AGAINST "GUN TOTING."The International Association of Police Chiefs, in convention at Detroit, adopted a number of resolutions embodying some very timely suggestions that are worthy of consideration by the lawmaking authorities of the different states and cities. One of these was an appeal urging the president, congress, the governors and the legislatures of different states to enact a uniform law governing the manufacture and sale of deadly weapons. It was recited by the chiefs that the adoption of such a system of uniformity of regulation of this traffic in firearms would not only be of great aid In leading to the detection of criminals, but would result In even better service as a preventive of crime.
The proposition of the police chiefs is not new, but it has too long failed to attract the attention it deserves. Texas, we believe, is the only state that has a law, licensing the sale of firearms and requiring a registration of purchasers. The law has been in force but a short time and its results are not yet generally known. Some cities have a license system, requiring dealers to keep a record of the purchasers of firearms, Just as druggists are required to keep a record of the sales of poison. Chief of Police Shippy of Chicago is authority for the statement that the plan has worked admirably and has already been the means of capturing several murderers through the records kept by dealers.
No reasonable argument has been offered against the enactment of such legislation as that recommended by the police chiefs. The man who has a valid reason for carrying a revolver is not injured by having the fact made a matter of record. The man who carries a revolver without ample reason for it, the protection of life or property, is a dangerous character and his possession of the firearm should be open to the knowledge of the police authorities. There is less need than ever before in this country for carrying weapons of defense, and the man who habitually carries a "gun" practically admits an ulterior motive against the consummation of which society has a right to every possible protection.
In the absence of federal and state legislation on the subject--always a tedious process there is reason for general adoption by cities of the Chicago plan of regulating the traffic by ordinance. The fee to be paid by dealers may be made merely nominal, but the penalties for failure to keep a proper registry, giving the name of the maker, the number of the gun, the name of the dealer and the name and address of the purchaser, should be severe enough to force implicit compliance with the wishes of the police to secure all available data concerning the firearms traffic.[Omaha Daily Bee, Omaha, Wednesday Morning, June 10, 1908. Vol. XXXVII--No. 307. Pg. 4]
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And the above instance was not the only time these traitors conspiratorially met....