Is this the sort of sensible gun control that we'd have if Matthew McConaughey was in charge?
I'd love your thoughts, ideas, and suggestions. I'll keep updating this list as Matt and I think on the subject more.
Matt McConaughey called on Congress to pass sensible gun control legislation today.1 Here is what I imagine the actor would call for if he was in charge (at least if he was me and I was in charge):
Age Requirements to Purchase & Possess: The minimum age to buy and possess a firearm of any type should be 21. Exceptions to this rule include anyone who serves in the armed forces, law enforcement, or private security. Additionally, anyone 18-21 should be allowed to buy and possess a firearm of any type if they complete and pass an approved training and screening program and receive written permission from two members of their family over 21 and two unrelated members of the community over 40.
Limitations on Type/Configuration of Firearms: In the event, Congress passes legislation regulating the features and function of firearms (caliber, magazine size, barrel length, bump stocks, etc) those limitations must be applied equally to all non-military firearm uses. The limitations must apply to federal and state law enforcement, private security, and civilians equally - police should not be able to possess firearms that civilians are prohibited from possessing.
Background Checks: Requirements that all firearm dealers conduct an FBI background check should be applied to private sellers through the use of a simple mobile app. Every American should be able to enter details of a potential buyer into an app that accesses the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS)2. If the buyer is approved the transaction can be completed - everyone I know wants to make sure they’re selling their firearm to a law-abiding buyer. Since 1998 1.7 million people have attempted to buy a gun unlawfully and were caught by NICS.3 Unfortunately, the Department of Justice almost NEVER prosecutes these attempts. The DoJ should establish guidelines requiring US Attornies to prosecute individuals attempting to illegally buy firearms under specific circumstances.
Gun-Free Zones: The federal government should ONLY enact prohibitions on gun possession on federal property.4 State and local authorities should be able to determine where and when their citizens can carry firearms.
Ban on Red Flag Laws: Today federal law prevents anyone from possessing a firearm if they have been voluntarily or involuntarily treated for a psychiatric condition in the last six months. If the state believes someone suffers from a mental illness serious enough to deprive them of their right to bear arms they should involuntarily commit them to a psychiatric treatment facility, seize their firearms, and report the commitment to the NICS. Alternatively, the state can charge the individual with a crime carrying a sentence of over one year in jail, seize their firearms, and report the indictment to the NICS. Presumably, the rights of the firearm owner can best be protected by the criminal justice system - not the ‘opinion’ of someone that they shouldn’t own firearms. At the end of the day, I suspect most Democrats think Republicans shouldn’t own guns.