Gun control

Gun control (or firearms regulation)[2][3] is the set of laws or policies that regulate the manufacture, sale, transfer, possession, modification, or use of firearms by civilians.

Most countries have a restrictive firearm guiding policy, with only a few legislations being categorized as permissive.[1] Jurisdictions that regulate access to firearms typically restrict access to only certain categories of firearms and then to restrict the categories of persons who will be granted a license to have access to a firearm. In some countries such as the United States, gun control may be legislated at either a federal level or a local state level.

Gun Policy by Country
Firearm guiding policy by country according to the University of Sydney.[1]
  Permissive
  Restrictive
  Not included

Terminology and context

Gun control refers to domestic regulation of firearm manufacture, trade, possession, use, and transport, specifically with regard to the class of weapons referred to as small arms (revolvers and self-loading pistols, rifles and carbines, assault rifles, submachine guns and light machine guns).[4][5]

Usage of the term gun control is sometimes politicized.[6] Some of those in favor of legislation instead prefer to use terms such as "gun-violence prevention", "gun safety", "firearms regulation", "illegal guns", or "criminal access to guns".[7]

In 2007, it was estimated that there were, globally, about 875 million small arms in the hands of civilians, law enforcement agencies, and armed forces.[a][8] Of these firearms 650 million, or 75%, are held by civilians.[8] U.S. civilians account for 270 million of this total.[8] A further 200 million are controlled by state military forces.[9] Law enforcement agencies have some 26 million small arms.[9] Non-state armed groups[b] have about 1.4 million firearms.[c][9] Finally, gang members hold between 2 and 10 million small arms.[9] Together, the small arms arsenals of non-state armed groups and gangs account for, at most, 1.4% of the global total.[10]

Regulation of civilian firearms

Barring a few exceptions,[d] most countries in the world allow civilians to purchase firearms subject to certain restrictions.[13] A 2011 survey of 28 countries over five continents[e] found that a major distinction between different national regimes of firearm regulation is whether civilian gun ownership is seen as a right or a privilege.[16] The study concluded that both the United States and Yemen were distinct from the other countries surveyed in viewing firearm ownership as a basic right of civilians and in having more permissive regimes of civilian gun ownership.[16] In the remaining countries included in the sample, civilian firearm ownership is considered a privilege and the legislation governing possession of firearms is correspondingly more restrictive.[16]

International and regional civilian firearm regulation

At the international and regional level, diplomatic attention has tended to focus on the cross-border illegal trade in small arms as an area of particular concern rather than the regulation of civilian-held firearms.[17] During the mid-1990s, however, the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) adopted a series of resolutions relating to the civilian ownership of small arms.[17] These called for an exchange of data on national systems of firearm regulation and for the initiation of an international study of the issue.[17] In July 1997, ECOSOC issued a resolution that underlined the responsibility of UN member states to competently regulate civilian ownership of small arms and which urged them to ensure that their regulatory frameworks encompassed the following aspects: firearm safety and storage; penalties for the unlawful possession and misuse of firearms; a licensing system to prevent undesirable persons from owning firearms; exemption from criminal liability to promote the surrender by citizens of illegal, unsafe or unwanted guns; and, a record-keeping system to track civilian firearms.[17] In 1997, the UN published a study based on member state survey data titled the United Nations International Study on Firearm Regulation which was updated in 1999.[f][17] This study was meant to initiate the establishment of a database on civilian firearm regulations which would be run by the Centre for International Crime Prevention, located in Vienna. who were to report on national systems of civilian firearm regulation every two years.[17] These plans never reached fruition and further UN-led efforts to establish international norms for the regulation of civilian-held firearms were stymied.[18] Responding to pressure from the U.S. government,[g][20] any mention of the regulation of civilian ownership of small arms was removed from the draft proposals for the 2001 UN Programme of Action on Small Arms.[17]

Although the issue is no longer part of the UN policy debate, since 1991 there have been eight regional agreements involving 110 countries concerning aspects of civilian firearm possession.[17] The Bamako Declaration,[h] was adopted in Bamako, Mali, on 1 December 2000 by the representatives of the member states of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU).[21] The provisions of this declaration recommend that the signatories would establish the illegal possession of small arms and light weapons as a criminal offence under national law in their respective countries.[22]

Studies

High rates of gun mortality and injury are often cited as a primary impetus for gun control policies.[23] A 2004 National Research Council critical review found that while some strong conclusions are warranted from current research, the state of our knowledge is generally poor.[24] The result of the scarcity of relevant data is that gun control is one of the most fraught topics in American politics[25] and scholars remain deadlocked on a variety of issues.[25] Notably, since 1996, when the Dickey Amendment was first inserted into the federal spending bill, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been prohibited from using its federal funding "to advocate or promote gun control," thwarting gun violence research at the agency at the time. The funding provision's author has said that this was an over-interpretation,[26] but the amendment still had a chilling effect, effectively halting federally funded firearm-related research.[27] Since the amendment, the CDC has continued to research gun violence and publish studies about it,[28] although their funding for such research has fallen by 96% since 1996, according to Mayors Against Illegal Guns.[29] According to a spokesman, the CDC has limited funding and hasn't produced any comprehensive study aimed at reducing gun violence since 2001.[30]

