Second Amendment and Firearms Laws

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The 2nd Amendment of the Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution is commonly known to ordinary civilians, the Right to Bear Arms. However, the United States Supreme Court has officially interpreted that the Second Amendment gives an individual the right to possess a weapon unrelated to military service for traditionally lawful purposes such as self-defense. There are many civilians in our nation who believe that the Second Amendment means the possession of firearms, and due to the mass shootings that have happened and are still happening around the country, many of the people have decided that it is in the country’s best interest to have the civilian right to bear arms revoked, protesting the right to firearms.

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From the 1930s to the 2000s, the federal government implemented different major federal firearms laws; regardless of these numerous regulations and laws, gun control activists believe that the civilian right to bear arms should be controlled due to the recent rise in firearm-related injuries and deaths, while gun rights activists argue that gun control laws infringe upon people’s rights and citizens should have the right to use and own firearms for lawful and recreation reasons, and correspondingly, the federal and state government has upheld the regulations or the Second Amendment in different court cases.

The federal government of the United States has passed several major firearms laws with different purposes to regulate gun control for both citizens and officers of the law without violating the Second Amendment. Since the first firearm legislation passed in 1927, the federal government has enacted several crucial legislations and regulations about firearms that have stayed within the boundaries of the Second Amendment, and to keep the public safe: the National Firearms Act of 1934, the Federal Firearms Act of 1938, ruling from United States v. Miller, and the Gun Control Act of 1968. Each legislation passed had an effect on firearms users and the rest of the public.

The National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA) introduced a tax on the manufacturing and transporting of firearms, as well as a specific employment tax on the people and entities involved in the manufacturing, importing/exporting, and dealing in the NFA specified firearms. However, as stated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the National Firearm Act of 1934 had an intrinsic purpose to abridge, if not completely ban, transactions of NFA defined firearms. Additionally, the NFA imposed a requirement on all people transporting or transferring NFA defined firearms, including all possessors of unregistered firearms, to register them with the Secretary of the Treasury. This legislation affected the public in which if a person went to register an unregistered firearm, the State could use information acquired from the Department of Treasury and prosecute the individual involved; Supreme Court ruled this legislation unconstitutional in United States v.

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