Please wait as we load hundreds of rigorously documented facts for you.



What You'll Find

For example:


Citation Generator
X
APA
MLA
Chicago (for footnotes)
Chicago (for bibliographies)

Introductory Notes

This research is based upon the most recent available data in 2019. Facts from earlier years are cited based upon availability and relevance, not to slant results by singling out specific years that are different from others. Likewise, data associated with the effects of gun control laws in various geographical areas represent random, demographically diverse places in which such data is available.

Many aspects of the gun control issue are best measured and sometimes can only be measured through surveys,[1] but the accuracy of such surveys depends upon respondents providing truthful answers to questions that are sometimes controversial and potentially incriminating.[2] Thus, Just Facts uses this data critically, citing the best-designed surveys we find, detailing their inner workings in our footnotes, and using the most cautious plausible interpretations of the results.

Particularly, when statistics are involved, the determination of what constitutes a credible fact (and what does not) can contain elements of personal subjectivity. It is our mission to minimize subjective information and to provide highly factual content. Therefore, we are taking the additional step of providing readers with four examples to illustrate the type of material that was excluded because it did not meet Just Facts’ Standards of Credibility.

When interpreting the facts in this research, it is important to realize that association does not prove causation. This is because numerous factors can affect crime levels, and there is frequently no objective way to identify, measure, and determine the interplay between all of them.

Definitions

General

* A firearm, or gun, is a weapon that fires projectiles or bullets using an explosive substance like gunpowder.[3] [4] [5]

* Firearms can be broadly categorized according to their style. Common styles include:

  • handguns, which are designed to be held and fired with one hand.[6]
  • rifles, which:
    • are typically held with two hands while part of the gun is braced against the shoulder.[7] [8]
    • have long barrels with spirally grooved interiors that spin the bullet as it travels to increase long-distance accuracy.[9]
  • carbines, which are lightweight, short-barreled rifles.[10] [11] [12]
  • shotguns, which:
    • are typically held with two hands and braced against the shoulder.[13] [14]
    • unlike rifles, have barrels with smooth interiors and fire a cluster of metal balls or one large projectile.[15] [16]
  • machine guns, which:
    • are typically secured to a mount, such as a tripod, and shot from a fixed position.[17] [18]
    • can fire repeatedly for as long as the trigger is held or until it either overheats or runs out of ammunition.[19] [20]
    • are generally prohibited from civilian ownership under federal law with strict exceptions for those that were legally owned before 1986.[21] [22] [23] [24]
  • submachine guns, which are hybrids of handguns, rifles, and machine guns that:
    • are typically fired from the shoulder or hip while gripped with two hands.[25] [26]
    • shoot handgun ammunition through a short barrel.[27] [28] [29]
    • can fire at the rate of a machine gun.[30] [31]
    • are generally prohibited from civilian ownership under federal law with strict exceptions for those that were legally owned before 1986.[32]

* Firearms can also be categorized according to their loading and firing mechanisms, or their “actions.”[33] [34] Common types of action include:

  • automatic, also known as fully automatic, which fires multiple shots with a single pull of the trigger.[35] These are generally prohibited from civilian ownership under federal law with strict exceptions for those that were legally owned before 1986.[36] [37]
  • semi-automatic, which fires one bullet each time the trigger is pulled, ejects the empty shell, and automatically loads another round for the next pull of the trigger.[38]
  • manual, which fires one bullet each time the trigger is pulled—but unlike semi-automatic—does not eject the empty shell and automatically load another round.[39] [40]

Ammunition

* Firearm ammunition is a combination of materials—generally metals and explosives—loaded into a gun and fired.[41] [42] [43] [44]

* A single unit of ammunition is called a “round,” or “cartridge.” People often mistakenly call this a bullet, but that is only one part of a round.[45] [46]

* A round has the following major components:

  • The bullet or projectile, which is the object that gets shot out of the firearm[47] [48] [49] [50]
  • The gunpowder or propellant, which is the substance that, when ignited, quickly generates a cloud of hot gas that fires the bullet[51] [52] [53]
  • The primer, which is a flammable substance that ignites the gunpowder when struck[54] [55]
  • The shell or casing, which is a thin metal container that holds the bullet, gunpowder, and primer in place[56]

One Round

One Round or Cartridge

* Caliber is a measurement of a bullet’s diameter, usually in inches (as in .22 caliber) or millimeters (as in 9 mm).[57] Bullets with a higher caliber are generally more lethal.[58]

* Gauge is a measurement of a shotgun’s barrel that determines its size and power. The gauge number (e.g. 12-gauge) represents the amount of spherical balls that could be made with one pound of lead if each ball’s diameter precisely fit the barrel. Therefore, a 12-gauge is bigger than an 18-gauge.[59]

* Bullets typically cause more harm when their velocities increase. Bullet speeds generally increase with:

  • the amount of gunpowder in the round, as more gunpowder produces greater force and faster bullets.
  • the length of the firearm barrel, as longer barrels give the expanding gases more time to accelerate the bullets.[60] [61] [62]

* A magazine is a device or place that holds ammunition.[63] There are three main types of magazines:

  1. Detachable, which can inserted into a firearm for quick reloading[64] [65] [66]
  2. Fixed, which are built into the gun and cannot be removed[67]
  3. Rooms or lockers, which store explosives and ammunition of any kind[68] [69]

* A clip is a small device that holds multiple rounds together so they can be quickly loaded into a revolver or magazine.[70] [71] This term is often wrongly applied to a magazine.[72]

Magazine and Clip

[73] [74]


Handguns

* Handguns are firearms that are designed to be held with one hand.[75] There are three types of handguns:

  1. Revolvers, which hold ammunition in a revolving cylinder that rotates between each shot and typically carry five to nine bullets[76]
Revolver

[77]

  1. Pistols, which usually hold ammunition in a magazine located in the grip of the gun[78]
Pistol

[79]

  1. Derringers, which are pocket-sized handguns that typically hold one or two shots[80] [81]

Rifles

* Rifles are firearms that have a long barrel with spiraled grooves on the interior, which put a spinning motion on the fired bullet, allowing for high accuracy at long distances.[82] [83]

* Rifles, like shotguns, are a form of “shoulder weapon” because they are stabilized against the shoulder and are typically held with both hands.[84] [85]

* Carbines are a type of rifle that are lighter and have shorter barrels.[86] [87] [88]

Traditional Rifle

Traditional Rifle

[89]

Modern Semi-Automatic Rifle

Modern Rifle

[90]


Shotguns

* Shotguns are firearms that usually fire multiple small metal pellets, also known as “ball shot” or “buck shot” in a single shot.[91]

* A large, single projectile called a “slug” can also be fired from a shotgun.[92]

* Shotguns are most effective at shorter distances and are useful for hunting.[93]

* Shotguns are sometimes called “scatterguns” because they discharge several projectiles in a single blast, hitting a wider area than a single projectile would. This makes it a weapon that does not require precise accuracy and can hit moving targets more easily.[94] [95]

* Short-barreled, or “sawed-off,” shotguns have barrels less than 18 inches in length, which gives the shot a wider spread but decreases velocity.[96] These are federally outlawed and owning one can result in jail time.[97] [98]

* Shotguns, like rifles, are a form of “shoulder weapon” because they are stabilized against the shoulder and are typically held with both hands.[99] [100]

Shotgun

[101]


Semi-Automatic

* Semi-automatic firearms fire one bullet each time the trigger is pulled, eject the empty shell, and automatically load another round for the next pull of the trigger.[102]

* Semi-automatic guns differ from those that are fully automatic in that they cannot fire multiple bullets with a single pull of the trigger.[103]


Automatic

* Automatic, or fully automatic, firearms are capable of firing multiple bullets with a single pull of the trigger. Some automatic weapons can fire continuously for as long as the trigger is pulled unless the gun overheats or runs out of ammunition—while other automatic weapons fire a burst of several bullets with each pull of the trigger.[104] [105] [106] [107] [108]

* Under federal law, civilian ownership of automatic firearms has been strictly regulated since 1934 and generally prohibited since 1986 with strict exceptions for those that were legally owned before 1986.[109] [110] [111]

* In 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice reported “there is no evidence that” any legal owner of an automatic firearm was convicted of using one to commit a crime from 2006 through 2014.[112]

* The three main types of automatic firearms are:

  1. machine guns, which:
    • are typically secured to a mount, such as a tripod, and cannot be easily carried around in combat.[113] [114] [115] [116] [117] [118] [119]
    • can fire large amounts of ammunition via a belt that holds the rounds.[120]
  2. submachine guns, which:
    • are easily carried and are not normally mounted.[121]
    • shoot handgun ammunition via a magazine that holds the rounds.[122] [123]
    • are typically fired from the shoulder or hip while gripped with two hands.[124] [125]
    • are often called machine pistols because they are relatively short in length.[126] [127]
  3. assault rifles, which:
    • are easily carried and not normally mounted.[128] [129]
    • hold ammunition in a detachable magazine that typically carries about 30 rounds.[130] [131]
    • often have a feature called “selective-fire” that lets the shooter switch between two different modes of action. The first mode is usually semi-automatic, and the second is either fully automatic or a three round burst.[132] [133] [134] [135]
    • are the most common weapons in modern warfare.[136] [137]

Machine Gun

Machinegun

[138]


“Assault Weapons”

* “Assault weapons,” a term often used by journalists and politicians,[139] [140] [141] are semi-automatic rifles, pistols, and shotguns that share some characteristics with military firearms. These differ from military weapons in that they can only fire one bullet for each pull of the trigger,[142] [143] while U.S. soldiers carry fully automatic arms that can fire multiple bullets with a single pull of the trigger.[144] [145] [146]

* Supporters of gun rights generally object to describing semi-automatic firearms as “assault weapons.” Instead, they call them “modern sporting rifles” or by their styles and models, such as “AR-15.”[147]

* AR-15s, which are often deemed “assault weapons,”[148] [149] [150] are a class of semi-automatic rifles that can be legally purchased in most states. Per the U.S. Army:

America’s most popular rifle—the AR-15—is often portrayed as being something it is not. Probably one of the more popular myths is that the “AR” stands for “assault rifle” or “automatic rifle.” It actually stands for “Armalite Rifle,” after the company that developed it in the 1950s.[151] [152]

* Compared with older firearm designs, “assault weapons” or “modern sporting rifles” have features that sometimes include, but are not limited to:

  • low recoil, which enhances steadiness and accuracy while shooting.[156] [157]
  • elevated sights, which reduce neck-strain by allowing the shooter’s head to be upright while taking aim.[158]
  • flash suppressors, which eliminate harsh light that appears at the tip of the barrel from exploding gunpowder. (Such light can obstruct the shooter’s line of sight when firing or expose his location in the dark.)[159] [160] [161] [162] [163]
  • a pistol grip, which makes the gun “comfortable and adaptable” to most hand sizes.[164] [165] [166]
  • a folding or telescoping stock, which makes the weapon more concealable and transportable by allowing its length to be adjusted.[167] [168] [169] [170]

Folding Stock

Folding Stock

[171]

* Some journalists and politicians have claimed that “assault weapons” or “modern sporting rifles” are not used for hunting or self-defense.[172] [173] With regard to this:

  • A 2011 article in Outdoor Life reports that “autoloaders and AR-style rifles are becoming more common in [hunting] camps and virtually every major manufacturer is producing these guns in calibers heavy enough to drop deer, hogs and bears.”[174]
  • Interviews with eight firearm experts for a 2015 article in the magazine Tactical Life found that three of them use an AR-style rifle for home defense.[175]
  • An AR-15 was used by a former NRA instructor to stop a 2017 church shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas.[176] When reporting on this event:
    • CNN, USA Today, NPR, Business Insider, CBS Chicago, and the New York Times published articles that described the protector’s AR-15 merely as a gun or rifle.[177] [178] [179] [180] [181] [182]
    • The same media outlets described the killer’s AR-15 as a “military-style rifle.”[183] [184] [185] [186] [187] [188] (Hat tip: Carl Arbogast[189])

* In 1988, Josh Sugarmann, the founder of a prominent gun control organization, wrote the following about the “new topic” of “assault weapons:”[190] [191]

The weapons’ menacing looks, coupled with the public’s confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons—anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun—can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons.[192]

* A famous George Orwell essay titled “Politics and the English Language” states the following about words that have “no agreed definition:”

Words of this kind are often used in a consciously dishonest way. That is, the person who uses them has his own private definition, but allows his hearer to think he means something quite different.[193] [194]

* Prior to the publication of Sugermann’s 1988 booklet about “assault weapons,” Google Book’s library of books and other publications reveals none that use this term to describe a semi-automatic gun.[195] During the ten years after Sugermann’s booklet was published:

  • Google Book shows over 25 results that use the term “assault weapon” to describe a semi-automatic gun, including several state and local laws that ban them.[196] [197] [198] [199] [200]
  • Democratic Congressmen Howard Metzenbaum sponsored a bill named the “Assault Weapon Control Act of 1989” that sought to ban certain semi-automatic weapons but did not pass.[201]
  • Democratic Congressmen Charles Schumer sponsored a 1994 federal bill—which passed into law—banning certain semi-automatic weapons for ten years.[202] [203]

* A 2013 New York Times article claims “it was the gun industry” that first adopted the term “assault weapon” to increase civilian rifle sales.[204] As evidence of this, the Times cites the cover of a 1981 edition of Guns & Ammo magazine with a headline that reads, “The New Breed of Assault Rifle.”[205] With regard to this:

  • the magazine repeatedly distinguishes these new weapons from assault rifles by using phrases like “military look-alikes,” “semi-auto sporters,” and “military-type semi-automatic sporting rifles.”
  • the magazine never uses the term “assault weapon.”[206]
  • the New York Public Library Writer’s Guide to Style and Usage and several other journalism guidebooks instruct reporters to “use jargon only when necessary and define it carefully” when writing for the general public.[207] [208] [209] [210]
  • Guns & Ammo is a magazine for gun enthusiasts and professionals, not the general public.[211]

* To further support its claim that the gun industry adopted the term “assault weapon,” the Times quotes:

  • a snippet from a 1984 advertisement promoting a new magazine named GA Assault Firearms that would be “full of the hottest hardware available today.”[212] The portion of the ad not quoted by the Times states that the magazine will cover “battle rifles, shotguns and assault rifles from the armies of the world.” It adds: “And if you are interested in survival tactics and personal defense, we’ll give you a look at the newest civilianized versions of the semi-auto submachine gun.”[213] [214]
  • an Indiana gun dealer who wrote a 2008 book that he titled the Gun Digest Buyer’s Guide to Assault Weapons, over the objections of his publisher.[215]

* The 2011 Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law defined an “assault weapon” as “a semi-automatic firearm similar in appearance to a fully automatic firearm or military weapon. Not synonymous with assault rifle, which can be used in fully automatic mode.”[216] [217] [218] The 2015 update of the same stylebook treats “assault weapons” and “assault rifles” as synonyms.[219]

* The following people have described semi-automatic “assault weapons” or “modern sporting rifles” as:

  • “a fully automatic weapon.”

– President Barack Obama, 2013.[220] [221] [222]

  • “weapons of war.”
    – Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton, 2016.[223] [224] [225] [226]
  • “weapons of war” and “assault rifles.”
    – John Earnest, President Obama’s Press Secretary, 2016.[227] [228] [229]
  • “military-style assault rifles.”
    – Will Drabold, Time, 2016.[230] [231] [232]
  • “assault rifles” that have “widespread availability” in the U.S.
    – Christopher Ingraham, Washington Post, 2016.[233] [234] [235]
  • “an assault rifle.”
    – Evan Perez of CNN, 2016.[236] [237] [238]
  • “weapons of war.”
    – Nick Wing, Huffington Post, 2016.[239] [240] [241]

Ownership

* In the United States during 2017:

  • the population was 325 million people.[242]
  • civilians owned an estimated 393.3 million firearms, or an average of 1.2 firearms per person.[243]

* Handguns comprised 55% of all new guns sold to civilians and law enforcement in 2018, as compared to 35% in 2000.[244]

* Based upon national surveys, the following are estimates of private firearm ownership in the U.S. from 2016 to 2019:

Households With a Gun

Adults Owning a Gun

Portion

31–49%

21–36%

[245] [246] [247]

* Gallup polls conducted from 2016 to 2018 found the following levels of self-declared gun ownership among different groups of people:

Group

Portion Owning a Firearm

Male

43%

Female

17%

White

35%

Nonwhite

34%

Republican

45%

Independent

32%

Democrat

16%

[248] [249] [250]

* In a 2019 Gallup poll, gun owners stated they own firearms for the following reasons:

Reason

Portion

Protection Against Crime

63%

Hunting

40%

Recreation/Target Shooting

15%

[251]

Crime and Self-Defense

General

* Roughly 15,498 murders were committed in the United States during 2018. Of these, about 11,280 or 73% were committed with firearms.[252] [253]

* In 1995, the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology published the results of a 1993 nationwide survey of 4,977 households. It found that over the previous five years, at least 0.5% of households had members who had used a gun for defense during a situation in which they thought someone “almost certainly would have been killed” if they “had not used a gun for protection.” This amounts to 162,000 such incidents per year and excludes all “military service, police work, or work as a security guard.”[254]

* Based on survey data from the U.S. Department of Justice, roughly 6.9 million violent crimes were committed in the United States during 2018.[255] [256] These include simple/aggravated assaults, robberies, sexual assaults, rapes, and murders.[257] Of these, about 600,000 or 9% were committed by offenders visibly armed with a gun.[258]

* Based on survey data from a 2000 study published in the Journal of Quantitative Criminology,[259] U.S. civilians use guns to defend themselves and others from crime at least 989,883 times per year.[260]

* Based on data from a 1993 survey published in the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, at least 3.5% of households had members who had used a gun “for self-protection or for the protection of property at home, work, or elsewhere” over the previous five years. This amounts to 1,029,615 such incidents per year and excludes all “military service, police work, or work as a security guard.”[261]

* A 1994 survey conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that Americans use guns to frighten away intruders who are breaking into their homes about 498,000 times per year.[262]

* In 2013, President Obama ordered the Department of Health and Human Services and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to “conduct or sponsor research into the causes of gun violence and the ways to prevent it.”[263] The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention asked the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council to “convene a committee of experts to develop a potential research agenda focusing on the public health aspects of firearm-related violence….” This committee studied the issue of defensive gun use and reported:

  • “Defensive use of guns by crime victims is a common occurrence, although the exact number remains disputed….”
  • “Almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million….”
  • “[S]ome scholars point to a radically lower estimate of only 108,000 annual defensive uses based on the National Crime Victimization Survey,” but this “estimate of 108,000 is difficult to interpret because respondents were not asked specifically about defensive gun use.”
  • “Studies that directly assessed the effect of actual defensive uses of guns (i.e., incidents in which a gun was ‘used’ by the crime victim in the sense of attacking or threatening an offender) have found consistently lower injury rates among gun-using crime victims compared with victims who used other self-protective strategies….”[264]

* A 1982 survey of male felons in 11 state prisons across the U.S. found:

  • 34% had been “scared off, shot at, wounded, or captured by an armed victim.”
  • 40% had decided not to commit a crime because they “knew or believed that the victim was carrying a gun.”
  • 69% personally knew other criminals who had been “scared off, shot at, wounded, or captured by an armed victim.”[265]

* Click here, here, here, and here for articles from Just Facts about how certain media outlets have misled the public about the frequency of defensive gun use.

* Click here to see why the following commonly cited statistic does not meet Just Facts’ Standards of Credibility: “In homes with guns, the homicide of a household member is almost 3 times more likely to occur than in homes without guns.”


