Gun control in United States is a government limitation of ownership and purchase of firearms. Availability of guns is majorly controlled by different organizations through the famous disarmament debate. This paper will look at various ways of gun control, the available statistics, background checks of control of guns, ownership of guns and the measures that the United States government has taken to control spread of guns and small arms (Brochtler 436)
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In the United States, the rights of people to bear and keep guns are guaranteed by the constitution.”The U.S constitution has guaranteed the rights of purchase and ownership of guns” (Brochteler). Since 1930s, law enforcement officials and federal judicial officials have held that such rights exist under the docket of the attorney general John Ashcroft.
This paper is based on recent available researched data on United States Gun control measures and policies. In a similar understanding, data usually associated with consequences of gun control laws in different geographical areas is used as evidential point of reference (Brochteler 459).
“There are different methods employed in the assessment of gun controls among which surveys are the most common and popularly used methodologies. While accuracy of the assessment outcomes is very crucial factor in the endeavor of setting gun possession and use limits, accuracy has largely been determined or influenced by individual’s knowledge or personal perspective view on the Delisier”.
The United States has however, enacted strictly licensing and other control measures, according to federal legislation (1968). The sale of riffles has been prohibited. Gun control in United States has been widely debated.
The National Riffle and Gun Association (NRGA) have notably opposed the acquisition of guns by individual people. This is strictly to the unlicensed gun holders. “Unlicensed gun holders should be prosecuted since the act is has led to increased crime rates Delisi41”.Due to the growing number of guns related crimes and citizen pressures, congressional passage (1993), of the brandy bill was passed. This bill passed a requirement of five day waiting period before a handgun purchase.
In the year 1994, crime a bill that outlawed possession, sale, and possession of military style assault weapon was set forth. Research provides that as of the year 2009, United States has a population of 307 million firearms owned by civilians and out of this; 300 millions are handgun (Delisi 33).
According to (mother 231), “Recent research resulting on gun control from U.S states are alarming especially considering the escalated levels of gun possession within the private sector”. “First and foremost, studies have shown that more than forty percent of U. S families possess a gun and More than a quarter of adults having a gun, a bout a fifth of these are handguns”( Mother 233).
Such survey evidences have led the U.S government to place stringent prohibitory laws and regulatory policies to reduce or eradicate the vices associated with the abuse of gun possessions” (Mother 234).
In the year 1980, the United States Government passed a law which prohibited residents from processing handguns. This law required that all forms of firearms under private ownership be kept unloaded and be rendered inoperable through use of disassembly or installation of trigger lock.
In the subsequent year, the United States government passed a law which required civilians to be issued with certificate from police offices in order to purchase or acquire any firearms. Thus, “to acquire this certificate; the police officer had to verify that the applicant had a good reason to acquire the same” (Delisi 152) .This certificate specified the types and quantity of fire arms in his possession.
According to Myrphy (83)”Whether legally or illegally possessed, the abuse or misuse of guns in the United States, this has forced the mainstream authorities to issue a command of gun surrender from the civilians”. In this connection, thousands of machine guns were obtained from the public, which was a clear evidence of the effects or impact of the compulsory surrender command.”
Gun law in United States has been passed to regulate the use of firearms and ammunition. However, it should be noted that this is not the only way the U.S governments are fighting against the gun possession” (Myrphy83) .But there a number of strategies and regulatory laws employed by each of the state.
Thus, the fight against gun possession and use in the U.S various with state’s autonomy among other factors. This is well exemplified by considering that some states established laws abolishing or banning weapon assaults. Legal firearms owners are subjected to the provision of firearms laws of the state. In many occasions, state firearm laws are restrictive than the federal firearms laws (Myrphy 84).
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According to Myrphy (85), “the constitution of Alabama explains that each citizen has a right to posse’s arms” this is a clear manifestation that states are preempting local regulation of handguns. To ensure there is safety and sanctity in the use of handgun, legalized traders of handguns have to liaise with the U.S special investigatory agency, FBI.
Furthermore, to regulate handgun spread, the United States has postulated that licensed dealers should have a clear record of every handgun sold, this includes the signature of the purchaser and all the relevant firearms sold (Myrphy 84).
