Gun Control Laws Research Paper

Pages: 10 (2710 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 12  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Junior  ·  Topic: Law - Constitutional Law

" (Liptak, 2008, p.1) According to Professor Kleck, the "period it studied was too short and the suburbs were a poor point of reference. The place most like D.C. is Baltimore…It's a virtual twin city." (Liptak, 2008, p.1)


The work of William J. Krouse (2012), a specialist in Domestic Security and Crime Policy, entitled "Gun Control Legislation" reports Congress has debated the efficacy and constitutionality of federal regulation of firearms and ammunition, with strong advocates arguing for and against greater gun control. In the wake of the July 20, 2012, Aurora, CO, theater mass shooting, in which 12 people were shot to death and 58 wounded (7 of them critically) by a lone gunman, it is likely that there will be calls in the 112th Congress to reconsider a 1994 ban on semiautomatic assault weapons and large capacity ammunition feeding devices that expired in September 2004." (Krouse, 2012) Also reported by Krouse is that the report includes a discussion of "other salient and recurring gun control issues that have generated past or current congressional interest. Those issues include (1) screening firearms background check applicants against terrorist watch lists, (2) combating gun trafficking and straw purchases, (3) reforming the regulation of federally licensed gun dealers, (4) requiring background checks for private firearms transfers at gun shows, (5) more-strictly regulating certain firearms previously defined in statute as "semiautomatic assault weapons," and (6) banning or requiring the registration of certain long-range .50 caliber rifles, which are commonly referred to as "sniper" rifles." (2012, p.1)

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Research Paper on Gun Control Laws and the Assignment

A report on the effect of gun control laws and gun ownership levels on violence rates which reports the effectiveness of gun control laws by crime finds that requiring a license to possess a gun in ones' home had no effect whatsoever on reducing violent crimes and neither did requirements on an application to purchase a gun have an effect on reducing violent crimes. Also found to be non-effective in reducing violent crimes were waiting periods on receiving guns once applying for a license, a ban on possession of guns by addicts and alcoholics, a ban on purchase of guns by a minor, a ban on carrying concealed weapons, a ban on open handgun carrying permits or a mandatory add-on penalty for crimes committed with a gun. Also, found to be non-effective in reducing violent crimes was a State Constitutional guarantee of individual rights to bear arms, de facto ban on handgun possession, and ban on sale of Saturday Night specials. (de Gruyter, 1991, p.1)

American Civil Rights Union

It is reported by the American Civil Rights Union that gun control laws are found in a Harvard study to be counterproductive. The study which is reported to have appeared in Volume 30, Number 2 of the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy is stated to have set out the question in its title "Would Banning Firearms Reduce Murder and Suicide? A Review of International and Some Domestic Evidence." Stated is that "contrary to conventional wisdom and the sniffs of our more sophisticated and generally anti-gun counterparts across the pond, the answer is "no." And not just no, as in there is no correlation between gun ownership and violent crime, but an empathetic no, showing a negative correlation: as gun ownership increases, murder and suicide decreases." (American Civil Rights Union, 2010) The report states "Nations with stringent anti-gun laws generally have substantially higher murder rates than those that do not. The study found that the nine European nations with the lowest rates of gun ownership (5,000 or fewer guns per 100,000 population) have a combined murder rate three times higher than that of the nine nations with the highest rates of gun ownership (at least 15,000 guns per 100,000 population)." (American Civil Rights Union, 2010) Norway, noted to have the highest rate of gun ownership in Western Europe is reported to have the lowest murder rate however in Holland, the murder rates is stated as "nearly the worst, despite having the lowest gun ownership rate in Western Europe. Sweden and Denmark are two more examples of nations with high murder rates but few guns." (American Civil Rights Union, 2010)

Daily Kos

In an article by the "Daily Kos" gun deaths by state are reported. The following illustration has been adapted from the Daily Kos article showing the deaths by guns in each U.S. state.

Figure 2 -- Death by Guns by State

Source: The Daily Kos (2008)

This report conflicts with all other reports reviewed in this study stating that states with stricter gun control laws have the lowest rate of deaths by guns. However, this study does not differentiate the accidental from the intentional homicide deaths resulting from gun ownership.

Summary and Conclusion

This study has reviewed the most pertinent published reports on the effectiveness of gun control laws on reducing murder rates. The findings in this study unequivocally show that bans on gun ownership do not reduce homicide rates and in fact, bans on gun ownership appear to be effective at just the opposite or that being that bans on gun ownership result in higher homicide rates. The rationale stated in the studies reviewed for this phenomenon is that individuals committing crimes are deterred from those crimes by the thought that the victim of the crime may likely be in possession of a gun to protect themselves, their family and their property and that this fact deters many would-be criminals. Findings in this study additionally include that bans on gun ownership does not reduce the numbers of criminals who own guns but reduces instead the numbers of law abiding citizens who own guns which would explain the rationale for the reduction of crimes in states that do not have bans on gun ownership. In other words, in states where gun ownership is banned, law abiding citizens will abide by the law and be without the advantage of the protection of a gun whereas criminals, who do not abide by the laws and who have no regards for what is or is not legal, will purchase guns off of the black market and own a gun despite bans on gun ownership. Therefore, the outcome of laws that ban gun ownership seem to be that the individuals who need the gun to protect themselves, their family and their property are left defenseless against the criminal element who will own guns regardless of any laws banning gun ownership. In light of these findings it would be ludicrous and even counterproductive in fighting crime to remove guns from the hands of the law abiding citizenry since they are the ones most in need of guns to protect themselves, their family and their property from criminals who are already in possession of and who will continue to ensure that they own guns despite laws to the contrary.


De Guyter, A. (1991) Point Blank: Guns and Violence in America. Retrieved from:

Harvard Study: Gun Control Is Counterproductive (2010) American Civil Rights Union. Retrieved from:

Kates, DB and Mauser, G. (nd) Would Banning Firearms Reduce Murder and Suicide: A Review of International and Some Domestic Evidence. Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy. Vol. 30. Retrieved from:

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How to Cite "Gun Control Laws" Research Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Gun Control Laws.  (2012, November 6).  Retrieved August 3, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Gun Control Laws."  6 November 2012.  Web.  3 August 2020. <>.

Chicago Style

"Gun Control Laws."  November 6, 2012.  Accessed August 3, 2020.