Vulnerability to Violent Crime

* At the 2018 U.S. homicide rate, roughly one in every 254 people in the U.S. will be murdered over the course of their lifetime.[266]

* In 1964, roughly 16% of recorded aggravated assaults with a firearm resulted in death. By 1999, this figure fell to about 5%. Per a 2002 paper in the journal Homicide Studies:

  • The “principal explanation” for this “downward trend in lethality” is improvements “in medical technology and related medical support services,” such as increased numbers of “local and county hospitals throughout the nation.”
  • One of the “greatest lethality drops” occurred immediately after Vietnam War, because the experience of this conflict led to major advances in trauma care.
  • Medical progress has “suppressed the homicide rate compared to what it would be had such progress not been made.”[267]

* A U.S. Justice Department study based on crime data from 1974 to 1985 found:

  • 42% of Americans will be the victim of a completed violent crime (assault, robbery, rape) in the course of their lives.
  • 83% of Americans will be the victim of an attempted or completed violent crime.
  • 52% of Americans will be the victim of an attempted or completed violent crime more than once.[268]

* A 1997 survey of more than 18,000 prison inmates found that among those serving time for a violent crime, “30% of State offenders and 35% of Federal offenders carried a firearm when committing the crime.”[269]

* A 2013 study of more than 18,000 prison inmates found that in 2004, about “16% of state prison inmates and 18% of federal inmates” reported having a firearm during the commission of the crime for which they were incarcerated.[270]


Criminal Justice System

* Nationwide in 2018, law enforcement agencies reported that 53% of aggravated assaults, 30% of robberies, 33% of rapes, and 62% of murders that were reported to police resulted in an alleged offender being identified and acted upon by the criminal justice system.[271] [272]

* The portion of murders that resulted in a suspect being identified and acted upon by the criminal justice system declined from 92% in 1960 to 62% in 2018.[273] [274]

* From 1980 to 2008, 185,000 murders were committed in the US. that were still unsolved as of 2010.[275]

* For every 15 aggravated assaults, robberies, sexual assaults, rapes, and murders committed in the United States in 2006, approximately one person was sentenced to prison for committing such a crime.[276] [277] [278]

* A 2014 U.S. Justice Department study of 404,638 convicts released from state prisons in 2005 found that within five years of their release:

  • 77% were arrested for committing a new offense.
  • 55% were imprisoned for committing a new offense or probation violation.
  • 29% were arrested for committing a new violent offense.
  • these former inmates were arrested for an estimated 3,642 new homicides, 6,879 new rapes/sexual assaults, 22,255 new robberies, and 93,067 new assaults.[279]

* A 2018 update of the study mentioned above dealt with the 401,288 convicts who were still alive. It found that within nine years of their release from prison:

  • 83% were arrested for committing a new offense.
  • these individuals were arrested nearly 2 million times, an average of five arrests per released prisoner.
  • 99% of those arrested were detained for an offense other than a probation or parole violation.
  • 95% of those arrested within one year of release were arrested again in subsequent years.
  • 82% of those arrested were arrested within the first three years of their release.
  • released property offenders were more likely to be arrested than released violent offenders.[280]

* Of 1,662 murders committed in New York City during 2003 to 2005, more than 90% of the known killers were people with criminal records.[281]

* In 2015, when Baltimore, Maryland, experienced the highest per-capita murder rate in its history:

  • 77% of the homicide suspects identified by police had prior criminal records.
  • the average homicide suspect had been previously arrested more than nine times.[282] [283]

Washington, DC

* In 1976, the Washington, D.C. City Council passed a law generally prohibiting residents from possessing handguns and requiring that all firearms in private homes be (1) kept unloaded and (2) rendered temporally inoperable via disassembly or installation of a trigger lock. The law became operative on Sept. 24, 1976.[284] [285]

* On June 26, 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5 to 4 ruling, struck down this law as unconstitutional.[286]

* During the periods before, during, and after this law, murder rates in Washington D.C. and the entire United States were as follows:

Murder Rates in Washington, DC

[287]


Britain

* In 1920, Britain passed a law requiring civilians to obtain a certificate from their district police chief in order to purchase or possess any firearm except a shotgun. To obtain this certificate, the applicant had to pay a fee, and the chief of police had to be “satisfied” that the applicant had “good reason for requiring such a certificate” and did not pose a “danger to the public safety or to the peace.” The certificate had to specify the types and quantities of firearms and ammunition that the applicant could purchase and keep.[288]

* In 1968, Britain made the 1920 law stricter by requiring civilians to obtain a certificate from their district police chief in order to purchase or possess a shotgun. This law also required that firearm certificates specify the identification numbers (“if known”) of all firearms and shotguns owned by the applicant.[289]

* In 1997, Britain passed a law requiring civilians to surrender almost all privately owned handguns to the police. More than 162,000 handguns and 1.5 million pounds of ammunition were “compulsorily surrendered” by February 1998. Using “records of firearms held on firearms certificates,” police accounted for all but eight of all legally owned handguns in England, Scotland, and Wales.[290]

* During the periods before and after these laws, murder rates in England and Wales were as follows:

Murder Rates in England

[291]


Chicago

* In 1982, the city of Chicago instituted a ban on handguns. This barred civilians from possessing handguns except for those registered with the city government prior to enactment of the law. The law also specified that such handguns had to be re-registered every two years or owners would forfeit their right to possess them. In 1994, the law was amended to require annual re-registration.[292] [293] [294]

* In the wake of Chicago’s handgun ban, at least five suburbs surrounding Chicago instituted similar handgun bans. When the Supreme Court overturned the District of Columbia’s handgun ban in June 2008, at least four of these suburbs repealed their bans.[295] [296] [297] [298] [299]

* In June 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled (5 to 4) that Chicago’s ban was unconstitutional.[300] Thereafter, Chicago adopted gun ordinances that required licensees to have firearm range training but prohibited firing ranges within the city.[301] After an unfavorable federal court ruling, Chicago revised its regulations to permit firing ranges within the city, subject to “comprehensive” regulations.[302] As of February 2020, there were no firing ranges within the city limits.[303]

* In December 2012, a federal appellate court ruled that an Illinois law largely banning concealed carrying of firearms was unconstitutional.[304]

* In July 2013, Illinois passed a law that permits concealed carrying of handguns, making it the last state in the U.S. to allow concealed carry.[305] By the end of 2014, nearly 91,700 concealed carry permits had been issued in the state, and 26% of these permits were issued in Cook County, which includes Chicago.[306]

* During the periods before, during, and after this law, murder rates in Chicago and the entire United States were as follows:

Murder Rates in Chicago

[307]

* During the periods before and after this law, the portion of murders committed with handguns in Chicago were as follows:

Murder Rates in Chicago with Handguns

[308]

* From as far back in time as data is available (1965) until when Chicago’s handgun ban was enacted (1982), 48% of all murders in Chicago were committed with handguns.[309]

* During the period in which Chicago’s handgun ban was effective (1982 to 2010), 59% of all murders in Chicago were committed with handguns (data unavailable for 2000 to 2002).[310]

* During the seven years prior to when Chicago’s handgun ban was lifted, 71% of all murders in Chicago were committed with handguns.[311]

* In 2011, the Chicago Police Department made an “internal policy decision to discontinue” its murder analysis reports that provided data on total firearm and handgun murders. The Chicago Police Department expects to begin publishing these reports again in 2017.[312]

Background Checks and Criminals’ Sources of Guns

General

* Under federal law:

  • It is illegal and punishable by up to 10 years in prison for the following people to receive, possess, or transport any firearm or ammunition:
someone convicted of or under indictment for a felony punishable by more than one year in prison, someone convicted of a misdemeanor punishable by more than two years in prison, a fugitive from justice, an unlawful user of any controlled substance, someone who has been ruled as mentally defective or has been committed to any mental institution, an illegal alien, someone dishonorably discharged from the military, someone who has renounced his or her U.S. citizenship, someone subject to certain restraining orders, or someone convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor.[313] [314] [315] [316]
  • It is illegal and punishable by up to 10 years in prison to sell or transfer any firearm or ammunition to someone while “knowing” or having “reasonable cause to believe” this person falls into any of the prohibited categories listed above.[317] [318]
  • It is illegal to “engage in the business of importing, manufacturing, or dealing in firearms” without a federal license to do so.[319] [320] [321]
  • It is illegal for any federally licensed firearms business to sell or transfer any firearm without first conducting a background check to see if the buyer/recipient falls into any of the prohibited categories listed above.[322] [323]
  • It is illegal for anyone except a federally licensed firearms business to sell, buy, trade, or transfer a firearm across state lines.[324]

* Under federal law, private individuals are not required to a conduct a background check before selling or transferring a firearm to someone who lives in the same state, but it is illegal and punishable by up to 10 years in prison for a private individual to sell or transfer a firearm while “knowing” or having “reasonable cause to believe” that the recipient falls into one of the prohibited categories above.[325] [326]

* Some states such as California require background checks for all firearms transactions, including those conducted between private individuals.[327] [328] [329]

* A 2004 study of state prisoners who possessed guns during crimes for which they were jailed found that the guns were obtained from the following sources:

  • 40.0% through an illegal/street source
  • 37.4% through family or friends
  • 7.3% at a retail store
  • 2.6% at a pawnshop
  • 0.8% at a gun show
  • 0.6% at a flea market.[330]

* A study of crimes committed with firearms in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania during 2008 showed that 18% of the perpetrators lawfully owned the gun, and 79% were not legal gun owners.[331]


Denials

* From the inception of the federal background check system in 1998 to 2018, about 304.6 million background checks for gun purchases were processed through the FBI’s background check system. Of these, approximately 1.6 million or 0.5% were denied.[332]

* During 1998 to 2018, background check denials were made for the following reasons:

Federal Background Check Denial Reasons

[333]

* During 2017, the federal government:

  • conducted 8.6 million firearm background checks resulting in over 112,000 denials.
  • prosecuted 12 people based on these denials.
  • obtained 8 guilty pleas, or less than 0.01% of the denials.[334]

* Between 2006 and 2010, federal background-check denial:

  • investigations decreased by nearly 50%.
  • prosecutions decreased by about 77%.
  • guilty pleas and verdicts decreased by about 82%.[335]

* States may prosecute cases that the federal government does not. In 2010, Pennsylvania convicted more than 100 individuals for state law violations arising out of firearm background check denials.[336]

* If an FBI background check takes longer than three days, the gun sale is approved by default.[337] This is how Dylann Roof, the killer of nine people at a black church in South Carolina in 2015,[338] was able to buy a gun despite having a police record that included drug possession.[339]

* In 2010, the FBI referred 2,000 to 3,000 cases of post-gun sale denials to the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) for further action.[340] The ATF retrieved guns in 1,157 cases.[341]

* According to a 2014 Government Accountability Office report, the ATF “does not have information readily available to systematically track the timeliness and outcomes—such as if a firearm is retrieved—of delayed denial investigations.”[342]

* At a 2013 Senate hearing, a Department of Justice representative stated:

The Department prioritizes prosecuting prohibited persons who actually obtain guns—people who have gotten around the background check system and acquired weapons—illegally rather than those who attempted to purchase a firearm through the background check system but were unsuccessful.[343]

* According to federal agents interviewed in a 2004 U.S. Justice Department investigation, the “vast majority” of denials under the federal background check system are issued to people who are not “a danger to the public because the prohibiting factors are often minor or based on incidents that occurred many years in the past.” As examples of such, agents stated that denials have been issued for:

  • a 1941 felony conviction for stealing a pig.
  • a 1969 felony conviction for stealing hubcaps.[344] [345]

* The same Justice Department investigation audited 200 background check denials and found that 8% of denied applicants were not prohibited from lawfully possessing a firearm.[346]

* In 2010, applicants appealed about 23% of the 72,659 background check denials issued that year. Of these, about 21% were later overturned and the applications approved.[347]


Allowances

* As of October 2019, federal law does not prohibit suspected members of terrorist organizations from purchasing or possessing firearms or explosives.[348] [349]

* Between February 2004 and December 2014, 2,233 firearm and three explosives background checks for people on terrorist watch lists were processed through the federal background check system. Of these, 91% of the firearm transactions and 100% of the explosives transactions were allowed.[350]

* Under federal law, individuals who have been convicted of a felony offense that would typically prohibit them from possessing firearms can lawfully possess firearms if their civil rights are restored by the requisite government entities.[351]


Enforcement

* To undergo a background check, prospective gun buyers are required by federal regulations to present photo-identification issued by a government entity.[352]

* Using fake driver’s licenses bearing fictitious names, investigators with the Government Accountability Office had a 100% success rate buying firearms in five states that met the minimum requirements of the federal background check system.[353] [354] A 2001 report of this investigation states that the federal background check system “does not positively identify purchasers of firearms,” and thus, people using fake IDs are not flagged by the system.[355]


Gun Shows

* Per the U.S. Department of Justice, “A gun show is an exhibition or gathering where guns, gun parts, ammunition, gun accessories, and literature are displayed, bought, sold, traded, and discussed.”[356]

* Roughly 2,000 to 5,200 gun shows take place each year in the United States.[357]

* Per the U.S. Department of Justice, gun shows:

provide a venue for the sale and exchange of firearms by federal firearms licensees (FFLs). … Such shows also are a venue for private sellers who buy and sell firearms for their personal collections or as a hobby. In these situations, the sellers are not required to have a federal firearms license. Although federal firearms laws apply to both FFLs and private sellers at gun shows, private sellers, unlike FFLs, are under no legal obligation to ask purchasers whether they are legally eligible to buy guns or to verify purchasers’ legal status through background checks.[358]

* In the three-year period from October 2003 through September 2006, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) conducted 202 operations at 195 gun shows, leading to 121 arrests and at least 83 convictions.[359]

* A 2004 study of state prisoners who possessed guns during crimes for which they were jailed found that 0.8% of them obtained their firearm at a gun show.[360]

Right-to-Carry Laws

General

* Right-to-carry laws permit individuals who meet certain “minimally restrictive” criteria (such as completion of a background check and gun safety course) to carry concealed firearms in most public places.[361] Concealed carry holders must also meet the minimum federal requirements for gun ownership as detailed above.

* Each state has its own laws regarding right-to-carry and generally falls into one of two main categories:

  1. “shall-issue” states, where concealed carry permits are issued to all qualified applicants
  2. “may-issue” states, where applicants must often present a reason for carrying a firearm to an issuing authority, who then decides based on his or her discretion whether the applicant will receive a permit

* May-issue states vary significantly in the implementation of their laws. Some, such as Connecticut,[362] effectively act as shall-issue states, while others, such as New Jersey, effectively act as no-issue states.[363]

* Under a court order that required Illinois to allow public possession of firearms, the state passed a law in 2013 that permits concealed carrying of handguns. Before this, Illinois was the only state that did not have a may-issue or shall-issue concealed carry law.[364] [365]

* As of December 2019:

  • 42 states are shall-issue:

Alabama

Alaska

Arizona

Arkansas

Colorado

Florida

Georgia

Idaho

Illinois

Indiana

Iowa

Kansas

Kentucky

Louisiana

Maine

Michigan

Minnesota

Mississippi

Missouri

Montana

Nebraska

Nevada

New Hampshire

New Mexico

North Carolina

North Dakota

Ohio

Oklahoma

Oregon

Pennsylvania

Rhode Island†

South Carolina

South Dakota

Tennessee

Texas

Utah

Vermont

Virginia

Washington

West Virginia

Wisconsin

Wyoming

[366]

† Rhode Island is considered a “hybrid” state, because the law states that local authorities “shall issue … a license or permit” to carry a concealed weapon, but the law also states that the attorney general “may” do so.[367] [368] In practice, the Attorney General is the primary issuer of permits.[369]

  • 8 states are may-issue:

California

Connecticut

Delaware

Hawaii

Maryland

Massachusetts

New Jersey

New York

[370]

* Click here to see why the following commonly cited statistic does not meet Just Facts’ Standards of Credibility: In right-to-carry states, the violent crime rate is 24% lower than the rest of the U.S., the murder rate is 28% lower, and the robbery rate is 50% lower.


Florida

* On October 1, 1987, Florida’s right-to-carry law became effective.[371]

* This law requires that concealed carry licensees be 21 years of age or older, have clean criminal/mental health records, and complete a firearms safety/training course.[372]

* As of November 30, 2019, Florida had issued 4,396,259 permits and had 2,062,817 active licenses, constituting roughly 13% of the state’s population 21 years of age or older.[373]

* During the periods before and after this law, murder rates in Florida and the entire United States were as follows:

Murder Rates in Florida

[374]

* From the outset of the Florida right-to-carry law through November 30, 2019, Florida has revoked 15,472 or 0.4% of all issued permits.[375]

* Through July 31, 2010, Florida revoked 5,674 permits. Of these:

  • 522 permits were revoked for crimes committed prior to licensure.
  • 4,955 permits were revoked for crimes committed after licensure, of which 168 involved the usage of a firearm.[376]

Texas

* In January 1996, Texas’s right-to-carry law became effective.[377]

* The law requires that licensees be at least 21 years of age (or 18 years of age if a member or veteran of the U.S. armed forces), have clean criminal/mental health records, and complete a handgun proficiency course and examination.[378]

* At the end of 2018, Texas had 1,362,945 active licensees, constituting roughly 7% of the state’s population that is 21 years of age or older.[379]

* During the periods before and after this law, murder rates in Texas and the entire United States were as follows:

Murder Rates in Texas

[380]

* On January 1, 2016, Texas became an open-carry state, permitting licensed handgun owners to openly carry a holstered handgun.[381]


Michigan

* On July 1, 2001, Michigan’s right-to-carry law became effective.[382]

* This law requires that concealed carry licensees be at least 18 years of age (or 21 years of age if purchasing a handgun from a licensed dealer), have clean criminal/mental health records, and complete a pistol safety course.[383] [384] [385]

* During the periods before and after this law, murder rates in Michigan and the entire United States were as follows:

Murder Rates in Michigan

[386]

Accidents

Fatal

* In 2017, there were 486 fatal firearm accidents in the United States, constituting 0.3% of 169,936 fatal accidents that year:

Fatal Accidents

[387]

* In 2017, the number of fatal firearm accidents for various age groups ranged from 0.1% to 2.4% of fatal accidents:

Age Group

Fatal Firearm Accidents

Number

Portion of

Fatal Accidents

<1

1

0.1%

1–4

31

2.4%

5–9

14

1.9%

10–14

16

1.9%

15–24

117

0.9%

25–34

93

0.4%

35–44

64

0.3%

45–54

50

0.2%

55–64

47

0.2%

65+

53

0.1%

[388]


Non-Fatal

* In 2014, there were roughly 16,000 emergency room visits for non-fatal firearm accidents, constituting 0.06% of 29 million emergency room visits for non-fatal accidents that year.[389]

* These emergency room visits for non-fatal firearm accidents resulted in 4,734 hospitalizations, constituting 0.2% of 2.2 million non-fatal accident hospitalizations that year:

Nonfatal Accidents

[390]


Harm vs. Benefit

* In D.C. v Heller, the 2008 Supreme Court ruling striking down Washington’s D.C.’s handgun ban, Justice Stephen Breyer authored a dissenting opinion that was joined by Justices John Paul Stevens, David Souter, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The opinion states:

First, consider the facts as the legislature saw them when it adopted the District statute. As stated by the local council committee that recommended its adoption, the major substantive goal of the District’s handgun restriction is “to reduce the potentiality for gun-related crimes and gun-related deaths from occurring within the District of Columbia.”
[A]ccording to the committee, “[f]or every intruder stopped by a homeowner with a firearm, there are 4 gun-related accidents within the home.”[391]

* This committee report cites no source or evidence for this statistic.[392]

* A 1994 survey conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that Americans use guns to frighten away intruders who are breaking into their homes about 498,000 times per year.[393]

* According to the CDC, there were about 18,498 gun-related accidents that resulted in death or an emergency room visit during 2001[394] (the earliest year such data is available from the CDC[395]). This is roughly 27 times lower than the CDC’s 1994 estimate for the number of times Americans use guns to frighten away intruders who are breaking into their homes.[396]


Safety

* Per the NRA and other sources, the five critical rules of gun safety are:

  1. Always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction (whether loaded or unloaded).
  2. Always keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.
  3. Always keep the gun unloaded until ready to shoot.
  4. Be aware of what is behind your target.
  5. When handling firearms, never use alcohol or any drug that might impair your awareness or judgment (including prescription drugs).[397]

Politics

Interest Groups

* From the 1990 election cycle through December 2019, gun rights and gun control interest groups reported the following political contributions to federal candidates:

Gun Rights

Gun Control

Total Contributions

$44,813,039

$9,369,787

Donations to Democrats

$4,123,705

$4,870,176

Donations to Republicans

$39,741,903

$135,251

% to Democrats

9%

97%

% to Republicans

91%

3%

[398] [399]

* In 11 federal election cycles from 2000 to 2020, neither gun rights nor gun control interest groups were among the top 50 interest groups donating to incumbent members of Congress during any of these elections.[400]

* From the 1990 election cycle through October 2019, gun rights and various other interest groups reported the following political contributions to federal candidates:

Federal Political Contributions of Interest Groups

[401]

* For facts about the underreporting of political contributions by unions, visit Just Facts’ research on unions.


