Gun Control Laws in the United States
In todays world, gun control is one of the most inharmonious subject in the politics of America. Since last few years, events of mass shooting in the United States are increasing rapidly and with the each day passing and with the happening of each event where the shooters don’t even think that whom they are killing, contention grows between both paries who are arguing about gun control either they are in favor or against.
People who are becoming advocate to implement strict gun policies in the United States prove their argument to be right by taking the help of one recent survey which states that out of every hundred people in the Unites States, 88 have the possession of guns which puts everyone’s life in danger (Jessica, 2014). Recently a campaign was run in the in order to prevent gun control in US that is also known as Brady Campaign, finds out that almost 115,000 people get shot in the United States every year (Wallace, 2015). These shootings include suicide attempts, suicide, police intervention, murders, assaults and accidents.
People who are against the regulation of gun policies make their argument strong by saying that if the government imposed any strictness on carrying the guns, our lives would be in danger as people wont be able to protect themselves in their daily life from mass shooters or the terrorists in case if they encounter such situation. They believe that carrying a gun in daily routine should be made compulsory not on;y by the the states but also by the federal government aand government should strictly implement this policy for the safety of everyone.
Laws about carrying a gun in the United States differ from state to state. In some states like Vermont, Minnesota and Maine, state allows the teen of age 14 to buy a gun without the consent of the parents (Jessica, 2014). Where as some states in the United States like Illinois and Hawaii have made rules that you cannot buy a gun until unless you reach the age of 21 (Jessica, 2014). Whereas according to the federal law of the United States, for purchasing a handgun from a licensed dealer you have to be of age 21 but in some place you can buy a long gun if you are 18 (Wallace, 2015).
Federal law of the United States clearly states that who can carry a gun in the country and who cannot. Federal law states that you cannot sale a gun to the person who has ever admitted in the mental institution eve voluntarily or in voluntarily, or he is been declared as a dangerous person to the society, has been convicted with criminal offenses or he is a fugitive (Frank, 1968).
Gun control is one of the most hot and debateable issue in the politics of United States now a days. In the past few years, incidents of mass shooting in the US either in the college or universities or in any other public gathering is increasing taking the life of dozens of people. With the occurance of each event, this topic again come in the limelight leaving many questions behind to which no one has any answer. Although many states have different lawa for the regulation of gun control, but still are some key points for carrying a gun in US (Gary, 2009).
Is there any minimum age for obtaining a gun?
According to the Gun Control Act 1968, minimum age for purchasing a rifle, shortgun or any type of ammunition is 18 years (Wallace, 2015). Whereas other firearms like handguns can only be sold to people of minimum agr 21 (Wallace, 2015). All the states can increase this age limit as per the law and order situation in the states but they decrease the age limit set by the federal.
Who can sell firearms?
Just like for the purchase of gun, you should have to be of minimum age 21 to gain a permit for selling firearms. In addition, you should own a place where you can start your business. Like the gun owners, for the gun business you shuld fulfill the criteria of you mental state and your conviction history.
Does the state check the background of the applicant while the purchase is being made?
Yes, the GCA 1968 requires the applicant to fill a form that is used for the check of red flags on the applicant (Frank, 1968). The respective state can decide that whether the investigation will be solely made by the FBI or the state agency can also take a part in it.
What is the loophole in gunshow?
The law of possessing, receiving and selling of guns is very clear. But still not every person buying or selling a gun goes through a proper background check because transfer of gun doesnot require every individual to fill the FFL, which makes the sale/purchase of guns dangerous.
Recent tragedies in the Connecticut and Florida has created a chaotic situation in the country. Everyone in the country is talking about the gun control. Majority is angry on these incidents and believe that the lost lives could be saved if there were better lawa in the country. Many believe that we can only remember those precious lives if and only if we make new rules and regulations so that we can save our future generations from these type of incidents. Recently a survey was conducted on this issue which gave the following results (Micheal, 2016).
