Impact of the Gun Control on the States Research Paper

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United States, in accordance with crime and violence, has been having highest rates of crime and violence in the world, and largely most of them violence are related to gun. U.S. Department of Justice has indicated that in the United States, violence related to guns consists of the largest violence rate. For example, back in year 1995.

Homicides who were involved in gun violence were about 68% out of which 60% were the cases related to handguns. Another example is that more than 34 thousand peopled died due to the gunfire in 1996 out of which 41% were outcomes of homicide in the United States (Shay et al., 1999).

The first law on gun control came about in 1911 in the State of New York. However, the most significant law on gun control was the Brady bill which was passed in 1994. According to this law there is a restriction on carrying firearms and individuals who want to buy licensed guns have to go through a test of their previous data to check if they had criminal record or any psychological history. Therefore, the purpose of the bill is to limit the offenders.

In United States, different states are making serious attempts to restrict the purchasing of firearms, and thus there are 11 main federal laws attempting to limit the gun violence. Unfortunately, United States has been so far one of the largest weapons' consumer and that is the reason why most of the political debates in U.S. takes place are related to the gun violence. Firearms open carry where people owning guns carry them in their daily routine has been vastly seen in the recent decade in U.S.. A number of law and enforcement authorities has raised their concerned regarding this vast increase of open carry.

Although 43 states has legally allowed open carry of licensed guns, however the laws are very confusing such as a person might be legally carrying a gun, as he or she crosses the street, the result is changed into breaking the law.

"Coalition to Stop Gun" and "Brady Campaign" is groups who are strongly opposing the open carry of firearms while other groups are in the favor of open carry of licensed guns. It was the year 2002, when state and federal legislations launched safety locks on guns. Apparently, the laws in the past were passed in order to make it illegal to buy guns for minors and/or criminals, however, it is not possible at all the time to restrict the gun culture in the United States due to the different groups claiming the legitimacy of the constitution's second amendment and therefore are against the introduction of any new laws related to the restriction of the open carry of the weapons.

Like any other difficult and ill-controlled issue, the gun crime and violence is also a main challenge for the United States government. It was due to the improper control on gun crime that disastrous incident like campus-shooting took place on April 2007 the 16th, at Virginia Tech just after the 8 years of shooting at Columbine High School; this occurrence gave life to a strong gun-control debate. Debates are useful for the succession of security and peace however; there is also a risk of focusing on the wrong issues that can escort to the inhibition of symptoms more willingly than trying to reduce or control the crime.

A lot of people have a viewpoint that if there is more open carriage of guns, it might lead to serious violent gun crime. However, gun ownership has been made very difficult over the last 40 years by the federal ordinances for gun control. Acts of years such as 1968, 72, 86, 90 and 94 have made restrictions in owning a gun in several ways. Furthermore, other states along with cities of United States have brought in different rules in order to control firearms so that issues related to problems of crimes could be sorted out.[footnoteRef:1] [1: See State Laws and Published Ordinance, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, / for different states' and cities' gun ordinances.]

In United States, through many years there have been strong debates regarding the problems associated with "violent crime" and "gun control." In view of many researchers, the availability of guns and its open carry helps in increase of gun violence levels (Newton and Zimring, 1969; Cook, 1979; McDowall, 1986; Duggan, 2001).

All these researchers have a viewpoint that open carry of guns possibly will escort to more violent crime. The most noteworthy research in regards to the issue related to gun control and crime relationship is the study of Deutsch and Alt (1976) where they evaluated the impact of gun control law of Massachusetts on gun associated crime in the Boston city. The authors in respect to the research found the result that the law of gun control actually proved to be very successful and helped in lessening armed robbery and intensified stabbing however not influencing the rate of the homicide.

Although after three years same issue was studied by Cook and Campbell (1979), who found out that the evaluation of Deutsch and Alt was doubtful and suggested that if they had recognized the right model with the help of steps of ARIMA model offered by Box and Jenkins (1976), then they might had found out that the effect of gun control or armed robbery was of no significance statistically.


The solving of inter-reliant and compound policy problems requires the usage of different techniques and methods due to the fact that principles, judgments, values and inclinations can't be disjoint from the analysis of policy related to crime. A unique approach was attempted by Campbell et al. (2002) which are quasi-experimentation a substitute method of social life experimentations to prevail over issues related to gun control and present improved policies' interpretations.

The main theme of quasi-experimentation method is "counter-productive initiation which comprises an investigation for proof either supporting an opponent hypothesis, or deteriorating to support the opponent hypothesis which is afterwards eliminated" (Dunn, 1998; p. 67).

Homicides that are related to firearms consist of major element of the homicides occurring in the United States. There are different studies that show that gun homicide rate is on the highest level in the United States as compared to rest of the world (See Table 1).

Table: 1

A lot of researches stresses that the lethality of weapon might influence the association between homicides and guns in the United States. Researchers believe that the process of killing is made easier by guns with little efforts needed as compared to the knives and bodily strength. Cook suggests, "The probability of victim killing is higher by gun attacks as compared to knife attacks in or else same situation" (Cook, 1983; p. 249).

There have been various cases with regard to gun control laws; such as, Supreme Court in U.S. v. Miller, 207 U.S. 174 (1939) sustained a federal law which criminalized the sawed-off shotgun shipment in throughway trade. Moreover, The Supreme Court in Lewis v. U.S.. 445 U.S. 55 (1980), ruled that the limitations contained in the Act of 1968 Gun Control disallowing criminals as of owning guns were legitimate by a "rational basis" standard. Although these instances of cases shows a positive approach of the Supreme Court in regards to gun control, however there are number of cases in the court of state as well which affirms the legality of laws of gun control.

There are other cases of Supreme Court which responds to this matter. For instance, in the case of Alkinson, 291 N.W.2d 396 (Minn, 1980) The Supreme Court detained whatsoever the extent of any common law or legal right to accept arms, it is not necessary and does not warrants to people the authority to take weapons that are loaded abroad at continually and in any situation. In another case of Arnold v. Cleveland 616 NE 2d 163 (1993) the judge of the Supreme Court, Justice Douglas apprehended that the ordinance of municipal disallowing sale and owning of "assault weapons" was legitimate and rational implementation of police power and authority.

The federal firearms regulations started to emerge in 1915, on the instance of banning bill for interstate trade of handguns was putted forward. The bill itself was not a law of gun control in true meaning. It was then in year 1919, when a 10% excise manufacturing tax federal act was passed which is regarded as the beginning of the law for gun control and thus after that there was more upcoming efforts in order to control the ownership and open carry of guns.

The first federal law ever to cope with guns was the "The Gun Control Act" of 1968. This act has chief objective of law such as:

1. Restricting the interstate trading of guns, especially focusing the various gun control restrictions of other states

2. Describing different types of classes of unconstitutional and ineligible in society as of purchasing of illegal firearms…

Sources Used in Document:


Box, G.E.P. And G.M. Jenkins. (1976). Time-series Analysis: Forecasting and Control. San Francisco: Holden-Day.

Campbell, R.E., Tour, O., Palmer, A.E., Steinbach, P.A., Baird, G.S., Zacharias, D.A. And Tsien, R.Y. (2002) A monomeric red fluorescent protein. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 99, 7877- 7882.

Cook, P.J. (1983). The Influence of Gun Availability on Violent Crime Patterns. In N. Morris and M. Tonry (Ed.), Crime and justice: An annual review of research, Vol. 4. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Cook, P.J. (1980) Reducing Injury and Death Rates in Robbery, Policy Analysis 6: 21-45

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