Party Platforms

* The 2016 Republican Party Platform:

  • voices support for the “right of individuals” to “exercise their God-given right of self-defense for the safety of their homes, their loved ones, and their communities.”
  • praises “the Republican Congress for defending the right to keep and bear arms” by preventing President Obama “from installing a new liberal majority on the Supreme Court.”
  • opposes new laws that would “restrict magazine capacity or ban the sale of the most popular and common modern rifle.”[402]

* The 2016 Democratic Party Platform:

  • voices support for “the rights of responsible gun owners….”
  • supports expanding background checks and closing “dangerous loopholes….”
  • calls for keeping “weapons of war … off our streets.”[403]

* For facts about the mislabeling of semi-automatic firearms as “weapons of war,” visit Just Facts’ article “Deadly Falsehoods About the Orlando Shooting and Gun Control.”


Politicians

* The President of the United States appoints justices to the Supreme Court. These appointments must be approved by a majority of the Senate.[404]

* Once seated, federal judges serve for life unless they voluntarily resign or are removed through impeachment, which requires a majority vote of the House of Representatives and two-thirds of the Senate.[405]

* Senate rules previously allowed for a “filibuster,” in which a vote to approve a judge or Supreme Court justice could be blocked unless a super-majority of the senators (typically 60 out of 100) agreed to let it take place.[406] [407] [408] These rules were repealed:

  • in 2013 when the Democrat majority voted to eliminate filibusters of all presidential nominees except Supreme Court justices.[409]
  • in 2017 when the Republican majority voted to eliminate filibusters of Supreme Court justices.[410]

* In 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled (5 to 4) that a Washington, D.C. handgun ban was unconstitutional because it violated the Second Amendment “individual right to keep and bear arms” (more details below).[411] Regarding this decision:

  • Five of the seven justices appointed by Republicans ruled that Americans have an individual right to keep and bear arms.[412] [413]
  • Both of the justices appointed by Democrats and two of the justices appointed by Republicans ruled that Americans do not have an individual right to keep and bear arms.[414] [415]
  • The campaign website of Republican Donald Trump states that he supports the Supreme Court’s ruling.[416]
  • In September of 2015, Democrat Hillary Clinton stated that the Supreme Court “is wrong on the Second Amendment.”[417]
  • In May of 2016, Hillary Clinton’s policy advisor sent a written statement to Bloomberg Politics declaring that Hillary thinks this Supreme Court ruling was “wrongly decided in that cities and states should have the power to craft common sense laws to keep their residents safe, like safe storage laws to prevent toddlers from accessing guns.”[418]
  • In June of 2016, ABC News asked Hillary Clinton twice if she believes Americans have a constitutional right to bear arms, and she did not explicitly answer the question.[419]
  • In July of 2016, Fox News asked Hillary Clinton if she wants to see the Supreme Court’s ruling upholding “the individual right to bear arms overturned,” and she replied “No, I don’t….”[420]

* Regarding the five justices who voted to uphold an individual right to keep and bear arms[421]:

  • Hillary Clinton tried to filibuster one of their nominations, she later voted against his nomination, and she voted against the nomination of another such justice.[422] [423] [424]
  • Donald Trump identified one of them as his favorite justice.[425]
  • Democrat Barack Obama voted against the nomination of two of them and identified two of the others as justices he would not have nominated.[426] [427] [428]

* Regarding the four justices who voted that Americans do not have an individual right to keep and bear arms[429]:

  • Democrat President Bill Clinton nominated two of them.[430]
  • Republican Senator John McCain identified all of them as justices he would not have nominated.[431]

* In May 2009, President Obama announced Sonya Sotomayor as his first nominee to the Supreme Court.[432] She was confirmed in a 68–31 Senate vote, with 100% of Democrats voting for her confirmation and 79% of Republicans voting against it.[433]

* Within a year of being confirmed to the Supreme Court,[434] Sotomayor joined in a dissenting opinion declaring that:

  • Chicago’s handgun ban was constitutional.
  • “the use of arms for private self-defense does not warrant federal constitutional protection from state regulation.”
  • the Framers of the Constitution “did not write the Second Amendment in order to protect a private right of armed self-defense.”[435]

* In May 2010, Obama announced his second nominee to the Supreme Court, Elena Kagan.[436] As a law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, Kagan wrote a memo recommending Marshall deny hearing an appeal from a man who was convicted of violating Washington, D.C.’s gun laws. She wrote in the memo:

[The man’s] sole contention is that the District of Columbia’s firearms statutes violate his constitutional right to “keep and bear arms.” I’m not sympathetic.[437]

* Kagan was confirmed to the Supreme Court by the Senate in a 63–37 vote, with 98% of Democrats voting for her confirmation and 88% of Republicans voting against it.[438]

Constitution

General

* In the Bill of Rights, the Second Amendment to the Constitution reads:

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.[439]

* James Madison:

  • was the primary author of the Bill of Rights.[440]
  • is known as the “Father of the Constitution” for his central role in its formation.[441]
  • was one of three authors of the Federalist Papers, a group of essays published in newspapers and books to explain and lobby for ratification of the Constitution.[442] [443]
  • wrote in in Federalist Paper 46 that a standing federal army would not be able to conduct a coup to take over the nation because it couldn’t field more than 25,000–30,000 men based on the based on the country’s population at the time and:
To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties, and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence.
Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of. Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.[444]

* After the Civil War ended in 1865,[445] the United States adopted the 14th Amendment to the Constitution in 1868, which reads in part:

No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.[446]

* In an 1866 speech introducing the 14th Amendment to Congress, Senator Jacob Howard (R–MI) stated that:

  • the “great object of the first section of this amendment is, therefore, to restrain the power of the States and compel them at all times to respect” the “personal rights guaranteed and secured by the first eight amendments of the Constitution,” including “the right to keep and to bear arms….”
  • those personal rights “are secured to the citizen solely as a citizen of the United States and as a party in their courts.”[447] [448]

* Gun control proponents have argued and some federal courts have ruled that the Second Amendment does not apply to all people of the United States but only to members of militias, which, they assert, are now the state National Guard units.[449] [450] In 2002, a federal appeals court panel ruled that “the people” only “have the right to bear arms in the service of the state.”[451]

* Gun rights proponents have argued and some federal courts have ruled that the Second Amendment recognizes “an individual right to keep and bear arms.”[452] In 2001, a federal appeals court panel ruled that the Second Amendment “protects the right of individuals, including those not then actually a member of any militia or engaged in active military service or training, to privately possess and bear their own firearms….”[453]


D.C. v Heller

* In 1976, the Washington, D.C. City Council passed a law generally prohibiting residents from possessing handguns and requiring that all firearms in private homes be (1) kept unloaded and (2) rendered temporally inoperable via disassembly or installation of a trigger lock.[454] [455]

* In 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled (5 to 4) in the case of D.C. v Heller that this law was unconstitutional.[456]

* Excerpts from the majority ruling (Justice Scalia, joined by Roberts, Kennedy, Thomas, and Alito):

The District’s total ban on handgun possession in the home amounts to a prohibition on an entire class of “arms” that Americans overwhelmingly choose for the lawful purpose of self-defense. Under any of the standards of scrutiny the Court has applied to enumerated constitutional rights, this prohibition … would fail constitutional muster.[457]
Similarly, the requirement that any lawful firearm in the home be disassembled or bound by a trigger lock makes it impossible for citizens to use arms for the core lawful purpose of self-defense and is hence unconstitutional.[458]
The Second Amendment is naturally divided into two parts: its prefatory clause and its operative clause. The former does not limit the latter grammatically, but rather announces a purpose. The Amendment could be rephrased, “Because a well regulated Militia is necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.”[459]

* Excerpts from a minority dissent (Justice Stevens, joined by Souter, Ginsburg, and Breyer):

[T]he words “the people” in the Second Amendment refer back to the object announced in the Amendment’s preamble. They remind us that it is the collective action of individuals having a duty to serve in the militia that the text directly protects and, perhaps more importantly, that the ultimate purpose of the Amendment was to protect the States’ share of the divided sovereignty created by the Constitution.[460]
As used in the Second Amendment, the words “the people” do not enlarge the right to keep and bear arms to encompass use or ownership of weapons outside the context of service in a well-regulated militia.[461]

* Excerpt from a minority dissent (Justice Breyer, joined by Stevens, Souter, and Ginsburg):

[The Framers were] unlikely then to have thought of a right to keep loaded handguns in homes to confront intruders in urban settings as central. And the subsequent development of modern urban police departments, by diminishing the need to keep loaded guns nearby in case of intruders, would have moved any such right even further away from the heart of the amendment’s more basic protective ends.[462]

* The Bill of Rights includes two Amendments other than the Second that use the phrase “right of the people”:

Amendment 1: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”[463]
Amendment 4: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”[464]

* In D.C. v Heller, the Supreme Court Justices debated the meaning of the phrase “right of the people” in the Second Amendment. Below are excerpts of this debate:

  • Majority Opinion (Justice Scalia, joined by Roberts, Kennedy, Thomas, and Alito):
The unamended Constitution and the Bill of Rights use the phrase “right of the people” two other times… The Ninth Amendment uses very similar terminology…. All three of these instances unambiguously refer to individual rights, not “collective” rights, or rights that may be exercised only through participation in some corporate body.[465]
Nowhere else in the Constitution does a “right” attributed to “the people” refer to anything other than an individual right.6 What is more, in all six other provisions of the Constitution that mention “the people,” the term unambiguously refers to all members of the political community, not an unspecified subset.[466]
  • Dissenting Opinion (Justice Stevens, joined by Souter, Ginsburg, and Breyer):
The Court also overlooks the significance of the way the Framers used the phrase “the people” in these constitutional provisions. In the First Amendment, no words define the class of individuals entitled to speak, to publish, or to worship; in that Amendment it is only the right peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances, that is described as a right of “the people.” These rights contemplate collective action. While the right peaceably to assemble protects the individual rights of those persons participating in the assembly, its concern is with action engaged in by members of a group, rather than any single individual. Likewise, although the act of petitioning the Government is a right that can be exercised by individuals, it is primarily collective in nature. For if they are to be effective, petitions must involve groups of individuals acting in concert.[467]
As used in the Fourth Amendment, “the people” describes the class of persons protected from unreasonable searches and seizures by Government officials. It is true that the Fourth Amendment describes a right that need not be exercised in any collective sense. But that observation does not settle the meaning of the phrase “the people” when used in the Second Amendment.[468]
  • Majority Opinion (Justice Scalia, joined by Roberts, Kennedy, Thomas, and Alito):
Justice Stevens is of course correct … that the right to assemble cannot be exercised alone, but it is still an individual right, and not one conditioned upon membership in some defined “assembly,” as he contends the right to bear arms is conditioned upon membership in a defined militia. And Justice Stevens is dead wrong to think that the right to petition is “primarily collective in nature.” Ibid. See McDonald v. Smith, 472 U. S. 479, 482–484 (1985) (describing historical origins of right to petition).[469]

McDonald v Chicago

* In an 1833 Supreme Court case known as Barron v Baltimore, the Court ruled that the rights of the people in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights only had to be respected by the federal government and could be infringed by state governments.[470]

* In the aftermath of the Civil War, the United States adopted the 14th Amendment to the Constitution in 1868, which reads in part:

No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.[471]

* Senator Jacob Howard of Michigan served on the committee that drafted the 14th Amendment, and he introduced it on the floor of the Senate. In this speech, he stated that the “great object” of the first section of the amendment is “to restrain the power of the States and compel them at all times to respect” the “personal rights guaranteed and secured by the first eight amendments of the Constitution” including “the right to keep and to bear arms….”[472]

* In 1982, the city of Chicago instituted a ban on handguns. This ban barred civilians from possessing handguns except for those registered with the city government prior to enactment of the law. The law also specified that such handguns had to be re-registered every two years or owners would forfeit their right to possess them. In 1994, the law was amended to require annual re-registration.[473] [474] [475]

* On June 28, 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled (5 to 4) that this ban was unconstitutional.[476]

* Excerpt from the majority ruling (Justice Alito, joined by Roberts, Scalia, Kennedy, and Thomas):

In sum, it is clear that the Framers and ratifiers of the Fourteenth Amendment counted the right to keep and bear arms among those fundamental rights necessary to our system of ordered liberty.[477]

* Excerpt from a concurring opinion (Justice Thomas):

[An 1876 decision by the Supreme Court] holding that blacks could look only to state governments for protection of their right to keep and bear arms enabled private forces, often with the assistance of local governments, to subjugate the newly freed slaves and their descendants through a wave of private violence designed to drive blacks from the voting booth and force them into peonage, an effective return to slavery. Without federal enforcement of the inalienable right to keep and bear arms, these militias and mobs were tragically successful in waging a campaign of terror against the very people the Fourteenth Amendment had just made citizens.[478]

* Excerpt from a minority dissent (Justice Breyer, joined by Ginsburg and Sotomayor):

[T]he use of arms for private self-defense does not warrant federal constitutional protection from state regulation.[479]

* Excerpt from a minority dissent (Justice Stevens):

[T]he strength of the individual’s liberty interests and the State’s regulatory interests must always be assessed and compared.[480]

Footnotes

[1] Paper: “Estimating Intruder-Related Firearm Retrievals in U.S. Households, 1994.” By Robin M. Ikeda (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and others. Violence and Victims, Winter 1997. Pages 363–372. <www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov>

Page 370:

Obtaining information on the protective use of firearms in an efficient and unbiased manner is difficult. These data can be collected through official records, such as police reports, or through special studies. Police reports are more likely to include events with untoward outcomes. Cross-sectional surveys may also be subject to reporting biases and may not yield a sufficient number of episodes to analyze because these events are rare. Nevertheless, surveys are likely to be the most common investigatory tool because of their simplicity and apparent straightforwardness.

[2] Book: Firearms and Violence: A Critical Review. By the Committee to Improve Research and Data on Firearms and the Committee on Law and Justice, National Research Council of the National Academies. Edited by Charles F. Wellford, John V. Pepper, and Carol V. Petrie. National Academies Press, 2005.

Page 35:

While surveys of firearms acquisitions, possession, and use are of varying quality and scope, they all share common methodological and survey sampling-related problems. The most fundamental of these is the potential for response errors to survey questionnaires. Critics argue that asking people whether they own a firearm, what kind it is, and how it is used may lead to invalid responses because ownership is a controversial matter for one or more reasons: some people may own a firearm illegally, some may own it legally but worry that they may use it illegally, and some may react to the intense public controversy about firearm ownership by becoming less (or even more) likely to admit to ownership (Blackman, 2003).7

7 While in most surveys respondents are provided confidentiality, the concern is still expressed that violations of confidentiality directly or through data mining could lead to the identification of specific respondents in a way that might allow the identification of firearms owners.

[3] Entry: “firearm.” Random House Kernerman Webster’s College Dictionary, 2010. <www.thefreedictionary.com>

“a weapon, as a rifle or pistol, from which a projectile is fired by gunpowder.”

[4] Entry: “firearm.” American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (5th edition). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, 2016. <www.thefreedictionary.com>

“A weapon, especially a pistol or rifle, capable of firing a projectile and using an explosive charge as a propellant.”

[5] Entry: “firearm.” Collins English Dictionary (12th edition). HarperCollins Publishers, 2014. <www.thefreedictionary.com>

“(Firearms, Gunnery, Ordnance & Artillery) a weapon, esp a portable gun or pistol, from which a projectile can be discharged by an explosion caused by igniting gunpowder, etc.”

[6] Report: “Guns Used in Crime.” By Marianne W. Zawitz. U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, July 1995. <bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov>

Page 2: “Handgun…[a] weapon designed to fire a small projectile from one or more barrels when held in one hand with a short stock designed to be gripped by one hand.

[7] Guide: “Firearm Identification in the Forensic Science Laboratory.” By Robert M. Thompson. National District Attorneys Association, June 2010. <www.nist.gov>

Page 13: “Rifle—A firearm that has a rifled barrel and is designed to be fired from the shoulder.”

[8] Guide: “Rifle Marksmanship.” U.S. Marine Corps, October 11, 2012. <www.trngcmd.marines.mil>

Page 6-3:

There are seven factors common to all firing positions that affect the ability to hold the Service rifle steady, maintain sight alignment and sight picture, and control the trigger. …

Forward Hand … The placement of the forward hand affects how much muscular tension must be applied to hold the weapon up, affecting stability of hold.

Page 6-5: “Service Rifle Butt in the Shoulder … Placement of the Service rifle butt firmly in the pocket of the shoulder provides resistance to recoil, helps steady the Service rifle, and prevents the Service rifle butt from slipping during firing (see fig. 6-4).”

Page 6-6: “Grip of the Firing Hand … A firm grip must be established on the pistol grip to enable rearward pressure to be applied to keep the Service rifle butt in the shoulder (see fig. 6-5).”

[9] Entry: “rifle.” Collins English Dictionary (12th edition). HarperCollins Publishers, 2014. <www.thefreedictionary.com>

Definition 1a: “a firearm having a long barrel with a spirally grooved interior, which imparts to the bullet spinning motion and thus greater accuracy over a longer range.”

[10] Entry: “carbine.” American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (5th edition). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, 2016. <www.thefreedictionary.com>

“A lightweight rifle with a short barrel.”

[11] Entry: “carbine.” Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Accessed April 23, 2020 at <www.merriam-webster.com>

Definition 1: “a short-barreled lightweight firearm originally used by cavalry.”

Definition 2: “a light short-barreled repeating rifle that is used as a supplementary military arm or for hunting in dense brush.”

[12] Entry: “carbine.” Collins English Dictionary (12th edition). HarperCollins Publishers, 2014. <www.thefreedictionary.com>

Definition 1: “a light automatic or semiautomatic rifle of limited range.”

Definition 2: “a light short-barrelled shoulder rifle formerly used by cavalry.”

[13] Entry: “shotgun.” Collins English Dictionary (12th edition). HarperCollins Publishers, 2014. <www.thefreedictionary.com>

Definition 1a: “a shoulder firearm with unrifled bore designed for the discharge of small shot at short range and used mainly for hunting small game”

[14] Book: Gunner’s Mate Nonresident Training Course (NAVEDTRA 14324A). U.S. Naval Education and Training Command, November 2010. <www.navybmr.com>

Page 3-15: “Shoulder weapons are designed to be held with both hands; they are braced against the shoulder to absorb the force of recoil and to improve accuracy.”

[15] Report: “Guns Used in Crime.” By Marianne W. Zawitz. U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, July 1995. <bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov>

Page 2: “Shotgun … A weapon intended to be fired from the shoulder that uses the energy of the explosive in a fixed shotgun shell to fire through a smooth bore either a number of ball shot or a single projectile for each single pull of the trigger.”

