Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A look at Austrian and German gun laws

From Handguns Magazine, an article by attorney Don Kates on German and Austrian gun laws:
For generations, anti-gun fanatics have been claiming that Europe has highly restrictive gun control and low murder rates. Well, the latter is true, but European gun laws are not necessarily stricter than ours (or even as restrictive). They are just different.

German and Austrian murder rates are generally the lowest in Europe--about 50 percent lower than those of gun-banning England. So let's compare German and Austrian gun laws to ours.
So it is true that there are many differences between the gun laws of the U.S. and those of Germany and Austria, but the latter are not more restrictive. Indeed, sometimes they are less so. To legally possess a gun may involve more red tape. But having a handgun for self-defense is no more impossible.

And getting a permit to carry is far easier than in most of our most populous states. Austria, for instance, has three times more carry licenses than California with its 4.5 times greater population.

Moreover, the U.S. has literally thousands of felonies, many of them for relatively harmless behavior--anti-trust violations, cheating on your taxes, embezzlement or growing pot, for example--and a person convicted of any of them is barred from gun ownership for life. In Austria or Germany they would not be barred at all or, in more serious matters, for no more than 10 years.

Article here.

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