General

A 1998 review found that suicide rates generally declined after gun control laws were enacted, and concluded that "The findings support gun control measures as a strategy for reducing suicide rates."[31] A 2016 review found that laws banning people under restraining orders due to domestic violence convictions from accessing guns were associated with "reductions in intimate partner homicide".[32] Another 2016 review identified 130 studies regarding restrictive gun laws and found that the implementation of multiple such laws simultaneously was associated with a decrease in gun-related deaths.[33]

According to a 2011 UN study, after identifying a number of methodological problems, it stated "notwithstanding such challenges, a significant body of literature tends to suggest that firearm availability predominantly represents a risk factor rather than a protective factor for homicide. In particular, a number of quantitative studies tend towards demonstrating a firearm prevalence-homicide association."[34]

United States

Cross-sectional studies

In 1983, a cross-sectional study of all 50 U.S. states found that the six states with the strictest gun laws (according to the National Rifle Association) had suicide rates that were approximately 3/100,000 people lower than in other states, and that these states' suicide rates were 4/100,000 people lower than those of states with the least restrictive gun laws.[35] A 2003 study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine looked at the restrictiveness of gun laws and suicide rates in men and women in all 50 U.S. states and found that states whose gun laws were more restrictive had lower suicide rates among both sexes.[36] In 2004, another study found that the effect of state gun laws on gun-related homicides was "limited".[37] A 2005 study looked at all 50 states in the U.S. and the District of Columbia, and found that no gun laws were associated with reductions in firearm homicide or suicide, but that a "shall-issue" concealed carry law may be associated with increased firearm homicide rates.[38] A 2011 study found that firearm regulation laws in the United States have "a significant deterrent effect on male suicide".[39] A 2013 study found that in the United States, "A higher number of firearm laws in a state are associated with a lower rate of firearm fatalities in the state."[40] A 2016 study published in The Lancet found that of 25 laws studied, and in the time period examined (2008–2010), nine were associated with reduced firearm mortality (including both homicide and suicide), nine were associated with increased mortality, and seven had an inconclusive association. The three laws most strongly associated with reduced firearm mortality were laws requiring universal background checks, background checks for ammunition sales, and identification for guns.[41] In an accompanying commentary, David Hemenway noted that this study had multiple limitations, such as not controlling for all factors that may influence gun-related deaths aside from gun control laws, and the use of 29 explanatory variables in the analysis.[42]

Other studies comparing gun control laws in different U.S. states include a 2015 study which found that in the United States, "stricter state firearm legislation is associated with lower discharge rates" for nonfatal gun injuries.[43] A 2014 study that also looked at the United States found that children living in states with stricter gun laws were safer.[44] Another study looking specifically at suicide rates in the United States found that the four handgun laws examined (waiting periods, universal background checks, gun locks, and open carrying regulations) were associated with "significantly lower firearm suicide rates and the proportion of suicides resulting from firearms." The study also found that all four of these laws (except the waiting-period one) were associated with reductions in the overall suicide rate.[45] Another study, published the same year, found that states with permit to purchase, registration, and/or license laws for handguns had lower overall suicide rates, as well as lower firearm suicide rates.[46] A 2014 study found that states that required licensing and inspections of gun dealers tended to have lower rates of gun homicides.[47] Another study published the same year, analyzing panel data from all 50 states, found that stricter gun laws may modestly reduce gun deaths.[48] A 2016 study found that U.S. military veterans tend to commit suicide with guns more often than the general population, thereby possibly increasing state suicide rates, and that "the tendency for veterans to live in states without handgun legislation may exacerbate this phenomenon."[49] California has exceptionally strict gun sales laws, and a 2015 study found that it also had the oldest guns recovered in crimes of any states in the U.S.. The same study concluded that "These findings suggest that more restrictive gun sales laws and gun dealer regulations do make it more difficult for criminals to acquire new guns first purchased at retail outlets."[50] Another 2016 study found that stricter state gun laws in the United States reduced suicide rates.[51] Another 2016 study found that U.S. states with lenient gun control laws had more gun-related child injury hospital admissions than did states with stricter gun control laws.[52] A 2017 study found that suicide rates declined more in states with universal background check and mandatory waiting period laws than in states without these laws.[53] Another 2017 study found that states without universal background check and/or waiting period laws had steeper increases in their suicide rates than did states with these laws.[54] A third 2017 study found that "waiting period laws that delay the purchase of firearms by a few days reduce gun homicides by roughly 17%."[55] A 2017 study in the Economic Journal found that mandatory handgun purchase delays reduced "firearm related suicides by between 2 to 5 percent with no statistically significant increase in non-firearm suicides," and were "not associated with statistically significant changes in homicide rates."[56] Another 2017 study showed that laws banning gun possession by people subject to intimate partner violence restraining orders, and requiring such people to give up any guns they have, were associated with lower intimate partner homicide rates.[57]

Reviews

A review of published studies of gun control released in October 2003 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was unable to determine any statistically significant effect resulting from such laws, although the authors suggest that further study may provide more conclusive information, and noted that "insufficient evidence to determine effectiveness should not be interpreted as evidence of ineffectiveness".[58]:18

