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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 47859 Find in a Library
Title: BIG NEW DRIVE FOR GUN CONTROLS
Journal: US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT  Volume:78  Dated:(FEBRUARY 10, 1975)  Pages:25-27
Author(s): ANON
Date Published: 1975
Page Count: 4
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: AN OVERVIEW IS PRESENTED OF THE PROBLEM OF HANDGUNS AND CRIME, AND THE EFFORTS OF SOME GROUPS TO RESTRICT THE SALE AND OWNERSHIP OF HANDGUNS AND OF OTHERS TO FIGHT SUCH REGULATION ARE DESCRIBED.
Abstract: A TREMENDOUS GROWTH IN GUN CRIMES HAS RESULTED IN STEPPED-UP EFFORTS BY GUN CONTROL ADVOCATES TO GET AN EFFECTIVE LAW PASSED BY CONGRESS IN 1975. OPINIONS POLLS SINCE 1938 HAVE SHOWN AN OVERWHELMING SUPPORT OF GUN CONTROL BY THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, HOWEVER, CONGRESS AND MOST STATE LEGISLATURES HAVE DEALT CAREFULLY WITH THE ISSUE. CITIZENS' GROUPS ARE BEGINNING A CONCENTRATED CAMPAIGN TO EDUCATE THE PUBLIC ON THE DANGERS OF HANDGUNS AND TO PUT PRESSURE ON CONGRESS TO PASS THE NEEDED LEGISLATION. THE PRIMARY TARGET OF THIS ACTIVITY IS THE CHEAP, LOW-CALIBER, EASILY CONCEALABLE TYPE OF HANDGUN KNOWN AS THE 'SATURDAY NIGHT SPECIAL,' BUT LAWS ARE BEING PROPOSED WHICH WOULD RESTRICT OR BAN THE POSSESSION, SALE, OR MANUFACTURE OF ALL HANDGUNS OR WOULD REQUIRE THEIR REGISTRATION AND LICENSING. IT IS ESTIMATED THAT THERE ARE ABOUT 40 MILLION HANDGUNS IN THE U.S. IN 1975. THERE HAS BEEN A GREAT INCREASE IN THE NUMBER AVAILABLE IN RECENT YEARS IN SPITE OF THE 1968 FEDERAL GUN CONTROL ACT, DESIGNED TO CUT THE FLOW OF INEXPENSIVE HANDGUNS. WHILE THE LAW PROHIBITS THE IMPORTATION OF HANDGUNS, IT STILL ALLOWS THE ASSEMBLY IN THIS COUNTRY OF IMPORTED PARTS. A NUMBER OF ASSEMBLY PLANTS HAVE GROWN UP WHICH ACCOUNTED FOR ALMOST HALF OF THE HANDGUNS PRODUCED IN THE U.S. IN 1973. THE LAW ALSO FAILS TO EFFECTIVELY CONTROL DOMESTIC HANDGUNS. GUN CONTROL ADVOCATES INSIST THAT WHAT IS NEEDED IS A STRONG FEDERAL LAW THAT WILL APPLY EQUALLY TO ALL PARTS OF THE COUNTRY. THEY POINT OUT THAT OTHER COUNTRIES THAT HAVE STRONG GUN CONTROL LAWS ALSO HAVE VERY LOW GUN HOMICIDE RATES. THE TYPE OF LAW WHICH IS SEEN AS HAVING THE GREATEST CHANCES OF SUCCESS IN BOTH THE SENATE AND THE HOUSE IS ONE WHICH IS AIMED AT BANNING OF THE 'SATURDAY NIGHT SPECIAL,' PROHIBITING THE MANUFACTURE AND SALE OF ANY HANDGUN NOT READILY ADAPTABLE TO A SPORTING PURPOSE. OPPONENTS OF GUN CONTROL HAVE ALSO BEEN ACTIVE. ONE OF THE LARGEST, THE NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION (NRA), ARGUES THAT THE PROBLEM LIES IN THE USERS OF GUNS, NOT IN THE AVAILABILITY OF THE GUNS THEMSELVES. THEY STATE THAT BETTER ENFORCEMENT OF EXISTING GUN LAWS AND SEVERE PENALTIES FOR GUN CRIMES ARE THE MEASURES THAT ARE NEEDED. AS FOR THE ACCIDENT PROBLEM THAT GUNS PRESENT, THEY SAY THAT A GUN SAFETY EDUCATION PROGRAM IS THE WAY TO CUT DOWN ON GUN ACCIDENTS. THE NRA IS ALSO A POWERFUL LOBBYING FORCE AND HAS BEEN ABLE TO EVOKE A MASSIVE RESPONSE AGAINST GUN CONTROL FROM ITS MEMBERS. MANY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS HAVE BEEN RELUCTANT TO GO AGAINST THIS FORCE FOR FEAR OF RETRIBUTION AT ELECTION TIME. (VDA)
Index Term(s): Gun Control; Handguns; Legislation
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=47859

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