This post originally appeared on March 3, 2018.

The United States has minimal requirements for buying a gun. Although some cities restrict gun ownership, guns are readily available in most states and at gun shows and on the Internet. A purchaser might buy a gun in less than an hour.

Other countries have established high barriers to gun ownership. It is possible to buy a gun but not easy.


1. Join a hunting or shooting club.

2. Take a firearm class and pass a written exam, which is held up to three times a year.

3. Get a doctor’s note saying you are mentally fit and do not have a history of drug abuse.

4. Apply for a permit to take firing training, which may take up to a month.

5. Describe in a police interview why you need a gun.

6. Pass a review of your criminal history, gun possession record, employment, involvement with organized crime groups, personal debt and relationships with friends, family and neighbors.

7. Apply for a gunpowder permit.

8. Take a one-day training class and pass a firing test.

9. Obtain a certificate from a gun dealer describing the gun you want.

10. Buy a gun safe and an ammunition locker that meet safety regulations.

11. Allow the police to inspect your gun storage.

12. Pass an additional background review.

13. Buy a gun.

Japan has the lowest rate of gun homicides in the world.


After the Port Arthur Massacre in 1996, where a man methodically killed 35 random people and injured many more at a popular tourist site, Australia made it more difficult to get a gun. Gun ownership is a privilege, not a right.

1. Join and regularly attend a hunting or shooting club, or document that you’re a collector.

2. Complete a course on firearm safety and operation, and pass a written test and practical assessment.

3. Arrange firearm storage that meets safety regulations.

4. Pass a review that considers criminal history, domestic violence, restraining orders and arrest history. Authorities may also interview your family and community members.

5. Apply for a permit to acquire a specific type of weapon.

6. Wait at least 28 days.

7. Buy the specific type of gun you received a permit for.

The article in the New York Times describes the gun laws in 13 other countries.

Those who mistakenly claim that the Second Amendment protects their unlimited right to buy any kind of gun ignore the fact that Congress banned assault weapons from 1994-2004. Before the ban was passed, it was endorsed by former Presidents Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford, and Jimmy Carter.