Recommendation For Gun Control And Mental Illness Policy 1
Recommendation for Gun Control and Mental Illness Policy
RECOMMENDATION: Monetary Incentives and Increased Penalties Related To Gun Dealership Compliance
Gun safety is very crucial for a society, although each buyer and owner is expected to use it responsibly, gun dealers have a potential to make streets safer if their sales are done in a systematic and transparent way. President Obamas task force to prevent gun violence recognizes this potential. This paper will focus on this idea to help reduce gun violence. The New York Senators K. Gillibrand and C. E. Schumer while addressing the presidents task force recognized the great role the gun dealers can play to combat illegal guns and also to keep guns out of reach of criminals and the mentally ill. This taskforce proposes strict compliance rules to be followed by all dealers. It focuses on strict rules to be followed by every dealer if he or she wants to continue selling. However, this paper proposes that monetary incentives and increased penalties can be used to make these dealers comply with these regulations.
It is very important to note that the government can encourage the dealers to comply with these rules by the use of incentives. The taskforce proposes strict penalties on dealers who do not comply. The government has been trying to act and prevent the occurrences such as the sandy hook shooting that occurred in an elementary school, and also the recent shooting in New York City that left three police officers dead. (Webster & Vernick, 2013).
The greatest proponents that can work to ensure that there are strict financial penalties for errant gun dealers while still giving incentives to law abiding ones are the legislators, the president and the attorney general. The current proposals that could see the above happening are still in a report of the presidents task force. These proposals need to be passed by the parliament in order to become a law. The president has to accent to it so that it can be used as a law. These proposals gives the attorney general more powers to deal with gun dealers and regulate their activities in an attempt to reduces instances of gun violence in streets, homes and all public places. Another important component of this program is the police, the gun dealers themselves, the local, state and federal government, the judiciary and the general public.
After the passage of the taskforce proposals and the accent by the president, the law will be left to the other components; the FBI will be at the heart of this program as they will be the ones responsible for sharing of information. They will also be the custodians of the information between all the partied involved. This will be so because they are responsible for maintaining the National Instant Background Security Check System. This system will provide the attorney general with the information about errant gun dealers whose licensees should be suspended of the law abiding ones who should be given incentives. Additionally, the records kept by the FBI will also help identify individuals and dealers who supports gun trafficking so that he can take action on them. These should be fined.
The new interagency task force headed by the vice president of the United States Mr. Joseph Bidens proposes strict regulations to govern the availability of guns to the public. It will also work to regulate the types of guns availed, their recipients, their surrender to the government or withdrawal by the same government among other factors when adopted. Additionally, other people such as the New York senators, specialists as well as the general public have also aired their concerns and recommendations to the taskforce. All of them points out to the fact that there should be close coordination of all the above proponents for the common good of the country.
WHAT WILL BE DELIVERED?
The output of this effort should be a more responsible firearm dealership in all runs. Additionally, the number of deaths caused by random shootings on the streets should be reduced. After both houses pass and adopt the taskforces recommendation, the output of this move will be a legal framework on which gun dealers will be regulated more closely.
This will lay foundation on how to deal with firearm dealers, and will also empower various individuals and offices. The attorney general of the US and the Bureau of Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives- abbreviated as (ATF) will be authorized to enforce high limitations, charge threatening financial penalties or even call off licenses from errant dealer. Additionally, corrupt firearm dealers may have their license suspended for half a year of even be slapped with a fine of a sum of US dollars 2,500 per one instance of confirmed violation. This will be happening for the first time in history and is a great move to ensure that guns dont not fall into the hands of murderers. With the same magnitude the government can provide incentives to dealers who comply with all the regulations as well as those who go out of their way to ensure that their activities are lawful. (John F. Kennedy School of Government. Harvard University. Graduate School of Public Administration, 1940).
The tightened rules will require that all the firearm dealers are able to trace their guns, are able to keep all their records secure and do not supply guns to gun traffickers. The attorney general will have power to determine such dealers and punish them appropriately. Additionally he will also keep records and identify dealers who are low risk, who keep their records safe, who track their weapons and do not in any way engage in any activity that would encourage gun trafficking.
Additionally, the new law will ensure that the errant firearms whose licenses have been revoked cannot easily challenge this decision in the court of law. This is because the law has protected this process. On the other hand, for those dealers whose licenses have been revoked wrongfully or unlawfully are also protected by the law. Such dealers appeal against this using judicial review. This will act as adequate deterrent while ant the same time not forcing out lawful dealers out of the market. This will keep the streets and all the civilians safe.
