H/T to Joe Huffman linking to an article by Don B. Kates who states:
A few months ago I wrote the facts set out below on how much easier it is to buy guns in Germany, France, Italy etc. than here. Our problem is that gun laws are only obeyed by the law abiding.
Our problem is that gun laws are only obeyed by the law abiding — who never commit serious gun crimes. Those crimes are committed by criminals who do NOT obey our laws:
It is asserted that European nations strictly control guns and so have far less murder than does America. In fact, however, the European nations most restrictive of guns generally have murder rates several times higher than the U.S. or European nations that allow guns.
The myth of stringent European gun law reflects ignorance of the European experience: low ordinary violence but political violence far higher than in America. European gun law focuses on political violence. For instance, “military caliber” (9mm parabellum) handguns are banned but other calibers allowed, including many far more powerful ones.
Americans may have military-type rifles because they are suitable for hunting. But in Europe such rifles require (rarely given) special permission.
While American gun laws regulate handguns – because of their use in crime – European laws focus equally or more on rifles, especially on stockpiling of rifles.
Law abiding Americans may own any number of guns, but Europeans are generally limited to fewer than five. European laws regulate semiautomatic guns while American law largely ignores rifles and restricts revolvers equally with pistols.
For Italians, handguns require no permit or waiting period, though registration is required.
Austria does not restrict revolvers; semiautomatic firearms require a permit but ordinary people have a legal right to a handgun for home defense – and permits for concealed carry are issued much more readily (and profusely) than in New York or California.
For the French and Germans, permits are required for most guns but are readily available for home defense. Moreover, in France permits are unneeded for modern copies of pre-1895 designs, i.e., “cowboy guns.”
The draconian D.C laws the Supreme Court invalidated were enacted in 1976 when D.C ranked 15th in murder among large American cities. Under those draconian laws, D.C. murder skyrocketed to #1. (The D.C. laws’ embarrassed sponsors now deny they thought those laws would reduce murder, insisting they were enacted to inspire other cities and states to follow suit).
After the Supreme Court invalidated these laws, KRISTOPHER BAUMANN, Chairman of the D.C. Fraternal Order of Police, commented:
For more than three decades, the District government has relied on the city’s gun ban…. While [it] was in place, there were [still] more than 30,000 registered firearms in the city. Neither the police department nor the U.S. Attorney’s office has any record of a registered gun having been used in the commission of a crime. The problem is not individuals who legally own guns; the problem is criminals….