|BRIDGET SANIPAS | |March 27, 2013 |
MG 562 Public Administration
March 27, 2013
GUN CONTROL POLICY
Gun Control Policy is in the news again because of the massive killings at the school in Connecticut recently. Gun Control has been a topic up for debate for many years in the United States. It may not have been on people’s forefront of most people’s political agenda though. It usually comes up when something happens that is awful in the public and goverments eyes. Because it isn’t always on their political agenda the special interest groups have played a prominent role in shaping public discourse and influencing governmental decision making. The specialist interest groups that are in favor of Gun Control Policies have been organized better than the ones that oppose the Gun Control Policy. This is why they are able to twart strict regulations in the area of gun control.
Firearms usage has increased tramendously in our society by the criminals and children. The inadequacy of current legislation has forced the public to address again the gun control policies. They are saying there’s a weak system of gun control and until there is serious efforts made to devise stronger firearms legislation, firearms will continue to fall into the wrong hands. They want legislation to implement on a national scale to make gun control more effective and to enact reasonable restrictions prohibiting criminals and children from having access to firearms and those responsible for distribution of firearms to adhere to these restrictions or face a big penalty. Share on Tumblr [pic]3
Share on Tumblr
The Second Amendment, was added to the Constitution in 1791, gives everyone a right to bear arms, gun enthusiasts argues. Does it also give the right to walk around with assault rifles? As everyone remembers the ones that were killed during the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, while they waited to see if an assault rifle ban would pass, they look at the history of gun control laws: • 1860s — A lot of the southern states passed what they called Black Codes, which strictly limited the African Americans in these states rights including owning a gun. • 1927 — Congress passed the Mailing of Firearms Act, known as the Miller Act • 1934 — The National Firearms Act of 1934 is the first piece of gun control legislation passed by the federal government. This act was prompted by gangsters using the “Tommy gun”. The act was proposed to ban or regulate a variety of different firearms. which taxed the transfer of certain firearms specified in the act and manufactures. It required registration of manufacturers and anyone who imported firearms. • 1938 — The Federal Firearms Act of 1938 banned criminals from receiving or sending firearms in interstate or foreign commerce and regulated interstate commerce in firearms. • 1968 — The Gun Control Act of 1968, was prompted by the assassinations of John F. Kennedy. The gun that Lee Harvey Oswald used to kill the president with was purchased through the mail. This promted an outcry for more gun control legislation. The leader of the NRA supported the bill. The bill regulated who could own a gun and defined that felons couldn’t own a gun also barred under 21 years old from purchasing a gun. • 1976 — The Washington D.C. Council voted 12 to 1 in favor of a bill restricted the residents use of handguns. It also said all firearms other than rifles and shotguns had to be kept unloaded and disassembled. On July 4th, 2005 the House Majority overturned this law to let the residents of Wasington DC to have a gun in their home that was there before 1976, assembled and without trigger locks. • 1986 — Firearms Owners Protection Act. Viewed as Civil Rights Legislation for gun owners. This lifted several bans that were previously in place. Also lifted the prohibition against transporting firearms across state lines. The Armed Career Criminal Act increased penalties if a felon was in possession of a firearm. • 1989 –California was the first state to pass a law restricting the use of assault rifles. • 1993 — The Brady Act put a waiting period of up to five days when buying a handgun. Also made purchasers have a background check. Was prompted by the attempt on President Reagons life. Another victory for gun control advocates. Jim Brady was the press secretary to Ronald Reagan who was seriously injured by John Hinckley Jr..on an attempt to assassinate the president. The background check prevented 45,000 felons from purchasing shotguns. • 1994 — Congress passed HR 4296, law banned many semiautomatic weapons. • 2004 — The 1994 semiautomatic ban expired. It expired because it was an election year and didn’t want to bother with it an lose an election for saying the wrong thing about the gun control issue. • 2005 — The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act was passed, took the legal responsibilty from the gun seller if a crime was committed with its weapons. • 2010 —President Barack Obama during his first term the federal government lifted the ban on guns in national parks. Why did he do this? I do not understand this at all.. The purpose of the 1994 federal assault weapons ban was to narrow the availability of the assault weapons and hopefully to dry up the supply over time. The expired 1994 federal assault weapons ban reduced the incidence of assault weapons used in crime. From (1990-1994) before the ban, assault weapons were used 4.82 percent of the crime gun traces that ATF conducted nationwide. When the ban was in effect, these assault weapons made up only 1.61 percent of the guns ATF traced to the crimes which is a drop of 66% since the ban went into affect. ATF data showed that there was a year-by-year decline in the percentage of assault weapons used, this is evidence that the longer the ban was in effect, the less available to peolple these weapons became for criminal misuse. A report by the Department of Justice documented