The American Medical Association has called for far-reaching restrictions on Second Amendment rights, including a ban on so-called “assault weapons,” mandatory training for gun owners and registration of all firearms, and a ban on gun and ammunition possession or purchase by anyone under age 21, PBS reported.
It’s not the first time the AMA has supported gun control measures. It has been a thorny issue for rights advocates, especially physicians who are members of Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership (DRGO), now a project of the Second Amendment Foundation.
Second Amendment activists have taken issue with doctors who push gun control on the argument that so-called “gun violence” is a public health issue. Many gun owners believe physicians should avoid discussing gun safety issues with their patients unless they are certified firearms instructors. When it comes to engaging in gun politics, invariably someone argues that medical mistakes account for more deaths annually than gun-related fatalities.
In a May 2016 article, U.S. News reported that, “Medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the U.S., after heart disease and cancer, causing at least 250,000 deaths every year.” That assertion has been challenged, however.
According to CNN, there are several items on the AMA gun control wish list, including:
• Requiring all gun owners to complete a gun safety course and register all firearms.
• A ban on all “assault-type” weapons, bump stocks and related devices, high-capacity magazines and armor-piercing bullets.
• Supporting laws that prohibit individuals who are under domestic violence restraining orders or who are convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence crime or stalking from possessing or purchasing firearms. (This is already law.)
• Requiring that domestic violence restraining orders and gun violence restraining orders be entered into the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
• Not allowing armed teachers in schools and keeping schools gun-free zones.
• Opposing national concealed carry reciprocity.
• Allowing family members and partners and law enforcement officials to petition courts for gun removal from individuals considered at high risk for violence.
CNN quoted Dr. David Barbe, the immediate past AMA president, who stated, “People are dying of gun violence in our homes, churches, schools, on street corners and at public gatherings, and it’s important that lawmakers, policy leaders and advocates on all sides seek common ground to address this public health crisis.”
That would mean allowing gun rights organizations to have seats at the table.
According to CNN, “It is unknown just how many guns there are in American households today, but it is estimated that 32% to 42% of the country lives in households with guns. Americans own more guns per capita than residents of any other country, according to the CDC. Nearly half of the estimated 650 million guns worldwide are owned by Americans.”
Many in the firearms community say that’s how it should be. It’s none of the AMA’s business how many people own firearms, how many guns are in American households or how they are stored, say gun rights activists, and they maintain it is also none of the government’s business. The argument is that there are only two reasons to register firearms: to tax them or take them.
Meanwhile, the National Shooting Sports Foundation just released import and export data on firearms, comparing March 2018 data with March 2017 figures. According to NSSF, handgun imports are down 4 percent, from 263,833 to 253,354 units. Rifle imports declined 4.1 percent from 49,103 to 47089 units, while shotgun imports were up a startling 45.2 percent from 40,233 to 58,433.