In 2015, Garen Wintemute and Daniel Webster reviewed studies examining the effectiveness of gun laws aimed at keeping guns out of the hands of high-risk individuals in the United States. They found that some laws prohibiting gun possession by people under domestic violence restraining orders or who had been convicted of violent misdemeanors were associated with lower violence rates, as were laws establishing more procedures to see if people were prohibited from owning a gun under these laws. They also found that multiple other gun regulations intended to prevent prohibited individuals from obtaining guns, such as "rigorous permit-to-purchase" laws and "comprehensive background checks", were "negatively associated with the diversion of guns to criminals."[59]

A 2016 systematic review found that restrictive gun licensing laws were associated with lower gun injury rates, while concealed carry laws were not significantly associated with rates of such injuries.[60] Another systematic review found that stricter gun laws were associated with lower gun homicide rates; this association was especially strong for background check and permit-to-purchase laws.[61]

Studies of individual laws

Other studies have examined trends in firearm-related deaths before and after gun control laws are either enacted or repealed. A 2004 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found evidence that child access prevention laws were "associated with a modest reduction in suicide rates among youth aged 14 to 17 years."[62] Two 2015 studies found that the permit-to-purchase law passed in Connecticut in 1995 was associated with a reduction in firearm suicides and homicides.[63][64] One of these studies also found that the repeal of Missouri's permit-to-purchase law was associated with "a 16.1% increase in firearm suicide rates,"[63] and a 2014 study by the same research team found that the repeal of this law was associated with a 16% increase in homicide rates.[65] A 2000 study designed to assess the effectiveness of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act found that the law was not associated with reductions in overall homicide or suicide rates, but that it was associated with a reduction in the firearm suicide rate among individuals aged 55 or older.[66] A 1991 study looked at Washington, D.C.'s Firearms Control Regulations Act of 1975, which banned its residents from owning all guns except certain shotguns and sporting rifles, which were also required to be unloaded, disassembled, or stored with a trigger lock in their owners' homes.[67] The study found that the law's enactment was associated with "a prompt decline in homicides and suicides by firearms in the District of Columbia."[68] A 1996 study reanalyzed this data and reached a significantly different conclusion as to the effectiveness of this law.[69]

Other studies and debate

March For Our Lives in Seattle, 24 March 2018
After the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in February 2018 resulted in seventeen deaths and seventeen injuries, survivors of the shooting led a movement against gun violence, leading to the March for Our Lives the following month.

In 1993, Kleck and Patterson analyzed the impact of 18 major types of gun control laws on every major type of gun-involved crime or violence (including suicide) in 170 U.S. cities, and found that gun laws generally had no significant effect on violent crime rates or suicide rates.[70] Similarly, a 1997 study found that gun control laws had only a small influence on the rate of gun deaths in U.S. states compared to socioeconomic variables like poverty and unemployment.[71]

Philosophy professor Michael Huemer argues that gun control may be morally wrong, even if its outcomes would be positive, because individuals have a prima facie right to own a gun for self-defence and recreation.[72]

Canada

Rifles and shotguns are relatively easy to obtain, while handguns and some semi-automatic rifles are restricted.[73]

With respect to the Criminal Law Amendment Act, a gun control law passed in Canada in 1977, some studies have found that it was ineffective at reducing homicide or robbery rates.[74][75] One study even found that the law may have actually increased robberies involving firearms.[75] A 1993 study found that after this law was passed, gun suicides decreased significantly, as did the proportion of suicides committed in the country with guns.[76] A 2003 study found that this law "may have had an impact on suicide rates, even after controls for social variables,"[77] while a 2001 study by the same research team concluded that the law "may have had an impact on homicide rates, at least for older victims."[78] A 1994 study found that after this law came into force in 1978, suicide rates decreased over time in Ontario, and that there was no evidence of method substitution. The same study found that "These decreases may be only partly due to the legislation."[79]

In 1991, Canada implemented the gun control law Bill C-17. According to a 2004 study, after this law was passed, firearm-related suicides and homicides, as well as the percentage of suicides involving firearms, declined significantly in that country.[80] A 2010 study found that after this law was passed, firearm suicides declined in Quebec among men, but acknowledged that this may not represent a causal relationship.[81] In 1992, Canada promulgated the Canadian Firearms Act, which aimed at ensuring that guns were stored safely. A 2004 study found that although firearm suicide rates declined in the Quebec region Abitibi-Témiscamingue after the law was passed, overall suicide rates did not.[82] A 2008 study reached similar conclusions with regard to the entire Quebec province; this study also found that C-17 did not seem to increase the rate at which the firearm suicide rate was declining.[83] Other researchers have criticized this 2008 study for looking at too short a time period and not taking account of the fact that the regulations in C-17 were implemented gradually.[81]

A 1990 study compared suicide rates in the Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada metropolitan area (where gun control laws were more restrictive) with those in the Seattle, Washington area in the United States. The overall suicide rate was essentially the same in the two locations, but the suicide rate among 15 to 24 year olds was about 40 percent higher in Seattle than in Vancouver. The authors concluded that "restricting access to handguns might be expected to reduce the suicide rate in persons 15 to 24 years old, but...it probably would not reduce the overall suicide rate."[84]

