Gun Control

Essay by kaaanch May 2010

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Gun Control


GUN CONTROL, OR THE monitoring and restriction of the public use of firearms, is thought by the left to be a useful tool in the control of crime. The history of gun control in the United States is both a matter of support and refutation of the assertion that gun control reduces crime and accidental deaths.


Since the writing of the Second Amendment to the Constitution (granting the right to citizens to bear arms), there has been much debate over how and if the government can regulate gun ownership. In 1813, the first state legislation prohibiting the concealment of weapons was passed. Since then, many states and towns have passed laws prohibiting the concealment of firearms. The federal government has also passed many acts to try to control the sale and possession of firearms. The Sullivan Law was passed in New York in 1911 after the shootings of Mayor William J.

Gaynov and popular novelist David Graham Philips. This law, which is still in effect today, stood as a model for gun legislation for 50 years. The law requires people to acquire a license to possess or carry a firearm small enough to conceal. The law also made it illegal for aliens to possess firearms in any public place.

The Mailing of Firearms Act (MFA) was signed into law in 1927 by President Calvin Coolidge. The MFA, also known as the Miller Act, is also still in effect today. This law prohibits the sending of pistols and other firearms, which could be concealed on a person, through the mail. Representative Miller, who was a Republican representative from Seattle, Washington, wrote the bill and also a letter to President Coolidge stating that the ability to send firearms through the mail was tempting minors into criminal activity. The...