Congress continues to debate the efficacy
and constitutionality of federal regulation of
firearms and ammunition. Various federal
laws have been enacted since 1934 to promote
Gun control advocates argue
that they curb access by criminals, juveniles,
and other "high-risk" individuals. They
contend that only federal measures can successfully
reduce the availability of guns.
Some seek broad policy changes such as
near-prohibition of non-police handgun ownership
or the registration of all firearm owners
or firearms. They assert that there is no constitutional
barrier to such measures and no
significant social costs. Others advocate less
comprehensive policies that they maintain
would not impede ownership and legitimate
Opposition to federal controls
is strong. Gun control opponents deny
that federal policies keep firearms out of the
hands of high-risk persons; rather, they argue,
controls often create burdens for law-abiding
citizens and infringe upon constitutional rights
provided by the Second Amendment. Some
argue further that widespread gun ownership
is one of the best deterrents to crime as well as
to potential tyranny, whether by gangs or by
government. They may also criticize the
notion of enhancing federal, as opposed to
state, police powers.
The two most significant
federal statutes controlling firearms in the
civilian population are the National Firearms
Act of 1934 and the Gun Control Act of
1968. The 1934 Act established strict registration
requirements and a transfer tax on
machine guns and short-barreled long guns.
The 1968 Act prohibits mail-order sales and
the interstate sales of firearms, prohibits
transfers to minors, limits access to "new"
assault weapons, and sets forth penalties and
licensing requirements for manufacturers,
importers, and dealers.
Crime and mortality
statistics are often used in the gun control
debate. The number of homicides committed
annually with a firearm by persons in the 14-
to 24-year-old age group increased by 173%
from 1985 to 1993, and then decreased by
47% from 1993 to 1999. Firearm fatalities
from all causes and for all age groups
decreased by 22%. For juveniles, they de-creased
by 40%, from 1993 to 1998.
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms - Firearms: The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) is a law enforcement organization dedicated to reducing violent crime, collecting revenue, and protecting the public. ATF enforces federal laws and regulations relating to alcohol, tobacco, firearms, explosives and arson.
1999 National Gun Policy Survey: The findings of a national survey on gun policy by the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago, in collaboration with the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research and the Joyce Foundation.
Americans for Gun Safety: Discusses enforcing existing gun laws, endorses legislation, and floats various firearm regulations such as registration and licensing, litigation against firearms manufacturers, and other regulatory measures, briefly mentioning their pros and cons.
Doctors Against Handgun Injury: A division of the New York Academy of Medicine representing over 600,000 doctors that believe they have a responsibility to lecture on gun safety because of the death and injury toll caused by shooting incidents.
Join Together Online: A resource center for communities working to reduce substance abuse and the promotion of gun control.
Legal Community Against Violence: Dedicated to reducing gun violence through legislation, litigation, and education. Provides financial and pro bono legal support for litigation, and assistance to local governments defending ordinance challenges from gun rights advocates.
The Potowmack Institute: Seeks national registration of firearms "that can effectively disarm... the NRA's 'armed citizen guerrillas.'"
Sane Alternatives to the Firearms Epidemic (SAFE) - Colorado: Advocates the regulation of the manufacture and distribution of handguns, semiautomatic assault weapons, ammunition and related paraphernalia, while recognizing the right of Colorado citizens to own and use firearms designed for legitimate hunting, sport and defensive purposes.
Sane Guns: Provides statistics, news, commentary, and historical information and analysis.
Concealed Carry (CCW) Database: National concealed carry database for CCW news, tracking and cross referencing state CCW laws, state gun laws, and contact information for the offices that issue CCW licenses. Also state and national gun news.
Just Facts Gun Control: Brief discussions of firearms used in crime and selfdefense, righttocarry laws, assault weapons, the Brady bill, school shootings, armor piercing bullets, accidents, and the Second Amendment.
Women Against Gun Control: Women Against Gun Control or WAGC is a political organization created to inform, educate and support the development of the self-reliant women and men, nationwide, who consider it their fundamental right and responsibility to protect their right of self-defense as well as their children, their property and themselves from human aggression and assault Pro-gun site.