these findings along with a decline in the absolute number of assault weapons traced to crime during this period. Every major law enforcement organization in the country has long supported a strong assault weapons ban. The Police Executive Research Forum found that 37 percent of police departments reported seeing a noticeable increase in criminals' use of assault weapons since the ban expired. A study by the Violence Policy Center found that, between 1998 and 2001, one in five law enforcement officers slain in the line of duty was killed with an assault weapon. Virtually every major law national enforcement organization supports limiting the availability of assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips. While some people say that the Second Amendment should apply so it does prevent assault weapons and high-capacity clips out of individuals hands. The ABA believes that an individual right to bear arms like it says under the Second Amendment should also have some limits, like the First Amendment and every individual right under our Constitution. Federal and State Gun Laws
• Federal Gun Laws
Even though the 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution grants citizens the right to carry arms, there are reasons where these rights cannot be exercised. The laws define individuals who are not eligible to exercise their 2nd Amendment right to bear arms. The Federal firearms laws enacted under the Gun Control Act of 1968, make the following persons ineligible to possess firearms according to; Title 18 U.S.C. Sec. 922): • Anyone convicted of a felony even a domestic violence misdemeanor • Fugitives from justice
• Illegal drug users, and using marijuana
• Anyone who was involuntarily committed to a mental institution • Illegal Aliens
• Anyone who have renounced U.S. citizenship
• Anyone that was dishonorably discharged from the Armed Forces • Anyone that has a domestic violence restraining order against them The penalties for violating any federal firearms possession laws can include large fines and up to life in prison. • Maine’s Gun Laws
The major difference between Maine and federal firearm laws depends on which government makes the laws and prosecutes the ones suspected of violating them. Some weapons that doesn’t count as firearms under federal law, like black-powder or antique weapons, are counted as firearms under the Maine laws. In addition to federal firearm laws prohibiting ownership of a federally defined firearm, Maine laws prohibit anyone from carrying a firearm if: • If they were convicted of a crime in Maine and spent at least one year in prison • If they were convicted in another state of a crime and spent more than a year in prison, except certain misdemeanors spent up to two years in prison • If they committed a crime using a firearm or any other dangerous weapon in Maine, any other state, or any federal jurisdiction • If there is a domestic violence protection order against them in Maine, any other state or territory, that orders them to stop abusing or threatening an intimate partner or the child of an intimate partner • If they were convicted as a juvenile of a crime, if committed by an adult, that’s considered one of the offenses listed above • If they were found not guilty of any of the crimes listed above due to mental illness or insanity I read a news article from The Forecaster, I found online, that involves (actors) the Portland Police, Senator Angus King, Portland residents and Mayor Brennan talking about the gun control laws and letting teachers have a gun in their classes. King agreed with the Chief of Police that it isn’t right to make a teacher a judge, jury and executioner. I also agree with them, I don’t think the teachers should have a gun on them or by them in school, what if there’s a student that gets angry for some reason and gets the gun and goes on a rampage? The teacher would feel so responsible for this happening, and innocent students could be killed. There is a lot of students that are big and could over power some of the teachers.
This article was a month after the 20 children and six adults were killed in the mass shooting in Newtown, Conn., Mayor Michael Brennan and city leaders, they called on the state Legislature and Congress to put some common sense into the gun-control measures. The Portland Police Chief, Michael Sauschuck, responded to questions about the city's call for gun control measures that was held at the City Hall press conference that was on Monday, Jan. 14. "I am calling on Congress to stand up for the survivors, for the family members of victims, and for the millions of Americans who all deserve protection from illegal guns and military-style assault weapons," this is what Brennan said at a City Hall press conference that Monday.(The Forecaster)
Mayor Brennan is one of three mayors in Maine, and one of more than 800 across the country, who make up the gun control coalition “Mayors against Illegal Guns.” They held events around the country and they are going to be releasing a TV ad in Portland and other places urging viewers to "demand a plan to end gun violence." There are 33 Americans are murdered with guns a day, according to the coalition. The plan that was advocated by Brennan and the coalition includes laws like requiring every gun purchaser to pass a criminal background check, and to outlaw high-capacity weapons and ammunition magazines, and to stiffen the federal laws against gun trafficking. The same proposals have been evaluated in public before, and they strike the heart of the gun control problem. The Portland Police Chief said there is a universal need for background checks, especially the ones to identify mentally ill individuals who may be prone to violence. He said the Portland police had responded to 4,000 calls last year involving these cases of mental illnesses. Maine is one of only 13 states that does not provide a list of the people