[16] Guide: “ATF Guidebook – Importation & Verification of Firearms, Ammunition, and Implements of War.” U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, December 2019. <www.atf.gov>

Page 20: “Shotgun … means a weapon designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder, and designed or redesigned and made or remade to use the energy of the explosive in a fixed shotgun shell to fire through a smooth bore either a number of ball shot or a single projectile for each single pull of the trigger.”

[17] Entry: “machine gun.” Collins English Dictionary (12th edition). HarperCollins Publishers, 2014. <www.thefreedictionary.com>

Definition 1a: “a rapid-firing automatic gun, usually mounted, from which small-arms ammunition is discharged.”

[18] Article: “M2A1 Machine Gun Features Greater Safety, Heightened Lethality.” By Kevin Doell. U.S. Army, December 3, 2012. <www.army.mil>

“The original M2 ‘Ma Deuce’ .50 Caliber Machine Gun is a belt-fed, heavy machine gun that mounts on most aircraft and vehicles and can be fired from a tripod. The system is highly effective against light armored vehicles, low- and slow-flying aircraft, boats and enemy personnel.”

[19] Book: Gunner’s Mate Nonresident Training Course (NAVEDTRA 14324A). U.S. Naval Education and Training Command, November 2010. <www.navybmr.com>

Page 3-51: “The machine gun is designed to function automatically as long as ammunition is fed into the gun and the trigger is held to the rear.”

Page 3-4: “Most often feeding is done by a spring-loaded follower in a magazine. However, magazines have a limited capacity that cannot sustain the continuous rate of fire required by machine guns. Therefore, machine gun ammunition is belted, and the rounds are fed to the rear of the chamber by cam and lever action.”

[20] Article: “New Light Machine Gun Aims to ‘SAW’ [Squad Automatic Weapon] Soldiers’ Load.” By Eric Kowal. U.S. Army, November 7, 2011. <www.army.mil>

“The suggested rate of fire for machine guns is three to five round bursts whenever possible, eight to ten round bursts at the most. This gives the gunner time to readjust his aim and helps keep the barrel from overheating as quickly.”

[21] Book: Gunner’s Mate Nonresident Training Course (NAVEDTRA 14324A). U.S. Naval Education and Training Command, November 2010. <www.navybmr.com>

Page 3-51: “The machine gun is designed to function automatically as long as ammunition is fed into the gun and the trigger is held to the rear.”

Page 3-4: “Most often feeding is done by a spring-loaded follower in a magazine. However, magazines have a limited capacity that cannot sustain the continuous rate of fire required by machine guns. Therefore, machine gun ammunition is belted, and the rounds are fed to the rear of the chamber by cam and lever action.”

NOTE: Despite the military’s distinction between machine guns and other automatic weapons like assault rifles, the U.S. Department of Justice considers any automatic firearm to be a machine gun under the National Firearms Act. See the next three footnotes for documentation.

[22] “National Firearms Act Handbook.” U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Revised April 2009. <www.atf.gov>

Page 1:

The [Firearm Owner’s Protection] Act also amended the GCA [Gun Control Act of 1968] to prohibit the transfer or possession of machineguns. Exceptions were made for transfers of machineguns to, or possession of machineguns by, government agencies, and those lawfully possessed before the effective date of the prohibition, May 19, 1986.

Pages 94–95:

The term “machinegun” means any weapon which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot, automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger. The term shall also include the frame or receiver of any such weapon, any part designed and intended solely and exclusively, or combination of parts designed and intended, for use in converting a weapon into a machinegun, and any combination of parts from which a machinegun can be assembled if such parts are in the possession or under the control of a person.

[23] Guide: “ATF Guidebook – Importation & Verification of Firearms, Ammunition, and Implements of War.” U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, December 2019. <www.atf.gov>

Page 24: “For the purposes of the National Firearms Act the term Machinegun means … [a]ny weapon which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot, automatically more than one shot without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger.”

[24] Report: “Guns Used in Crime.” By Marianne W. Zawitz. U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, July 1995. <bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov>

Page 2: “Automatic weapons are considered machineguns subject to the provisions of the National Firearms Act.”

[25] Entry: “submachine gun.” American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (5th edition). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, 2016. <www.thefreedictionary.com>

“A lightweight automatic gun that shoots pistol ammunition, is usually fired from the shoulder or hip, and often has the capacity for shooting single rounds.”

[26] Book: The Uzi Submachine Gun. By Chris McNab. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2011.

Page 28:

The orthodox firing position is with the Uzi shouldered, stock extended, as this position allows full use of the sights. With the iron sights, the front post is aligned with the target through the centre of the rear aperture. Such is the weapon’s balance, however, that it can be fired easily from the hip in trained hands, the user aiming by natural sense of direction plus adjustment of the observed impact of the bullets. In low-light or smoky conditions, modern fittings such as flashlights and laser pointers are further guides to aim. …One-handed firing, while perfectly possibly for someone who is extremely familiar with handling the gun, is typically not recommended…

[27] Guide: “Firearms Definitions.” Tennessee State Courts. Accessed February 18, 2020 at <www.tncourts.gov>

Page 8 (of PDF): “Submachine gun: A short barreled automatic firearm, most commonly firing pistol ammunition. It is intended for close-range combat.”

[28] Book: The Uzi Submachine Gun. By Chris McNab. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2011.

Page 28: “A distinct advantage of the Uzi, however, is that it can be carried one-handed prior to firing (which is much more difficult to do with a full-length assault rifle or two-handed submachine gun). This facility is more important than it at first appears. Running, for example, is slowed by holding a weapon in both hands, as it keeps both arms to the front and prevents their swinging momentum that adds extra speed to the run.”

[29] Book: The Uzi Submachine Gun. By Chris McNab. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2011.

Page 28: “One-handed firing, while perfectly possibly for someone who is extremely familiar with handling the gun, is typically not recommended if only for reasons of accuracy—such fire would be largely a matter of ‘spray and pray.’

[30] Report: “Guns Used in Crime.” By Marianne W. Zawitz. U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, July 1995. <bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov>

Page 2: “Submachinegun … A simple fully automatic weapon that fires a pistol cartridge that is also referred to as a machine pistol.”

[31] Thesis: “An Analysis of the Infantry’s Need for an Assault Submachine Gun.” U.S. Army, University of Nebraska, 1977. <apps.dtic.mil>

Page 1: “A submachine gun is usually chambered for a pistol sized cartridge. It is lighter, shorter and more compact than an assault rifle and may or may not have a selective rate of fire capability.”

[32] “National Firearms Act Handbook.” U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Revised April 2009. <www.atf.gov>

Page 1: “The [Firearm Owner’s Protection] Act also amended the GCA [Gun Control Act of 1968] to prohibit the transfer or possession of machineguns. Exceptions were made for transfers of machineguns to, or possession of machineguns by, government agencies, and those lawfully possessed before the effective date of the prohibition, May 19, 1986.”

[33] Entry: “action.” Random House Kernerman Webster’s College Dictionary, 2010. <www.thefreedictionary.com>

Definition 11: “the mechanism by which something is operated, as that of a gun or a piano.”

[34] Guide: “Firearm Identification in the Forensic Science Laboratory.” By Robert M. Thompson. National District Attorneys Association, June 2010. <www.nist.gov>

Page 13: “Firearms have loading and firing mechanisms called actions. Modern firearms may have differing actions depending on the design of the firearm.”

[35] Report: “Guns Used in Crime.” By Marianne W. Zawitz. U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, July 1995. <bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov>

Page 2: “Fully automatic … Capability to fire a succession of cartridges so long as the trigger is depressed or until the ammunition supply is exhausted.”

[36] Guide: “ATF Guidebook – Importation & Verification of Firearms, Ammunition, and Implements of War.” U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, December 2019. <www.atf.gov>

Page 24:

For the purposes of the National Firearms Act the term Machinegun means:

• Any weapon which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot, automatically more than one shot without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger

• The frame or receiver of any such weapon

• Any part designed and intended solely and exclusively or combination of parts designed and intended for use in converting a weapon into a machinegun, or

• Any combination of parts from which a machinegun can be assembled if such parts are in the possession or under the control of a person.

[37] “National Firearms Act Handbook.” U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Revised April 2009. <www.atf.gov>

Page 1: “The [Firearm Owner’s Protection] Act also amended the GCA [Gun Control Act of 1968] to prohibit the transfer or possession of machineguns. Exceptions were made for transfers of machineguns to, or possession of machineguns by, government agencies, and those lawfully possessed before the effective date of the prohibition, May 19, 1986.”

[38] Report: “Firearm Use by Offenders.” By Caroline Wolf Harlow. U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics. Revised February 4, 2002. <www.bjs.gov>

Page 15: “A semiautomatic gun is a firearm in which a shell is ejected and the next round of ammunition is loaded automatically from a magazine or clip. The trigger must be pulled for each shot. Semiautomatic guns may be classified as handguns, rifles, or shotguns.”

[39] Guide: “Firearm Identification in the Forensic Science Laboratory.” By Robert M. Thompson. National District Attorneys Association, June 2010. <www.nist.gov>

Page 13:

Modern firearms may have differing actions depending on the design of the firearm. The most common forms are semiautomatic, automatic (also known as full auto or machine gun), revolver, lever, slide (or pump), and bolt actions. …The most commonly encountered firearm actions are:

Semiautomatic…Automatic…

Revolver—A firearm that has a number of chambers in a cylinder that rotates on an axis; during successive firing, a chamber rotates and aligns with the barrel.

Lever—A firearm wherein the breech mechanism is cycled by an external lever generally below the receiver.

Slide (pump)—A firearm with a movable forearm that is moved in line with the barrel by the shooter. This motion is connected to the breech bolt assembly, which performs the functions of the firing cycle that is assigned to it.

Bolt—A firearm where the breech closure is in line with the barrel; the closure manually reciprocates to load, unload, and cock; and locks in place by breech bolt lugs on the bolt engaging the receiver.

[40] Guide: “Firearms Definitions.” Tennessee State Courts. Accessed February 18, 2020 at <www.tncourts.gov>

Page 7 (of PDF): “Revolver: Handgun that has a cylinder with holes to contain the cartridges. The cylinder revolves to bring the cartridge into position to be fired. This is ‘single-action’ when the hammer must be cocked before the trigger can fire the weapon. It is ‘double-action’ when pulling the trigger both cocks and fires the gun.”

[41] Entry: “ammunition.” Collins English Dictionary (12th edition). HarperCollins Publishers, 2014. <www.thefreedictionary.com>

Definition 1: “(Firearms, Gunnery, Ordnance & Artillery) any projectiles, such as bullets, rockets, etc, that can be discharged from a weapon.”

[42] Entry: “ammunition.” American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (Fifth edition). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, 2016. <www.thefreedictionary.com>

Definition 1: “Projectiles, such as bullets and shot, together with their fuses and primers, that can be fired from guns or otherwise propelled.”

[43] Guide: “ATF Guidebook – Importation & Verification of Firearms, Ammunition, and Implements of War.” U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, December 2019. <www.atf.gov>

Page 15: “Ammunition … 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(17)(A) … The term “AMMUNITION” means ammunition or cartridge cases, primers, bullets, or propellant powder designed for use in any firearm.”

[44] Book: Gunner’s Mate Nonresident Training Course (NAVEDTRA 14324A). U.S. Naval Education and Training Command, November 2010. <www.navybmr.com>

Page 4-51:

4.3.1 Gun Ammunition

In a general sense, ammunition includes anything that is intended to be thrown at or put in the path of the enemy to deter, injure, or kill personnel or to destroy or damage materials. This chapter is devoted chiefly to gun ammunition. In this section, we describe how ammunition is classified, the common components of gun ammunition, and some of the actual types of gun ammunition in use today.

Gun ammunition consists of a projectile and a propelling charge.

[45] Guide: “Firearm Identification in the Forensic Science Laboratory.” By Robert M. Thompson. National District Attorneys Association, June 2010. <www.nist.gov>

Page 32: “Cartridge…[a] single unit of ammunition consisting of the case, primer, and propellant with one or more projectiles. Also applies to a shotshell.”

[46] Guide: “Firearms Definitions.” Tennessee State Courts. Accessed February 18, 2020 at <www.tncourts.gov>

Page 3 (of PDF): “Cartridge: A unit of ammunition, made up of a cartridge case, primer, powder, and bullet. Also called a “round”, or “load”. Sometimes incorrectly called a “bullet.”

Page 7 (of PDF): “Round: A military term for a cartridge.”

[47] Guide: “Firearm Identification in the Forensic Science Laboratory.” By Robert M. Thompson. National District Attorneys Association, June 2010. <www.nist.gov>

Page 33: “Projectile…[a]n object propelled by the force of rapidly burning gases or other means.”

[48] Book: Gunner’s Mate Nonresident Training Course (NAVEDTRA 14324A). U.S. Naval Education and Training Command, November 2010. <www.navybmr.com>

Page 4-51: “The projectile is the component of ammunition that, when fired from a gun, carries out the tactical purpose of the weapon.”

[49] Entry: “bullet.” Random House Kernerman Webster’s College Dictionary, 2010. <www.thefreedictionary.com>

Definition 1: “a small metal projectile, part of a cartridge, for firing from small arms.”

Definition 2: “a cartridge.”

[50] Guide: “Firearm Identification in the Forensic Science Laboratory.” By Robert M. Thompson. National District Attorneys Association, June 2010. <www.nist.gov>

Page 32: “Bullet…[a] non-spherical projectile for use in a rifled barrel.”

[51] Guide: “Firearm Identification in the Forensic Science Laboratory.” By Robert M. Thompson. National District Attorneys Association, June 2010. <www.nist.gov>

Page 33: “Propellant…[i]n a firearm, the chemical composition, which when ignited by a primer, generates gas. The gas propels the projectile. Also called ‘powder’; ‘gunpowder’; ‘smokeless powder.’

[52] Book: Gunner’s Mate Nonresident Training Course (NAVEDTRA 14324A). U.S. Naval Education and Training Command, November 2010. <www.navybmr.com>

Page A-6: “Propellants – A device used to provide a pressure that, acting against an object to be propelled, will accelerate the object to the required velocity.”

Page 1-8:

Propellants … The primary function of a propellant is to provide a pressure that, acting against an object to be propelled, will accelerate the object to the required velocity. This pressure must be controlled so that it will never exceed the strength of the container in which it is produced, such as guns, rocket motor housing, or pyrotechnic pistols. In addition, propellants must be comparatively insensitive to shock. Propellants may be either liquid or solid. (Liquid propellants will not be discussed here, since only solid propellants are used in Navy gun ammunition.)

[53] Guide: “Firearm Identification in the Forensic Science Laboratory.” By Robert M. Thompson. National District Attorneys Association, June 2010. <www.nist.gov>

Page 33: “Propellant … [a]lso called “powder”; “gunpowder”; “smokeless powder.”

[54] Book: Gunner’s Mate Nonresident Training Course (NAVEDTRA 14324A). U.S. Naval Education and Training Command, November 2010. <www.navybmr.com>

Page 1-8:

Primers … A primer is a device used to initiate the burning of a propellant charge by means of a flame. Its explosive train normally consists of a small quantity of extremely sensitive primary high explosive which, when detonated, ignites a small black powder booster which, in turn, ignites the black powder igniter. Primers are classified according to the method of initiation (normally percussion or electric). All primers function in a similar manner when initiated.

[55] Guide: “Firearm Identification in the Forensic Science Laboratory.” By Robert M. Thompson. National District Attorneys Association, June 2010. <www.nist.gov>

Page 32: “Primer…[t]he ignition component of a cartridge.”

[56] Entry: “cartridge case.” McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, 2003. <encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com>

“An item which is designed to hold an ammunition primer and propellant and to which a projectile may be affixed; its profile and size conform to the chamber of the weapon in which the round is fired.”

[57] Report: “Guns Used in Crime.” By Marianne W. Zawitz. U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, July 1995. <bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov>

Page 2: “Caliber … The size of the ammunition that a weapon is designed to shoot, as measured by the bullet’s approximate diameter in inches in the United States and in millimeters in other countries.”

[58] Report: “The Association of Firearm Caliber With Likelihood of Death From Gunshot Injury in Criminal Assaults.” By Anthony A. Braga and Philip J. Cook. American Medical Association, July 27, 2018. <jamanetwork.com>

Page 1: “Firearms caliber was associated with the likelihood of death from gunshot wounds in criminal assault. Shootings with larger-caliber handguns were more deadly but no more sustained or accurate than shootings with smaller-caliber handguns.”

[59] Entry: “gauge.” American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (5th edition). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, 2016. <www.thefreedictionary.com>

Definition 1c: “The interior diameter of a shotgun barrel as determined by the number of lead balls of a size exactly fitting the barrel that are required to make one pound. Often used in combination: a 12-gauge shotgun.

[60] Book: Armed Conflict Injuries to the Extremities: A Treatment Manual. By Alexander Lerner and Michael Soudry. Springer Science & Business Media, April 28, 2011.

Chapter 2: “Wound Ballistics and Tissue Damage.” By Nimrod Rozen and Israel Dudkiewicz.

Pages 21: “The amount of tissue damage and the injury severity of gunshot injuries are due to the energy transmitted by the bullets or projectiles, depending mainly on their velocity.”

Page 22: “The velocity of the M-16 bullet is thrice that of the 0.22 bullet. This explains, why although M-16 has almost the same caliber and mass as the 0.22 its kinetic energy is almost 10 times than the 0.22. The longer the barrel, the more time available for bullet acceleration by the expanding gases (therefore, for identical rounds, the gun with a shorter barrel produces a lower-velocity bullet).”

[61] Webpage: “Ballistics.” University of Utah. Accessed June 23, 2020 at <webpath.med.utah.edu>

“Bullets fired from a rifle will have more energy than similar bullets fired from a handgun. More powder can also be used in rifle cartridges because the bullet chambers can be designed to withstand greater pressures (50,000 to 70,000 for rifles psi vs. 30,000 to 40,000 psi for handgun chamber). Higher pressures require a bigger gun with more recoil that is slower to load and generates more heat that produces more wear on the metal.”

[62] Book: Trauma: Contemporary Principles and Therapy. Edited by Lewis M. Flint. Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2008.

Page 112: “Because the muzzle velocity of a projectile is ultimately determined by the amount of gunpowder propelling it, the weight of the projectile, and the length of the barrel through which it accelerates, velocity is an important characteristic used to classify firearm groups.”

[63] Entry: “magazine.” Random House Kernerman Webster’s College Dictionary, 2010. <www.thefreedictionary.com>

Definition 3: “a room for keeping gunpowder and other explosives.

Definition 4: “a military depot for arms or provisions.”

Definition 6: “a receptacle on a gun for holding cartridges.”

[64] Book: Shooter’s Bible Guide to Tactical Firearms: A Comprehensive Guide to Precision Rifles and Long-Range Shooting Gear. By Robert A. Sadowski. Skyhorse Publishing, 2015.

“Modern bolt-action rifles have two types of magazines, a detachable box magazine that can be removed from the rifle and a fixed or internal box magazine that is fixed to the rifle.”

[65] Webpage: “Bill Analysis: SB 880.” Loni Hancock, Senate Committee on Public Safety, March 2016. <www.leginfo.ca.gov>

Page 4: “Current law defines a ‘detachable magazine’ as any ammunition feeding device that can be removed readily from the firearm with neither disassembly of the firearm action nor use of a tool being required.”

[66] Guide: “Rifle Marksmanship.” U.S. Marine Corps, October 11, 2012. <www.trngcmd.marines.mil>

Page 3-3: “Magazine. The magazine holds cartridges ready for feeding, provides a guide for positioning cartridges for stripping, and provides quick reload capabilities for sustained firing.”

