal acts and the insurance company is going to be very sure to put that in writing. That leaves them on the hook for accidents but that’s not all that much of a risk. After all, there were 128 times has many injuries and 81 times as many deaths from motor vehicle accidents as there were from accidental gunshots in 2016 so the insurance company’s exposure is far less. Gun liability insurance should be pretty cheap. Maybe there will even be discounts for multiple-gun policies.
Of course, there will be more expensive insurance for high-powered guns, say a .50-caliber Browning machine gun or for those with a few minor blemishes on their records.
Then it’s time to head down to the county clerk, the Department of Guns or whatever agency is issuing registrations. Once again, no background check. After a few hours in line, you show your title, pay your money and walk out with your permit or perhaps a little sticker you can put on your gun.
Now you and your gun are good to go in every state in the union. Better than that, you can now use any legally registered and insured gun from any state. You can rent a gun when you arrive at an airport. You can walk down the sidewalk on any street, in any town. No need to hide your completely legal gun so perhaps a bit of bling is in order. Something like a Colt .45 pistol with a bright finish and some nice grips. Just the thing for strolling down Fifth Avenue or Rodeo Drive!
So, yes, let’s treat guns like cars. Exactly like cars.
We’ll make millions of gun owners very happy.