Gun Control Laws in the US

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Updated: May 15, 2020
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Gun Control Laws in the US essay

Gun control refers to legal measures taken to prevent the possession and use of firearms, also, it also restricts sale and transfer of firearms by the normal citizens. Gun control, especially in the most developed countries, is strict however in others it is a fraught political issue. The Gun Control Act of 1968, that deals with regulation of firearms at the federal level, requires the civilians to be at least 18 years old and above in order to own or possess any legal firearm which are not more dangerous but for the most dangerous firearms like handguns they are allowed to people more than 21 years.

Other people not allowed to own firearms include the fugitives, that is people regarded to be dangerous to the society and people with mental problems, for instance, the mad ones, it also includes those people with prison sentences and also blocks those people found guilty of any unlawful act. Gun control is more controversial in the United states because gun control is constitutionally protected meaning that it is legally allowed they argue that it would reduce access to guns will save lives and reduce crime. However, opponents argue that the opposite will happen. The question of whether the federal or the state government have power for gun control is controversial. The second amendment of the United States Constitution protects the right of the United States citizens from bearing arms. Although the state and local governments can regulate the carrying of guns, laws concerning the same are under the federal government.

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A division of the department of justice, Firearms and Explosives, regulates the standards and policies of issuing the bearing of arms. The National Firearms Act, of 1934, regulates the issuance and licensing of the shotguns, machine guns, and silencers. Moreover, the purchase of the semi-automatic weapons is legal in most states. Therefore, we can say that the gun control is one of the controversial issues in the United States. Looking at the issue of selling guns, anybody wishing to be a dealer of guns has to obtain Federal Firearms License (FFL) and must be at least 21 years of age. Any dealer should have an established premise where selling of guns can be done and where the local law enforcement officials can trace. Just like those who bear arms, they should fulfill be free from any past convictions and have a good mental state.

Currently, the licensing fee for any dealers is approximately $200 for the first three years and a subsequent $90 paid yearly. The dealers are responsible for conducting background research and gathering information about the gun holder before handing over the gun to the buyer. However, this responsibility has been disregarded by most gun sellers since they need money thus failing to do their responsibility of ensuring that the buyers are in a good mental state to possess a gun. When purchasing a gun, holders of FFLs have to conduct the background check as required by the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention act of 1993. All the potential firearm holders have filled a federal form known as the ATF 4473, which allows the dealers to check for background convictions and red flags.

In conjunction with the FBI and other federal bodies, the dealers carry out the federal checks and decide whether to give them or not. Most states require permits to carry handguns. This is aimed at ensuring that those who carry guns have fully complied with the state and federal laws. However, some states do not require firearm holders to have permits. By contract, no states have laws that require the permission to carry rifles and shotguns. However, Massachusetts and New Jersey require that people who bear rifles and shotguns should be carrying their IDs or firearm identification cards. Gunshow loopholeis an ambiguity that explains how one can purchase a gun without a background check.

This contrary to the fact that the law requires that all those who bear arms should be subjected to a background check. This has led to situations where some people carry firearms without following the due process. According to the ATF, anyone can sell firearms without having to be in possession of the FFL. They can sell the guns from home, online or at a flea market. Research has shown that most people who bear arms did not get it legitimately. Moreover, a gun may be purchased on behalf of a third-party. This occurs in situations where the guns to be given as a gift and the recipient have not violated any federal laws.

In some situations, children who are below the age of 18 years may possess guns issued in the name of their parents or guardians as long as they have written permission to carry the firearm. In conclusion, the gun control is protected by the United States Constitution under the care of the federal and state government. The law allows the possession of guns as long as the due process of the law is followed when obtaining them.

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Gun Control Laws in the US. (2020, May 15). Retrieved from