Scandinavia and the World

Comments #9822658:


Gunslinger 29 9, 1:57am

In the United States gun culture, it is not uncommon for children as young as five years old to be gifted with firearms on birthdays or holidays, although usually just small .22 rifles and such when they are that young. I got my first "hunting rifle" when I was thirteen, although saying it was "mine" is a bit of poetic license. It had been my father's when he was a boy, and later when I got a better rifle it got handed down to my brother.

What this story does not explain is that none of these firearms actually belong to the child. Legally they belong to the adult who purchased them. At least today. Back in the day when my Dad first got his rifle, such things were never registered or anything. There were no records on ownership or transfer of weapons back in the 1950's. But even back then ownership did not vest in a child, but rather in their parents (or possibly, as in my case, Grandparents.)

For that matter, my "better" rifle was a war souvenir that my Grandfather brought back from Germany in the late 1940's and had converted into a hunting rifle. There are no ownership records of it anywhere, except in my book of records and serial numbers.

These days in the United States ownership of firearms is usually a matter of record with the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms based on the background check you filled out when you bought it. However, outside of official sales there may not be any record, and in some states there are few records kept even by the stores that sell them. Private sales in some states are regulated and some are not. It's confusing and problematic, and I'm not going to defend our system which I (as a firearms owner) find to be woefully inadequate to protect the public from those who should not have access to firearms.