Even the world's most gun-favoring country (the USA) doesn't have full reciprocity for gun permits between its states. Likewise none of the EU states recognize each other's gun permits, even though carrying a gun through borders is extremely easy anyway thanks to the Schengen area.

So what's the deal with governments being so afraid of foreign gun owners? Couldn't the system work in the same way as driving licenses do?

  • Can you clarify a bit what you mean? If you are asking about why states (as in nations) don't recognize each others gun permits, this could be an international relations question. However, if you are asking about why states (as in U.S. sub-national units) don't do this, then it's entirely different. You used them both as examples, but they aren't similar things. May 11 '17 at 13:39
  • @indigochild I'm asking about both. I think the rationale should be the same May 11 '17 at 13:42
  • "Our top story today, another shooting today in Israel. This is the 10th time that the weapons used were purchased by someone with a gun permit issued in Lebanon"
    – A Bailey
    May 11 '17 at 15:01
  • 1
    @ABailey - while funny, this clearly is not an example in the spirit of the question. Presumably, most EU countries have much more uniform ideas of who is a good person to give a permit to
    – user4012
    May 11 '17 at 17:06
  • 2
    The fundamental problem with this question is that you seem to have an expectation (highly unrealistic, IMHO) that governments have rational reasons for the laws they make.
    – jamesqf
    May 11 '17 at 17:36

Recognizing driving licenses is quite easy:

  • Most traffic rules and signs are comparable in most developed parts of the world. The average foreign driver has an interest to learn eventual different rules/signs (otherwise the police will make him trouble)
  • Virtually every developed nation/place on earth has regular vehicle traffic
  • It is essential for traveling, so both sides have an incentive to recognize it reciprocally

A firearms permit is quite another thing:

  • The laws are highly different between states/nations, you would discriminate your citizens by allowing foreigners having firearms while your citizens cannot have them
  • In some nations firearms are widespread/culturally accepted, in other nations they are more or less banned and an cultural taboo
  • The need for a weapon depends on the location. While one certainly needs a firearm in Svalbard other place are without dangerous animals and with a very low level of serious violence, so there is no direct need to bring in a firearm
  • 12
    @JonathanReez, I'm not sure that the US is as homogenous as you think, given that conditions can range from "go outside and you'll meet a bear" to "go outside and you'll find you're in New Jersey".
    – origimbo
    May 11 '17 at 10:52
  • 1
    I think most people would describe a place like Svalbard as peaceful. You might want to change the wording for that point. May 11 '17 at 10:58
  • 4
    @origimbo: New Jersey has plenty of wilderness areas and also plenty of bears (albeit no Polar bears): state.nj.us/dep/fgw/bearfacts.htm May 11 '17 at 11:00
  • 3
    @Myself - It doesn't matter whether they are disputable or not. Answers should be backed up with references that demonstrate that they are correct. May 11 '17 at 13:47
  • 2
    @origimbo those conditions are not mutually exclusive.
    – phoog
    May 11 '17 at 16:22

One reason that is sufficient to explain state-by-state licensing requirements is that the Second Amendment does not guarantee convicted felons a right to bear arms.

The process and timeline by which a state restores that right to convicted felons differs from state to state.

A person may be permitted to have a firearm in Texas but not New Mexico.

  • The question also asks about international recognition. How does this work internationally? May 11 '17 at 15:23

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