The Federal government has enacted several laws and regulations regarding firearms. Here are some of these federal laws and how they came about:
– The National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA)
The National Firearms Act of 1934 enacted and placed a tax on the manufacture, sale, and transfer of certain firearms, as well as a ban on the sale of machine guns. The act was passed by Congress in an effort to reduce the number of firearms in circulation. The National Firearms Act has been amended several times since its enactment, most notably in 1968 and 1986.
– The Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA), which regulates interstate commerce in firearms;
The Gun Control Act of 1968 was passed in the wake of several high-profile assassinations and mass shootings. These included the murders of John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, and Martin Luther King Jr., as well as the 1966 University of Texas shooting. The GCA tightened restrictions on who could purchase and possess firearms, and instituted new regulations on gun dealers. It also banned certain types of firearms, such as sawed-off shotguns and machine guns.
– The Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986 (FOPA), which amends the GCA;
FOPA made a number of changes to the GCA, most notably exempting firearms transactions taking place at gun shows from certain provisions of the law. Previously, federal law required gun show organizers to obtain a federal license and conduct background checks on all gun buyers. FOPA did away with those requirements, making it much easier to buy and sell guns at gun shows.
FOPA also included a number of other provisions that made it easier to buy and possess firearms. For example, the law lifted the ban on interstate handgun sales, making it legal to purchase handguns from out-of-state dealers. It also created a “safe harbor” for gun owners who transport firearms across state lines, as long as the guns are unloaded and stored in a locked container.
– The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993 (Brady Law)
The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993 was named after James Brady, who was shot during an assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan in 1981. The law requires federal background checks on individuals purchasing firearms from a licensed dealer and imposes a five-day waiting period for the purchase of handguns. It also created the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), which is used to determine whether a prospective buyer is eligible to purchase firearms.
– The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act)
The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 was the result of a significant increase in violent crime in the early 1990s. It bans the manufacture, transfer, and possession of certain semiautomatic firearms. The public was becoming increasingly concerned about this rise in violence and the government felt that it needed to take action to address the problem.
One of the key provisions of the Act was the creation of a new federal law enforcement agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime. This center was tasked with studying violent crimes and developing strategies for preventing them. This federal law also increased funding for a number of existing programs, such as the Community Oriented Policing Services program and the Violence Against Women Act. It increased funding for law enforcement and created new federal crimes.
– The Gun Free Zones Act of 1990 (GFA)
The Gun Free Zones Act of 1990 was passed into federal law in response to a mass shooting that took place at a school in Stockton, California. The shooter in that incident, Patrick Purdy, used an AK-47 to kill five children and wound 29 others before taking his own life. In the wake of that tragedy, Congress enacted the Gun Free Zones Act in an effort to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.
The Gun Free Zones Act prohibits anyone from knowingly possessing a firearm within 1000 feet of a school zone. The law also doesn’t allow people to carry firearms on school grounds or inside school buildings. There are some exceptions to the law, such as for law enforcement officers and members of the military, but generally speaking, the Gun Free Zones Act makes it very difficult for people to have firearms near schools.
The goal of the Gun-Free Zones Act is to make it harder for potential shooters to access firearms and to make it more likely that they’ll be caught before they can commit a mass shooting. While the law has been successful in reducing gun violence near schools, it’s also been criticized for making it more difficult for law-abiding citizens to defend themselves in the event of a mass shooting.
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