whom were involuntarily committed to hospitals for suicidal or homicidal behavior to a national background system. (They should be able to have access to these names, in my opinion.) I agree with the background checks to see if they have ever been in a mental institution, but not everybody to get a background check. They should have a way that anyone that’s been in a mental institution or prison for their name to be redflagged when put into a computer for a firearm purchase or a permit for a handgun. That would not be too hard to do, computer programs are not that hard to program. Would save a lot of taxpayers money and the governments and states in the longrun. (Me) An average citizen could be able to tell the difference between an assault rifle and the semi-automatic guns used legally for hunting in Maine by many people (including my mother). There is little difference, the only difference is a cosmetic one, a matter of shape and form. (Yarmouth resident) “The assault weapon ban is a tough one because it’s hard to define what an assault weapon is,” King said, “And if we’re defining it by what it looks like, that doesn’t really do much for me. I’m much more interested in the functionality and whether that’s really a different weapon than my buddies’ semi-automatic hunting rifles.” (Sen. Angus King) "We will not rest until this discussion leads to meaningful action," Harwood said. This is what I believe in and my opinion on the Gun Control Policy. I have read a bunch of the policies on the gun control issue and I see that there is already assault weapons that are banned, and the background checks are alraedy in place. They can’t take all the guns away from the people that need to protect themselves. The criminals will get the guns any way they can no matter what the laws are concerning them. That’s already been proven. The guns used most of the time are stolen guns, registered in other peoples names. They will buy black market guns, assault rifles too if that’s what they are looking for. So no matter how many laws there is against the guns they will not care about them. If they’re going to do something illegal, they have their mind set and will do it no matter what. The second amendment seems to be questioned on the way it is worded. It is worded just like it says here: And this is my belief too: “The Right of the People”
The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution, part of the Bill of Rights, reads in full as follows: A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. The Amendment expresses that it protects the “right of the people,” which is “to keep and bear Arms” The Second Amendment points to a personal right of individuals: A “right of the people” is naturally a right of individuals, not of a State and not of those serving the State as militiamen. “Keep arms” at the time of the Founding indicated the private ownership and arms by individuals as individuals, not the arms by a government or its soldiers, and the phrase had that meaning when used with a “right of the people.” The Second Amendment appears in the Bill of Rights amendments securing numerous individual rights, a placement that the right of the people to keep and bear arms belongs to individuals. The SecondAmendment’s “right” that belongs to “the people” means a right of individuals. The word “right,” standing by itself in the Constitution, is very clear. the Constitution does not use right on any governmental entity, state or federal. The Sixth Amendment of the Constitution secures rights to an accused person, also in the Seventh Amendment it secures a person’s right to a jury trial in civil cases. Governments, whether they are state or federal government, have in the Constitution only “powers” or “authority.” Any possible doubt by anyone should vanish when right is said with “the people,” as it is in the Second Amendment. Such a right belongs to individuals: The phrase “the right of the people” appears in the Bill of Rights, and refers to a personal right, which is individuals. The First Amendment also secures “the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances,” and the Fourth Amendment safeguards “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.” The phrase in the Second Amendment should not mean anything other than what it plainly says. I guess the the Gun control Policy issues that Obama and others were trying to pass were shot down. That’s good in my opinion. That’s the end of my research on the Gun Control Policy.....
Rogers, Abby (Dec. 2012) A History Of Gun Control Laws Shows US Citizens Don't Have An Absolute Right To Bear Arms http://www.businessinsider.com/united-states-history-of-gun-control-2012-12#ixzz2O1m0Cc1E Hall, William (January 14, 2013) Portland mayor, police chief urge tighter gun-control laws www.theforecaster.net
U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives “Office of Enforcement Programs and Services, Firearms”
http://www.atf.gov/publications/download/p/atf-p-5300-4.pdf Garrett, Ben Maine Gun Rights, An Overview of Gun Laws in Maine Constitutional Right to Keep and Bear Arms? http://civilliberty.about.com/od/guncontrol/a/Maine-Gun- Laws.htm Yes, Every citizen has a right to keep and bear arms and this right shall never be questioned.”
N, RAILA, What are the Gun Laws in Maine? A Synopsis of State Laws on Purchase,
Possession and Carrying of Firearms
http://crime.about.com/od/gunlawsbystate/a/gunlaws_me.htm Susman, Thomas Director of the ABA’s Governmental Affairs Office, Nicholson, Bruce, Senior Counsel, ABA GAO (January 30, 2013) “WHAT SHOULD AMERICA DO ABOUT GUN VIOLENCE?” www.americanbar.org
Bradbury, S. G. Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Nielson, H. C., Jr.
Deputy Assistant Attorney General Marshall, C. K. Acting Deputy Assistant
Attorney General (August 24, 2004) Memorandum Opinion for the
Attorney general, “Whether the Second Amendment Secures an Individual Right” [pic]