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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 160173 Find in a Library
Title: Gun Control Is Constitutional (From Gun Control, P 83-86, 1992, Charles P Cozic, ed. -- See NCJ-160164)
Author(s): S Brady
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 4
Sponsoring Agency: Greenhaven Press
Farmington Hills, MI 48333-9187
Sale Source: Greenhaven Press
P.O. Box 9187
Farmington Hills, MI 48333-9187
United States of America
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The Second Amendment was written to protect Americans' right to establish militias to defend themselves, not to allow individual Americans to own guns; consequently, gun-control measures do not violate the U.S. Constitution.
Abstract: Although there is much debate in the general public about whether the Second Amendment guarantees that all citizens have the right to own firearms of their own choosing, there is little debate in America's courts. The U.S. Supreme Court has interpreted the Second Amendment on five separate occasions. In addition, nearly 40 lower court decisions have addressed the amendment. All have held that the Second Amendment guarantees a State's right to maintain a militia, not an individual's right to own a gun. Regardless of an individual's interpretation of the Second Amendment, the legislation supported by the author of this paper, Sarah Brady, would not prevent a law-abiding citizen access to handguns. She does not, however, agree with the National Rifle Association that the Second Amendment guarantees the right of a person like John Hinckley to purchase a handgun. Handgun Control, Inc., represented by the author, does not advocate a handgun ban or handgun confiscation; rather, it supports common-sense measures to ensure that criminals cannot easily walk into gun stores and walk out with a weapon without any restriction. Handgun Control, Inc., supports a national 7-day waiting period after initial application for the purchase of a handgun, so as to allow for a criminal records check of a purchaser. It also supports legislation to ban paramilitary assault weapons and prohibition and sale of "Saturday Night Specials," a cheap and easily concealed handgun. The National Rifle Association and others who argue that the Second Amendment is limitless in its guarantees are clearly outside accepted constitutional thought and practice. Reasonable laws to protect the public, laws to deny easy access to firearms by those who would misuse them, and laws to stop the sale of weapons of war are constitutional.
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Constitutional Rights/Civil Liberties; Firearms acts; Gun Control; Gun control legislation; US Supreme Court decisions
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