A 2011 study looked at gun control passed in Canada between 1974 to 2004 and found that gun laws were responsible for 5 to 10 percent drops in homicides. The study found that the homicide reduction effects of Canadian gun legislation remained even after accounting for sociodemographic and economic factors associated with homicide rates.[85]

A 2012 study looked at gun control laws passed in Canada from 1974 to 2008 and found no evidence that these laws had a beneficial effect on firearm homicide rates in that country. According to the study, "other factors found to be associated with homicide rates were median age, unemployment, immigration rates, percentage of population in low-income bracket, Gini index of income equality, population per police officer, and incarceration rate."[86]

A 2013 study of the 1995 Canadian gun control law Firearms Act, 1995 reported little evidence that this law significantly reduced rates of lethal gun violence against women.[87]

Australia

In 1988 and 1996, gun control laws were enacted in the Australian state of Victoria, both times following mass shootings. A 2004 study found that in the context of these laws, overall firearm-related deaths, especially suicides, declined dramatically.[88] A 1995 study found preliminary evidence that gun control legislation enacted in Queensland, Australia reduced suicide rates there.[89]

A 2006 study by gun lobby-affiliated researchers Jeanine Baker and Samara McPhedran found that after Australia enacted the National Firearms Agreement (NFA), a gun control law, in 1996, gun-related suicides may have been affected, but no other parameter appeared to have been.[90] Another 2006 study, led by Simon Chapman, found that after this law was enacted in 1996 in Australia, the country went more than a decade without any mass shootings, and gun-related deaths (especially suicides) declined dramatically.[91] The latter of these studies also criticized the former for using a time-series analysis despite the fact that, according to Chapman et al., "calculating mortality rates and then treating them as a number in a time series ignores the natural variability inherent in the counts that make up the numerator of the rate." Chapman et al. also said that Baker and McPhedran used the Box–Jenkins model inappropriately.[91] A 2010 study looking at the effect of the NFA on gun-related deaths found that the law "did not have any large effects on reducing firearm homicide or suicide rates,"[92] although David Hemenway has criticized this study for using a structural break test despite the fact that such tests can miss the effects of policies in the presence of lags, or when the effect occurs over several years.[93] Another study, published the same year, found that Australia's gun buyback program reduced gun-related suicide rates by almost 80%, while non-gun death rates were not significantly affected.[94] Other research has argued that although gun suicide rates fell after the NFA was enacted, the NFA may not have been responsible for this decrease and "a change in social and cultural attitudes" may have instead been at least partly responsible.[95] In 2016, Chapman co-authored another study that found that after the NFA was passed, there were no mass shootings in the country (as of May 2016), and that gun-related death rates declined more quickly after the NFA than they did before it. The study also found, however, that non-gun suicide and homicide rates declined even more quickly after the NFA, leading the authors to conclude that "it is not possible to determine whether the change in firearm deaths can be attributed to the gun law reforms."[96]

Other countries

A 2007 study found evidence that gun control laws passed in Austria in 1997 reduced the rates of firearm suicide and homicide in that country.[97] In Brazil, after disarmament laws were passed in 2003,[98] gun-related mortality declined by 8% in 2004 relative to the previous year, the first decline observed in a decade. Gun-related hospitalizations also reversed their previous trend by decreasing 4.6% from 2003 to 2004.[99] A 2006 study found that after gun control laws were passed in New Zealand in 1992, suicides committed with guns declined significantly, especially among youth. The same study found a decline in overall youth suicide after the laws were passed, but also concluded that "it is not possible to determine the extent to which this was accounted for by changes in firearms legislation or other causes."[100] A 2010 study looked at the effect of a policy adopted by the Israeli Defense Forces that restricted access to guns among adolescents on suicide rates, and found that "Following the policy change, suicide rates decreased significantly by 40%." The authors concluded that "The results of this study illustrate the ability of a relatively simple change in policy to have a major impact on suicide rates."[101] A 2013 study showed that after the Military of Switzerland adopted the Army XXI reform, which restricted gun availability, in 2003, suicide rates—both overall and firearm-related—decreased.[102] Another 2013 study looking at four restrictive gun laws passed in Norway found that two of them may have reduced firearm mortality among men, but that the evidence was more inconclusive with respect to all of the laws they studied.[103] A 2014 study found that after South Africa's Firearm Control Act was passed in 2000, homicide rates in the country declined, and concluded that "stricter gun control mediated by the FCA accounted for a significant decrease in homicide overall, and firearm homicide in particular, during the study period [2001–2005]."[104] A 2000 study found that a ban on carrying guns in Colombia was associated with reductions in homicide rates in two cities in the country, namely, Cali and Bogotá.[105]

