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Gun Control

NCJ Number
D S Greene
H Gimlin
Date Published
12 pages
Gun control is examined in terms of arguments presented by groups favoring and opposing it, State laws, Second Amendment issues, and the government's responsibility to protect citizens.
Florida's decision to relax its firearm laws and the weakening of Federal law have drawn attention to the debate about gun control. Public opinion polls have consistently confirmed public support for gun control. However, about half of American households have firearms, and fewer than half the people want guns banned. Most contentions on both sides of the issue are debatable but unprovable. In addition, the language of the Second Amendment of the Constitution is ambiguous, and the United States Supreme Court has never ruled definitively on its meaning. However, it has affirmed the authority of State and Federal governments to restrict the use and ownership of firearms. A basic issue in the debate is whether we need stricter gun-control laws or tougher sanctions against criminals who use guns. The current debate is focusing increasingly on the government's authority and responsibility to regulate arms and protect the citizenry. Statements by Senator Edward Kennedy and President Reagan, 15 notes, and annotated list of 9 recommended readings.


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