[67] Book: Shooter’s Bible Guide to Tactical Firearms: A Comprehensive Guide to Precision Rifles and Long-Range Shooting Gear. By Robert A. Sadowski. Skyhorse Publishing, 2015.

“Modern bolt-action rifles have two types of magazines, a detachable box magazine that can be removed from the rifle and a fixed or internal box magazine that is fixed to the rifle.”

[68] Book: Gunner’s Mate Nonresident Training Course (NAVEDTRA 14324A). U.S. Naval Education and Training Command, November 2010. <www.navybmr.com>

Page A-4:

Magazine–[a]ny compartment, space, or locker that is used, or intended to be used, for the stowage of explosives or ammunition of any kind.

[69] Entry: “magazine.” Random House Kernerman Webster’s College Dictionary, 2010. <www.thefreedictionary.com>

Definition 3: “a room for keeping gunpowder and other explosives.”

[70] Entry: “clip.” Random House Kernerman Webster’s College Dictionary, 2010. <www.thefreedictionary.com>

Definition 3: “a frame holding cartridges for insertion into the magazine of a firearm.”

[71] Book: 50 Guns That Changed the World: Iconic Firearms That Altered the Course of History. By Robert A. Sadowski. Skyhorse Publishing, 2015.

The Springfield 1903A3, SKS rifles, and Mauser 1896 pistol use a stripper clip that keeps cartridges in a single column. The stripper is inserted into the magazine and the operator presses down on the cartridges stripping them from the clip and into the weapon’s magazine. The stripper clip is then tossed. The M1917 and S&W M625 are two examples of revolvers that use half-moon and moon-clips. Half-moon clips hold three rounds; moon clips hold six rounds. The clips allow the revolver’s chambers to be loaded more quickly than if each round were loading separately. The M1 Garand uses an en-bloc clip that holds a double stack column of eight cartridges. Both the en-bloc clip and cartridges are loaded into the M1’s magazine. After the last round is fired the en-bloc clip is ejected from the magazine.

[72] Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law 2011. Edited by David Minthorn and others. Basic Books, 2011.

Page 295: “Clip is not the correct term for detachable magazines commonly used in modern military rifles, submachine guns and semiautomatic pistols.”

[73] Photo: “Loading Gun.” By milanmarkovic78. Adobe Stock. Purchased May 14, 2020 at <stock.adobe.com>

[74] Manual: “19th Century Percussion Revolver.” United States National Park Service, January 2018. <www.nps.gov>

[75] Report: “Guns Used in Crime.” By Marianne W. Zawitz. U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, July 1995. <bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov>

Page 2: “Handgun … A weapon designed to fire a small projectile from one or more barrels when held in one hand with a short stock designed to be gripped by one hand.”

[76] Report: “Guns Used in Crime.” By Marianne W. Zawitz. U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, July 1995. <bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov>

Page 2: “Revolver … A handgun that contains its ammunition in a revolving cylinder that typically holds five to nine cartridges, each within a separate chamber. Before a revolver fires, the cylinder rotates, and the next chamber is aligned with the barrel.”

[77] Photo: “Pistol Stock Photo.” By Dimdimich. iStock. Purchased February 24, 2020 at <www.istockphoto.com>

[78] Report: “Guns Used in Crime.” By Marianne W. Zawitz. U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, July 1995. <bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov>

Page 2: “Pistol … Any handgun that does not contain its ammunition in a revolving cylinder. Pistols can be manually operated or semiautomatic. A semiautomatic pistol generally contains cartridges in a magazine located in the grip of the gun.”

[79] Photo: “A Silver Semi Auto Handgun on White Background Stock Photo.” By thepropshoppe. iStock. <www.istockphoto.com>

[80] Report: “Guns Used in Crime.” By Marianne W. Zawitz. U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, July 1995. <bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov>

Page 2: “Derringer … A small single- or multiple-shot handgun other than a revolver or semiautomatic pistol.”

[81] Entry: “derringer.” American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (5th edition). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, 2016. <www.thefreedictionary.com>

“A short-barreled pistol that has a large bore and is small enough to be carried in a pocket.”

[82] Entry: “rifle.” Collins English Dictionary (12th edition). HarperCollins Publishers, 2014. <www.thefreedictionary.com>

Definition 1a: “a firearm having a long barrel with a spirally grooved interior, which imparts to the bullet spinning motion and thus greater accuracy over a longer range.”

[83] Guide: “Firearm Identification in the Forensic Science Laboratory.” By Robert M. Thompson. National District Attorneys Association, June 2010. <www.nist.gov>

Page 13: “Rifle—A firearm that has a rifled barrel and is designed to be fired from the shoulder.”

[84] Book: Gunner’s Mate Nonresident Training Course (NAVEDTRA 14324A). U.S. Naval Education and Training Command, November 2010. <www.navybmr.com>

Page 3-15: “Shoulder weapons are designed to be held with both hands; they are braced against the shoulder to absorb the force of recoil and to improve accuracy.”

[85] Guide: “Firearm Identification in the Forensic Science Laboratory.” By Robert M. Thompson. National District Attorneys Association, June 2010. <www.nist.gov>

Page 12:

Firearm Types

The basic types of firearms are handguns and shoulder arms. … [a] shoulder arm is designed with a stock to be fired while being supported by the shoulder.

Page 13:

Shoulder Arms

Rifle—A firearm that has a rifled barrel and is designed to be fired from the shoulder.

Shotgun—A smooth bore barreled shoulder firearm designed to fire shotshells that contain numerous pellets, or a single projectile.

[86] Entry: “carbine.” American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (5th edition). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, 2016. <www.thefreedictionary.com>

“A lightweight rifle with a short barrel.”

[87] Entry: “carbine.” Merriam-Webster. Accessed April 23, 2020 at <www.merriam-webster.com>

Definition 1: “a short-barreled lightweight firearm originally used by cavalry.”

Definition 2: “a light short-barreled repeating rifle that is used as a supplementary military arm or for hunting in dense brush.”

[88] Entry: “carbine.” Collins English Dictionary (12th edition). HarperCollins Publishers, 2014. <www.thefreedictionary.com>

Definition 1: “a light automatic or semiautomatic rifle of limited range.”

Definition 2: “a light short-barrelled shoulder rifle formerly used by cavalry.”

[89] Photo: “Gun Rifle Isolated on White.” By Solidmaks. Adobe Stock. Purchased May 30, 2020 at <stock.adobe.com>

NOTE: This traditional rifle does not have semi-automatic action, but manual action.

[90] Photo: “Left Side AR-15.” By Luevanos. Adobe Stock. Purchased May 30, 2020 at <stock.adobe.com>

NOTE: The AR-15 is not an automatic or military weapon despite its military look-a-like features.

[91] Report: “Guns Used in Crime.” By Marianne W. Zawitz. U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, July 1995. <bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov>

Page 2: “Shotgun … A weapon intended to be fired from the shoulder that uses the energy of the explosive in a fixed shotgun shell to fire through a smooth bore either a number of ball shot or a single projectile for each single pull of the trigger.”

[92] Guide: “Firearms Definitions.” Tennessee State Courts. Accessed February 18, 2020 at <www.tncourts.gov>

Page 7 (of PDF): “Shotgun: A shoulder fired (long gun) with a smoothbore designed to fire shotshells containing numerous pellets or sometimes a single projectile.”

Page 8 (of PDF): “Slug: A term applied to a single projectile loaded into a shotshell.”

[93] Entry: “shotgun.” Collins English Dictionary (12th edition). HarperCollins Publishers, 2014. <www.thefreedictionary.com>

Definition 1a: “a shoulder firearm with unrifled bore designed for the discharge of small shot at short range and used mainly for hunting small game”

[94] Entry: “scattergun.” American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (5th edition). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, 2016. <www.thefreedictionary.com>

“See shotgun.”

[95] Book: The Hunting Rifle on Game–at Rest, on the Move and Long Range Shooting. By Theodore S. Van Dyke. Read Books Limited, September 12, 2016.

The great difficulty in killing any sort of game with a single ball is that a miss is as good as a mile. To remedy this the scattering principle of the shot gun was introduced. And the success of this depends upon a principle directly opposite to the fundamental principle of the rifle; to wit, that a miss is as good as a hit. That is, the true center of the charge never need exactly cover the game. And as a matter of fact it probably does not once in a hundred times, even when the gun is the hands of the very best shots. The consequence of this is that the same aim that with a shot-gun would suffice to kill a thousand successive pigeons at twenty yards would not suffice to even touch one out of a thousand at twenty yards with a rifle-ball. …

Now an inch at the gun-muzzle may equal three or four feet where the game is. Consequently at the time the ball gets its final direction from the muzzle the line of the sights may he several feet ahead of the game without your suspecting it and white you firmly believe you held on the body. This is a very effective way of using the shot-gun, especially on birds curling backward on either side of you. This, with the fact that the scattering of shot often renders holding ahead unnecessary at short distances, accounts for the reasoning of many who insist that holding on moving game is sufficient “if the gun be kept moving.”

[96] Book: Guns in American Society: An Encyclopedia of History, Politics, Culture, and the Law. By Gregg Lee Carter. ABC–CLIO, May 4, 2012.

Page 731:

Sawed-off Shotguns

Under the U.S. National Firearms Act of 1934, a sawed-off shotgun is shotgun with a barrel length of less than 18 inches and an overall length of less than 26 inches. Other countries and individual stales employ slightly different length definitions. The guns can be altered weapons or ones manufactured with shorter barrels. A sawed-off produces less muzzle velocity, so it has a shorter range and wider spread of the shot. These weapons have been used in a variety of ways over the years—for example, by the Confederacy during the Civil War; police wanting a wide shot as they enter into a house; criminals; and citizens for self-protection (especially of the home).

[97] U.S. Code Title 18, Part I, Chapter 44, Section 921: “Firearms, Definitions.” Accessed May 29, 2020 at <www.law.cornell.edu>

(6) The term “short-barreled shotgun” means a shotgun having one or more barrels less than eighteen inches in length and any weapon made from a shotgun (whether by alteration, modification or otherwise) if such a weapon as modified has an overall length of less than twenty-six inches.

[98] Guide: “Quick Reference to Federal Firearms Laws.” U.S. Department of Justice, 2013. <www.justice.gov>

VI. Knowingly Possess or Manufacture:

18 USC § 922(k), (o) & (v); 26 USC § 5861. Punishable by up to 5 or 10 years imprisonment, depending upon specific violation. …

C. Sawed-off shotgun with a barrel length of less than 18” or overall length less than 26”

[99] Book: Gunner’s Mate Nonresident Training Course (NAVEDTRA 14324A). U.S. Naval Education and Training Command, November 2010. <www.navybmr.com>

Page 3-15: “Shoulder weapons are designed to be held with both hands; they are braced against the shoulder to absorb the force of recoil and to improve accuracy.”

[100] Guide: “Firearm Identification in the Forensic Science Laboratory.” By Robert M. Thompson. National District Attorneys Association, June 2010. <www.nist.gov>

Page 12:

Firearm Types

The basic types of firearms are handguns and shoulder arms. … [a] shoulder arm is designed with a stock to be fired while being supported by the shoulder.

Page 13:

Shoulder Arms

Rifle—A firearm that has a rifled barrel and is designed to be fired from the shoulder.

Shotgun—A smooth bore barreled shoulder firearm designed to fire shotshells that contain numerous pellets, or a single projectile.

[101] Photo: “Shotgun.” By Guy Sagi. Adobe Stock. Purchased March 30, 2020 at <stock.adobe.com>

[102] Report: “Firearm Use by Offenders.” By Caroline Wolf Harlow. U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics. Revised February 4, 2002. <www.bjs.gov>

Page 15:

A semiautomatic gun is a firearm in which a shell is ejected and the next round of ammunition is loaded automatically from a magazine or clip. The trigger must be pulled for each shot. Semiautomatic guns may be classified as handguns, rifles, or shotguns.

A machine gun is an automatic gun which, if the trigger is held down, will fire rapidly and continuously. It is not a semi-automatic gun for which the trigger must be pulled for each shot. (Classified as fully automatic for analysis.)

[103] Report: “Guns Used in Crime.” By Marianne W. Zawitz. U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, July 1995. <bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov>

Page 2: “Fully automatic … Capability to fire a succession of cartridges so long as the trigger is depressed or until the ammunition supply is exhausted.”

[104] Report: “Guns Used in Crime.” By Marianne W. Zawitz. U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, July 1995. <bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov>

Page 2: “Fully automatic … Capability to fire a succession of cartridges so long as the trigger is depressed or until the ammunition supply is exhausted.”

[105] Article: “New Light Machine Gun Aims to ‘SAW’ [Squad Automatic Weapon] Soldiers’ Load.” By Eric Kowal. U.S. Army, November 7, 2011. <www.army.mil>

“The suggested rate of fire for machine guns is three to five round bursts whenever possible, eight to ten round bursts at the most. This gives the gunner time to readjust his aim and helps keep the barrel from overheating as quickly.”

[106] Guide: “Rifle Marksmanship.” U.S. Marine Corps, October 11, 2012. <www.trngcmd.marines.mil>

Page 3-1: “The Service rifle fires in either semiautomatic (i.e., single-shot) mode or in a three-round burst using a selector lever.”

[107] Pamphlet: “MOSAIC Glossary of Terms, Definitions, and Abbreviations.” United Nations, April 2018. <www.un.org>

Page 22:

selective-fire

capability of a small arm or light weapon that can be adjusted to fire in two or more of the following ways:

a) semi-automatic, (i.e. one shot per depression of the trigger);

b) multi-shot burst (i.e. a set number of shots per depression of the trigger); or

c) automatic (i.e. continuous fire while the trigger is depressed).

[108] Book: Military Technology. By Ron Fridell. Lerner Publications, 2020.

Page 9:

Automatic Weapons

The first muskets and rifles shot one bullet at a time. After each shot, the shooter had to stop to reload. Firing a single-shot weapon took time, skill, and patience. To hit his target, the shooter had to be well trained. Then came firearms that could be loaded with more than one bullet. But they still shot one at a time.

By the late 1800s, soldiers were using automatic rifles and machine guns. These guns could fire many bullets with a single pull of the trigger. A machine gunner’s weapon fired hundreds of bullets each minute. He could point the weapon in the general direction of his enemy and fire. Even poorly-trained shooters could hit their targets. Automatic weapons made war a far more deadly business.

For modern soldiers, the most common military weapon is the AK-47 assault rifle. The AK-47 is not a very accurate weapon. It shakes and rattles when fired. But it can unleash about 700 shots per minute. As many as 100 million of these inexpensive rifles are in use in conflicts around the world. That’s about one AK-47 for every six people on Earth.

The AK-47 is very reliable and is easy to buy. For this reason, it is the weapon of choice for most terrorists. Osama bin Laden, head of the al-Qaeda terrorist group, has called the AK-47 the terrorist’s most important weapon.

[109] Webpage: “Summary of State and Federal Machine Gun Laws.” By Veronica Rose and Meghan Reilly. OLR [Office of Legislative Research] Research Report, January 12, 2009. <www.cga.ct.gov>

Federal Law and Machine Guns

Federal law defines a machine gun as “any weapon which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot, automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger.” This definition includes the frame or receiver, any part or combination of parts designed and intended, solely and exclusively, for use in converting a weapon into a machine gun, and any combination of parts from which a machine gun can be assembled (26 USC § 5845(b), 27 CFR §§ 478.11 & 479.11). It does not include “antique firearms” (26 USC § 5845(a) & (g)).

Since 1934, Congress has strictly regulated the manufacture, transfer, and possession of machine guns. The firearms are regulated by the 1934 National Firearms Act (NFA) (26 USC § 5801 et seq.) and the 1968 Gun Control Act as amended by the 1986 Firearms Owners’ Protection Act (18 USC § 921 et seq.).

[110] “National Firearms Act Handbook.” U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Revised April 2009. <www.atf.gov>

Page 1:

History of the National Firearms Act (NFA)

1.1.1 The NFA of 1934. The NFA was originally enacted in 1934. Similar to the current NFA, the original Act imposed a tax on the making and transfer of firearms defined by the Act, as well as a special (occupational) tax on persons and entities engaged in the business of importing, manufacturing, and dealing in NFA firearms. The law also required the registration of all NFA firearms with the Secretary of the Treasury. Firearms subject to the 1934 Act included shotguns and rifles having barrels less than 18 inches in length, certain firearms described as “any other weapons,” machineguns, and firearm mufflers and silencers.

[111] “National Firearms Act Handbook.” U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Revised April 2009. <www.atf.gov>

Page 1: “The [Firearm Owner’s Protection] Act also amended the [Gun Control Act] to prohibit the transfer or possession of machineguns. Exceptions were made for transfers of machineguns to, or possession of machineguns by, government agencies, and those lawfully possessed before the effective date of the prohibition, May 19, 1986.”

[112] Final rule: “Machineguns, Destructive Devices and Certain Other Firearms; Background Checks for Responsible Persons of a Trust or Legal Entity With Respect to Making or Transferring a Firearm.” U.S. Department of Justice, January 4, 2016. <www.atf.gov>

Page: 42:

A review of trace data and criminal records from 2006 to 2014 disclosed twelve incidents in which owners of NFA [National Firearms Act] firearms were convicted of crimes; however, there is no evidence that these crimes were committed with NFA firearms. Convictions include attempted homicide, conspiracy to commit felony offenses of firearms laws, operating a drug involved premises, possession of unlawful firearms, possession of marijuana, intent to distribute methamphetamine, possession of a firearm during commission of drug trafficking, domestic violence, theft, dealing firearms without a license, and possession of an unregistered NFA firearm.

[113] Book: Gunner’s Mate Nonresident Training Course (NAVEDTRA 14324A). U.S. Naval Education and Training Command, November 2010. <www.navybmr.com>

Page 3-51: “The machine gun is designed to function automatically as long as ammunition is fed into the gun and the trigger is held to the rear.”

Page 3-4: “Most often feeding is done by a spring-loaded follower in a magazine. However, magazines have a limited capacity that cannot sustain the continuous rate of fire required by machine guns. Therefore, machine gun ammunition is belted, and the rounds are fed to the rear of the chamber by cam and lever action.”

NOTE: Despite the military’s distinction between machine guns and other automatic weapons like assault rifles, the U.S. Department of Justice considers any automatic firearm to be a machine gun under the National Firearms Act. See the next three footnotes for documentation.

[114] “National Firearms Act Handbook.” U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Revised April 2009. <www.atf.gov>

Page 1:

The [Firearm Owner’s Protection] Act also amended the GCA [Gun Control Act of 1968] to prohibit the transfer or possession of machineguns. Exceptions were made for transfers of machineguns to, or possession of machineguns by, government agencies, and those lawfully possessed before the effective date of the prohibition, May 19, 1986.

Pages 94–95:

The term “machinegun” means any weapon which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot, automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger. The term shall also include the frame or receiver of any such weapon, any part designed and intended solely and exclusively, or combination of parts designed and intended, for use in converting a weapon into a machinegun, and any combination of parts from which a machinegun can be assembled if such parts are in the possession or under the control of a person.

[115] Guide: “ATF Guidebook – Importation & Verification of Firearms, Ammunition, and Implements of War.” U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, December 2019. <www.atf.gov>

Page 24: “For the purposes of the National Firearms Act the term Machinegun means … [a]ny weapon which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot, automatically more than one shot without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger.”

[116] Report: “Guns Used in Crime.” By Marianne W. Zawitz. U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, July 1995. <bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov>

Page 2: “Automatic weapons are considered machineguns subject to the provisions of the National Firearms Act.”

[117] Entry: “machine gun.” Collins English Dictionary (12th edition). HarperCollins Publishers, 2014. <www.thefreedictionary.com>

Definition 1a: “a rapid-firing automatic gun, usually mounted, from which small-arms ammunition is discharged.”

