Those are the steps necessary to own a gun. Keeping it requires continued efforts, including registering the gun and any ammo with police and annual firearms inspections.
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Japan, however, is a country with a gun culture that is the polar opposite of what exists in the United States. What about another country with a history of viewing firearms as a tool of self-reliance and self-determination? Let's take Switzerland.
Switzerland is a small, landlocked country with a history of staying neutral in conflict, but being ready for whomever may come knocking on their doorstep uninvited (despite the fact that they haven't been directly involved in a war in over 160 years). The Swiss believe not only in their right to bear arms, but to tote them in public, as TIME's Helena Bachmann reports.
Despite the high number of guns per capita in Switzerland, with around one gun for every two people in the tiny nation of 8 million people, there were only 40 gun-related homicides, or 0.5 firearm murders per 100,000 Swiss citizens, or one-tenth the rate in the United States.