Gun ownership, an American tradition, has its own spin in Japan

Gun ownership, an American tradition, has its own spin in Japan

Andrew Neuville, a Marine Corps Community Services employee at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, is an avid hunter who helps expats and service members navigate the system of gun ownership in Japan. (Jonathan Snyder/Stars and Stripes) MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan — Gun ownership is tightly controlled in Japan, but it’s possible for hunters and target shooters with the U.S. military to own a firearm after a lengthy, expensive process. Andrew Neuville, a Marine Corps Community Services employee at MCAS Iwakuni, is an outdoor enthusiast and avid hunter who helps expats and individuals with the military navigate the system. “If you’re going to be here for only three years, you really need to think about if it’s worth it,” he told Stars and Stripes on April 17. “It’s a lot of money and time invested, and if you miss one step your time here might be over.” The expense associated with firearm classes, health checks and shoot training comes to $538, and that doesn’t include purchase of a shotgun and separate gun and ammunition lockers. Handguns are illegal in Japan, Neuville said. Gun owners may apply to obtain a rifle after 10 years of owning a shotgun but are not guaranteed approval. “I have a passion to help military and expats that will be here long term that want to hunt,” he said. Japan doesn’t allow individuals to own firearms for other than hunting or target shooting, and there are no “sleeping guns,” Neuville said, meaning that […]

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