Japan has one of the lowest rates of gun crime in the world with just six gun deaths in 2014 when compared to 33,599 in the US.
Japan makes it extremely hard for people to buy guns. First, a gun buyer will have to attend an all-day class, then take a written exam and finally pass a shooting-range test with a mark of minimum 95%.
Also, buyers’ criminal records are checked by the police for potential links to extremist groups while mental health and drug tests are carried out. When they are done with checking the buyers, they start checking their relatives and work colleagues too.
According to the BBC, handguns are actually banned. Only shotguns and air rifles can be sold. The country also implemented a system where fresh cartridges can only be bought if the customer returns the spent cartridges he bought last.
“Ever since guns entered the country, Japan has always had strict gun laws,” says Iain Overton, executive director of Action on Armed Violence and the author of Gun Baby Gun to the BBC.
The guns and ammunition must be stored separately under lock and key and the police is notified of the storage location. After three years the gun license runs out and the process needs to be repeated.
“They are the first nation to impose gun laws in the whole world,” says Overton. “And I think it laid down a bedrock saying that guns really don’t play a part in civilian society.”
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