[118] Article: “M2A1 Machine Gun Features Greater Safety, Heightened Lethality.” By Kevin Doell. U.S. Army, December 3, 2012. <www.army.mil>

“The original M2 ‘Ma Deuce’ .50 Caliber Machine Gun is a belt-fed, heavy machine gun that mounts on most aircraft and vehicles and can be fired from a tripod. The system is highly effective against light armored vehicles, low- and slow-flying aircraft, boats and enemy personnel.”

[119] Article: “New Light Machine Gun Aims to ‘SAW’ [Squad Automatic Weapon] Soldiers’ Load.” By Eric Kowal. U.S. Army, November 7, 2011. <www.army.mil>

The [Joint Service Small Arms Program] team hopes that the [Light Machine Gun] will eventually replace the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon, knows as a SAW, as the standard issue machine gun used by Soldiers in combat zones. …

According to a study conducted in 2005, the average fighting load for the SAW gunner is 79 pounds. That is nearly twice the weight a Soldier should carry, according to Army doctrine.

[120] Book: Gunner’s Mate Nonresident Training Course (NAVEDTRA 14324A). U.S. Naval Education and Training Command, November 2010. <www.navybmr.com>

Page 3-51: “The machine gun is designed to function automatically as long as ammunition is fed into the gun and the trigger is held to the rear.”

Page 3-4: “Therefore, machine gun ammunition is belted, and the rounds are fed to the rear of the chamber by cam and lever action.”

[121] Book: The Uzi Submachine Gun. By Chris McNab. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2011.

Page 28: “A distinct advantage of the Uzi, however, is that it can be carried one-handed prior to firing (which is much more difficult to do with a full- length assault rifle or two-handed submachine gun). This facility is more important than it at first appears. Running, for example, is slowed by holding a weapon in both hands, as it keeps both arms to the front and prevents their swinging momentum that adds extra speed to the run.”

[122] Guide: “Firearms Definitions.” Tennessee State Courts. Accessed February 18, 2020 at <www.tncourts.gov>

Page 8 (of PDF): “Submachine gun: A short barreled automatic firearm, most commonly firing pistol ammunition. It is intended for close-range combat.”

[123] Book: The Uzi Submachine Gun. By Chris McNab. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2011.

Page 28:

Five or six controlled bursts will usually empty an Uzi 32-round magazine, the spent cartridges ejecting from the port on the right of the gun, and following an up-and-to-the-right trajectory. On open-bolt guns, when the magazine runs out and the trigger is pulled ‘dry’ the bolt stops in the front position and the magazine needs changing. This is largely a repeat of the loading procedure, once the spent magazine has been ejected by pressing the release catch on the grip. On occasions the bolt will actually stop in the rear position, such as when release of the trigger in automatic fire coincides with firing the last round in the magazine. In such occasions, the gun does not need to be cocked again to fire, once a fresh magazine is inserted.

[124] Entry: “submachine gun.” American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (5th edition). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, 2016. <www.thefreedictionary.com>

“A lightweight automatic gun that shoots pistol ammunition, is usually fired from the shoulder or hip, and often has the capacity for shooting single rounds.”

[125] Book: The Uzi Submachine Gun. By Chris McNab. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2011.

Page 28:

The orthodox firing position is with the Uzi shouldered, stock extended, as this position allows full use of the sights. With the iron sights, the front post is aligned with the target through the centre of the rear aperture. Such is the weapon’s balance, however, that it can be fired easily from the hip in trained hands, the user aiming by natural sense of direction plus adjustment of the observed impact of the bullets. In low-light or smoky conditions, modern fittings such as flashlights and laser pointers are further guides to aim. …One-handed firing, while perfectly possibly for someone who is extremely familiar with handling the gun, is typically not recommended…

[126] Report: “Guns Used in Crime.” By Marianne W. Zawitz. U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, July 1995. <bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov>

Page 2: “Submachinegun … A simple fully automatic weapon that fires a pistol cartridge that is also referred to as a machine pistol.”

[127] Thesis: “An Analysis of the Infantry’s Need for an Assault Submachine Gun.” U.S. Army, University of Nebraska, 1977. <apps.dtic.mil>

Page 1: “A submachine gun is usually chambered for a pistol sized cartridge. It is lighter, shorter and more compact than an assault rifle and may or may not have a selective rate of fire capability.”

[128] Guide: “Rifle Marksmanship.” U.S. Marine Corps, October 11, 2012. <www.trngcmd.marines.mil>

Page 10-1: “To maintain an advantage, the Marine carries his weapon in a position that permits the Service rifle to be both easily carried and presented as quickly as possible. A carry is established based on both the sling and the situation, such as moving in a close quarters environment or moving over or under objects.”

[129] Entry: “assault rifle.” American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (5th edition). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, 2016. <www.thefreedictionary.com>

Definition 1: “A rifle that has a detachable magazine and is capable of both automatic and semiautomatic fire, designed for individual use in combat.”

[130] Guide: “Rifle Marksmanship.” U.S. Marine Corps, October 11, 2012. <www.trngcmd.marines.mil>

Page 4-8: “The recommended number of rounds per magazine [of a service rifle] is no more than 29. Thirty rounds in the magazine can prohibit the magazine from seating properly on a closed bolt.”

[131] Entry: “assault rifle.” American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (5th edition). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, 2016. <www.thefreedictionary.com>

Definition 1: “A rifle that has a detachable magazine and is capable of both automatic and semiautomatic fire, designed for individual use in combat.”

[132] Entry: “assault rifle.” American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (5th edition). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, 2016. <www.thefreedictionary.com>

Definition 1: “A rifle that has a detachable magazine and is capable of both automatic and semiautomatic fire, designed for individual use in combat.”

[133] Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law 2011. Edited by David Minthorn and others. Basic Books, 2011.

Page 295: “assault rifle: A rifle that is capable of being fired in fully automatic and semi-automatic modes, at the user’s option. Designed for, and used by, military forces. Also used by some law enforcement agencies. The form: an M16 assault rifle, an AK-47 assault rifle.

[134] Guide: “Rifle Marksmanship.” U.S. Marine Corps, October 11, 2012. <www.trngcmd.marines.mil>

Page 3-1: “The Service rifle fires in either semiautomatic (i.e., single-shot) mode or in a three-round burst using a selector lever.”

[135] Pamphlet: “MOSAIC Glossary of Terms, Definitions, and Abbreviations.” United Nations, April 2018. <www.un.org>

Page 22:

selective-fire

capability of a small arm or light weapon that can be adjusted to fire in two or more of the following ways:

a) semi-automatic, (i.e. one shot per depression of the trigger);

b) multi-shot burst (i.e. a set number of shots per depression of the trigger); or

c) automatic (i.e. continuous fire while the trigger is depressed).

[136] Book: Military Technology. By Ron Fridell. Lerner Publications, 2020.

Page 9: “For modern soldiers, the most common military weapon is the AK-47 assault rifle. The AK-47 is not a very accurate weapon. It shakes and rattles when fired. But it can unleash about 700 shots per minute.”

[137] Webpage: “Colt M4 Select Fire Carbine.” Colt’s Manufacturing LLC. Accessed March 20, 2020 at <www.colt.com>

Colt M4 Select Fire Carbine … The Colt M4 Carbine serves as the United States Armed Forces’ weapon of choice and the weapon of the 21st century warfighter … Models … US Military: R0920 Safe-Semi-Burst [or] R0921 Safe-Semi-Auto.”

[138] Webpage: “U.S. Marine Corps.” By Lance Cpl. Jose Gonzalez. Marines. Downloaded March 18, 2020 at <www.marines.mil>

Description: “Lance Cpl. Matthew M. DeForge, a motor vehicle operator with 7th Engineer Support Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group, engages a target with a M240-B machine gun during a machine gun range at Fort Greely, Alaska, Feb. 22.”

[139] Search: “Assault Weapon OR “Assault Weapons.” Google News, May 20, 2020. Date delimited from 1/1/20 to 5/20/20. <www.google.com>

NOTE: This search produced 17,600 results, 243 of which were unique results that used the term “assault weapon” to describe a semi-automatic weapon.

[140] Article: “Biden Says if Elected in 2020 He Will Push to Ban Assault Weapons.” By Kate Sullivan. CNN, August 12, 2019. <www.cnn.com>

“There is so much we can do—practical, sensible steps that draw broad support among the American people,” he said, also writing that there is “overwhelming data” that shootings committed with assault weapons result in more deaths than shootings committee with other kinds of guns. …

Asked in the interview about criticism that if elected president he would take away people’s guns, Biden responded, “Bingo! You’re right if you have an assault weapon.” He said the Second Amendment doesn’t say the government can’t restrict what kind of weapons people can own…

[141] Transcript: “Press Briefing by Press Secretary Josh Earnest.” The White House, June 13, 2016. <obamawhitehouse.archives.gov>

[Mr. Earnest:] These assault weapons are weapons of war. …

[Question:] [W]hat’s the impact of the fact that we’ve seen this specific type of gun, the AR-15 assault rifle, used in a number of these mass shootings? Has that changed this White House’s strategy on what needs to be done?

Mr. Earnest: Toluse, I think the President—I feel strongly in telling you that the President believes that it should be illegal for an individual to walk into a gun store and purchase an assault rifle. It’s a weapon of war, and the President believes that it should be banned and that it should not be legal for you to walk into a gun store to buy that weapon of war.

[142] Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law 2011. Edited by David Minthorn and others. Basic Books, 2011.

Page 295:

assault weapon: A semi-automatic firearm similar in appearance to a fully automatic firearm or military weapon. Not synonymous with assault rifle, which can be used in fully automatic mode. Wherever possible, be specific about the type of weapon: semi-automatic rifle, semi-automatic shotgun or semi-automatic pistol.

assault rifle: A rifle that is capable of being fired in fully automatic and semi-automatic modes, at the user’s option. Designed for, and used by, military forces. Also used by some law enforcement agencies. The form: an M16 assault rifle, an AK-47 assault rifle.

[143] Public Law 103–322: “Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act.” 103rd U.S. Congress. Signed into law by Bill Clinton on September 13, 1994. <library.clerk.house.gov>

Title XI, Subtitle A, Section 110102b:

(b) Definition of Semiautomatic Assault Weapon

(30) The term “semiautomatic assault weapon” means—

(B) a semiautomatic rifle that has an ability to accept a detachable magazine and has at least 2 of—

(i) a folding or telescoping stock;

(ii) a pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon;

(iii) a bayonet mount;

(iv) a flash suppressor or threaded barrel designed to accommodate a flash suppressor; and

(v) a grenade launcher;

(C) a semiautomatic pistol that has an ability to accept a detachable magazine and has at least 2 of—

(i) an ammunition magazine that attaches to the pistol outside of the pistol grip;

(ii) a threaded barrel capable of accepting a barrel extender, flash suppressor, forward handgrip, or silencer;

(iii) a shroud that is attached to, or partially or completely encircles, the barrel and that permits the shooter to hold the firearm with the nontrigger hand without being burned;

(iv) a manufactured weight of 50 ounces or more when the pistol is unloaded; and

(v) a semiautomatic version of an automatic firearm; and

(D) a semiautomatic shotgun that has at least 2 of—

(i) a folding or telescoping stock;

(ii) a pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon;

(iii) a fixed magazine capacity in excess of 5 rounds; and

(iv) an ability to accept a detachable magazine.

[144] Book: Military Technology. By Ron Fridell. Lerner Publications, 2020.

Page 9:

Automatic Weapons

The first muskets and rifles shot one bullet at a time. After each shot, the shooter had to stop to reload. Firing a single-shot weapon took time, skill, and patience. To hit his target, the shooter had to be well trained. Then came firearms that could be loaded with more than one bullet. But they still shot one at a time.

By the late 1800s, soldiers were using automatic rifles and machine guns. These guns could fire many bullets with a single pull of the trigger. A machine gunner’s weapon fired hundreds of bullets each minute. He could point the weapon in the general direction of his enemy and fire. Even poorly-trained shooters could hit their targets. Automatic weapons made war a far more deadly business.

For modern soldiers, the most common military weapon is the AK-47 assault rifle. The AK-47 is not a very accurate weapon. It shakes and rattles when fired. But it can unleash about 700 shots per minute. As many as 100 million of these inexpensive rifles are in use in conflicts around the world. That’s about one AK-47 for every six people on Earth.

The AK-47 is very reliable and is easy to buy. For this reason, it is the weapon of choice for most terrorists. Osama bin Laden, head of the al-Qaeda terrorist group, has called the AK-47 the terrorist’s most important weapon.

[145] Webpage: “Colt M4 Select Fire Carbine.” Colt’s Manufacturing LLC. Accessed March 20, 2020 at <www.colt.com>

Colt M4 Select Fire Carbine … The Colt M4 Carbine serves as the United States Armed Forces’ weapon of choice and the weapon of the 21st century warfighter … Models … US Military: R0920 Safe-Semi-Burst [or] R0921 Safe-Semi-Auto.”

[146] Report: “Firearm Use by Offenders.” By Caroline Wolf Harlow. U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics. Revised February 4, 2002. <www.bjs.gov>

Page 15:

A semiautomatic gun is a firearm in which a shell is ejected and the next round of ammunition is loaded automatically from a magazine or clip. The trigger must be pulled for each shot. Semiautomatic guns may be classified as handguns, rifles, or shotguns.

A machine gun is an automatic gun which, if the trigger is held down, will fire rapidly and continuously. It is not a semi-automatic gun for which the trigger must be pulled for each shot. (Classified as fully automatic for analysis.)

[147] Webpage: “Understanding America’s Rifle.” National Shooting Sports Foundation. Accessed February 26, 2020 at <www.nssf.org>

The term “modern sporting rifle” was coined to describe today’s very popular semiautomatic rifle designs, including the AR-15 and its offspring. These rifles are used by hunters, competitors, a lot of Americans seeking home-defense guns and by many others who simply enjoy going to the range.

Though modern sporting rifles are increasingly popular, they are too often misunderstood. …

If someone calls an AR-15-style rifle an “assault weapon,” then they’ve been duped by an agenda. The only real way to define what is an “assault weapon” is politically, as in how any given law chooses to define the term—this is why the states that have banned this category of semiautomatic firearms have done so with very different definitions.

[148] California Penal Code, Part 6, Title 4, Chapter 2: “Assault Weapons and .50 BMG Rifles.” Accessed February 26, 2020 at <law.justia.com>

“[A]ssault weapon” means the following designated semiautomatic firearms: (a) All of the following specified rifles … (5) Colt AR-15 series. …”

[149] Connecticut General Statutes, Title 53, Chapter 943: “Offenses Against Public Peace and Safety.” Accessed February 26, 2020 at <law.justia.com>

‘Assault weapon’ means … any of the following specified semiautomatic firearms … Colt AR-15 and Sporter…”

[150] Maryland Public Safety Code, Title 5, Subtitle 1: “Regulated Firearms.” Accessed February 28, 2020 at <law.justia.com>

Section 5-101. Definitions … the following specific assault weapons or their copies, regardless of which company produced and manufactured that assault weapon … Colt AR-15, CAR-15, and all imitations except Colt AR-15 Sporter H-BAR rifle…”

[151] Article: “Basic Firearm Safety Starts with Owner, Proper Training.” By Kyle Hodges. U.S. Army, March 11, 2016. <www.army.mil>

As an example of a myth, America’s most popular rifle–the AR-15–is often portrayed as being something it is not. Probably one of the more popular myths is that the “AR” stands for “assault rifle” or “automatic rifle.” It actually stands for “Armalite Rifle,” after the company that developed it in the 1950s.

While it’s true that a similar, burst-fire/fully-automatic version of this weapon is used by the military, the AR-15 purchased by civilians is only a semi-automatic firearm, just like many of the pistols on the market today.

[152] Webpage: “AR Stands for ArmaLite.” National Shooting Sports Foundation, May 23, 2011. <www.nssf.org>

Some people—even some within the firearms industry and hunting and target-shooting communities—remain misinformed about AR-style modern sporting rifles, thinking that the AR prefix stands for “assault rifle” or “automatic rifle.”

It means neither.

The AR stands for ArmaLite, the company that in the 1950s developed this style of rifle, which eventually became both the military’s M16 rifle and the civilian semi-automatic sporting rifle known as the AR-15, or modern sporting rifle.

[153] Public Law 103–322: “Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act.” 103rd U.S. Congress. Signed into law by Bill Clinton on September 13, 1994. <library.clerk.house.gov>

Title XI, Subtitle A, Section 110102b:

(b) Definition of Semiautomatic Assault Weapon

(30) The term “semiautomatic assault weapon” means—

(B) a semiautomatic rifle that has an ability to accept a detachable magazine and has at least 2 of—

(C) a semiautomatic pistol that has an ability to accept a detachable magazine and has at least 2 of—

(D) a semiautomatic shotgun that has at least 2 of— …

(iv) an ability to accept a detachable magazine.

[154] Webpage: “Bill Analysis: SB 880.” Loni Hancock, Senate Committee on Public Safety, March 2016. <www.leginfo.ca.gov>

Page 4: “Current law defines a ‘detachable magazine’ as any ammunition feeding device that can be removed readily from the firearm with neither disassembly of the firearm action nor use of a tool being required.”

[155] Guide: “Rifle Marksmanship.” U.S. Marine Corps, October 11, 2012. <www.trngcmd.marines.mil>

Page 3-3: “Magazine. The magazine holds cartridges ready for feeding, provides a guide for positioning cartridges for stripping, and provides quick reload capabilities for sustained firing.”

[156] Article: “Tomorrow’s State-of-the-Art Sporting Rifle.” By Art Blatt. Guns & Ammo, July 1981.

Page 54: “Speaking of recoil, all of these guns generate less recoil than manually-operated rifles. Why? First, most of these autoloaders are gas-operated. … The boys from Bridgeport proved to the shooting world that gas-operated guns greatly reduced ‘kick’ by spreading recoil out over a longer period of time.”

[157] Webpage: “The Science of History Helps Uncover the Story of a World War II Rifle.” U.S. Navy, August 18, 2016. <www.navy.mil>

The M1 Garand is a .30 caliber semi-automatic rifle, which lent a significant advantage to U.S. troops during World War II and marked the first time semi-automatic rifles were generally issued to the U.S. military for use in combat. The M1 Garand is equipped with a gas cylinder located beneath the barrel. Gas pressure produced when firing a round traveled back through the gas cylinder to drive the piston and operating rod back, eject the empty cartridge case and push the next round from the clip into the chamber. This auto-reload system allowed for reliable, quick fire capability and reduced recoil which helped maintain accuracy.

[158] Article: “Tomorrow’s State-of-the-Art Sporting Rifle.” By Art Blatt. Guns & Ammo, July 1981.

Page 54: “All of these rifles possess elevated sights that demand that the shooter place his head in a more erect position. This different shooting and head placement position helps to reduce felt recoil and places less strain and stress on the shooter’s neck. The rifle is merely brought ‘to’ the shooter’s cheek instead of the shooter having to assume a cramped position to ‘get into the gun.’

[159] Public Law 103–322: “Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act.” 103rd U.S. Congress. Signed into law by Bill Clinton on September 13, 1994. <library.clerk.house.gov>

Title XI, Subtitle A, Section 110102b:

(b) Definition of Semiautomatic Assault Weapon

(30) The term “semiautomatic assault weapon” means—

(B) a semiautomatic rifle that has an ability to accept a detachable magazine and has at least 2 of— …

(iv) a flash suppressor or threaded barrel designed to accommodate a flash suppressor; and…

[160] Entry: “flash suppressor.” Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms, U.S. Department of Defense, 2005. <www.thefreedictionary.com>

“Device attached to the muzzle of the weapon which reduces the amount of visible light or flash created by burning propellant gases.”

[161] Final Statement of Reasons: “Regulations for Assault Weapons and Large Capacity Magazines.” Department of Justice, 2000. <oag.ca.gov>

Pages 2–3: “Accordingly, the original definition was changed to: ‘flash suppressor means any device that reduces or redirects muzzle flash from the shooter’s field of vision.’

