Gun Control Policy

Gun Control Policy

Gun control in the United Sates has been debated over the years, and the situation has been followed by a series of unbearable mass killings by people who own guns. Precisely, back in the year 2012, twenty school children in Newton, Connecticut were killed, and this propelled nationwide debate on gun laws. Therefore, the Obama’s administration advocated limiting the availability of weapons. The Second Amendment entails the citizens’ right to bear arms. However, the law applies even when a person is under restraining order. Although most individuals consider this as a protection right, they always take advantage of this particular right. The Second Amendment in the Constitution of the United States Bill of rights states that, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a Free State, the right of the people and bear Arms shall not be fringed” (District of Colombia v. Heller, 2008). Some of the federal courts and gun control proponents argued that the Second Amendment applies only to the militias and not the citizens of the United States. Similarly, in 2002, the federal appeal court made a ruling that individuals will only have the right to bear guns when providing service to the state. Ultimately, the following are some of the main objectives that the gun control policy or law tries to focus.

The gun control policy aims at defining the specific conditions that prohibits people or an individual from owning a firearm. Also, the law works by implementing some of the regulations that will prevent prohibited people from buying or possessing a gun. The diversion of guns to criminals can be prevented by conducting regular compliance inspection on retail gun sellers. Also, the law enforcement agencies will file lawsuits against illegal retailers. Third, the law aims at restricting people from carrying concealed firearms. Therefore, concealed firearms should not be carried by people outside their homes or people should not carry them in public places. Lastly, the gun control policy aims to regulate the design of all firearms. The policy regulates the design of firearms so that the safety of the public or an individual is enhanced.

In 2008, the United State Supreme Court made a 5 – 4 ruling that is known as the District of Colombia vs. Heller. The court found that the people’s right to bear arms was under the protection of the Second Amendment. It was necessary for it to strike down the regulation as unconstitutional. The district of Colombia had restrictions and required the firearms in the houses to be disassembled or locked. There are so many arguments against and for gun control. However, people would feel good when they are well armed, and this will ensure they are protected at any given time. The statistics of violent crimes has raised arguments against gun control. In 2010, there was an estimated number of 11,078 gun murder. Similarly, in 2011, gun robbery crime was recorded at 122,300 crimes (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2013). Therefore, these statistics is being used by the citizens against control. Removing the Second Amendment might be revolutionary to the citizens of the Unites States. The citizens are not actually pleased with the discussion going on about removing their rights permanently.

The literature review entails gun control policy and how it affects the citizens’ Second Amendment rights. Therefore, it is based on the article by Lott, J. R. (2013), “More guns, less crime: Understanding crime and gun control laws.” However, gun control law tries to regulate the activities of manufacturing, selling, possessing and using firearms. The act was passed by President Lyndon Johnson back in the year 1968. When a person possesses the firearm, it is considered as a sign of protecting himself/herself from threats. Our society faces diverse controversies about gun control. People feel protected when they have firearms, retail outlets are being allowed to carry the activity of selling guns and also, the government has allowed the veterans to use firearms. The situation has left many people wonder why the government does not follow the policies made by other countries in Europe.

However, according to Lott (2013), a large number of Americans have owned guns in their lives more than other countries in the world. Throughout the history of America, the gun control policy was used by the federal government to oppress the blacks (Lott, 2013). At the end of the civil war in America, the North people allowed their soldiers regardless of the color to take their firearms with them. On the other hand, the South adopted the law called Black Codes. Therefore, the black could not own firearms. Frequent riots and the assassination of prominent people like Robert F. Kennedy led to the Gun Control Act of 1968. The act clarified the kind of people who should possess guns. However, how is the citizen’s Second Amendment rights affected by the gun control policy? Various institutions and individuals have their interpretation of the Second Amendment rights. For those who support the gun control policy believe that the right refers to members of the militia and not the person. Moreover, the gun control advocates have the opinion that when the Second Amendment was being written, the nation did not have a national military system that could be used to defend itself, however, now that the country has an organized system, citizens should not possess firearms. Contrary to this, individuals against the policy believe that they have the right to own firearms and their right is being protected by the Second Amendment in the Constitution.

