owning a handgun

There Are Places With Mandatory Gun Ownership

Believe it or not, there is such a thing as mandatory gun ownership in some places - including mandatory carry. Granted, it isn't always exactly what one might think, but there are places on this good Earth where it's not only legal to carry a gun, but required.

That said, the reasons for it and mechanisms for doing so are varied, so it doesn't mean you can move there, put on a holster, pistol and gun belt and start carrying willy-nilly.

Mandatory Ownership In Kennesaw, GA

mandatory gun ownership

One place with a law proscribing mandatory gun ownership is Kennesaw, GA. The mandatory ownership law was passed in 1982, with the stated intent being an act providing for the safety, security and welfare of the community, so the head of every household has to own a gun.

However, there are exemptions. Outside of persons that aren't allowed to possess firearms or are mentally ill, those who object to or otherwise don't want to have firearms in their house, or those who can't afford it.

That said, it was basically a political stunt. The town of Morton Grove, Ill., passed a law in 1981 that banned handguns, so the city of Kennesaw decided they'd do the opposite. Granted, a show of support for the Second Amendment is a good thing, as it rarely comes from governments. The law isn't enforced, either, so while it is interesting, it doesn't really amount to very much.

Mandatory Carry In Israel

mandatory gun carry isreal

Despite the turbulent nature of life in that country, concealed carry among citizenry in Israel is very heavily regulated. Their laws are very similar to American states with a "may-issue" policy regarding licensure to carry, in that a person has to undergo a background check (they also require a physical and neurological workup) and proof of the need to carry a gun.

Except for persons in the armed forces. Military personnel, whether on-duty or off-duty, in plainclothes or uniform, have to be armed. Therefore, it's perhaps the only place where merely owning is not enough...at least for those who qualify.

You Thought I Was Going To Mention Switzerland, Didn't You?

gun laws switzerland

A lot of people have the idea that people in Switzerland take their rifle home with them after service in the armed forces. It's mostly bunk. There is a militia in Switzerland (a.k.a. reserves) but a permit is required to purchase a firearm in Switzerland - no exemptions whatsoever - and it can't be capable of selective fire.

In other words a person COULD...but one still has to do all the same stuff one has to do to buy a gun in the first place. Since it's completely voluntary, not everyone does.

Virgin, UT and Nucla, CO

gun ownership mandatory

Both Virgin, UT and Nucla, CO have - near as makes no difference - the same law as Kennesaw, GA.

In both cases, the law was passed for - near as makes no difference - the same reason.

The law in Virgin, UT got the former city into the film "Bowling for Columbine" by Michael Moore. You might remember the scene where the residents extoll the virtues of the law; one resident, a blind man, showed off his AK-47.

Nucla, CO's mandatory ownership law was passed in 2013, so it's a relative newcomer.

Svalbard- The Islands Where A Rifle Is Required

mandatory gun ownership svalbard

Svalbard is a small island archipelago about halfway between Norway and the North pole, nominally an unincorporated area of Norway. Svalbard lies entirely within the Arctic circle and are sparsely populated, containing less than 3,000 human inhabitants...and an equal number of polar bears.

Carrying a gun is required if one is going to venture outside of settlement areas due to the polar bear problem. However, residents have to abide by the firearms laws of Norway, which requires a license for sport shooting or hunting to even purchase a gun. Same goes for ammo. If a person doesn't have a license or a gun, they can only go outside of towns/settlements in Svalbard if part of a guided tour, which are conducted by guides that DO have guns.

That said, you can't wait until a polar bear wanders into your sights and declare "he's coming right for us!" and plug one. Polar bears can only be shot as a matter of last resort, as the law requires other measures be taken - such as trip-wire fences rigged with fireworks to scare the bears off. That said, if going outside the wire, as it were...you need to have a gun.

Sam Hoober  

About The Author

Born in southeastern Washington State, Sam Hoober graduated in 2011 from Eastern Washington University. He resides in the great Inland Northwest, with his wife and child. His varied interests and hobbies include camping, fishing, hunting, and spending time at the gun range as often as possible.

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