Gun Control In American Law

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Gun Control
Gun/Weapon regulation and control has always been present in American law since early colonial settlements. Such law has always centrally revolved around arming citizens for defence whilst preventing the ‘dangerous’ from possessing weapons. Something that is still very much seen today. However, the severity and target of said laws have shifted substantially over time. To put the debate into context, it would seem that before WWII, Americans were indifferent to gun ownership. However, post WWII and following a sharp rise in violent crime in the late 1960’s, gun ownership became a hot topic, with indifference being replaced by two polarised viewpoints (Bellesiles, 2001).
Moving onto the present day, Lund & Winkler (2015) say that
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Some states have more stringent background check systems than the federal one, for example, and some require checks before private sales like those at gun shows. Some states require a license or permit to own a gun, but most do not.” (Perez-Pena, 2015)
As demonstrated, state to state laws can vary enormously, having a major effect on gun availability and control. However, despite being one of the most controversial issues in America today, there are two areas that the majority agree on. One of these being universal background checks and the other being keeping firearms out of the hands of the mentally ill (Ibid).
Current debates on the Second Amendment now revolve around the entitlement and protection to private firearm ownership for American citizens, extending to associated types of weaponry, ammunition, storage and purchase (Lund & Winkler,
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This point is substantiated by the fact that having a privately owned firearm in a household makes a family member five times more likely to be fatally shot than in a non-armed household. Perez-Pena (2015) notes that each year around 30,000 preventable deaths are caused by firearms, which accounts for 18% of injury related deaths in America. It also states that the associated medical bills cost the taxpayer $100 billion a year. Perhaps the most intresting point raised concerns the so called ‘gun show loophole’, in which guns sold at shows or by small scale sellers do not require buyer background checks. This, in theory, allows the categorically banned demographic (discussed earlier) to purchase firearms. The article argues that if this loophole was closed and more stringent controls and checks were enforced, firearm deaths, injuries and the associated costs would be significantly reduced. In essence the argument for stricter gun control laws centres around the need to reduce firearms deaths and
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