The Armalite AR-15 semiautomatic rifle is one of the most commonly owned forms of firearm in the United States, and a new proposal from a Missouri House Representative could make the rifle even more popular in American communities.
Andrew McDaniel has proposed what he’s calling the “McDaniel Militia Act,” a law that would require every resident of Missouri between the ages of 18 and 34 to own an AR-15 style rifle. 75% of the firearm’s cost could be written off as a tax deduction under the law.
The law specifies that the requirement is only applicable to individuals not prohibited from possessing a firearm under state and federal law.
McDaniel’s long-shot legislation would be relatively unprecedented in the recent history of gun laws in the United States. He proposed another bill earlier this month requiring that every eligible adult in Missouri over the age of 21 obtain a pistol.
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The title of the Militia Act suggests that the purpose of the bill is to create a well-armed civilian community throughout the state, possibly serving as a deterrent to terrorism, crime and the usurpation of rightful authority.
However, there’s reason to think McDaniel’s idea might not be the most effective way of creating a healthy and enduring gun culture in the state. The Second Amendment recognizes the people’s right to arm themselves, as opposed to requiring it. Requiring individuals unfamiliar with gun safety to own an AR-15 could lead to negative consequences.
A more realistic and beneficial policy proposal might consist in mandating gun safety courses in public high schools. Such courses would embrace the real meaning of gun safety in teaching people how to safely own and use guns, as opposed to the false progressive conflation of “gun safety” with gun control. Some Iowa school districts are already instructing youngsters in how to properly and safely exercise their Second Amendment rights, potentially averting tragic accidents and preparing the state’s youth to be responsible gun owners.