What is gun control? What you need to know

What is gun control? What you need to know

What kinds of guns should be available for sale to the public? Who should be allowed to buy them? Where can they be carried? When is it legal to shoot one? And does restricting guns make America safer? These questions form the core of the debate over gun control, one of the most divisive issues in American life. This debate has been raging since the 1960s, when gun rights blossomed as a national political issue. It has culminated in multi-million dollar lobbying campaigns, Congressional standoffs and large public demonstrations. The root of the debate is a single sentence in the U.S. Constitution, where the Second Amendment says: “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.” The interpretation of that line separates those who believe in more regulation of firearms and those who see any such legislation as an infringement on their individual liberties. HOW OLD IS GUN CONTROL? As old as the United States. In the early days of the republic, black people ─ free and slaves ─ were barred from owning guns, as were Native Americans and people who did not pledge loyalty to the new country. A 1792 law required all eligible white men to buy a gun and enroll in a citizen militia, but those guns were also registered under state laws, according to UCLA Law professor Adam Winkler. Prohibitions against black people owning guns continued until […]

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