Gun Control in New York Term Paper
- Length: 10 pages
- Sources: 15
- Subject: Law - Constitutional Law
- Type: Term Paper
- Paper: #41801352
Excerpt from Term Paper :
S. Circuit Court of Appeals to reaffirm restrictive gun laws since the Second Amendment was not infringed by a law that requires firearm owners to demonstrate proper cause (Nimmo par, 2).
The unanimous decision by the three-judge panel was regarded as a victory for the New York State law, the American constitution, and families throughout New York who are appropriately concerned regarding the plight of gun violence that is a major problem to all communities. There are various groups in the gun industry such as the Second Amendment Foundation and the National Rifle Association have been filing cases against cities and states throughout the country on the basis of the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The ruling re-affirming restrictive gun control laws has followed the significant increase in the number of the sale of guns.
Gun Control Laws in Other States:
Generally, crime rates associated with gun violence have increased unusually in the United States unlike other high-income countries. The significant increase in these rates is mainly attributed to the high rate of firearm homicide rate in America to an extent that it's twenty-times higher than those of other high-income nations. Furthermore, this problem is also attributed to the increased prevalence of gun ownership and less restrictive gun legislations (Webster, p.2).
With regards to gun control policies in other states, there has been an emergence of numerous debates that are always geared towards overall arguments regarding the probability of guns to make people safer or less safe. The current gun control laws in various states do not disarm law-abiding citizens aged 21 years but focus on other objectives. The current gun control laws are geared towards defining the conditions that ban individuals from firearm possession and implement laws to ban prohibited individuals from firearm possessions. The other objectives are limiting the carrying of concealed weapons in public and regulating the design of guns to improve personal and public safety.
This trend in gun control laws have also been fueled by the recent decisions by the Supreme Court to overturn laws that prohibit the possession of firearms in Chicago and the District of Columbia (Webster, p.2). In the District of Columbia, the United States Supreme Court made a groundbreaking ruling in the 2008 District of Columbia v. Heller case. This ruling acted as a model for other courts of appeals in the Second Amendment challenges and lawsuits until the Supreme Court provides further directions.
In the lawsuit, the defendant, Heller, challenged the federal firearms regulations on the basis that the laws violate the Second Amendment. However, the defendant did not adopt a standard of evaluation or establish a mechanism for evaluating Second Amendment lawsuits. In its ruling, the Supreme Court stated that the Second Amendment protects a person's right to carry arms in home for self-protection (Zonar, p.1). Since the ruling overturned regulations that limit the carrying of firearms in public, the District of Columbia has similar gun control policies to the New York State.
The ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in McDonald v. Chicago case complicated the challenges experienced by the local governments in California in attempts to deal with the issue of gun violence in their communities. In this lawsuit, McDonald challenged the firearms registration regulation in Chicago on the grounds of the Second Amendment arguing that the regulation resulted in a total prohibition of firearm possession in the home for self-protection (Weaver, p.2). In its ruling, the court held that the Second Amendment safeguards the right for individuals to possess and carry firearms in the home for self-protection. Therefore, the court stated that a law that bans possession of firearms in the home violates this Second Amendment right (Weaver, p.1).
One of the states with stricter gun control laws is California that strengthened is assault weapons ban by including extra provisions that are stronger than federal legislations. There are other states with different gun control laws from those of the New York State such as Washington where handguns are prohibited. Virginia has enacted a law safeguarding several sales of handguns i.e. A person cannot buy more than a single handgun per month from licensed dealers ("Gun Control in the United States," p.5).
The other notable differences in gun control laws across states are the minimum age for purchase or possession of firearms. While the federal law states that the minimum age for possession of handguns is 18 years, New York State is among states with lower minimum age requirements. Similar to Georgia, Vermont, and Alaska, the minimum age for the possession of a handgun in this state is 16 years while Montana is age 14. On the other hand, there are other states with no regulatory minimum age for possession of a handgun such as Maine, Alabama, Wyoming, New Hampshire, Texas, and Louisiana. In summary, New York is among six states with moderate gun laws while Massachusetts and Hawaii are the two highest-ranking states with stronger gun control laws.
The other aspect of gun control laws is the establishment of gun-free zones that are usually known as magnets for mass murder shooters (Kenny par, 1). These zones were established in order to keep criminals with guns but have not served their purpose since they keep law-abiding citizens from themselves in them. While these zones were established on grounds of a lone gunman's shooting storm in Newton's Sandy Hook elementary school, they are invitations to mass murder (Kenny par, 1).
Legislations that establish gun-free zones usually provide a sense of safety to people involved in magical thinking while murderers are not stopped by these zones from a practical view. This is mainly because honest people tend to obey the law and do not need the establishment of these zones. The inability of gun-free zones to keep criminals with guns out originates from the fact that the vulnerability makes certain individuals to feel uncomfortable.
The gun-free zones are based on wrong idea that killers will follow rules and individuals are a greater danger to those around them than the murderers (Reynolds par, 7). In addition to being an insult to honest and law-abiding citizens, the gun-free zones tend to be a deadly measure in fighting crime. The wrong premise for the gun-free zones is evident in the fact that more guns do not necessarily mean more crime. Actually, while gun ownership across the country has increased in the past decade, the rate of crime has generally reduced.
Effect of Stricter Gun Controls on Crime Rates:
The premise with which stricter gun control laws are developed and enforced is that restricting access to firearms would contribute to a decrease in criminal offenses, particularly violent crime. However, other people believe that such attempts have little to no effect on the rates of crime and violate the rights of American citizens to possess guns. This has contributed to the various anecdotal and empirical analyses in this area to either establish or discredit the possibility of a link between the stricter gun control laws and crime rates (Gius, p.1687). The analyses have also been carried out because 66% of murder cases are usually related to firearms, which contribute to concerns on the effect of gun ownership rates on homicide rates.
Generally, gun control laws are usually for the purpose of controlling the kind of firearms that may be purchased and designating qualifications for people who purchase and possess firearm, and limit the safe storage and use of these weapons. Based on this perspective, there is an assumption that fewer guns result in lesser crime and less crime rates (Moorhouse & Wanner, p. 103). There is a two-step link between gun control and the rate of crimes including the effect of gun control on the availability and accessibility of these weapons, especially handguns. The second link is the impact of the prevalence of guns on the occurrence of crimes.
From a political perspective, high crime rates have been used as a powerful justification for enactment of more restrictive gun control laws. However, the impact of stricter gun control laws have been examined on the basis of the effect of gun control on rates of crime and the impact of crime rates on gun control. According to the findings of a study, stricter gun controls is ineffective in lessening crime rates, findings that are consistent with huge majority of other studies on the same issue (Moorhouse & Wanner, p.121).
Even though gun shows are a source of the guns used in crime, the link between gun shows and gun-related crime is usually complicated (Wintemute et. al., p.1857). The ineffectiveness of stricter gun control laws in lessening crime rates is evident in the fact that both violent and non-violent crimes are usually perpetrated through the use of a firearm. As a result, there is a high possibility that limitation on the access to guns will have any statistical important impact on the violent and non-violent crime rates.
The lack of significant effects of stricter gun…