See also

International

United States

Notes

  1. ^ This figure excludes older, pre-automatic small arms from military and law enforcement stockpiles or 'craft-produced' civilian firearms.[8]
  2. ^ Composed of 'insurgents and militias, including dormant and state-related groups'.[10]
  3. ^ However, as of 2009, active non-state armed groups, numbering about 285,000 combatants, control only about 350,000 small arms.[11]
  4. ^ Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, and Taiwan (Republic of China) prohibit civilian ownership of firearms in almost all instances. Eritrea and Somalia also prohibit civilian possession of firearms as part of their implementation of the UN Programme of Action on Small Arms. In the Solomon Islands civilian firearm ownership is restricted to members of the Regional Assistance Mission.[12]
  5. ^ The survey, carried out by the Small Arms Survey included 28 countries (42 jurisdictions in total). The countries included in the sample were:
    • Africa: Egypt, Kenya, South Africa, Uganda;
    • Americas: Belize, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Dominican Republic, United States, Venezuela;
    • Asia: India, Israel, Japan, Kazakhstan, Singapore, Turkey, Yemen;
    • Europe: Croatia, Estonia, Finland, Lithuania, Russian Federation, Switzerland, United Kingdom;
    • Oceania: Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea.[14]
      The study states that 'while the sample is diverse and balanced, it may not be representative of the systems in place in countries outside the sample'.[15]
  6. ^ The impetus behind this study was twofold: firstly, there were concerns over the incidence of firearm-related crimes, accidents and suicides; secondly, there was the apprehension that existing regulatory instruments administering the ownership, storage and training in the use of firearms held by civilians might be inadequate.[17]
  7. ^ The US government was opposed to a section of the draft proposal calling on countries 'to seriously consider the prohibition of unrestricted trade and private ownership of small arms and light weapons'.[19]
  8. ^ The full title is 'The Bamako Declaration on an African Common Position on the Illicit Proliferation, Circulation and Trafficking of Small Arms and Light Weapons (2000)'.[21]

References

  1. ^ a b GunPolicy.org – Facts. The only countries with permissive gun legislation are: Albania, Austria, Chad, Republic of Congo, Honduras, Micronesia, Namibia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal, Tanzania, the United States, Yemen and Zambia. Accessed on August 27, 2016.
  2. ^ Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (2005). Federal Firearms Regulations Reference Guide (PDF). U.S. Department of Justice. Retrieved: January 3, 2016.
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Bibliography

External links

National groups
2011 Swiss gun control initiative

A referendum was held in Switzerland on 13 February 2011 on the federal popular initiative "For the protection against gun violence". It was rejected by 56% of voters and a majority of cantons.

Andrew Cuomo

Andrew Mark Cuomo (; born December 6, 1957) is an American politician, author, and lawyer serving as the 56th governor of New York since 2011. A member of the Democratic Party, he was elected to the same position his late father, Mario Cuomo, held for three terms.

Born in New York City, Cuomo is a graduate of Fordham University and Albany Law School of Union University, New York. He began his career working as the campaign manager for his father, then as an assistant district attorney in New York City before entering private law practice. He founded Housing Enterprise for the Less Privileged (HELP USA) and was appointed chair of the New York City Homeless Commission, a position he held from 1990 to 1993.

In 1993, Cuomo joined the Clinton Administration as Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development in the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. From 1997 to 2001, he served as the U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

In 2006, Cuomo was elected Attorney General of New York. He won the election as Governor of New York in 2010 and has been reelected twice after winning primaries against liberal challengers Zephyr Teachout (2014) and Cynthia Nixon (2018). During his first term, Cuomo oversaw the passage of a same-sex marriage law, gun control legislation, and a property tax cap, and also signed medical marijuana legislation. In his second term, Cuomo successfully pushed for an increase in New York's minimum wage.

Brady Campaign

The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence are affiliated American nonprofit organizations that advocate for gun control and against gun violence. Together, they are commonly referred to as the Brady Campaign. They are named after James "Jim" Brady, who was permanently disabled as a result of the Ronald Reagan assassination attempt of 1981, and Sarah Brady, who was a leader within the organization from 1989 until 2012.

The Brady Campaign was founded in 1974 as the National Council to Control Handguns (NCCH). From 1980 through 2000 it operated under the name Handgun Control, Inc. (HCI). In 2001, it was renamed the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, and its sister project, the Center to Prevent Handgun Violence, was renamed the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

Coalition to Stop Gun Violence

The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV) and the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence (EFSGV or Ed Fund), its sister organization, are two parts of a national, non-profit gun control advocacy organization that is opposed to gun violence. Since 1974, it has supported reduction in American gun violence by education and legislation.

David Hogg (activist)

David Miles Hogg (born April 12, 2000) is an American author and student who survived the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting on February 14, 2018 and afterward became a gun control advocate and an activist against gun violence in the United States. He is one of 20 founding members of Never Again MSD, a gun control advocacy group led by Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School (MSD) students. In conjunction with his gun control advocacy, he has helped lead several high-profile protests, marches, and boycotts. He has also been a target and scapegoat of several conspiracy theories and right-wing accusations.With his sister, he wrote a book titled #NeverAgain: A New Generation Draws the Line that made the New York Times bestseller list. They have pledged to donate all income from the book to charity. Hogg plans to attend Harvard University in fall 2019.

Dunblane massacre

The Dunblane school massacre took place at Dunblane Primary School near Stirling, Stirlingshire, Scotland, on 13 March 1996, when Thomas Hamilton shot 16 children and one teacher dead before killing himself. It remains the deadliest mass shooting in British history.Public debate about the killings centred on gun control laws, including public petitions calling for a ban on private ownership of handguns and an official inquiry, which produced the 1996 Cullen Reports. In response to this debate, two new Firearms Acts were passed, which outlawed private ownership of most handguns in Great Britain.

