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March 21, 1891


JAMA. 1891;XVI(12):415. doi:10.1001/jama.1891.02410640019005

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The Lancet offers editorially some considerations as to the much-needed legislation against an easily preventable cause of death, the promiscuous handling of loaded pistols. Even in this country where many men, and some boys, habitually "carry a gun" the legislation needed to circumscribe the habit and thereby save life, is extremely defective. The suggestions of The Lancet are in the main twofold, first, the registration of sales, including a prohibition to sell to minors; second, an exceedingly heavy tax to be assessed upon everyone who indulges in the luxury of habitually carrying the means of ready homicide. The American practice of giving a man a permit to carry a pistol, a right which in some of our cities is seemingly vested by law in the department of police, is a practice of very doubtful humanity, expediency or equity.

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