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News Opinion

Let state militias regulate firearms ownership

It is clear from the Second Amendment that the actual purpose of ensuring the availability of firearms is to permit the state to maintain a "well regulated militia" — not a loose rabble of gun owners who might decide to form one when they deem it necessary, and certainly not some private militia with its own agenda that may not be consistent with the will of the people.

It seems that any attempt at effective gun control is immediately opposed by those purporting to be willing to volunteer as state militia troops. So why not require states to establish and regulate such militias in a manner consistent with responsible gun ownership?

Want to own a firearm that goes beyond the handgun, hunting rifle or shotgun already guaranteed by the Supreme Court? No problem. Sign up with your state militia, demonstrate to them that you are a sane, responsible individual and be recertified on that basis by militia authorities every three years or so.

Beyond that, let the individual states determine how regulated their militia should be. If people fail to be recertified, they should lose the right to own weapons. And if one state doesn't establish reciprocity with others, the right to transport firearms across state lines would be curtailed.

This shouldn't be as difficult as everyone seems to make it out if we will just get away from paranoid fears and try a rational approach.

Dave West, Baltimore

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