Everytown for Gun Safety

Everytown for Gun Safety is an American nonprofit organization which advocates for gun control and against gun violence. Everytown was founded in 2014, combining Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. Everytown for Gun Safety is largely financed by Michael Bloomberg, who also founded the group.The organization works to "support efforts to educate policy makers, as well the press and the public, about the consequences of gun violence and promote efforts to keep guns out of the hands of criminals." The group has focused on efforts to require universal background checks on firearms purchases. The organization also produces research and studies on gun violence.

Gun Control Act of 1968

The Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA or GCA68) is a U.S. federal law that regulates the firearms industry and firearms owners. It primarily focuses on regulating interstate commerce in firearms by generally prohibiting interstate firearms transfers except among licensed manufacturers, dealers and importers.

The GCA was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on October 22, 1968, and is Title I of the U.S. federal firearms laws. The National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA) is Title II. Both GCA and NFA are enforced by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

Gun laws in Australia

Gun laws in Australia are predominately within the jurisdiction of Australian states and territories, with the importation of guns regulated by the federal government. In the last two decades of the 20th century, following several high-profile killing sprees, the federal government coordinated more restrictive firearms legislation with all state governments. Gun laws were largely aligned in 1996 by the National Firearms Agreement.

A person must have a firearm licence to possess or use a firearm. Licence holders must demonstrate a "genuine reason" (which does not include self-defence) for holding a firearm licence and must not be a "prohibited person". All firearms must be registered by serial number to the owner, who must also hold a firearms licence.

Some studies on the effects of Australia's gun laws have suggested that Australia’s gun laws have been effective in reducing mass shootings, gun suicides and armed crime, while other studies suggest that the laws have had little effect. Polling shows strong support for gun legislation in Australia with around 85 to 90% of people wanting the same or greater level of restrictions.

Gun politics in the United States

Gun politics is an area of American politics defined by two primary opposing ideologies about civilian gun ownership. People who advocate for gun control support increasing regulations related to gun ownership; people who advocate for gun rights support decreasing regulations related to gun ownership. These groups often disagree on the interpretation of laws and court cases related to firearms as well as about the effects of firearms regulation on crime and public safety. It is estimated that U.S. civilians own 393 million firearms, and that 35% to 42% of the households in the country have at least one gun. The U.S. has the highest estimated number of guns per capita, at 120.5 guns for every 100 people.The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution reads: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."Debates regarding firearm availability and gun violence in the United States have been characterized by concerns about the right to bear arms, such as found in the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and the responsibility of the United States government to serve the needs of its citizens and to prevent crime and deaths. Firearms regulation supporters say that indiscriminate or unrestricted gun rights inhibit the government from fulfilling that responsibility, and causes a safety concern, as assault weapons are not legal. Gun rights supporters promote firearms for self-defense – including security against tyranny, as well as hunting and sporting activities. Firearms regulation advocates state that restricting and tracking gun access would result in safer communities, while gun rights advocates state that increased firearm ownership by law-abiding citizens reduces crime and assert that criminals have always had easy access to firearms.Gun legislation, or non-legislation, in the United States is augmented by judicial interpretations of the Constitution. In 1791, the United States adopted the Second Amendment, and in 1868 adopted the Fourteenth Amendment. The effect of those two amendments on gun politics was the subject of landmark U.S. Supreme Court decisions in 2008 and 2010, that upheld the right of individuals to possess guns for self-defense.

Harry Nilsson

Harry Edward Nilsson III (June 15, 1941 – January 15, 1994), usually credited as Nilsson, was an American singer-songwriter who achieved the peak of his commercial success in the early 1970s. His work is characterized by pioneering vocal overdub experiments, returns to the Great American Songbook, and fusions of Caribbean sounds. A tenor with a 3½ octave range, Nilsson was one of the few major pop-rock recording artists of his era to achieve significant commercial success without ever performing major public concerts or undertaking regular tours. The craft of his songs and the defiant attitude he projected remains a touchstone for later generations of indie rock musicians.Born in Brooklyn, Nilsson moved to Los Angeles as a teenager to escape his family's poor financial situation. While working as a computer programmer at a bank, he grew interested in musical composition and close-harmony singing, and was successful in having some of his songs recorded by various artists such as the Monkees. In 1967, he debuted on RCA Victor with the LP Pandemonium Shadow Show, followed by a variety of releases that include a collaboration with Randy Newman (Nilsson Sings Newman, 1970) and the original children's story The Point! (1971). His most commercially successful albums, Nilsson Schmilsson (1971) and Son of Schmilsson (1972), produced the international top 10 singles "Without You" (1971) and "Coconut" (1972). His other top 10 hit, "Everybody's Talkin'" (1968), was a prominent song in the 1969 film Midnight Cowboy. A version of Nilsson's "One", released by Three Dog Night in 1969, also reached the U.S. top 10.

