Home > Print > Libertarian Gun Control

Libertarian Gun Control

Individuals should have the option to waive their Second Amendment rights to keep and bear arms by adding their names to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. Every year, over 20,000 Americans kill themselves with firearms. We present a low‐cost and constitutional system that could, in just a few years, easily save thousands of lives as people with mental health or other recurring problems, during moments of clarity, rationally opt to restrain their future selves. Moreover, our system, which includes the option of providing email notifications of an individual’s waiver to third parties, can promote a marketplace of informed association.

Just as Heller emphasizes the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms as furthering the “core” individual right to self‐defense, credibly communicated waiver of Second Amendment rights can facilitate the self‐defense choices of individuals to limit association with those who may possess weapons. Forcing Second Amendment interests to contend with First Amendment associational interests can thus enhance the joint liberty of those seeking to best defend themselves. We provide the results of two surveys showing that close to a third of the general population and more than forty percent of those with previously diagnosed mental health concerns indicated that they would be willing to add their name to a “No Guns” list.