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Think Getting a Gun Is Tough in America? Consider Japan's Intrusive, Nearly Year-Long Process to Own a Firearm


"If you want to own a gun, good luck."

Image source: YouTube

The right to "keep and bear arms" in America is expected to be a hot topic for both Republicans and Democrats leading up to the election, as the debate rages between those who see America as a great place to own a gun and those who believe we are a country with too many guns and seek to get rid of the Second Amendment.

But what about gun rights other countries?

Last weekend, Fareed Zakaria's "Global Public Square" on CNN spent an entire hour sharing "lessons" about guns that America can learn from the rest of the world.

Fareed Zakaria (Image source: YouTube) 

Zakaria opened the segment on gun ownership in Japan by stating, "If you want to own a gun, good luck."

How easy or difficult is it for law-abiding citizens to own guns in a place like Japan?  The country's Firearm and Swords Control law simply states, "No person shall possess a firearm."

Image source: YouTube 

There are a few exceptions to the law, typically made for hunters. However, there is also a strict set of bureaucratic hurdles to get past before even a hunter can purchase a firearm.

CNN spoke with an American who navigated the stringent rules Japan imposes on would-be gun owners.

Retired U.S. Marine Rick Sacca lives in Japan and managed to successfully complete the lengthy process. He shared with CNN the details of what it took to acquire and maintain a firearm permit in Japan.

The Marine kept several binders filled with the information and forms he needed to complete the requirements.

In addition to the paperwork me must maintain, Sacca also had to deal with the following:

● 20 hours of classes

● Written test

● Shooting range test

● Complete background check

● Complete medical exam

● Complete psychological evaluation

● At least five interviews with police in an interrogation room

● Police questioned family members, co-workers and neighbors

● Detailed map of the home where the gun will be stored, including photos of the locks on the storage cabinet

Once you are granted permission to own a gun in Japan, Sacca noted that the permit needs to updated and renewed "regularly."

He added, "The intrusion that occurs with the process regularly would never, ever be tolerated in the U.S."

Watch the CNN segment on what it takes to acquire a firearm in Japan.

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