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Handgun control laws - Research Paper Example

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Most of the gun control laws in the United States are mild, that is, they allow legal gun ownership for most individuals in most cases, while imposing modest costs on the legitimate gun owners. For instance, the laws have not been very strict on the minimum purchase ages,…
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Handgun Control Laws Most of the gun control laws in the United s are mild, that is, they allow legal gun ownership for most individuals in mostcases, while imposing modest costs on the legitimate gun owners. For instance, the laws have not been very strict on the minimum purchase ages, waiting time before purchasing a gun, and criminal background checks. These forms of laws will likely not deter individuals suspected of criminal activities because they are readily circumvented. Mild gun control laws do not always remain mild, in most cases, they develop into strict limits on guns usually leading to an outright prohibition. Strict laws have brought differing outcomes; in Japan and United Kingdom, it has reduced violence rates but in Mexico and Brazil, it has led to extreme or substantial violence (Miron 1). Stricter handgun controls laws and licensing are necessary to save lives.
Since the year 1934, there have been a number of gun control laws such as The Federal Firearms Act (1938), The National Firearms Act (1934), The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (1972), The Firearms Owner Protection Act (1986), and National Instant Criminal Background Check System (2007) (Schwartz 1). In 2011, the Obama Administration began a number of modifications designed to tighten penalties and regulations under the present laws. The changes will entail strengthening of the national electronic system through the collection of new information. This is an effort to make the background checks for buyers of handgun fast and simple. The checks under James Brady law will leave an electronic paper. The law is named after James Brady who was Ronald Reagan’s press secretary; in 1981, he was wounded after an assassination attempt on President Reagan. Other changes include tougher sentencing guidelines for the straw buyers (Solomon and Stone 1).
However, in the past few months, the Obama Administration seems to have gone mum on gun control. In the courts, it remains alive despite the fact that it has gone dead politically. Gun control is generally seen as bad politics. In 1993, Bill Clinton passed the Brady Handgun Violence Protection Act, however, after Republicans ended Democrats reign in 1994, Clinton blamed gun control. Since the 1980s, state legislatures have not fared well concerning gun control, for instance, more than 30 states have endorsed laws that make it easy for an individual without a criminal record to receive a permit to possess a concealed weapon (Winkler 1).
A number of states have implemented laws that let individuals carry guns on public transportation, in churches, and in bars. There are even some bills pending in some states that would permit guns on college campuses such as the Virginia Tech (Winkler 1). A big question is left to the Supreme Court on how the courts should handle gun control laws. Among the important questions is whether they should put strict limits on gun control laws just as they do with political speech regulation (Winkler 2). As seen in most states, the laws are mild, and this puts many people at risk; thus, stricter handgun controls laws and licensing are necessary to save lives.
Works Cited
Miron, Jeffrey A. “Strict Gun Control Will Seem Like War on Drugs.” CATO Institute, 13 Jan. 2011. Web. 19 April 2012.
Schwartz, Emma. “Gun Control Laws.” U.S. News, 6 March 2008. Web. 19 April 2012.
Solomon, John & Stone Daniel. “Obama’s Quiet Guns Crackdown.” The Daily Beast, 11 July 2011. Web. 19 April 2012.
Winkler, Adam. “Is Gun Control Dead?” WP Opinions. The Washington Post, 13 April 2012. Web. 19 April 2012. Read More
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