During a 1968 press conference, the Beatles were asked what their favorite American group was and answered "Nilsson". He soon formed close friendships with John Lennon and Ringo Starr. In the 1970s, Nilsson and Lennon were members of the Hollywood Vampires drinking club, embroiling themselves in a number of widely publicized, alcohol-fueled incidents. At the same time, they produced one collaborative album, Pussy Cats (1974). After 1977, Nilsson left RCA, and his record output diminished. In response to Lennon's 1980 murder, he took a hiatus from the music industry to campaign for gun control. For the rest of his life, he recorded only sporadically.

Nilsson created the first remix album (Aerial Pandemonium Ballet, 1971) and recorded the first mashup song ("You Can't Do That", 1967). He was voted No. 62 in Rolling Stone's 2015 list of the "100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time", where he was described as "a pioneer of the Los Angeles studio sound, a crucial bridge between the baroque psychedelic pop of the late Sixties and the more personal singer-songwriter era of the Seventies". The RIAA certified Nilsson Schmilsson and Son of Schmilsson as gold records, indicating over 500,000 units sold each. His honors include Grammy Awards for two of his recordings; Best Contemporary Vocal Performance, Male in 1970 for "Everybody's Talkin'" and Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male in 1973 for "Without You". In 1994, Nilsson died of a heart attack while in the midst of recording new material for a since-unreleased comeback album.

James Brady

James Scott Brady (August 29, 1940 – August 4, 2014) was an assistant to the U.S. President and the fifteenth White House Press Secretary under President Ronald Reagan. In 1981, Brady became permanently disabled from a gunshot wound during the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan.

His death was ruled a homicide, caused by the gunshot wound he received 33 years earlier.He was married to gun control activist Sarah Brady.

John Hickenlooper

John Wright Hickenlooper Jr. (; born February 7, 1952) is an American politician and businessman who served as the 42nd Governor of Colorado from 2011 to 2019. He is a member of the Democratic Party. In 2019, he announced that he is running for President of the United States in 2020.Born in Narberth, Pennsylvania, Hickenlooper is a graduate of Wesleyan University. After his career as a geologist, Hickenlooper entered a career in business and cofounded the Wynkoop Brewing Company in Denver. Hickenlooper was elected the 43rd mayor of Denver in 2003, serving two terms, until 2011.

After incumbent governor Bill Ritter announced that he would not seek reelection, Hickenlooper announced his intentions to run for the Democratic nomination, in January 2010. He won in an uncontested primary and faced Constitution Party candidate, former representative Tom Tancredo, and Republican businessman Dan Maes in the general election, which he won with 51% of the vote. He was re-elected to a second term in 2014, defeating Republican former U.S. representative Bob Beauprez by 49% to 46%.

Lucy McBath

Lucia Kay McBath (born June 1, 1960) is an American gun control advocate and member of the United States House of Representatives from Georgia's 6th congressional district. The district, which was once represented by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, includes many of Atlanta's affluent northern suburbs, such as Alpharetta, Roswell, Johns Creek, Dunwoody, Sandy Springs, Brookhaven and part of Marietta.

Her son Jordan Davis was shot and killed in November 2012. A member of the Democratic Party, McBath defeated incumbent Republican Karen Handel in the November 2018 election.

Martin O'Malley

Martin Joseph O'Malley (born January 18, 1963) is an American politician and attorney who served as the 61st Governor of Maryland from 2007 to 2015. He previously served as Mayor of Baltimore from 1999 to 2007, and was a councilman from the Third Council District in the northeast section of the city on the Baltimore City Council from 1991 to 1999.

O'Malley served as the chair of the Democratic Governors Association from 2011 to 2013, while being governor of Maryland. Following his departure from public office in early 2015, he was appointed to The Johns Hopkins University's Carey Business School as a visiting professor focusing on government, business and urban issues.

As governor, in 2011, he signed a law that would make illegal immigrants brought to the United States as children eligible for in-state college tuition. In 2012, he signed a law to legalize same-sex marriage in Maryland. Each law was put to a voter referendum in the 2012 general election, and was upheld by the majority of the state electorate.

Long rumored to have presidential ambitions, O'Malley publicly announced his candidacy in the 2016 presidential election on May 30, 2015, in Baltimore, after filing his candidacy forms seeking the Democratic Party presidential nomination with the Federal Election Commission the day before. He struggled to attract significant support as one of three major party candidates, however, and eight months later on February 1, 2016, he suspended his campaign after finishing third in the Iowa caucuses.

Michael Douglas

Michael Kirk Douglas (born September 25, 1944) is an American actor and producer. He has received numerous accolades, including two Academy Awards, five Golden Globe Awards, a Primetime Emmy Award, the Cecil B. DeMille Award, and the AFI Life Achievement Award.The elder son of Kirk Douglas and Diana Dill, Douglas received his Bachelor of Arts in Drama from the University of California, Santa Barbara. His early acting roles included film, stage, and television productions. Douglas first achieved prominence for his performance in the ABC police procedural television series The Streets of San Francisco, for which he received three consecutive Emmy Award nominations. In 1975, Douglas produced One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, having acquired the rights to the Ken Kesey novel from his father. The film received critical and popular acclaim, and won the Academy Award for Best Picture, earning Douglas his first Oscar as one of the film's producers. After leaving The Streets of San Francisco in 1976, Douglas went on to produce films including The China Syndrome (1979) and Romancing the Stone (1984). He won the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy for Romancing the Stone, in which he also starred, thus reintroducing himself to audiences as a capable leading man.