Incentives and more strict punishments will also encourage all the states to provide their lists of prohibited purchasers the national quick check system. This will ensure that people who are prohibited by the federal law from purchasing guns do not access them. It will also make it easier to check and verify the safety of any sale or purchase by checking in the database.
In the year 2008, there was a cross-party Act that was passed called the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2008 also called the public law 110-180. This law set penalties to be charged to states that fail to report people who should not buy firearms under the federal law to the FBI. Although a review of this law in the year 2012 saw the stripping of penalties, it shows how penalties can be very effective in forcing people to comply with laws. Additionally, under this law, it was the responsibility of the attorney general to administer these penalties or even to waive them to states. Incentives to states and institutions that comply with such laws will act to encourage quick compliance. The overall effect of this will be reduced guns in the hands of felons and mentally ill individuals and by far fewer incidences of street shootings.
WHAT ARE THE OUTREACH EFFORTS (Services and Cost)
There are many outreach programs that are run to keep the general public safe. The new approach and also the recommendations of the vice presidents taskforce have also focused sharply on the citizens. It recognizes that some individuals support directly or otherwise the actions of gun traffickers. Others through their actions or positions they hold in the government facilitate the actions of rogue firearm dealers. This makes streets very unsafe. For instance there are some straw buyers who purchase firearms knowing very well that the intention of the real buyer is to commit felony- Straw buyer is a buyer who buys a firearm on behalf of another person.
On the other hand, some straw buyers buy more than one gun and avail them to traffickers. The recommended approach of giving incentives and also strict compliances requirements to dealers should focus on such individuals. The new Act passed to prevent gun trafficking makes it illegal not only to traffic but also to assist in trafficking of guns. It makes it illegal to procure or receive more than one gun where the party receiving discerns or has enough grounds to trust that the guns are or will be used for crime. This law targets the straw purchasers which is a very responsive and decisive move. It is worth noting that straw purchases have been used in the past by some felons to by-pass background checks or to ensure that their names are not in records.
Some corrupt firearm dealers have also utilized this avenue to avail guns to felons. However, the new law reaches out to search people such that they do not go unnoticed. There is a jail term for such individuals and also huge fines. However, the system does not provide an avenue to reward or incentify some individuals, firearm dealers and even straw purchasers who willfuly refuse to use this channel and report such suspicious activities to the authorizes. There should be some means that should reward these people and encourage them to do it again.
Additionally, the new law allows that the investigation for gun laws is not localized. For instance, when a gun crime happens in New York, the local government has been in history restricted to investigate only within their boundary. However, the new law will allow and encourage Trans-boarder investigation and also interstates investigations to net all evil doers. Recently after a police was shoot in New York City, the senator said there was a need for synchronization of gun laws. This happened after an observation that there were very many gun incidences in New York despite having very strict gun laws. The explanation to this is that guns used in committing felonies in such a city come from states with less strict gun laws. Guns used in committing crime in New York come from states such as Washington and other neighbors. Every state has embarked on an outreach program to track traffickers beyond their boarders and make their streets safer (Hupe & Hill, 2012).
Another outreach program that is being carried out by the federal government was informed by the observation that guns used to commit crime started as legal but turn illegal as they continuously change ownership and move from one state top the other. For this reason, every gun buyer should be responsible for used and disposal of his or her firearm. No one should allow their fire arm to pass in to wrong hands. Incentives and stiffer penalties can be very crucial in this instance. Fire arm sellers who ensure that their guns do not end up in the wrong hands and especially through effective tracking should be rewarded. This can work as an incentive for other dealers to follow suit. Additionally, every individual who ensures that his or her firearm does not pass into the wrong hands should be rewarded to incentify others. On the other hand, individuals and firms who fail to do this should be punished according to the law especially through stiff financial penalties.
TIMEFRAME TO PREPARE FOR THE PROGRAM (cf. Outcomes, how long? Why?
The program can and should be formulated as soon as possible. Although it requires much time to be developed for it to function well, it has to be done fast to save the general public and make the streets and other public areas safe. The legislation part should be finalized as soon as possible. Presumably, it should take not more than one year. This will see the attorney general gain a firmer grip on firearm dealers. Additionally, ATF will also be able to regulate this sector well. States will pass their records to the FBI to ease background checks on potential buyers.
