Now, Give Me My Handgun, by Harper’s Staff

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June 1991 Issue [Readings]

Now, Give Me My Handgun

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The materials below were distributed in March by Michigan State Police headquarters to the state’s local police departments. In January the Michigan state legislature passed a bill that rescinded various restrictions on the sale of handguns, including a ninety-day state residency requirement and regulations in certain communities that required prospective handgun owners to take a four-hour course on gun safety. In place of these restrictions, the bill substituted a ten-question true/false test, to be taken by all applicants for a handgun license. A score of seven or more correct answers qualifies an applicant to purchase a handgun. According to the new law, which took effect on March 28, applicants must be shown the information pamphlet below before taking the test; if the applicant answers fewer than seven questions correctly, the officer administering the test must show the applicant the correct answers, and then allow him or her to take the test again.

information pamphlet

—You should treat every pistol as if it were loaded.

—You should always keep the barrel of a pistol pointed in a safe direction.

—You should never put your finger on the trigger until you are ready to fire at a proper target.

—On a semi-automatic pistol, you should keep the safety on and/or the action open unless firing.

—It is illegal to loan a pistol to another person.

—The law requires a person to report the theft of his or her pistol to the police.

—A concealed-pistol license is generally required for transporting a pistol in the passenger compartment of a motor vehicle.

—When storing a pistol, for safety reasons the ammunition should be stored separately from the pistol.

—The law requires that when presenting a pistol for a safety inspection it shall be unloaded and encased or equipped with a trigger-locking mechanism.

—When storing a pistol, it should be unloaded and placed in a safe place out of the reach of children.

test

1. You should treat every pistol as if it were loaded. (True/False)

2. You should always keep the barrel of a pistol pointed in a safe direction. (True/False)

3. You should never put your finger on the trigger until you are ready to fire at a proper target. (True/False)

4. On a semi-automatic pistol, you should keep the safety on and/or the action open unless firing. (True/False)

5. It is illegal to loan a pistol to another person. (True/False)

6. The law requires a person to report the theft of his or her pistol to the police. (True/False)

7. A concealed-pistol license is generally required for transporting a pistol in the passenger compartment of a motor vehicle. (True/False)

8. When storing a pistol, for safety reasons the ammunition should be stored separately from the pistol. (True/False)

9. The law requires that when presenting a pistol for a safety inspection it shall be unloaded and encased or equipped with a trigger-locking mechanism. (True/False)

10. When storing a pistol, it should be unloaded and placed in a safe place out of the reach of children. (True/False)


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