Explanation of Terms:
- May issue: To get a permit for the issuance of gun, the applicant must give a logical reason.
- No issue: Hidden permits to carry a gun wont be issues.
- Unrestricted: For a concelead firearm, no permit is required.
- Shall issue: Related authorities should allow the citizens to carry a weapon who are meeting the requirements of the law.
Arguments for the issuance of Guns
- According to the 2nd amendment in the constitution of the United States, every citizen that has no mental issue and has a clear history can carry a firearm. One of its clause states that “Well regulated and organized militia is necessary for the security and well being of a free state.
- Peoplehave the right to carry a gun to protect themselves. For example, if any terrorist enters in a college or university for mass shooting, he or she can be stopped if peoplen have the guns for their own protection. In addition, a recent study has shown that ownership of a fireman has no connection with any homicidal activity.
- Shooting and hunting are legal sports that also increase one’s skills. In addition, these sports also help to stop the population of such species that can become a problem for human race. This also helps the people to get meat to eat.
- Selling of firearms and sports related to guns are a big support to the economy. Federal government collects revenue of around $123 millions from this industry. This industry provides employment to over 40,000 people (Benjamen, 2017). In addition, it also provide revenue of $525 million that is collected from the dealers and the gun owners for the issuance of licenses and against yearly fee for those licenses (Benjamen, 2017).
Arguments against the issuance of Guns
- Many issues have been seen by the Supreme Court more than once. The laws are made to be changed as per the situation as every rule and regulation cannot fit every situation. If there comes an amendment is the social justice laws then why not in the Gun Control Act. The population of the United States is increasing rapidly. Shouldn’t the laws be amended as per the situation?
- A recent study reveals that there are chances that you will get hurt by your own gun if yu are about to get robbed. Getting hurt by the thing which you are keeping to protect yourself. Carrying a gun is putting your life at risk. So why should we carry it?
- To control the animal population, hunting is not a legal process. Many of the animals are being attacked by the natural predators like coyotes (Micheal, 2016). Hunting is just a way to destroy the animal species.
- Hunters and gun owners should not be allowed to roam in the city while carrying their guns as it could be dangerous for everyone. What if they get involve in any fight and start shooting on their opponent?
Issuance of the permit to carry a gun is not an issue. The major issue that we are currently facing is how to get benefit from that permit. We have seen in our lives that most of the time people start fighting with eachother on very small issues and start shooting on eachother with their guns whivh ultimately becomes the matter of self defence. People are not killed by the guns but by the people themselves. So we have to become a supporte of gun control in order to stop violence from our society. Although we are facing many incidents of mass shooting in public gatherings but giving guns in the hand of everyone is the solution of this issue.
There always come a defining moment is everyone life. Where we have to show that how we look towards the world and how we react towards the problems that our society is facing. We have to opt utilitarianism i.e., do maximum good for the maximum number of people. We are facing many problems in our society and mass shooting is one of them. But to give guns in everyones’s hand is not the solution. Doing this will generate many other problems for which we have to find more solutions which will cause more problems and the circle goes on. So still we have time to control this issue and make our society peaceful.
Zimring, Frank. “Is gun control likely to reduce violent killings?.” The University of Chicago Law Review 35.4 (1968): 721-737.
Kleck, Gary. “Mass shootings in schools: The worst possible case for gun control.” American Behavioral Scientist 52.10 (2009): 1447-1464.
Wallace, Lacey N. “Responding to violence with guns: Mass shootings and gun acquisition.” The Social Science Journal52.2 (2015): 156-167.
Luca, Michael, Deepak K. Malhotra, and Christopher Poliquin. “The impact of mass shootings on gun policy.” (2016).
Newman, Benjamin J., and Todd K. Hartman. “Mass Shootings and Public Support for Gun Control.” British Journal of Political Science (2017): 1-27.
Rosenberg, Jessica. “Mass shootings and mental health policy.” J. Soc. & Soc. Welfare 41 (2014): 107.