Gun Control History

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The right to bear arms dates back to the Revolutionary War when militias formed by citizens needed firearms to fight off the British crown. After Independence was won, it was decided by the Constitutional Convention that the citizens were permitted to keep their weapons so that the Federal Government could not become as powerful as the English Monarchy. In the Constitution it is stated, “A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” Firearms in the United States are forefront of political discussion, in the last century controversial restrictions have been placed on firearms, some even deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, data is available …show more content…
This law was challenged in United States vs. Miller, the Supreme Court supported the gun control law. Twenty nine years would pass until the Gun Control Act of 1968 was enacted into law. It was the largest Federal Gun Control Act in United States History. With the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and the violence related to social issues that erupted in the 1960’s this law was emplaced to help abate the turmoil. The law set the minimum age for buying a firearm at eighteen years old, before the law it was the jurisdiction of the state. All firearms sold and possessed must have a serial number on them which entails that they can be tracked. Finally, the law prevented the mentally ill and felons from being able to purchase and own firearms legally. On March 30, 1981 John Hinckley Jr. attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan in an attempt to gain favor with actress Jodi Foster. John Hinckley Jr. had a history of mental illness and was still able to purchase a handgun legally despite the Gun Control Act of 1968. While no one was killed in the attempt, the President and three others were shot and wounded by Hinckley. One of the three victims was press secretary James …show more content…
In two major instances states or cities have banned handguns in an effort to alleviate violence, and were challenged by United States citizens in a Supreme Court of Law. In the case Washington D.C. vs. Heller, the firearms control regulations act of 1975 banned handguns within Washington D.C., a Federal Enclave, because in the 1970’s the city was the murder capital of the United States. Handguns were not to be sold or possessed within the D.C. area, until in 2008 when Heller challenged the law after thirty three years. The case made its way to the Supreme Court and the court deemed the law unconstitutional, because it infringed on American citizen’s right to protect themselves with a firearm. This case only effected Federal Enclaves, but it called into question other entities jurisdiction over gun control. In the case McDonald vs. Chicago, McDonald challenged the city of Chicago and their right to ban handguns within the metro area. As in the Washington D.C. case, it made its way to the Supreme Court and they ruled that it was

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