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Article published January 12, 2013
Similar rules needed
Susan M. Stephenson Slippery Rock Borough
Some aspects of state law seem inconceivably incongruous, particularly when it comes to guns and their regulation when compared with the state’s regulation of motor vehicles. A person must be at least 16 to operate a vehicle, whether it’s with a licensed driver or without, but not to fire a gun. A person must pass a licensing test in order to drive and may under certain circumstances be required to retake portions of the test, but not to fire a gun. A person will be ticketed, prosecuted and have his driver’s license suspended for operating a vehicle under the influence, but not necessarily when firing a gun. A person who has been diagnosed with specified medical/mental conditions must be reported to the licensing bureau by the physician, but not to fire and/or own a gun. A person must have every vehicle owned titled as well as annually register it, have it pass inspection, and maintain insurance, but not in order to own a gun. A person, when moving into a new state, must surrender his or her Pennsylvania driver’s license and plates and replace them with the new state’s within 30 days, but not his guns. In 2010, the Centers for Disease Control reported in its annual vital statistics report that 34,485 people died as a result of motor vehicle accidents; 31,347 died as the result of firearms. The CDC’s preliminary data for 2011 have begun to indicate that deaths by firearms are overtaking deaths by motor vehicles. Can anyone explain why gun owners and users are not held to the same standard as those who own and drive vehicles? Can anyone explain why it is repulsive to gun owners to even consider being required to register their guns and be licensed to use them?