Citation(s) from the GunPolicy.org literature library

Newton, George D and Franklin E Zimring. 1969 ‘Firearm Licensing: Permissive v Restrictive.’ Firearms & Violence in American Life: A staff report submitted to the National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence, p. 83. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office. 1 January

Relevant contents

Firearm Licensing: Permissive v Restrictive

Licensing laws that allow all but the prohibited categories of persons to acquire guns can be called permissive, since most people are able to meet licensing requirements. Before an applicant can be denied a licence or a firearm owner's identification card, the administering agency must show that the applicant is a member of one of the prohibited groups… *

Another approach to firearms control is restrictive licensing. Under such a system a person seeking to buy a firearm, typically a handgun, must provide the licensing authority with evidence of good character and have a valid reason why he needs the firearm.

In restrictive licensing, the presumption used in permissive systems is reversed: the applicant must give a sufficient reason for allowing him to have a gun rather than the licensing authority being required to show a reason for denying the request. Instead of saying "all but…" members of the prohibited classes may possess firearms, the restrictive system provides that "nobody but…" those who are specifically approved may possess the firearms covered by the system.

Restrictive licensing attempts to reduce firearms violence by substantially reducing the number of firearms in circulation…

[*As examples of prohibited groups, Newton & Zimring refer to underage children, convicted felons and drug abusers].

ID: Q22

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