There is a relationship between gun laws and crime rates. However, the issue of gun control is controversial, and it is hard to determine the measures that would reduce gun violence. Some of the gun control measures that might slow the rate at which criminals access them include; gun registration, waiting periods, limiting the purchase of weapons and ammunitions and enacting bans on assault rifles. When people use drugs, they are likely to be influenced into committing violent crimes. People who are addicted to illegal drugs are prohibited from possessing firearms. Precisely, if that person was convicted for using illegal drugs within the past years, then he/she is not allowed to possess firearms. Also, drug cartels are financially stable, and they buy guns or acquire them illegally to do their business. Drugs and human trafficking, and identity theft are some of the businesses being done by these cartels. It will also be significant if proper education and technical support are provided to the sheriffs to reinforce the law. Ultimately, security in the U.S. has been beefed up by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and community policing. The strategies are critical since they mitigate crimes, provide penalties to the offenders and uphold the social control.

The federal, state and local governments have legislations on gun control and gun rights. Different states have different ways of addressing the attitude of the people towards the gun. For example, a state like New York has declined to allow its citizens to purchase guns from other states and bring them to New York. Besides, when one state has strict gun laws, it might be outperformed by permissive law from the neighborhood states. However, in the U.S., the federal law sets the minimum standards for firearm regulation. It is upon the individual states to have their own laws. Some of the individual states provide strict laws on gun control while others are lenient. Other states like Kansas, Alaska, and Idaho, have gone further to pass laws that would overcome the federal policies, but the constitution still recognizes the federal law as superior. The state level of government has been considered as the level that most gun laws are enacted. Similarly, state legislatures are always under pressure from the public for reforms on gun control policy since they are the ones who are closer to the society. Besides, gun violence is mainly felt at local and state level. The benefit that is derived when examining state gun law is the diverse policy options. Therefore, states that work with highly developed firearms regulations systems can function as policy-testing sites hence providing models that should be followed by other governments.

The supreme courts and the policymakers should come out openly and explain to the pubic the Second Amendment in the Constitution. The public has a different version of interpreting the gun control policy. Whenever an act that involves a gun occurs in the U.S. much pressure is put on gun control policy. The gun control opponents have the notion that owning and using a firearm is an undeniable freedom that is guaranteed by the constitution. They argue that the policy will prevent people from defending themselves lawfully in case they are attacked. The proponent of the policy has a different version. They believed that when the federal, state or local government enacts strong gun control law then it will mitigate the loss of life. Similarly, they argue that certain types of people should not be allowed to own guns. However, the current law prohibits people such as criminals, underage children, and mentally ill persons from owning firearms.

The other issue is the licensing and registration of guns. All guns should be registered and the license given to the owner. However, the federal law should stand firm with its policy of banning convicted felons and other offenders from owning guns. The NICS has put background checks at every point of purchase and this control such people from buying the guns at any gun shop. Similarly, the system of licensing and registering guns will give a chance to the authority to deprive one of owning a gun in case he/she proves to be untrustworthy. Also, when a gun is registered, it can be traced back to the owner in case something happens.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and community policing are critical in addressing some of the criminal justice issues in America. The two strategies both aim to obtain information that is significant and coordinate together. The strategies have gone far to prevent acts such as terrorism. Terrorism has been identified as the major threat to the public. DHS will involve the corporation of other bodies such as criminal justice system to analyze the nature of terrorism and the various ways they operate. However, the lack of assistance from community policing has lowered the effectiveness of DHS (Friedmann& Cannon, 2007). The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has the goal of securing America, and it will ensure it conforms to the law enforcement. Therefore, the local government has a role to play and ensure that the public safety is guaranteed (Sozer, 2009). Although there are some differences between DHS and community policing, their collaboration would be great, and the country will benefit from it.

The local community is significant in sharing some of the vital information, and if they coordinate with ADH, then they will effectively fight terrorism. Also, it will be more important if DHS implement and design its policies creatively to work with the community. The criminal justice operations involve protecting the safety of the public and therefore, DHS has prioritized protecting the citizens of America against terrorism. Similarly, it focuses on ensuring individuals who were affected by natural disaster recover well, secure borders and protect cyber users from cyber attacks (Napolitano, 2009). The other activities that DHS is involved in include writing new policies and pass new laws that will fight crimes.

