In the wake of senseless domestic terrorism like the one we saw today in Las Vegas, Japan often becomes an example of how gun control can lead to a drop in gun violence. Take any year in recent history and Japan’s gun deaths per year are but a tiny fraction of the U.S.
One common misconception though is that guns are banned in Japan. This however, is not entirely true. Most guns are illegal but shotguns and rifles are not. They’re just really hard to get. And why shouldn’t they? It’s only common sense that guns, with their potential to deliver fatality simply by the movement of a finger, should be tightly regulated. And citizens should expect nothing less from their country.
From the Atlantic, here a few basic things you have to do in Japan before being allowed to own a death machine:
To get a gun in Japan, first, you have to attend an all-day class and pass a written test, which are held only once per month. You also must take and pass a shooting range class [and score 95% or higher]. Then, head over to a hospital for a mental test and drug test (Japan is unusual in that potential gun owners must affirmatively prove their mental fitness), which you’ll file with the police. Finally, pass a rigorous background check for any criminal record or association with criminal or extremist groups, and you will be the proud new owner of your shotgun or air rifle. Just don’t forget to provide police with documentation on the specific location of the gun in your home, as well as the ammo, both of which must be locked and stored separately. And remember to have the police inspect the gun once per year and to re-take the class and exam every three years.
There’s also the cost associated with owning a gun in Japan. This site estimates that it costs roughly 69,300 yen, or about $613 simply to become certified. It will cost you another $500 to purchase a used rifle and also another $500 for the required accessories like gun and bullet lockers.