skip navigation

PUBLICATIONS

Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.

 

NCJ Number: 67899 Find in a Library
Title: CONTROLLING FIREARMS
Journal: CLEVELAND STATE LAW REVIEW  Volume:28  Issue:1  Dated:(1979)  Pages:1-28
Author(s): J KAPLAN
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 28
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: DIFFERENT SCHEMES OF GUN CONTROL, SUCH AS COMPLETE PROHIBITION, REGISTRATION, OR PROHIBITION OF GUN SALE TO CERTAIN GROUPS, ARE CRITIQUED AND GUN CONTROL PROBLEMS ARE COMPARED WITH THOSE OF DRUG CONTROL.
Abstract: THE RATE OF FIREARM-CAUSED HOMICIDE IN THE U.S. IS VASTLY GREATER THAN IN OTHER WESTERN COUNTRIES AND FIREARMS ARE ALSO INVOLVED IN MANY OTHER CRIMES. THE TOLL TAKEN BY FIREARMS ON SOCIETY, GUN USERS, AND THE INNOCENT MAY BE COMPARED WITH THAT OF ILLEGAL DRUGS AND ALCOHOL. AS IN THE CASE OF THOSE ARGUING FOR PROHIBITION OF DRUGS AND ALCOHOL, PROPONENTS OF GUN PROHIBITION WANT LEGISLATION TO STIGMATIZE THE USERS IN ADDITION TO REDUCING GUN AVAILABILITY. HOWEVER, SHOULD GUN PROHIBITION BE ENACTED, ENFORCEMENT WILL BE DIFFICULT, SINCE MERE CRIMINALIZATION DOES NOT STOP BEHAVIOR. BOTH GUN USERS, AND DRUG USERS LIKE THEIR FORBIDDEN OBJECTS AND WILL RATIONALIZE THEIR CONTINUED USE. FURTHERMORE, FIREARM USE IS IMBEDDED DEEPLY IN AMERICAN HISTORY AND CULTURE. IF GUN PROHIBITION LAWS ARE VIOLATED AS OFTEN AS DRUG LAWS, ANY ENFORCEMENT WILL BE EXPENSIVE, FURTHER TAXING AN OVERBURDENED CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM AND LEADING TO SELECTIVE ENFORCEMENT, BRIBERY, A SENSE OF UNFAIRNESS AMONG CITIZENS, AND OTHER ILLS. BECAUSE THE LESS LAW-ABIDING GUN OWNERS WOULD BE MORE LIKELY TO RETAIN PROHIBITED WEAPONS, SOCIAL HARM CAUSED BY GUNS WOULD NOT GREATLY DECREASE, EVEN THOUGH HOMICIDES AND INJURIES IN CRIMES OF PASSION WOULD BE REDUCED. SELECTIVE GUN CONTROL, SUCH AS FORBIDDING OR REGISTERING HANDGUNS OR FORBIDDING THE SAME RATHER THAN THE POSSESSION OF FIREARMS MIGHT WORK BETTER, BUT THESE SCHEMES ARE STILL FRAUGHT WITH PROBLEMS. UNDER ANY OUTRIGHT PROHIBITION, AN ILLEGAL FIREARMS INDUSTRY WOULD SPRING UP TO SERVE THE CRIMINAL RATHER THAN THE LAW-ABIDING CITIZEN. IT MAY ALSO BE POSSIBLE TO LEGISLATE AGAINST CERTAIN GROUPS CAUSING THE MOST TROUBLE, SUCH AS CRIMINALS AND JUVENILES. THE BEST GUN CONTROL SCHEME, HOWEVER, SHOULD BE A FEDERAL LAW SETTING MINIMUM STANDARDS FOR SALE AND POSSESSION AND PREVENTING MORE LENIENT STATES OR JURISDICTIONS FROM UNDERCUTTING THE EFFECTS OF STRICTER LAWS ELSEWHERE. FOOTNOTES ARE INCLUDED.
Index Term(s): Firearms; Gun Control; Handguns; Illicit firearms; Legislation; Regulations; Regulations compliance
Note: THIS ADDRESS WAS DELIVERED BY PROFESSOR KAPLAN AT THE 14TH CLEVELAND-MARSHALL FUND VISITING SCHOLAR LECTURE ON APRIL 10, 1979, AT THE CLEVELAND-MARSHALL COLLEGE OF LAW OF THE CLEVELAND STATE UNIVERSITY.
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=67899

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.