United States seniors commit suicide at an alarming rate. Their primary killing method: easily accessible firearms. This Note proposes that the federal government implement strict gun controls that address the growing epidemic of elderly suicides. These policies should emulate Australia’s, a world leader in progressive gun controls. In the United States, the Australian policies would face a constitutional minefield. But case law indicates regulations other than outright gun removal are likely constitutional. Voluntary regulations— gun buybacks, self-reporting gun bans, and purchasing bans for seniors with mental illnesses—will likely overcome constitutional challenges. Involuntary regulations, such as Australia’s mandatory gun buybacks, would face tougher Second Amendment tests. However, these restrictions would greatly decrease elderly suicides and inch America toward sensible gun policies accepted worldwide.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Daniel T. Burley is a J.D. candidate at the University of Illinois College of Law and an Articles Editor for The Elder Law Journal. He graduated from the University of Missouri with bachelor’s degrees in history and journalism. He dedicates his note to Jeffrey and Mary Therese Burley.