Gun laws are no doubt a controversial and divisive topic in the United States. While gun ownership continues to be a constitutionally protected right under the 2nd Amendment in the Bill of Rights, the increase in gun-related deaths in recent years has caused major concern regarding public safety. The recent high school mass shootings in Florida and Texas are latest examples of gun-related violence, which continues to cast fears among the public.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 96 people die due to firearms on a regular day on average. However, these deaths do not often pave the way for stricter gun laws and ordinances until now. Here are few of the recent developments in gun control:
- Florida, known for their lenient attitude towards gun ownership, introduced new regulations last March such as raising the minimum age to buy a firearm to 21 and extending the waiting period for firearm purchases to three days.
- Oregon signed a bill preventing convicted stalkers and domestic violence offenders from buying and keeping firearms in the same month.
- Rhode Island passed two laws this month that ban the use of bump stocks or any upgrade that changes semi-automatic firearms to fully automatic ones, and a “red flag” rule allowing authorities to temporarily seize firearms from people perceived as threats to themselves or to others.
- Connecticut, Vermont, and Washington banned bumps stocks earlier this year, as well.
- In New York, those convicted of domestic abuse will now be required to turn over all firearms, and not just handguns.
- New Jersey is also set to approve new gun control provisions this month.
Aside from these newly passed laws, counties from other states have passed ordinances similar to these laws as well. While certain states and counties are taking a more aggressive stance in response to gun violence this year, changes are coming in slower on a federal level. Bills that aim towards stricter gun control are pending in Congress at the moment. However, there is some good news in terms of preventing gun-related deaths and ensuring public safety on a national level. A new federal spending law was signed that included a provision in improving the national background check systems. Another significant development is the Department of Justice’s move towards banning bump stocks by defining them as machine guns under the 1934 National Firearms Act.
There are several ways on how the new gun laws can help protect the public from more unnecessary bloodshed due to gun violence. Raising the age limit and extending the waiting period can serve as a deterrent for people considering guns as a way to inflict harm towards themselves or to others. This is especially important considering the number of mass shootings in schools over the years. Red flag laws can also allow authorities to exercise their best judgment about individuals who might cause potential danger to themselves or the community. Lastly, banning the use of bump stocks can prevent easy access to deadlier weapons through add-ons.
These measures are great ways to address the current gun violence problem through sufficient knowledge, implementation, and enforcement. Whether you are a gun owner or not, these new gun laws can directly affect your safety as well as your loved ones’.
It is best to consult with a legal professional on how these laws can best protect you and your family in times of danger. Contact us at Hogan Injury for expert legal advice.
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