Countries Where Firearm Ownership is Legal
The Countries who Protect the Right to Bear a Firearm. What countries allow firearm ownership? What restrictions each country implements towards owning a firearm?
The Second Amendment Concerning Firearm Ownership
Gun ownership in the United States is rooted in the Second Amendment of the Constitution: “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” In a lineup of global countries, the U.S. was ranked as number one when looking at firearms per capita.
The United States
Gun ownership in the U.S. still has regulations, though. There are state governed regulations that must be upheld. There are bans on certain types of weapons without vetted and rigorous licenses. There are also people in the United States who are prohibited from owning a firearm. A few people among the lists of those who cannot own a firearm in the U.S. are criminals, minors who are under the age of eighteen, and those who have been dishonorably discharged from military services. There are also regulations that require background checks for unlicensed individuals looking to buy a gun.
In the United States, the federal law has overarching regulations that all U.S. citizens must obey. They gave each state the right to have specific firearm regulations. For example, if you live in the state of Montana, you do not even need a permit to conceal carry, while if you live in New York, you are required to have a license to possess a pistol.
Living in the United States gives you so many liberties and freedoms. Following state and federal regulations, you can own a wide range of firearms. There are not even federal laws banning semi automatic assault weapons with the proper licensing. But what does gun ownership look like for the rest of the world?
After the Hungerford Massacre, new amendments were made in the United Kingdom in regards to firearms.
- Semi Automatic Rifles were banned.
- Increased Regulations were placed on firearms.
- Handguns were banned (with a few exceptions.)
- A gun buyback program came into effect which took back tens of thousands of firearms out of circulation.
Firearm ownership is different in Canada. They have three categories for firearms.
- Non Restricted Weapons: These are ordinary firearms. Examples could include rifles or shotguns.
- Restricted Weapons: Handguns and semi automatic rifles would fall under the restricted category in Canada. Shotguns are even restricted weapons.
- Prohibited: The prohibited firearms are any firearms that are fully automatic. It is illegal to own one in Canada. The only exceptions are fully automatic weapons registered before 1978.
Major gun reforms came into effect following a 1989 tragedy that killed fourteen students and injured many more. There are now mandatory safety training courses, detailed background checks, many bans on large munitions and military style firearms, and a twenty-eight day waiting period for purchases.
The regulations in Australia prohibit automatic and semi automatic assault rifles. This is under the National Agreement on Firearms. It also started the mandate for licensing and registration of all firearms which was followed by a gun buyback program that took approximately 650,000 firearms out of circulation. This was all after the wake of a 1996 massacre that killed thirty-five people. The National Agreement on Firearms also requires owners to demonstrate a need for a particular type of gun and in order to get licenses, Australians are required to pass a firearm safety course.
This is the least anti-gun country in Central America. You can carry a concealed gun if you own it legally without a permit! Fully automatic guns are still illegal here.
- There are no magazine capacity restrictions.
- Tourists do not have gun rights.
- Semi automatic rifles are legal.
- Handguns are allowed and you may conceal carry without a permit.
Norway is ranked number fourteen for gun ownership according to a Small Arms Survey.
Norway is similar to other countries, and it requires a “valid reason” in order to own a firearm. You must be at least eighteen in order to own. Semi Automatic weapons are prohibited.
Gun ownership changed after the fall of the Soviet Union. According to studies, the Czech Republic’s top three recreational hobbies include soccer, hockey and shooting.
- You do not need to declare a “reasonable reason” in order to own a firearm.
- They allow concealed carry permits.
- Czech law supports the right to self-defense.
- Background checks are required.
- Every shotgun type is required to be registered.
- With a permit, you can own a semi automatic rifle.
Many people in Israel have indirect access to firearms. It is not the same as owning a firearm in the U.S., however. The access to a firearm is due to being a soldier or a relative of a soldier. Most eighteen year olds are drafted into military service in Israel. This is mandatory.
After your years of service, if you choose to discharge, you must follow the gun regulations.
- You must demonstrate genuine need to carry. (Hunting or self defense)
- All firearms must be registered with the government.
- Assault weapons are prohibited.
- To gain a permit, you must either speak Hebrew or be an Israeli.
- You must be twenty-seven before owning a firearm if you did not serve in the military.
- You must be twenty-one before owning a firearm if you serve.
Anywhere you travel, be alert. Even if gun ownership is illegal, that does not mean that others are without a gun. Fortunately, though, we live in the land of the brave and the home of the free. We have the right to bear arms. A right we need to continually fight to defend. Because,
“those who are willing to break the laws against murder do not care about the regulation of firearms, and will get a hold of weapons whether doing so is legal or not.” So let’s continue the conversations. We can’t be silent. The right to bear arms is non negotiable.