The gun control policy has the following effects on the social justice. People own guns to offer them protection. Therefore, when individuals have firearms in their houses, they feel protected. For example, according to the national survey, 48% of the gun owners volunteer that they own guns so that they get protection against threats. On the other hand, 32% said they bought guns for hunting (Andrés, & Hempstead, 2011). The gun control policy has also aroused some safety concerns among the Americans who do not own firearms. Most of them feel uncomfortable when they see their neighbors with guns. The main reason for them to feel uncomfortable is because they fear for gun accidents, and this threatens their safety. For example, one incident happened recently in Toms River, NJ. One of the families in the area was held accountable for the death of their neighbor’s son. The incidence occurred when five-year-old son found a gun in the room and shot a four-year-old neighbor.

The law has allowed the veterans to own firearms. The Obama’s administration has indicated it clearly that the veterans may be stripped of their second amendment rights if they are found incompetent. Veterans who come from war always have post-traumatic stress, and they may use the firearms in a bad way. Therefore, the law requires them to be screened and reevaluated to ensure that they can possess firearms. It will ensure their safety and that of the society. Similarly, the gun control policy has resulted to reduced homicide. For example, the background checks law general showed reduced rates of homicide at the state level. Therefore, it will be ideal if laws are improved against people carrying unlicensed guns in the public places. The amount of guns that are found in the streets of the U.S. is abnormal, and this exacts fear on how we handle our gun issues. If the federal government lowers a number of guns it gives to people, then we will record a lower suicide or homicide rates (Moorhouse, & Wanner, 2006). Our weak gun control policy has increased the rates of homicides in the country. Most schools have been affected by mass shootings. For example, the issue of Virginia Technical University raised questions concerning the strictness of our policies. A young student named Seung-Hui Cho went viral and shot mercilessly and killed 33 people and gave injuries to 29 (Douglas, Burgess, & Burgess, 2013). When comparing the statistics from the U.S with other democratic nations, U.S. has the highest rate of gun violence. Similarly, the country records a higher rate of firearm ownership.

According to statistics from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (2013), it is approximated that more than 31,000 individuals a year die from gunshot wounds in the U.S. For a nation of such wealth, the homicide rate is seven times higher than a combined 22 other countries with higher income as that of the U. S.

In conclusion, if the country has the solutions to gun violence it should put it to test. Other countries have enacted strict gun control laws, and they are showing great progress. The current gun laws have some weaknesses and these have contributed to the burden the country is facing at the moment. The weaknesses have established low standards to the aspect of people owning guns legally. Therefore, I recommend that the federal, state and local government to look into the idea and pass the law. The local, state and federal government should expand the prohibition of firearms to the high-risk groups. Lastly, the government should strictly crack down any loophole they find especially on background checks. The background checks should be on the mentally ill people and the children (Swanson, 2013). Other comprehensive measures should used to prevent prohibited persons from using the firearms. The measure is good, and also it respects the Second Amendment and also the tradition of the U.S citizens. Therefore, when fewer firearms are distributed to the prohibited people, then the statistics for violent cases will be low.



Andrés, A. R., & Hempstead, K. (2011). Gun control and suicide: The impact of state firearm regulations in the United States, 1995–2004. Health Policy, 101(1), 95-103.

District of Colombia v. Heller, 128 S. Ct. 2783 – Supreme Court 2008.

Douglas, J. E., Burgess, A. W., & Burgess, A. G. (2013). Crime classification manual: A standard system for investigating and classifying violent crimes.

Federal Bureau of Investigation. (2013). Crime in the Unites States, 2013. Retrieved from

Friedmann, R. R., & Cannon, W. J. (2007). Homeland security and community policing: Competing or completing public safety policies. Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, 4(4).

Lott, J. R. (2013). More guns, less crime: Understanding crime and gun control laws. University of Chicago Press.

Moorhouse, J. C., & Wanner, B. (2006). Does gun control reduce crime or does crime increase gun control. Cato J., 26, 103.

Napolitano, J. (2009). The Department’s Five Responsibilities. Retrieved from U.S Department of Homeland Security:

Sozer, M. A. (2009). Crime and Community policing. Texas: LFB Scholarly Publishing LLC.

Swanson, J. (2013). Mental illness and new gun law reforms: the promise and peril of crisis-driven policy. JAMA, 309(12), 1233-1234.


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