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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 79101 Find in a Library
Title: State Programs for Screening Handgun Buyers
Journal: Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science  Volume:455  Dated:(May 1981)  Pages:80-91
Author(s): P J Cook; J Blose
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 12
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article documents and assesses the increasingly important role of the States in gun control, with a focus on the nature and reliability of State systems for screening handgun buyers.
Abstract: Primary alternative approaches for controlling firearms are characterized, including efforts to deter violent crime and incapacitate violent criminals. The article focuses on one of these approaches, screening buyers through a gun permit or application-to-purchase system, whereby felons and other people judged too dangerous may be prevented from acquiring a gun. Almost half the States, which includes 64 percent of the population, require that buyers be screened by the police. These State systems operate within the Federal framework created by the Gun Control Act of 1968, which requires that most interstate transactions in firearms be handled by federally licensed dealers or manufacturers. The States' main problems are (1) weak Federal regulation of licensees, (2) incomplete State criminal history files, and (3) the difficulty of regulating hand-to-hand transactions in used handguns. States that wish to increase the effectiveness of their screening systems will probably have to assume responsibility for regulating retail dealers and will have to institute civil liability for dealers and individual gun owners, together with a more comprehensive registration system. A total of 23 footnotes are included. (Author abstract modified)
Index Term(s): Firearms acts; Gun Control; Handguns; Licensing; State laws
Note: Available from NCJRS on microfiche as NCJ-79095.
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