I want to make two points about gun control:
- Gun regulations have been made in the past, so for the folks who scream “2nd Amendment” and “slippery slope,” shut the fuck up. How about your God-given right to own hand grenades or rocket launchers? Aren’t you pissed about that? Yeah, I understand they aren’t guns, but still, this is infringing on your freedom as an American, isn’t it? Why is it okay to regulate some items that can cause mass deaths, but not others?
We are regulated everywhere: what we eat, how we drive, what chemicals we can use, and yes, even what we say. We NEED regulations. Common sense would say guns, if anything, need the most regulations. So what if it’s complicated. So are hazardous waste laws, and DOT regulations, and law laws.
- While there have been attempts to increase gun control, few bills have gained any traction; however, there have been numerous regulations reducing restrictions. For example, Obama’s response to the Sandy Hook massacre was a mental illness restriction which would have prevented an estimated 75,000 people from purchasing a firearm. Our idiot-in-chief repealed before it was allowed to go into effect.
The New York Times did a study in December 2013 analyzing gun policy since the shooting after Sandy Hook. Around the country, 1,500 state gun bills were proposed, 109 became law, and 70 of those new laws loosened existing gun legislation.
Congress hasn’t passed a single piece of gun control legislation, beyond voting in 2013 to renew an expiring ban on plastic firearms, which could potentially bypass airport security checkpoints. Most recently, Senate lawmakers blocked a package of gun violence legislation, including a measure to bar individuals on terror watch lists from purchasing firearms.
The first attempt to establish gun control regulation was due to gangsters like Dillinger and Capone. The National Firearms Act (NFA) of 1934 imposed a $200 tax per firearm which at the time, was often more than the price of the gun, and violation carried a maximum $2000 fine and five years in prison. It covered two specific types of guns: machine guns and short-barrel firearms, including sawed-off. It is interesting to note that the National Rifle Association (NRA) formed its legislative affairs division (gun lobbyists) the same year in response to the NFA.
“Every person possessing a firearm shall register, with the collector of the district in which he resides, the number or other mark identifying such firearm, together with his name, address, place where such firearm is usually kept, and place of business or employment, and, if such person is other than a natural person, the name and home address of an executive officer thereof.”
An amended version of the NFA is still in force.
Apparently, gun-toting white men thought it was okay to regulate guns when it concerned black men when they enacted the Mulford Act.
The Mulford Act was a 1967 California bill that repealed a law allowing public carrying of loaded firearms. The bill was crafted in response to members of the Black Panther Party who were protecting Oakland neighborhoods which would later be termed copwatching. They garnered national attention after the Black Panthers marched bearing arms upon the California State Capitol to protest the bill.
The Gun Control Act of 1968 focused primarily on regulating interstate commerce in firearms by generally prohibiting interstate firearms transfers except among licensed manufacturers, dealers, and importers.
Passage of the Gun Control Act was initially prompted by the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963. The President was shot and killed with a rifle purchased by mail-order from an ad in a NRA magazine. Congressional hearings followed, and a ban on mail-order gun sales was discussed, but no law was passed until 1968 after the deaths of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy.
After shuffling back and forth in both the House and Senate, the Gun Control Act was finally signed into law by President Johnson. It banned mail order sales of rifles and shotguns and prohibiting most felons, drug users and people found mentally incompetent from buying guns. It was FIVE years in the making.
The Firearms Control Regulation Act of 1975, passed by the District of Columbia city council, banned residents from owning handguns, automatic firearms, or high-capacity semi-automatic firearms, as well as prohibited possession of unregistered firearms. Exceptions to the ban were allowed for police officers and guns registered before 1976. The law also required firearms kept in the home to be “unloaded, disassembled, or bound by a trigger lock or similar device.” This was deemed to be a prohibition on the use of firearms for self-defense in the home. On June 26, 2008, in the historic case of District of Columbia v. Heller, the Supreme Court of the United States determined that the ban and trigger lock provisions violate the Second Amendment. Big, big, BIG win for the NRA.
The Gun Control Act was amended by the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Law on November 30, 1993, after the assassination attempt on President Reagan and shooting of James Brady by John Hinkley, Jr. The Brady Bill requires that background checks be conducted on individuals before a firearm may be purchased from a federally licensed dealer, manufacturer or importer—unless an exception applies. Currently, 92% of Brady background checks through National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) are completed while the FBI is still on the phone with the gun dealer. In rare cases, a gun purchaser may have to wait for up to three business days.
Firearm transfers by unlicensed private sellers that are “not engaged in the business” of dealing firearms are not subject to the Brady Act.
The Federal Assault Weapons Ban (AWB) included a prohibition on the manufacture for civilian use of certain semi-automatic firearms, defined as assault weapons, as well as certain ammunition magazines it defined as “large capacity“.
The ten-year ban was passed in 1994 by President Clinton and expired under the sunset provision even though there were multiple attempts to renew the ban. It only applied to weapons manufactured after the date of the ban’s enactment.
Studies have shown the ban had little effect on criminal activity, although this may have been due to the ban’s various loopholes. Other studies have shown large increases specifically in the rate of mass shootings that began when the ban was lifted.