Being able to own a gun is the right of every law-abiding citizen. However, all rights come with certain responsibilities. Rights can be abused and cause problems if not used properly. People cause all kinds of issues with their free speech, after all, because they don’t use them responsibly.
In many states, there’s no training requirement to get a firearm, nor should there be. However, there is an implied obligation for each firearm owner to learn not just his or her rights, but also his or her responsibilities.
In Mississippi, local police in one town have started working to make it much easier to find the information.
The Marion Police Department has partnered with local law enforcement and gun stores to inform the public about everything surrounding gun ownership.
“I feel like we do need to educate the public and we need to keep ourselves educated on these laws also,” Marion Police Chief Randall Davis said.
The class is called “Firearm Responsibilities and Rights” and will take place at the Shriners Building in Marion on Thurs, Sept. 23.
Chief Davis said it’s all about making sure new gun owners and those thinking about getting a gun are well informed.
There’s no cost to the public for this class.
Now, part of me would be concerned about this if gun stores weren’t part of this effort. While not all gun store owners really respect people’s Second Amendment rights–ironic, I know, but I’ve seen too many advocate for gun control to think otherwise–the vast majority do. Them being part of this means the information given is far less likely to be driven by anti-gun politics or police convenience.
While many police officers are pro-Second Amendment, others do prefer it if rights shifted until their jobs became as easy as possible. I don’t think gun stores would be a party to that kind of thing.
Instead, I suspect it’ll be a good discussion of gun laws and yes, your responsibilities as a gun owner. I expect attendees will hear that they should lock their guns up when not in use, since that tends to be the responsible thing to do, even if it’s not the law (nor should it become a law).
They’ll likely also learn about Mississippi’s Stand Your Ground law and about other times they can use lethal force to defend themselves and others. That’s useful information, and far better than what they’ll learn just talking to their buddies, most of whom won’t actually know what the hell they’re talking about, most likely.
In light of the influx of new gun owners, this is a sound idea and a good use of the department’s resources, in my opinion. It’s a use of resources other departments should try to emulate. Especially since it may prevent all kinds of additional work for the department later on because people did things with their guns they thought were legal, only to find out the hard way that they weren’t.
Marion, Mississippi is on the right path with this one.