After reprising his Romancing the Stone role as Jack Colton in the 1985 sequel The Jewel of the Nile, which he also produced, and along with appearing in the musical A Chorus Line (1985) and the psychological thriller Fatal Attraction (1987), Douglas received critical acclaim for his portrayal of Gordon Gekko in Oliver Stone's Wall Street, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor. He reprised the role in the sequel Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010). His subsequent film roles included: Black Rain (1989); The War of the Roses (1989); Basic Instinct (1992); Falling Down (1993); The American President (1995); The Game (1997); Traffic and Wonder Boys (both 2000); Solitary Man (2009); Ant-Man (2015) and Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018). In 2013, for his portrayal of Liberace in the HBO film Behind the Candelabra, he won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie. Douglas currently stars as an aging acting coach in Chuck Lorre's comedy series The Kominsky Method, for which he won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy.

Apart from his acting career, Douglas has received notice for his humanitarian and political activism, as well as media attention for his marriage to Welsh actress Catherine Zeta-Jones.

National Rifle Association

The National Rifle Association of America (NRA) is a U.S. nonprofit organization that advocates for gun rights. Founded in 1871, the group has informed its members about firearm-related legislation since 1934, and it has directly lobbied for and against firearms legislation since 1975.Founded to advance rifle marksmanship, the modern NRA continues to teach firearm safety and competency. The organization also publishes several magazines and sponsors competitive marksmanship events. According to the NRA, it has nearly 5 million members as of December 2018, although that figure has not been independently confirmed.Observers and lawmakers see the NRA as one of the top three most influential lobbying groups in Washington, D.C. The NRA Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) is its lobbying arm, which manages its political action committee (PAC), the Political Victory Fund (PVF). Over its history the organization has influenced legislation, participated in or initiated lawsuits, and endorsed or opposed various candidates at local, state and federal levels. The NRA has been criticized by gun control and gun rights advocacy groups, political commentators, and politicians. The organization has been the focus of intense criticism in the aftermath of high-profile shootings, such as the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting and the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting.

Nazi gun control argument

The Nazi gun control argument is a refuted claim that gun regulations in the Third Reich helped to facilitate the rise of the Nazis and the Holocaust. Historians and fact-checkers have described the argument as "dubious," "questionable," "preposterous," "tendentious," or "problematic."This argument is seldom used outside U.S. gun politics. Questions about its validity, and about the motives behind its inception, have been raised by scholars. Proponents in the United States have used it as part of a "security against tyranny" argument, while opponents have referred to it as a form of Reductio ad Hitlerum.

Overview of gun laws by nation

Gun laws and policies (collectively referred to as firearms regulation or gun control) regulate the manufacture, sale, transfer, possession, modification and use of small arms by civilians. Many countries have restrictive firearm policies, while a few have permissive ones. The only countries with permissive gun legislation are: Albania, Austria, Chad, Republic of Congo, Honduras, Micronesia, Namibia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Senegal, South Africa, Switzerland, Tanzania, the United States, Yemen and Zambia, although several other countries like Canada and the Czech Republic, despite theoretically being restrictive, are shall-issue countries. Countries with a strong gun culture may afford civilians a right to keep and bear arms, and have more-liberal gun laws than neighboring jurisdictions. Countries which regulate access to firearms will typically restrict access to certain categories of firearms and then restrict the categories of persons who may be granted a license for access to such firearms. There may be separate licenses for hunting, sport shooting (a.k.a. target shooting), self-defense, collecting, and concealed carry, with different sets of requirements, permissions, and responsibilities.

Gun laws are often enacted with the intention of reducing the use of small arms in criminal activity, specifying weapons perceived as being capable of inflicting the greatest damage and those most-easily concealed (such as handguns and other short-barreled weapons). Persons restricted from legal access to firearms may include those below a certain age or having a criminal record. Firearm licenses may be denied to those felt most at risk of harming themselves or others, such as persons with a history of domestic violence, alcoholism or substance abuse, mental illness, depression or attempted suicide. Those applying for a firearm license may have to demonstrate competence by completing a gun-safety course and show provision for a secure location to store weapons.

Guns laws are considered permissive in countries where the authorities will provide a firearm license on a shall issue basis to ordinary citizens who meet the legal requirements. Guns laws are restrictive when licenses are provided on a may issue basis, at the discretion of the regulating authority, often requiring the applicant to demonstrate a reason why they need a firearm. Gun laws are considered strict when it is difficult or impossible for an ordinary citizen to obtain a firearm through legal means.

The legislation which restricts small arms may also restrict other weapons, such as explosives, crossbows, swords, electroshock weapons, air guns, and pepper spray. It may also restrict firearm accessories, notably high-capacity magazines and sound suppressors. There may be restrictions on the quantity or types of ammunition purchased, with certain types prohibited. Due to the global scope of this article, detailed coverage cannot be provided on all these matters; the article will instead attempt to briefly summarize each country's weapon laws in regard to small arms use and ownership by civilians.

Gun control in the United States

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