According to Ernest study on gun control,” handguns are extensively prohibited from certain specified places,” (26). These places include premises of public schools, medical agencies, and any other social gathering places”.
While we have certain areas or places with high restrictive measures, there are also those regions/ areas without restrictions especially in state where handguns are allowed with no much consideration of the negative impacts to the community.” Alabama has facilitated issuance of licenses either to unlimited or qualified applicants who must be full residents of the United States or have other proven alien reasons for issuance of hand guns”(Ernest 27).
In United States of America, particularly in Alabama, law emphasizes to issue handguns to specifically residents of the U.S. Moreover, Alabama recognizes licenses issued by any other state which honors Alabama’s license. In Arkansas, “ownership or possession of a firearm is termed illegal to any individual convicted of felony or deemed to be mentally defective or involuntarily committed to any mental institution” (Ernest 27).
Applicants in Arkansas must have undertaken a training course to equip them with adequate skills to carry firearms before been licensed to posse’s handguns. In the event of an existing license holder being detected to have any mental disparity, or arrested of felony, such a license is revoked without due regard of owners permission.
Any concealed handgun cannot be seen in a courthouse, meeting house of any government entity, tavern, among other social places. In the state of California, all firearm sales except for long guns beyond 50 years old must be sealed through licensed dealers. “All handgun serial numbers and sales must be registered through the department of Justice Automated firearms systems” (Delisi 62).
In a similar understanding, there is no requirement for individuals to license previously owned guns. Moreover, state authority places restrictions and regulatory checks for unique and powerful weapons including those which are automated and those which can be operated at very close vicinity.
According to Ernest’s analytical work on measures towards gun control in California, “gun laws are not properly set and the fight against gun possession is shaky by the fact that the prohibitory gun laws lack legal and constitutional support materials or foundations,” 326.
California laws on gun handling, explains that guns capable of being concealed must carry permits issued by their states or other recognized states. In the United States of America, it is illegal to sell any handgun which any state has already defined as assault weapon or any handgun listed in DOJ roster of prohibited firearms. In the United States of America, there has been Danvers restriction on possession and transport of handguns in vehicles (Ernest 327).
According to the statistics from the bureau of alcohol and tobacco, “issuance of handguns, one must have a concealed firearm permits”. This Wyoming permission is available only within several years. Machine guns are illegal but only if the fire arm is registered with the bureau for alcohol, tobacco, fire arms and explosives state statute (Delisi 62).
Open carry has been strongly discouraged by several gun control groups such as coalition to stop gun violence and brandy campaign. However, “the legality of open carry of guns in U.S was later reaffirmed after incidents of citizens openly carrying arms were actively discouraged by local law enforcers” (Mat 63).
A case study published by American journals of preventive medicine, mandates fully automated guns to be highly taxed to discourage people from acquiring such arms. A gun holder act of 1968 prohibits the export of the weapons to the places of a danger such as minors. This Act also required that tracking systems to determine sell and purchasers of guns should be implemented so as to monitor the movement of the guns (Delisi 62).
The United States gun debate in America started shortly November 22 I963 after the assassination of John F. Kennedy which increased the awareness of the members of public to sale and possession of firearms in America. Indeed, until 1968 short guns and ammunitions were in most cases under the counter and from main orders magazines and catalogue.
The United States of America passed a bill of rights including second amendment which necessitated the rights of people to posse’s fire arms to be infringed and gain final ratifications. “The organization of the National Rifle Association has been organized with the primary goal to improve American civilian’s war tone preparations” (Mother 457).
In the efforts to control spread of Guns in United States, congress has passed a law to ban the mailing of concealed weapons. According to the federal Firearms Acts of I938, places first emphasis on the limitation on the sale of handguns. This emphasized that the person transacting in any firearms must obtain a trading license authorizing him to undertake such business.
In the United States of America, the District of Columbia has enacted and implemented anti-gun laws, these laws discouraged transportation and misuse of handguns, as well as riffles. “There have been adequate measures to ensure that no transportation of guns to various American states “(Myrphy 23).This has created a lot of listing in order to control illegal use of handguns and other firearms.
