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Automatic weapons: our neighborhood’s weapon of mass destruction

By Adam Hollier

My grandfather always said gun laws only affect law-abiding citizens, but that sentiment was before shows like Discovery Channel’s “Future Weapons” or the millions of other television programming and Web sites that teach weapon modification or creation.

We can all agree that the right to bear and keep arms is undeniable. We can also agree that a state’s right to regulate the sale and use of those weapons is equally well established. But if we eliminate the bad actors in business we can save lives.

According to Professor Daniel Webster of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Center for Gun Policy and Research, 1 percent of gun dealers sold 57 percent of guns later used in crime.

I propose Michigan hold firearms sellers accountable for the sales of all weapons designed for military use with exclusive offensive applications. I propose requiring three things. First, all sellers of firearms should be licensed by the state like barbers, nail technicians and the countless other professions regulated by the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (MDLRA). Second, the state should require a higher level of licensing for dealers who sell assault weapons, grenades and other weapons specifically manufactured for offensive maneuvers. Third, a state-run Web site should provide notice two days prior to the sale of any weapon classified as an offensive weapon by the (MDLRA) — all assault rifles and automatic weapons must be included on this list.

I firmly believe these reforms will make sellers of firearms more conscious of the responsibility they have to ensure their next sale does not result in the deaths of dozens of innocent people.

Licensing all firearms sellers is a simple, common sense solution to a very real problem. When a deranged individual walks into a movie theater and kills 12 people and wounds more than 70, the world wants to have a conversation about these weapons, but every day similar numbers of our youth, particularly in inner cities, are killed by guns because it’s too easy to acquire firearms, especially automatic and semi-automatic weapons.

The world community is constantly after Iran to see if they have or are attempting to develop weapons of mass destruction. I submit that these weapons are weapons of mass destruction on our neighborhoods and should people choose to exercise their constitutional right to keep and bear them, tthere should be regulation and documentation on every individual and the type of weapon(s) they own.

This disclosure policy would apply only to weapons specifically used as offensive weapons. I hope the Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun Owners, National Rifle Association and other organizations who want to promote responsible gun ownership come to the table as we create a standard for our community that puts the protection of lives first.

Adam Hollier is a candidate for Michigan state representative in the newly drawn District 4.

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