Since the enactment of the Gun Control Act of 1968 there has been a substantial increase in the incidence of gun-related crimes and it has become evident that the existing system of law is inadequate. Efforts have been underway in both Houses of Congress to enact further gun control legislation and the Executive Branch has indicated support for stronger gun control. Both the Subcommittee on Crime of the House Committee on the Judiciary and the Subcommittee on Crime and Juvenile Delinquency of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary have accumulated a substantial factual record on which to base legislation. We believe that the contribution of handguns to the current increase in homicide and other violent crimes requires immediate and comprehensive action. In our opinion, the continued existence of an unwarranted supply of handguns is an underlying factor in the decline of our major urban centers. This Committee does not find any substantial justification for the continued widespread public possession of handguns, and, accordingly, we strongly endorse the legislative proposals calling for a prohibition on the manufacture, importation, sale, and private possession of handguns.1 Whether or not our recommendations are politically feasible at this moment in time, we are of the firmly held conviction that a complete ban on handguns should be the ultimate objective of any new federal gun control legislation. This report is divided into four parts. Part I describes the current federal law and the congressional proposals for change. Part II examines the constitutional bases for Congress legislating a prohibition on the manufacture, importation, sale, and private possession of handguns. Part III discusses the need for adopting far reaching gun control legislation. Our recommendations are contained in Part IV.(p.172) B. Does Congress Have Power to Regulate the Manufacture, Possession and Sale of All Handguns? While several congressional powers could be invoked in...
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