[162] Webpage: “Flash Hiders & Compensators.” By Steve Felgenhauer. Accessed April 28, 2020 at <www.military.com>

A flash hider for tactical shooters (law enforcement and military) is indispensable—it helps minimize the telltale muzzle flash that can give away their position. A well-designed flash hider can reduce the “bloom” caused by the muzzle blast while viewing through night vision goggles. The reduced flash also helps keep a shooter’s night vision, the ability to see in low-light conditions, from being disabled. Bear and hog hunters or those who call and hunt predators in low light or at night will find the benefits of a flash hider equally indispensable.

[163] Article: “M2A1 Machine Gun Features Greater Safety, Heightened Lethality.” By Mr. Kevin Doell. U.S. Army, December 3, 2012. <www.army.mil>

“The M2A1 includes new modern features and design improvements that make it easier and safer to use including a quick change barrel, fixed headspace and timing and a new flash hider that reduces the weapon’s signature by 95 percent at night.”

[164] Public Law 103–322: “Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act.” 103rd U.S. Congress. Signed into law by Bill Clinton on September 13, 1994. <library.clerk.house.gov>

Title XI, Subtitle A, Section 110102b:

(b) Definition of Semiautomatic Assault Weapon

(30) The term “semiautomatic assault weapon” means—

(B) a semiautomatic rifle that has an ability to accept a detachable magazine and has at least 2 of— …

(ii) a pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon…

(D) a semiautomatic shotgun that has at least 2 of— …

(ii) a pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon…

[165] Article: “Tomorrow’s State-of-the-Art Sporting Rifle.” By Art Blatt. Guns & Ammo, July 1981.

Page 54: “Appearances aside, the pistol grip is comfortable and adaptable to a wider range of shooters’ hands. Everybody’s hands are a different size, yet pistol grips do seemingly ‘fit-all’! [sic.]”

[166] Guide: “Infantry.” U.S. Army, Spring 2002. <www.benning.army.mil>

Page 15: “The modified traversing unit has an elevation brake to reduce launch transients, and improved ‘pistol grip’ handgrips/controls that provide improved ergonomics.”

[167] Public Law 103–322: “Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act.” 103rd U.S. Congress. Signed into law by Bill Clinton on September 13, 1994. <library.clerk.house.gov>

Title XI, Subtitle A, Section 110102b:

(b) Definition of Semiautomatic Assault Weapon

(30) The term “semiautomatic assault weapon” means—

(B) a semiautomatic rifle that has an ability to accept a detachable magazine and has at least 2 of—

(i) a folding or telescoping stock…

(D) a semiautomatic shotgun that has at least 2 of—

(i) a folding or telescoping stock…

[168] House Resolution 2959: “Freedom From Assault Weapons Act.” U.S. House of Representatives 116th Congress (2019–2020). Accessed April 25, 2020 at <www.congress.gov>

Pages 2–3: “A folding, telescoping, or detachable stock, or is otherwise foldable or adjustable in a manner that operates to reduce the length, size, or any other dimension, or otherwise enhances the concealability, of the weapon.”

[169] Webpage: “Remington, Mossberg Unveil Standout Shotguns at SHOT 2019.” By Matthew Cox. Accessed April 30, 2020 at <www.military.com>

… Daniel Cox, senior product manager for shotguns for Remington…

The folding stock features a secure locking mechanism when extended and stays folded with tension only, so it can be quickly extended. “We are trying to combine ergonomics in use with ergonomics with folding—get it folded up, get it more compact, make it more transportable,” Cox said.

[170] Massachusetts General Laws, Part 1, Title XX, Chapter 140, Section 121: “Firearm Sales; Definitions; Antique Firearms; Application of Law; Exceptions.” Accessed March 2, 2020 at <law.justia.com>

“Assault weapon” shall have the same meaning as a semiautomatic assault weapon as defined in the federal Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act, 18 U.S.C. section 921(a)(30) as appearing in such section on September 13, 1994, and shall include, but not be limited to, any of the weapons, or copies or duplicates of the weapons, of any caliber, known as:

(i) Avtomat Kalashnikov (AK) (all models);

(ii) Action Arms Israeli Military Industries UZI and Galil;

(iii) Beretta Ar70 (SC–70); (iv) Colt AR–15;

(v) Fabrique National FN/FAL, FN/LAR and FNC;

(vi) SWD M–10, M–11, M–11/9 and M–12;

(vi) Steyr AUG;

(vii) INTRATEC TEC–9, TEC–DC9 and TEC–22; and

(viii) revolving cylinder shotguns, such as, or similar to, the Street Sweeper and Striker 12…

[171] UTG AK47 Side Folding Stock Adaptor

[172] Article: “The NRA Claims the AR-15 Is Useful for Hunting and Home Defense. Not Exactly.” By Justin Peters. Slate, June 12, 2016. <slate.com>

“It’s odd to cite hunting and home defense as reasons to keep selling a rifle that’s not particularly well suited, and definitely not necessary, for either.”

[173] Article: “Joe Biden’s Tip for Self-Defense: Get a Shotgun.” By Reuters. Chicago Tribune, February 20, 2013. <www.chicagotribune.com>

‘I promise you whoever’s coming in is not gonna,’ Biden said. ‘You don’t need an AR-15 (assault rifle). It’s harder to aim. It’s harder to use and in fact you don’t need 30 rounds to protect yourself.’

[174] Article: “The Most Versatile Semi-Automatic Rifles.” By John Haughey and Tyler Freel. Outdoor Life. Last updated 4/10/2019. <www.outdoorlife.com>

“Regardless of what you think or how you feel about using semi-automatic guns for hunting, autoloaders and AR-style rifles are becoming more common in [hunting] camps and virtually every major manufacturer is producing these guns in calibers heavy enough to drop deer, hogs and bears.”

[175] Article: “8 Experts Pick Their Home Defense Weapon of Choice.” By Jake Christopher. Ballistic Magazine, August 28, 2015. <www.ballisticmag.com>

Paul Buffoni

Affiliation: Bravo Company USA, Inc. / Prior service USMC

Position: Founder and CEO

Home Defense Weapon of Choice: Rifle – BCM RECCE KMR

Top Shot Chris Cheng

Affiliation: Pro Staff for Bass Pro Shops, Leupold and Salient Arms International

Position: The History Channel’s Top Shot Champion

Home Defense Weapon of Choice: Handgun – Glock 34

Walt Hasser

Affiliation: Armalite

Position: Vice President of Product Management

Home Defense Weapon of Choice: Handgun – Glock 23

Jordan Hunter

Affiliation: Retired USMC Infantry

Home Defense Weapon of Choice: Handgun – 9mm Glock 19 with Unity Tactical ATOM Slide

Frank Proctor

Affiliation: Way of the Gun Performance Shooting

Position: Owner/Instructor

Home Defense Weapon of Choice: Rifle – AR-15

Nate Stokes

Affiliation: US Army Veteran, Law Enforcement Officer

Position: Police Officer

Home Defense Weapon of Choice: Rifle – Daniel Defense Mk18

Rachel VandeVoort

Affiliation: Kimber Manufacturing

Position: Trade Relations Manager

Home Defense Weapon of Choice: Handgun – Currently the Stainless Ultra TLE II (LG) in .45 ACP, with two extra loaded mags.

Bill Wilson

Affiliation: Wilson Combat

Position: Founder/President

Home Defense Weapon of Choice: N/A- Varies.

[176] Brief submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court: Worman v. Healey. National Association of Chiefs of Police, October 25, 2019. <www.supremecourt.gov>

Page 25:

Following the Sutherland Springs, Texas, church shooting, a citizen retrieved his own AR-15, ran to the scene, and shot the attacker (who later died) as he exited the church.18

18 Jennifer Brett, “He Had an AR-15, but So Did I.” Sutherland Springs hero hailed by NRA, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (May 6, 2018), <www.ajc.com>

[177] Article: “‘Hero’ Exchanged Fire with Gunman, Then Helped Chase Him Down.” By Saeed Ahmed and others. CNN. Last updated 11/7/2017. <www.cnn.com>

“When Devin Patrick Kelley opened fire inside First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs on Sunday, Stephen Willeford, who lives near the church, grabbed his own gun and ran out of the house barefoot to confront the gunman.”

[178] Article: “The Man Who Took Down the Texas Church Gunman.” By Michael James. USA Today, November 6, 2017. Updated 11/7/2017. <www.usatoday.com>

“Willeford said he had very little time to think Sunday when his daughter told him about the shooting. He loaded his magazine and ran across the street to the church, not even taking the time to put on shoes. When Willeford saw the gunman, he exchanged gunfire.”

[179] Article: “Man Who Exchanged Fire with Texas Shooter: ‘I Was Scared to Death.’” By Scott Neuman. NPR, November 7, 2017. <www.npr.org>

“Willeford says his daughter alerted him to what sounded like shots being fired at the nearby First Baptist Church. That is when, he said, he got his rifle out of his safe.”

[180] Article: “2 Texas Locals Reportedly Stopped the Church Mass Shooter From Killing More People.” By Kieran Corcoran. Business Insider, November 6, 2017. <www.businessinsider.com>

“As Kelley was leaving, the police say he was confronted by a local resident who ‘grabbed his rifle and engaged that suspect.’ The DailyMail.com report identified that local as Willeford, a 55-year-old motorcycle enthusiast.”

[181] Article: “Trump: “Hundreds More” Would Have Died In Texas Church With Gun Laws Like Chicago’s.” CBS Chicago, November 7, 2017. <chicago.cbslocal.com>

“If you did what you’re suggesting, there would have been no difference three days ago, and you might not have had that very brave person who happened to have a gun or a rifle in his truck go out and shoot him, and hit him, and neutralize him,” Trump said.

The president was referring to Stephen Willeford, who ran out of his house barefoot, shot at Devin Kelley, and forced him to flee, after Kelley had killed 26 people and wounded 20 others at First Baptist Church.

[182] Article: “Air Force Error Allowed Texas Gunman to Buy Weapons.” By David Montgomery and others. New York Times, November 6, 2017. <www.nytimes.com>

“After Mr. Kelley stepped out of the church, a man outside was waiting with his own rifle. They fired at each other, and Mr. Kelley was hit twice. He then drove off in his car.”

[183] Article: “Church Shooter’s History Puts a Spotlight on Texas Gun Laws.” By AJ Willingham. CNN. Updated 11/7/2017. <www.cnn.com>

“Kelley used a Ruger AR-556 rifle in his rampage. The AR-556 is a type of AR-15, a military-style rifle.”

[184] Article: “The AR-15 Rifle Butchers the Human Body; So Why Is It Legal, Exactly?” By The Editorial Board. USA Today, November 9, 2017. Updated 11/9/2017. <www.usatoday.com>

“The legacy of America’s love affair with military-style rifles was etched into the stricken faces of husband-and-wife paramedic team Mike and Jamie Shaw after they emerged from the bloody Texas sanctuary where gunman Devin Kelley unleashed his firepower on Sunday.”

[185] Interview: “Texas Community Is the Latest to Suffer a Shooting Attack.” By Russell Lewis. NPR, November 6, 2017. <www.npr.org>

“One of the little tidbit that we learned is that he, during this shooting spree 24 hours ago here, he had three guns on him. He had an AR military-style rifle. Authorities said that they also found a 9 millimeter Glock handgun and a 22 millimeter Ruger pistol.”

[186] Article: “2 Texas Locals Reportedly Stopped the Church Mass Shooter From Killing More People.” By Kieran Corcoran. Business Insider, November 6, 2017. <www.businessinsider.com>

“Kelley, dressed in body armour and armed with a military-style rifle, shot dead more than two dozen worshippers, including at least one child as young as 5 years old.”

[187] Article: “Trump: ‘Hundreds More’ Would Have Died In Texas Church With Gun Laws Like Chicago’s.” CBS Chicago, November 7, 2017. <chicago.cbslocal.com>

“Kelley was able to legally obtain the military-style rifle and two handguns he used in the attack, even though he had a previous conviction for domestic violence.”

[188] Article: “Air Force Error Allowed Texas Gunman to Buy Weapons.” By David Montgomery and others. New York Times, November 6, 2017. <www.nytimes.com>

“Under federal law, the conviction of the gunman, Devin P. Kelley, for domestic assault on his wife and toddler stepson—he had cracked the child’s skull—should have stopped Mr. Kelley from legally purchasing the military-style rifle and three other guns he acquired in the last four years.”

[189] Article: “Observe How the Media Describes Stephen Willeford’s Firearm Vs. Devin Kelley.” by Carl Arbogast. RedState, November 8, 2017. <www.redstate.com>

“Looking through the stories about Willeford, a pattern emerges in their reporting. …Here are some examples.”

[190] Webpage: “About the VPC.” Violence Policy Center. Accessed March 20, 2020 at <vpc.org>

The Violence Policy Center (VPC) works to stop gun death and injury through research, education, advocacy, and collaboration. Founded in 1988 by Executive Director Josh Sugarmann, a native of Newtown, Connecticut, the VPC informs the public about the impact of gun violence on their daily lives, exposes the profit-driven marketing and lobbying activities of the firearms industry and gun lobby, offers unique technical expertise to policymakers, organizations, and advocates on the federal, state, and local levels, and works for policy changes that save lives.

The VPC has a long and proven record of policy successes on the federal, state, and local levels, leading the National Rifle Association to acknowledge us as “the most effective … anti-gun rabble rouser in Washington.”

[191] Booklet: “Assault Weapons and Accessories in America.” By Josh Sugarmann. Firearms Policy Project of the Violence Policy Center, 1988. <www.vpc.org>

Conclusion

Assault weapons—just like armor-piercing bullets, machine guns, and plastic firearms—are a new topic. The weapons’ menacing looks, coupled with the public’s confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons—anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun—can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons. In addition, few people can envision a practical use for these weapons.

[192] Booklet: “Assault Weapons and Accessories in America.” By Josh Sugarmann. Firearms Policy Project of the Violence Policy Center, 1988. <www.vpc.org>

Conclusion

Assault weapons—just like armor-piercing bullets, machine guns, and plastic firearms—are a new topic. The weapons’ menacing looks, coupled with the public’s confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons—anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun—can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons. In addition, few people can envision a practical use for these weapons.

[193] Book: Writing for Journalists. By Wynford Hicks, Sally Adams & Harriet Gilbert. Routledge, 1999.

Page 125:

This emphasis on plainness and simplicity has been repeated by those who lay down the law about journalistic style. The Economist Pocket Style Book, first published in the 1980s, quotes George Orwell’s “six elementary rules” from his famous essay, “Politics and the English Language”, written in 1946. … 5. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.

[194] Textbook: Princeton Readings in Political Thought: Essential Texts Since Plato – Revised and Expanded Edition. Edited by Mitchell Cohen. Princeton University Press, July 31, 2018.

Page 583:

George Orwell

Politics and the English Language.

Page 586:

The words democracy, socialism, freedom, patriotic, realistic, justice, have each of them several different meanings which cannot be reconciled with one another. In the case of a word like democracy, not only is there no agreed definition, but the attempt to make one is resisted from all sides. It is almost universally felt that when we call a country democratic we are praising it: consequently the defenders of every kind of regime claim that it is a democracy, and fear that they might have to stop using the word if it were tied down to any one meaning. Words of this kind are often used in a consciously dishonest way. That is, the person who uses them has his own private definition, but allows his hearer to think he means something quite different. Statements like Marshal Petain was a true patriot, The Soviet press is the freest in the world, The Catholic Church is opposed to persecution, are almost always made with intent to deceive. Other words used in variable meanings, in most cases more or less dishonestly, are: class, totalitarian, science, progressive, reactionary, bourgeois, equality.

[195] Search: “Assault Weapon.” Google Books, May 12, 2020. Date-delimited to 1988 and earlier. <www.google.com>

NOTES:

  • This search produced one result that was initially published in 1986 and uses the term “assault weapon” to mean a semi-automatic weapon, which is implied by referencing a particular subdivision of the: New York City Charter and Administrative Code, Annotated. Williams Press, 1986. Page 588: “[Subdivision] 16. ‘Assault weapon.’ ” Page 599: “[S]ubdivision 16 of section 10–301 … peaceably surrender his or her assault weapon….” However, the subdivision that includes the term “assault weapon” was not added until 1991, as shown in this comprehensive document: Criminal Law Handbook of the State of New York. By Publisher’s Editorial Staff. LexisNexis, December 20, 2019. “NYC Administrative Code § 10–301 … [Subdivision] 16. ‘Assault weapon.’ (a) Any semiautomatic centerfire or rimfire rifle or semiautomatic shotgun which … Historical Notes … Subdivision 16 added L.L. 78/1991 § 6, eff. Sept. 30, 1991.”
  • This search produced another such result, which is a volume of books initially published in 1987. However, the term “assault weapon” does not appear until the 1991 edition of the volume: American Law of Products Liability 3d (Volume 2, Part 1). By Timothy E. Travers. Lawyers Co-Operative Publishing Company, 1991. Page 123: “The Assault Weapon Manufacturing Strict Liability Act of 1990 (D.C. Act 8-289), passed by the District of Columbia Council on December 11, 1990, and signed by the DC Mayor on December 17, 1990, would impose strict liability on manufacturers without requiring proof that the weapons were defective.”

[196] Search: “Assault Weapon” OR “Assault Weapons.” Google Books, May 20, 2020. Date-delimited from January 1, 1988 to January 1, 1998. <www.google.com>

[197] Book: State Laws and Ordinances on Firearms. Diane Publishing Company, 1994.

Page 31: “Any person who, within [Connecticut], distributes, transports or imports into the state, keeps for sale, or offers or exposes for sale, or who gives any assault weapon, except as provided by this act, shall be guilty of a class C felony and shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of Which two years may not be suspended or reduced.”

Page 123: “Columbus … No person shall knowingly possess an assault weapon, unless that weapon is registered pursuant to paragraph C of this Section. It is intended to ban possession of assault weapons, unless lawfully possessed prior to the effective date of this ordinance [09-30-89], in which case such assault weapons must be registered.”

[198] Book: United States Code Congressional and Administrative News (Volume 4). West Publishing Company, 1995.

Page 1837: “The California Department of Justice surveyed law enforcement agencies in the state in 1990, as the state’s legislature addressed ‘assault weapon’ ban legislation there. The California Department of Justice found that only 3.7 percent of the firearms that are used in homicides and assaults were ‘assault weapons.’

[199] Book: Assault Weapon Manufacturing Strict Liability Act of 1990: Hearing and Markup Before the Committee on the District of Columbia, House of Representatives, One Hundred Second Congress, First Session, on H.R. 3712, November 21, 1991. U.S. Government Printing Office, 1993.

Page 172: “In order to understand the legal underpinnings of the D.C. liability statute, we must first understand the nature of assault weapons. The guns reached by the D.C. law are combat weapons, not sporting firearms.”

[200] Book: The Flow of Precursor Chemicals and Assault Weapons From the United States Into the Andean Nations: Hearing Before the Select Committee on Narcotics Abuse and Control, House of Representatives, One Hundred First Congress, First Session, November 1, 1989 (Volume 4). U.S. Government Printing Office, 1990.

Page 232: “How are assault weapons treated under current state law? Most states have no restrictions at all on semi-automatic assault weapons. In all but 5 states, semi-automatic assault rifles and shotguns can be purchased cash-and-carry by….”

[201] Webpage: “Summary of Senate Bill 386: Assault Weapon Control Act of 1989.” U.S. Senate, 101st Congress (1989–1990). Accessed May 13, 2020 at <www.congress.gov>

Sponsor: Metzenbaum, Howard M. [D-OH] (Introduced 02/08/1989)

Assault Weapon Control Act of 1989 – Amends the Federal criminal code to prohibit the transfer, importation, transportation, shipping, receipt, or possession of: (1) any assault weapon; and (2) a large-capacity detachable magazine or ammunition belt which can be employed by a semiautomatic firearm. Provides exceptions for transfers to, and possession by, a Federal, State, or local government entity and lawful possessions before specified dates.

