Our goals are moderate, achievable, and urgently needed.
Despite the political stalemate over guns in America, Metro IAF believes it is possible to:
- Significantly reduce the number of firearms-related deaths, injuries and crimes in America.
- Safeguard the ability of law-abiding Americans to own firearms for personal use.
- Modernize and stabilize the U.S. gun industry.
These goals can be accomplished not through regulation alone – though sensible gun regulation is critical and overwhelmingly supported across the nation. Market action will be the primary driving force: smart, forward-looking decision-making by major players in the firearms marketplace – manufacturers, investors and major gun purchasers.
Through market action, and limited legislative action, we believe the following changes in the gun industry should be pursued by all parties:
1. Dealer Networks That Manufacturers Can Be Proud Of
When a gun is used in a crime, that is a problem for a community. It should also be a problem for the manufacturer of that gun. But because of the blanket legal immunity given to the gun industry by Congress, it doesn’t much matter to SIG Sauer or Beretta or Glock or Smith & Wesson if their guns routinely end up at crime scenes, or if they do business with dealers who routinely “lose” weapons or sell to straw buyers. It SHOULD matter! It should be a life-and-death matter to those manufacturers, just as it is in the communities that suffer the consequences. And we believe it WILL matter when gun purchasers – public-sector agencies as well as individuals – become more knowledgeable about manufacturers’ distribution practices. Gun manufacturers should be evaluated based on the quality of their dealer networks. More than a decade ago, ATF data showed that 58% of guns recovered by police at crime scenes in America were sold by about 1% of the dealers. Any manufacturer continuing to sell their products through these bad-apple dealers will have a hard time convincing law enforcement that they are worthy suppliers of police guns. (The Pentagon, at least, has procedures to make sure our military suppliers aren’t arming our adversaries as well. Police need the same protection.)
2. Smarter, Safer Guns
Anyone who tells you it’s impossible to make a child-proof gun in the age of the iPhone isn’t looking at the subject objectively. Anyone who tells you smart-gun technology is far from market-ready is recycling talking points from the 1990s. A variety of smart-gun technologies have been independently validated; some are on the market now. Anyone who tells you smart guns are a government conspiracy to gain remote electronic control over the nation’s stock of firearms is, in their own way, just standing idly by while their neighbors’ blood is shed. A “smart gun” is a gun that can only be fired by an authorized user. There are a variety of viable technologies for accomplishing this. The manufacturers that can bring these technologies to market at an affordable price will reap the benefits of an expanded market and may prevent the next Sandy Hook or Albertville.
Many other improvements in the industry can be made in order to make America safer. The key to these changes is to get the major market players to act, rather than standing comfortably by.