Still the FBI should be able to update their records in not more than 2 years so that they have an updated NICS, which should be circulated to all firearm dealers with guidelines on who to sell guns to. When the information flows well, the office of the attorney general will have data and hence will decide on which firearm dealer(s) to crack the whip on. On this recommendation of incentive and also strict compliance penalties, the attorney general will be in a better position to decide which firearm dealer to give financial incentive. On the other hand, he will be in a position to know which seller to give financial penalty in order to streamline their operation.
This should be done soonest, in less than two years for the reasons of public safety. This is bearing in mind that cases of street shootings and also suicides have to stop soonest. The government through the attorney general should impose these strict financial penalties on rogue firearm dealers so that they are forced out of the market soonest and spare the public of more deaths. On the other hand, the law abiding one should be encouraged through the use of financial incentives.
TIMEFRAME FOR RUNNING THE PROGRAM (cf. Outcomes, will it run?)
For any program to be really effective and responsive, it has to run smoothly and show results as soonest. This program as seen in the discussion above may require two to three years for its benefits to be fully realized. However, some results can be or should be realized within the first year. For instance, the law that empowers the attorney general and the ATF, then the FBI updating its records and NICS database.
After this is done, the attorney general is now able to give financial incentives to the law abiding firearm dealers. This can happen well in the first year and should not go into the third year. Within this time, the rogue dealers should also have been identified penalized. As discussed earlier, these penalties should be severe enough to discourage such dealers and literally push them out of the market for the law abiding ones to operate in peace. Additionally, individuals who also go out of their way to ensure that schemes of traffickers and corrupt dealers fail should also be given some financial token to encourage others to follow suit. On the other hand, straw purchasers that re seen to assist the activities of corrupt gun sellers, gun traffickers and other felons should be punished through hefty financial penalties. This will deter others from doing the same in future.
Legal as well as other statutory infrastructure that will make this possible should be formulated soonest. By the end of the third year, this program should have run and served to reduce the number of guns in the wrong hands. In turn, this should have greatly reduced the number of gun incidences in the streets. Since the ultimate aim of this program is to reduce shooting incidences in the streets, it should have been able to greatly achieve this by the end of three years.
WHERE THE PROGRAM WILL BE DELIVERED
San Francisco is a very important crime hotspot in the United States. In the year of 2013, it has experienced the highest crime rate. The murder rate numbered 69 people in every 100,000 people. Rapes and robberies totaled 108 and 3500 respectively. This is a city that requires very effective intervention in order to protect the civilians and their property. It is very important to note that these incidences took place because of the gun use. Research shows that most criminals arrested and convicted were doing it not for the first time. More than 80% of the guns used were sold legally to legitimate buyers but turned illegal as they changed ownership. These purchases were either through straw purchasers or other people who passed their guns to felons (Denney & Allred, 2007).
For the above mentioned reasons, this program should be tried and tested in San Francisco. This will be very crucial as the state government needs to test its efficacy and practically evaluate its limitation. Additionally, this will be very decisive as it will be pretty easy to break the whole program into practical steps that can be reproduced in other cities in the United States to keep the public safe. This program has the potential to systematically push illegal and corrupt firearm dealers out of the market while rewarding the law abiding ones.
It is very important to note that the gravity of crime and its effects would greatly reduce in case the gun laws were strict. Murder, robbery and rape would reduce if guns are removed from the scenery. The class of crime that would remain would be theft and other less fatal forms. Due to the integrated nature of this program, people who assist gun traffickers and get away will be netted and be punished, additionally; straw purchasers who help criminals to attain weapons or those who help felons to keep their records clean will also be punished. This will discourage such activities as such straw-purchasers are taken as criminals in this program.
In the long run, this program will transform firearm dealership into a lawful industry from the current status. Today, some people view this industry as a conduit through which guns reach murderers, rapists and arsonists. This will happen as corrupt players who curry out this shadowy business are weeded out of the industry. At the same time, the law abiding ones will be more established through financial incentives.
In conclusion, human beings are very complex. Any program meant to govern them and their behaviors should not be simple but comprehensive. A simple program to reduce gun incidences such as the existing gun laws cannot be and have been ineffective. Hence, a more complex model that is based on the facts on the ground is very important.
Dealers have to be at the center of gun regulations as they are in contact with buyers of all kinds. However, and sellers who sells to criminals or who do not comply with all the regulations should be pushed out through penalties. The law abiding ones should be recognized with monetary rewards to encourage them to keep up. Moreover, individuals who comply with all the regulations should be recognized. The errant ones should be fined accordingly. This program will work to correct the mistakes of the previous model and is still flexible enough to be corrected and developed further to cater for the future changes.