Thomas Oatway: Paying for gun violence security

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor

Let’s us first assume that ownership of military-style assault weapons like the AR-15 is not protected as a 2nd Amendment right, since it does not qualify as contributing to a “well-regulated militia.” And just like access to high-level security information, we should insist that access to such weapons be well regulated.

Facing the unfortunate fact that there are as many as five million of these weapons in the hands of American gun owners, with perhaps 40 percent not purchased with any kind of background check, the challenge is to provide the necessary school security, and pay for it.

I submit that the total cost of the extra security should be paid by the gun manufacturers, sales outlets, and owners of AR-15 type weapons.
Just like a security clearance form (SF86), all owners of such weapons must be mandated to fill out a special registration form that includes detailed personal information, including a Social Security number or Tax ID.

This will enable a background check for criminal history and mental health. Gun owners must be required to re-register each weapon, provide an ID number for the gun, disclose where and when they purchased the weapon, and pay a $500 per weapon security fee to their state government.

This fee, like a vehicle license fee, can help pay for the increased school security that is required to protect our innocent children from potential mass murderers.
All sellers will also be assessed this $500 fee, along with an equal assessment to be paid by the original manufacturer. The idea is: You caused the problem; now you pay for the solution.

Each gun owner who does not pass the background re-check must return his weapon to the gun sales outlet or individual seller, for a full refund of the original purchase cost.

If not returned, the gun owner can be prosecuted, and his weapons confiscated. Failure to register an assault weapon, or providing false information on the security background form, will make owners subject to a $10,000 fine and six months in prison.

Finally, every assault weapon owner must file his federal and state income taxes with a 1099 type form and pay a $1 per day ($365 per year) fee for the privilege of owning the weapons in the tax year.

The registration fees, revenues from gun sellers, and the individual tax assessment shall be used by state, local, and federal government to provide the extra security needed to protect our children and citizens from a weapon of war that has no legitimate purpose in society other than law enforcement.

By allocation of the societal security costs to the manufacture, sale, and ownership of assault-style weapons, we can expect that citizens will be safer, and assault weapon sales will dry up.

An additional benefit will be that a cash cow for the NRA and gun lobbyists will dry up and the stranglehold exerted on our political representatives will finally end.

Thomas Oatway

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