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(Kopel, no left-wing loony, is a member of the National Rifle Association and once wrote in National Review that looser gun control laws could have stopped Adolf Hitler.)To get a gun in Japan, first, you have to attend an all-day class and pass a written test, which are held only once per month.

You also must take and pass a shooting range class.

In the heat of an aerial battle, they can appear almost identical.

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Waikiki’s Japanese-filled ranges are the sort of quirk you might find in any major tourist town, but they're also an intersection of two societies with wildly different approaches to guns and their role in society. gun-related murder rate is almost 20 times that of the other 22.

The only guns that Japanese citizens can legally buy and use are shotguns and air rifles, and it’s not easy to do.

The process is detailed in David Kopel’s landmark study on Japanese gun control, published in the 1993 Asia Pacific Law Review, still cited as current.

Japanese tourists who fire off a few rounds at the Royal Hawaiian Shooting Club would be breaking three separate laws back in Japan—one for holding a handgun, one for possessing unlicensed bullets, and another violation for firing them -- the first of which alone is punishable by one to ten years in jail. Small-caliber rifles have been illegal to buy, sell, or transfer since 1971.

Anyone who owned a rifle before then is allowed to keep it, but their heirs are required to turn it over to the police once the owner dies.

The Japanese and American ways of thinking about crime, privacy, and police powers are so different—and Japan is such a generally peaceful country—that it’s functionally impossible to fully isolate and compare the two gun control regiments. constitution’s second amendment is intended in part to maintain “the security of a free State” by ensuring that the government doesn't have a monopoly on force.

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