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NCJ Number: 201640 Find in a Library
Title: Japanese Gun Control
Journal: Crime & Justice International  Volume:19  Issue:74  Dated:June 2003  Pages:4-10
Author(s): David B. Kopel
Date Published: June 2003
Page Count: 7
Type: Historical Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article provides a historical perspective for the success of the gun control efforts in Japan.
Abstract: Proponents of gun control in the United States often offer the example of Japan as a model for a gun control paradigm. Just as in the United States, Japan has a past of widespread gun ownership among its citizens. However, today ownership in Japan is nearly unheard of because of staunch control efforts implemented by the Japanese Government. The article offers a history of Japanese gun ownership and gun control to illustrate why such policies will not work in the United States. Although Japanese gun control has worked well in Japan to the point that gun ownership is rare among citizens and gun crime is virtually nonexistent, it comes at the cost of personal liberties. The article outlines the way in which individuals are subordinate to authority in Japan. Such authority includes government powers over individuals. Police are allowed wide discretion in terms of personal search and seizures, individuals may be held in jail for long periods of time without appearing before a judge, and, in the rare case that a police search is deemed illegal, evidence seized during an illegal search is allowed in court. As such, although gun control in Japan has been successful at greatly reducing gun violence, such a model would not work in the United States because of the subordination of individual liberty to the power of the state. 86 Notes
Main Term(s): Gun Control
Index Term(s): Japan; Search and seizure; Search and seizure laws
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