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Gun Control


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Gun Control

  1. 1. Gun Control By: Erin Landau
  2. 2. Thesis Statement <ul><li>Throughout history, the United States government has become more involved in regulating the sale and usage of firearms for American citizens. Putting restrictions on firearms is essential to protecting the well-being of the general public and the government has every right to do so, as long as it is in the best interest of the American people. </li></ul>
  3. 3. The Past <ul><li>The misuse of firearms as a political issue was not addressed in the United States until the mid – 19th century. In 1837, the state of Georgia became the first to make an attempt to regulate firearms by passing a law banning all handguns, but the law was ruled unconstitutional and thrown out. </li></ul><ul><li>The National Firearms Act was the first piece of federal legislation regarding gun control and went into effect in 1934. </li></ul><ul><li>A few years later in 1938, Congress passed the Federal Firearms Act. The law required gun distributors to obtain a Federal Firearms license and for them to keep records of every customer they sold a gun to, as well as prohibiting the sale of guns to persons who had previously been convicted of violent felonies. </li></ul><ul><li>Congress would not address the issue of gun control until 1968, when they passed the Gun Control Act. This stated that one was now required to possess a license in order to transfer firearms across state borders. It also prohibited minors, mentally handicapped persons, and drug users from buying guns. </li></ul>
  4. 4. The Past <ul><li>In 1986, the Law Enforcement Officers Protection Act, which banned armor-piercing bullets, was passed to protect law enforcement officers. </li></ul><ul><li>This bill was entirely necessary because the only reason one would need to use armor-piercing bullets would be to murder someone. </li></ul>
  5. 5. The Past <ul><li>Congress passed the Gun-Free School Zones Act in 1990 and the Gun-Free Schools Act in 1994, both of which created penalties for carrying a firearm in a school zone. </li></ul><ul><li>However, both acts have shown not to be too effective. </li></ul><ul><li>Many people believe the issue needs to be attacked at its root, instead of penalizing those who bring firearms on school property, the initial access to these firearms needs to be removed. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Present <ul><li>The Brady Handgun Prevention Act, was signed by President Clinton in 1993 and went into effect early in 1994. The new law required a five day waiting period when purchasing firearms as well as criminal background checks for all those wishing to purchase firearms. </li></ul><ul><li>The five day waiting period expired in 1998, but computerized background checks replaced this. </li></ul><ul><li>The “Assault Weapons Ban,” passed in 94’ was effective for ten years and illegalized the sale of all semiautomatic weapons during the ten year period. </li></ul><ul><li>Until the federal government figures out a way to prevent gun manufacturers and sellers from getting around the system, the effectiveness of these gun control laws will likely remain unclear. </li></ul>
  7. 7. The Future <ul><li>Five years from now, little change will occur within the subject of gun control and gun rights. Neither the pro-gun control lobby nor the anti-gun control lobby appears to have a significant advantage the other. </li></ul><ul><li>I predict that current trends will persist; the US government will most likely continue to gradually increase their control over the manufacture, sale, and use of firearms into the future. </li></ul><ul><li>Some of the loopholes include the highly talked about “gun show loophole.” In private gun shows, guns are sold to customers without a background check, which bypasses the check required by the Brady Act. </li></ul><ul><li>This loophole is considered by many to be the biggest defect in current gun control laws. </li></ul><ul><li>If closed, which I predict will happen by the year 2013, law-abiding citizens will not be put at a disadvantage. </li></ul><ul><li>Closing the loophole will prevent dangerous criminals from obtaining weapons at venues that do not conduct background checks, which currently allows violent criminals to purchase powerful firearms quickly and without difficulty. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Conclusion <ul><li>Though there have been many amendments and changes made to gun control laws recently, there has not been a major piece of legislation passed since the Brady Act of 1994. </li></ul><ul><li>That was fourteen years ago, but it is possible that we go another decade without any substantial changes in gun control. However, I believe that this scenario is unlikely due to the surge of recent gun control laws and the positive results that they have shown. </li></ul><ul><li>The government has not yet fully joined either side of the Gun Control issue so the controversy surrounding it will remain for decades to come. </li></ul>