Little know gun facts and laws

A recent letter regarding gun control was off point. Apparently, the writer doesn’t have a full understanding of all the applicable facts and laws.

Every citizen in the State of North Carolina that is age 17 and over are members of the NC militia. Membership in the North Carolina militia is outlined in NC General Statute Chapter 127A. The applicable part is NC GS 127A-7, Composition of unorganized militia.

On the federal level every male citizen age 17 and under age 45 is a member of the United States militia. Section 311 of the U.S. Code Title 10 (last amended in 1958) provides the explanation of the requirements.

As to the type of guns we should have, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled again on this on March 18, 2008: “Some have made the argument, bordering on the frivolous, that only those arms in existence in the 18th century are protected by the Second Amendment. We do not interpret constitutional rights that way. Just as the First Amendment protects modern forms of communications, e.g., Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union, 521 U. S. 844, 849 (1997), and the Fourth Amendment applies to modern forms of search, e.g., Kyllo v. United States, 533 U. S. 27, 35-36 (2001), the Second Amendment extends, prima facie, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding.”

As to what the Founding Fathers thought George Washington address this in his “First Annual Address to Congress on Jan. 8, 1790, in paragraph 4 which states the following: “A free people ought not only to be armed but disciplined; to which end a uniform and well-digested plan is requisite; and their safety and interest require that they should promote such manufactories as tend to render them independent of others for essential, particularly military, supplies.” He considered military supplies as essential.

Based on Washington’s comment and the requirement that all citizens are part of a militia each citizen should have access to military style firearms such as a rifle and a pistol.

Florida State University criminologist Professor Gary Kleck published the comprehensive study on the use of defensive arms by American citizens. He concluded the American people use a gun in defense of themselves and others over two million times a year.

Ray Shamlin

Rocky Mount