The armed career criminal Act in its public law has increased the penalty to those illegally possessing firearms and are not qualified to posses them under Gun control Act. The United States of America in its deliberate efforts to control the spread of firearms has enacted a public law which relaxes most of the restrictions on sale of ammunition and use of any other firearms; this is in accordance to firearms Owners Protection Acts (Myrphy 37).
The enactment of Crime Control Act of the year 1990, the public law has been passed to ban importation and manufacturing of semiautomatic weapon. The existence of gun free zones has as well been established, so as to carry out the violation of firearms and misuse of guns. This law has completely banned the possession of cop killer bullets which are capable of shooting bullet proof clothing. In the state of California, the possession of semiautomatic has been completely banned following the massacre of five children on a Stockton.
In the disarmament efforts, the United States NRA has filled cases in federal courts to block the collection of information on Guns and small weapons. The use government has gone forth to file and institute legal proceedings against the gun makers who seek to recover any gun related violence. In the Los Angeles County, boards of supervisors have voted to ban the famous great Western Guns shows-the greatest gun show in Pomona.
This was because such gun show violated firearms rules and regulation. “The permanent provisions of the instant Criminal Background Check postulates that Gun dealers are required to implement presale criminal backgrounds to check and control all the gun sellers and buyers through creation of Brandy Act go into effects” (Delisi 235).
United States of America has set up policies to control the illegal market of guns, research has proofed that this market lies downstream from the legal markets. Reports have indicated that “every illegal gun in United States emerged as a legal product imported or licensed by the United States government and sold by licensed dealers” (Ernest 63).
Notably, 30-40% of handguns which are in illegally licensed have been traced back to illegal market. Thus, the key to dismantling of the gun black market is to terminate and cancel any migrations of guns from the legal domain.
America has enacted several policies on gun control to ensure that guns are availed through lawful supplies. Public opinions have indicated that the United States of America has realized and recognized a link between easy accesses of fire arms. (Ernest 63),”United States gun congress has continued to stage debate on gun efficacy, the constitutionality of federal regulations of handguns and ammunitions”. As a result, different federal laws have been set forward to promote such regulations (Ernest 63).
The United States gun control advocates have argued that they should curb access of fire arms to high risk individuals. They contented that federal measures should successfully reduce and possibly cut off the supply of guns to high risk people. Constitutional barriers have been enacted to advocate for a less comprehensive policies that would not impede ownership and legalize firearm transfers.
According to (Delisi44),”The gun control crime and moral statistics are mostly used in gun control debate; this is because statistics have revealed that quite a big number of homicides have been noticed amongst the illegal gun holders”. This has made the United States of America to sink deep to standardize and ensure implementation of gun control policies (Delisi 44).
In conclusion, information gathered from different sources and federal agencies have shown that due to the efforts of American government, death cases from gun wounds have significantly decreased in the recent years. This has been as a result allowing minimal number of people to posse’s guns.
Thus from the above discussions, The NRA restrictions to access of guns has lead to control of people in prisons because of their indulgence in crime. However, despite the measures undertaken by the United States to control, spread and possession of guns, the continent has been declared as leader in reference to the crimes committed by use guns and fire arms. This has been attributed to licensing of guns to private citizens.
Research has also provided that most of the guns in developing countries have been emanating from the United States of America.” Although a Gallop poll has indicated that Americas have favorable opinion on NRA, the position of the majority views do not match with NRA position” (Ernest90). This is evidence because the republicans have insisted that the American government should take adequate and efficient reasonable steps to keep all dangerous people always from guns and disarm all the illegal gun holders (Ernest 90).
Brochtler, Nelson. Spread of Firearms in Developed Countries. Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh Publishers, 1998. Print.
Delisi, Matt. Gun Control: Preventing Violence: New York: Prometheus Publishers. 2008, Print.
Ernest, Michael. The Great American Gun Control Debate: Michigan: Michigan Publishers. 1998, Print
Mother, Jones. The Moving Target of Gun Control in United States: London: Macmillan Publishers. 2006, Print.
Murphy, Martin, N. The Disarmament Debate: American and Global Perspectives. Amherst: Prometheus Publishers, 2011. Print.