Understanding Gun Control

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The article, “Understanding key terms in the gun control debate”, gives a better explanation on what the debate about gun laws involves. There are several factors involving gun control such as The Second Amendment which is the right to bear arms. There are different viewpoints of what the second amendment means. From the Supreme Court’s viewpoint, the second amendment “protects responsible, law-abiding citizens’ right to possess working handguns in their homes for self-defense”. On another hand, the law prevents residents from owning certain handguns. The National Rifle Association (NRA) supports the claim that the rule applies to certain weapons.

The federal government can make, enforce, and interpret a law for the whole country; meanwhile, the states can make their own laws as long as it doesn’t interfere with the federal ones. Which means that gun regulation is extremely dependent on what the state as an individual adds on to the federal requirements. State and federal laws together decide who can buy, own, sell, and transfer firearms under their conditions.

Gun laws are particular about the types of weapons, whether automatic or semiautomatic, and handguns or long guns. The major question still stands who should be allowed to own a gun? Due to the Federal Control Act of 1968, certain groups of people can not to buy, sell, or own guns. Such as, citizens that have been convicted of felonies. Also, “people who were involuntarily committed to a mental institution or who have certain mental conditions cannot legally buy guns… People who are living in the U.S. illegally and who are dishonorably discharged from the military cannot legally buy guns either”. Therefore, certain groups of people are not even taken into consideration to buy a gun even if they turned their life around.

Criminals and people with mental disabilities are not the only ones forbidden to own a guns, those under 21 are not allowed to buy guns from licensed dealers. People under the age of 18 cannot buy handguns from unlicensed dealers and they cannot buy long guns from licensed drivers. Keep in mind, selling guns unlicensed doesn’t mean they are selling them illegally, necessarily, but refers more to private dealers such as family, friends, or hobbyists.
Each individual person will have to run through a background check in order to obtain a gun. The law requires that sellers keep record of gun sales, make records available to law enforcement, and report any theft or loss of their firearms. The Brady Act does not require private sellers to run background checks.

“Major point in the debate on gun control is how federal law does or doesn’t apply to unlicensed sellers”. People who are in favor of stricter gun laws “see the different treatments of licensed or unlicensed sellers as a major loophole”. According to The Goddard’s Law Center, occasionally sellers may claim to be hobbyists, rather than what they actually are, sellers. This is called the “gun show loophole” because guns shows are events that occur across America. Sellers at these events can present themselves as private sellers. Which indicates that they do not have to run background checks on people who buy their guns.

Buying a gun takes time, it depends on the state for how long. California, for example, has a 10-day waiting period for potential buyers. Federal law does not impose this kind of restriction. At the federal level, as soon as the background check clears, the purchase can be made. If the check is not complete within the three-day limit, the purchase can still move forward. Supporters of stricter gun laws think purchases should not have a time limit. The purchaser should have to wait until their background check is cleared.

Some states require a permit to purchase certain forms of firearms. Meanwhile, the federal law does not require gun owners to have a license. “The NRA opposes firearm registration. The NRA says owning a license or registering a firearm would not impact gun violence because most guns are committed by people who have gotten the gun illegally anyway.” Some states give their residents more freedom of when and where they can carry their firearm.

The “Stand your ground” is a state law in which people are allowed to use deadly weapons in self-defense in a public space. This is allowed as long as they are allowed to be on those premises.

In this respect, federal laws impose any regulation so laws can be carried from state to state. Some States may or may not need that individual to meet their requirements. With this being explained, guns are highly dangerous especial in the wrong hands. However, the federal government can make stricter gun laws; meanwhile, states can make laws around the federal law as long as it doesn’t interfere with the federal laws.

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Understanding Gun Control