Defines “assault weapon” to mean: (1) all firearms so designated under this Act (including Kalashnikov, Uzi, and AR-15 semiautomatic firearms); and (2) all other semiautomatic firearms which are determined by the Secretary of the Treasury to be assault weapons. Defines a large capacity magazine or belt as one which holds over ten rounds.

[202] Webpage: “Summary of House Resolution 4269: Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act.” U.S. House of Representatives, 103rd Congress (1993-1994). Accessed May 13, 2020 at <www.congress.gov>

Sponsor: Schumer, Charles E. [D-NY] (Introduced 04/25/1994)

Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act – Amends the Federal criminal code to prohibit the manufacture, transfer, or possession of a semiautomatic assault weapon (SAW) as defined or listed under this Act. Sets penalties for violations and for use or possession of such a weapon during a crime of violence or drug trafficking crime. Requires the serial number of any such weapon manufactured after enactment of this Act to clearly show the date on which the weapon was manufactured.

[203] Public Law 103–322: “Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act.” 103rd U.S. Congress. Signed into law by Bill Clinton on September 13, 1994. <library.clerk.house.gov>

Title XI—Firearms

Subtitle A—Assault Weapons … This subtitle may be cited as the “Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act”.

Sec. 110102. Restriction on Manufacture, Transfer, and Possession of Certain Semiautomatic Assault Weapons.

(a) Restriction.—Section 922 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection: “(v)(l) It shall be unlawful for a person to manufacture, transfer, or possess a semiautomatic assault weapon.

[204] Article: “Even Defining ‘Assault Rifles’ Is Complicated.” By Erica Goode. New York Times, January 16, 2013. <www.nytimes.com>

It was the gun industry that adopted the term “assault weapon,” an author noted.

Yet as Mr. Peterson noted in his buyer’s guide, it was the [gun] industry that adopted the term “assault weapon” to describe some types of semiautomatic firearms marketed to civilians. …

But the term “assault rifle” was expanded and broadened when gun manufacturers began to sell firearms modeled after the new military rifles to civilians. In 1984, Guns & Ammo advertised a book called “Assault Firearms,” which it said was “full of the hottest hardware available today.”

“The popularly held idea that the term ‘assault weapon’ originated with antigun activists, media or politicians is wrong,” Mr. Peterson wrote. “The term was first adopted by the manufacturers, wholesalers, importers and dealers in the American firearms industry to stimulate sales of certain firearms that did not have an appearance that was familiar to many firearm owners. The manufacturers and gun writers of the day needed a catchy name to identify this new type of gun.”

[205] Article: “Even Defining ‘Assault Rifles’ Is Complicated.” By Erica Goode. New York Times, January 16, 2013. <www.nytimes.com>

Guns & Ammo

The July 1981 issue of Guns & Ammo. It was the gun industry that adopted the term “assault weapon,” an author noted.

[206] Article: “Tomorrow’s State-of-the-Art Sporting Rifle.” By Art Blatt. Guns & Ammo, July 1981.

Front Cover: “Guns & Ammo … The New Breed of Assault Rifle.”

Page 48:

You say there’s no place for “military-style” arms in the world of sporting firearms? Granted, today’s service look-alikes are less stylish and graceful than a Remington Model 700BDL or one of Roy Weatherby’s colorful creations; however, these autoloading rifles from around the world are on the brink of revolutionizing the world of rifle shooting.

Page 49:

To those purists who state that there’s no place in the sporting world for “military”-type rifles-how can we forget that practically all of today’s “modern” bolt guns originated from the German 1898 Mauser? …

We asked Barry Kahn, owner of B&B Sales in North Hollywood, California—who is a major gun dealer in all types of military look-alikes—just who is snapping up these rifles in huge quantities. …

Barry informed us that those purchasing these “assault”-type rifles are from all walks of life and income groups. …

Overleaf: Today’s selective-fire military rifles have given rise to a number of semi-auto sporters, either directly adapted from, or inspired by, these military rifles. The sampling shown here includes: (1) Heckler & Koch HK-93 .223 Rem. …

Page 54:

Speaking of recoil, all of these guns generate less recoil than manually-operated rifles. Why? First, most of these autoloaders are gas-operated. Remember back in 1963 when Remington Arms introduced their popular Model 1100 shotgun? The boys from Bridgeport proved to the shooting world that gas-operated guns greatly reduced “kick” by spreading recoil out over a longer period of time.

Page 56:

Military-Type Semi-Automatic Sporting Rifle Specifications…

Another common besmirchment is that all military-type rifles aren’t accurate and their inherent inaccuracy is compensated for by their ability to belch out great quantities of ammunition in a short period of time. Only half of that statement is correct. The semi-auto cyclic rate is as fast as the shooter can manipulate his trigger finger. We were able to fire 20-round magazines with reasonable accuracy in time periods of less than five seconds.

[207] Book: The New York Public Library Writer’s Guide to Style and Usage. Edited by Andrea J. Sutcliffe. Stonesong Press/Harper Collins, 1994.

Page 586: “When writing for a specialized audience—one familiar with the topic or field—a writer must use jargon; it is the common idiom. When writing for a lay audience or the general public, a writer should use jargon only when necessary and define it carefully. Where plain English serves equally well, it should be used instead.”

[208] Book: The New Oxford Guide to Writing. By Thomas S. Kane. Oxford University Press, 1988.

Page 199: “Jargon is technical language misused. Technical language, the precise diction demanded by any specialized trade or profession, is necessary when experts communicate with one another. It becomes jargon when it is applied outside the limits of technical discourse.”

[209] Book: Writing for Journalists. By Wynford Hicks, Sally Adams & Harriet Gilbert. Routledge, 1999.

Page 125:

This emphasis on plainness and simplicity has been repeated by those who lay down the law about journalistic style. The Economist Pocket Style Book, first published in the 1980s, quotes George Orwell’s “six elementary rules” from his famous essay, “Politics and the English Language”, written in 1946. … 5. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.

[210] Book: English for Journalists (2nd edition). By Wynford Hicks. Routledge, 1998.

Page 73: “Jargon is specialized vocabulary, familiar to the members of a group, trade or profession. If you write for a newspaper or general magazine you should try to translate jargon into ordinary English whenever you can. … A common source of jargon is scientific, medical, government and legal handouts.”

[211] Webpage: “Guns & Ammo Print Magazine.” Amazon. Accessed April 22, 2020 at <www.amazon.com>

“Guns & Ammo magazine caters to both the professional and the casual shooting enthusiast with commentary from experts in the fields of competitive shooting, ammo reloading, hunting, personal defense, and the military.”

[212] Article: “Even Defining ‘Assault Rifles’ Is Complicated.” By Erica Goode. New York Times, January 16, 2013. <www.nytimes.com>

But the term “assault rifle” was expanded and broadened when gun manufacturers began to sell firearms modeled after the new military rifles to civilians. In 1984, Guns & Ammo advertised a book called “Assault Firearms,” which it said was “full of the hottest hardware available today.”

“The popularly held idea that the term ‘assault weapon’ originated with antigun activists, media or politicians is wrong,” Mr. Peterson wrote. “The term was first adopted by the manufacturers, wholesalers, importers and dealers in the American firearms industry to stimulate sales of certain firearms that did not have an appearance that was familiar to many firearm owners. The manufacturers and gun writers of the day needed a catchy name to identify this new type of gun.”

[213] Pamphlet: “The Militarization of the U.S. Civilian Firearms Market.” Violence Policy Center, June 2011. <www.vpc.org>

Page 34:

all-new GA Assault Firearms … From the editors of Guns & Ammo comes an all-new publication full of the hottest hardware available today! GA Assault Firearms covers the field with “Big Bore” battle rifles, shotguns and assault rifles from the armies of the world. In addition, we’ll show you a new slant on .22s with “Plinkers in Battle Dress,” And if you are interested in survival tactics and personal defense, we’ll give you a look at the newest civilianized versions of the semi-auto submachine gun.

[214] NOTE: In searches conducted in May and June of 2020, Just Facts was unable to find a magazine named GA Assault Firearms on Abe Books, eBay, or Google Book.

[215] Article: “Even Defining ‘Assault Rifles’ Is Complicated.” By Erica Goode. New York Times, January 16, 2013. <www.nytimes.com>

Phillip Peterson, a gun dealer in Indiana and the author of Gun Digest Buyer’s Guide to Assault Weapons (2008), said he had fought with his publishers over the use of the term in the title, knowing that it would only draw the ire of the gun industry. …

“The popularly held idea that the term ‘assault weapon’ originated with antigun activists, media or politicians is wrong,” Mr. Peterson wrote. “The term was first adopted by the manufacturers, wholesalers, importers and dealers in the American firearms industry to stimulate sales of certain firearms that did not have an appearance that was familiar to many firearm owners. The manufacturers and gun writers of the day needed a catchy name to identify this new type of gun.”

[216] Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law 2011. Edited by David Minthorn and others. Basic Books, 2011.

Page 295:

assault weapon: A semi-automatic firearm similar in appearance to a fully automatic firearm or military weapon. Not synonymous with assault rifle, which can be used in fully automatic mode. Wherever possible, be specific about the type of weapon: semi-automatic rifle, semi-automatic shotgun or semi-automatic pistol.

assault rifle: A rifle that is capable of being fired in fully automatic and semi-automatic modes, at the user’s option. Designed for, and used by, military forces. Also used by some law enforcement agencies. The form: an M16 assault rifle, an AK-47 assault rifle.

[217] Report: “Guns Used in Crime.” By Marianne W. Zawitz. U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, July 1995. <bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov>

Page 2: “Automatic weapons are considered machineguns subject to the provisions of the National Firearms Act.”

[218] “National Firearms Act Handbook.” U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Revised April 2009. <www.atf.gov>

Page 1: “The [Firearm Owner’s Protection] Act also amended the [Gun Control Act of 1968] to prohibit the transfer or possession of machineguns. Exceptions were made for transfers of machineguns to, or possession of machineguns by, government agencies, and those lawfully possessed before the effective date of the prohibition, May 19, 1986.”

[219] Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law 2015. Perfection Learning Corporation, 2015.

Page number not given in Google Books:

assault rifle, assault weapon Terms for military or police-style weapons that are shorter than a conventional rifle and technically known as carbines. The precise definitions may vary from one law or jurisdiction to another. Although the terms are often used interchangeably, some make the distinction that assault rifle is a military weapon with a selector switch for firing in either fully automatic or semi-automatic mode from a detachable, 10- to 30-round magazine. …

[220] Transcript: “Remarks by the President at a DCCC [Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee] Event—San Francisco, CA.” The White House, April 4, 2013. <obamawhitehouse.archives.gov>

Now, over the next couple of months, we’ve got a couple of issues: gun control. (Applause.) I just came from Denver, where the issue of gun violence is something that has haunted families for way too long, and it is possible for us to create common-sense gun safety measures that respect the traditions of gun ownership in this country and hunters and sportsmen, but also make sure that we don’t have another 20 children in a classroom gunned down by a semiautomatic weapon—by a fully automatic weapon in that case, sadly.

[221] Report: “Shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.” State of Connecticut, Office of the Child Advocate, November 21, 2014. <www.ct.gov>

Page 12: “According to available reports, within 8 minutes the shooter had killed, with an AR-15, twenty children ages 6 & 7, and six school personnel: the school principal, psychologist, teachers, and teachers’ assistants. As first responders were nearing the school, AL shot himself with a Glock 20 10mm Auto handgun.”

[222] Article: “Basic Firearm Safety Starts with Owner, Proper Training.” By Kyle Hodges. U.S. Army, March 11, 2016. <www.army.mil>

As an example of a myth, America’s most popular rifle–the AR-15–is often portrayed as being something it is not. Probably one of the more popular myths is that the “AR” stands for “assault rifle” or “automatic rifle.” It actually stands for “Armalite Rifle,” after the company that developed it in the 1950s.

While it’s true that a similar, burst-fire/fully-automatic version of this weapon is used by the military, the AR-15 purchased by civilians is only a semi-automatic firearm, just like many of the pistols on the market today.

[223] Article: “Omar Mateen Probed for Terror Ties but Legally Purchased Weapons.” By Cassandra Vinograd and Frank Thorp. NBC News, June 13, 2016. <www.cnbc.com>

Omar Mateen used a legally purchased AR-15-style weapon to massacre at least 50 people in an Orlando gay club early Sunday. …

Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, stressed the need to keep “guns like the ones used” in Orlando out of terrorists’ and criminals’ hands. “This is the deadliest mass shooting in the history of the United States and it reminds us once more that weapons of war have no place on our streets.”

[224] Report: “Rescue, Response, and Resilience: A Critical Incident Review of the Orlando Public Safety Response to the Attack on the Pulse Nightclub.” By Frank Straub and others. U.S. Department of Justice, 2017. <cops.usdoj.gov>

Page 15: “At 2:02 a.m., the suspect entered the club and immediately began firing a Sig Sauer MCX semiautomatic .223 caliber rifle and a Glock 17 9mm (shown on page 16) as fast as he could pull the triggers.”

[225] Webpage: “Sig MCX Virtus Patrol.” Sig Sauer. Accessed March 30, 2020 at <www.sigsauer.com>

“Caliber: 5.56 NATO [.223 Remington] … Barrel Length: 11.5 in (292 mm) … Action Type: Semi-Auto.”

[226] Webpage: “Hillary R. Clinton Biography.” Clinton Presidential Library & Museum. Accessed June 22, 2020 at <www.clintonlibrary.gov>

“In 2015, Hillary Clinton announced her second campaign for President of the United States. She ran with Virginia senator and former governor Tim Kaine as her Vice Presidential candidate. At the 2016 Democratic National Convention she became the first woman to accept a major party’s nomination for President. While Hillary won the popular vote of the 2016 election, she failed to win the Electoral College and conceded the race to President Donald J. Trump.”

[227] Transcript: “Press Briefing by Press Secretary Josh Earnest.” The White House, June 13, 2016. <obamawhitehouse.archives.gov>

[Mr. Earnest:] [I]t is not clear what role anti-gay bigotry may have played in targeting the Pulse nightclub. …

[Question:] Josh, should the AR-15 be illegal in the United States?

Mr. Earnest: Rich, the President is very strongly on the record in favor of banning assault weapons. … These assault weapons are weapons of war. …

[Question:] And secondly, what’s the impact of the fact that we’ve seen this specific type of gun, the AR-15 assault rifle, used in a number of these mass shootings? Has that changed this White House’s strategy on what needs to be done?

Mr. Earnest: Toluse, I think the President—I feel strongly in telling you that the President believes that it should be illegal for an individual to walk into a gun store and purchase an assault rifle. It’s a weapon of war, and the President believes that it should be banned and that it should not be legal for you to walk into a gun store to buy that weapon of war.

[228] Report: “Rescue, Response, and Resilience: A Critical Incident Review of the Orlando Public Safety Response to the Attack on the Pulse Nightclub.” By Frank Straub and others. U.S. Department of Justice, 2017. <cops.usdoj.gov>

Page 15: “At 2:02 a.m., the suspect entered the club and immediately began firing a Sig Sauer MCX semiautomatic .223 caliber rifle and a Glock 17 9mm (shown on page 16) as fast as he could pull the triggers.”

[229] Webpage: “Sig MCX Virtus Patrol.” Sig Sauer. Accessed March 30, 2020 at <www.sigsauer.com>

“Caliber: 5.56 NATO [.223 Remington] … Barrel Length: 11.5 in (292 mm) … Action Type: Semi-Auto.”

[230] Article: “What to Know About the Type of Gun Used in the Orlando Shooting.” By Will Drabold. Time, June 13, 2016. <time.com>

“The Orlando shooting has once again put military-style assault rifles back in the spotlight.

Police say Omar Mateen used a Sig Sauer MCX, a semiautomatic assault style rifle that is similar in appearance and capabilities to the better-known AR-15, when he killed 49 people and injured more than 50 others in the deadliest shooting in U.S. history.”

[231] Report: “Rescue, Response, and Resilience: A Critical Incident Review of the Orlando Public Safety Response to the Attack on the Pulse Nightclub.” By Frank Straub and others. U.S. Department of Justice, 2017. <cops.usdoj.gov>

Page 15: “At 2:02 a.m., the suspect entered the club and immediately began firing a Sig Sauer MCX semiautomatic .223 caliber rifle and a Glock 17 9mm (shown on page 16) as fast as he could pull the triggers.”

[232] Webpage: “Sig MCX Virtus Patrol.” Sig Sauer. Accessed March 30, 2020 at <www.sigsauer.com>

“Caliber: 5.56 NATO [.223 Remington] … Barrel Length: 11.5 in (292 mm) … Action Type: Semi-Auto.”

[233] Article: “Assault Rifles Are Becoming Mass Shooters’ Weapon of Choice.” By Christopher Ingraham. Washington Post, June 12, 2016. <www.washingtonpost.com>

“Terrorist groups have taken note of the widespread availability of assault rifles and other guns in the U.S. In 2011, al-Qaeda encouraged its followers to take advantage of lax guns laws, purchase assault-style weapons and use them to shoot people.”

[234] Report: “Rescue, Response, and Resilience: A Critical Incident Review of the Orlando Public Safety Response to the Attack on the Pulse Nightclub.” By Frank Straub and others. U.S. Department of Justice, 2017. <cops.usdoj.gov>

Page 15: “At 2:02 a.m., the suspect entered the club and immediately began firing a Sig Sauer MCX semiautomatic .223 caliber rifle and a Glock 17 9mm (shown on page 16) as fast as he could pull the triggers.”

[235] Webpage: “Sig MCX Virtus Patrol.” Sig Sauer. Accessed March 30, 2020 at <www.sigsauer.com>

“Caliber: 5.56 NATO [.223 Remington] … Barrel Length: 11.5 in (292 mm) … Action Type: Semi-Auto.”

[236] Article: “Omar Mateen Pledged Allegiance to ISIS, Official Says.” By Evan Perez and others. CNN, June 12, 2016. <www.cnn.com>

“They also haven’t said what led Mateen to attack the Pulse nightclub, which bills itself as ‘the hottest gay bar in Orlando.’ … The gunman was armed with a handgun, an assault rifle and an unknown number of rounds when he attacked, Orlando Police Chief John Mina told reporters.”

[237] Report: “Rescue, Response, and Resilience: A Critical Incident Review of the Orlando Public Safety Response to the Attack on the Pulse Nightclub.” By Frank Straub and others. U.S. Department of Justice, 2017. <cops.usdoj.gov>

Page 15: “At 2:02 a.m., the suspect entered the club and immediately began firing a Sig Sauer MCX semiautomatic .223 caliber rifle and a Glock 17 9mm (shown on page 16) as fast as he could pull the triggers.”

[238] Webpage: “Sig MCX Virtus Patrol.” Sig Sauer. Accessed March 30, 2020 at <www.sigsauer.com>

“Caliber: 5.56 NATO [.223 Remington] … Barrel Length: 11.5 in (292 mm) … Action Type: Semi-Auto.”

[239] Article: “Here’s What You Need to Know About the Weapons of War Used in Mass Shootings.” By Nick Wing and Mollie Reilly. The Huffington Post, June 13, 2016. <www.huffpost.com>

Mass shooters are well aware that assault-style rifles are easy to obtain and capable of causing enormous casualties. …

According to some counts, there have been nine mass shootings in the past year, including a massacre at a church in Charleston, South Carolina, the anniversary of which will be observed this week. In six of those mass shootings, perpetrators were armed with assault-style rifles. In a seventh—the November attack on a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado that killed three and wounded nine—the shooter was widely reported to have been armed with an AK-47-style rifle, along with other guns that authorities haven’t specified.

[240] Report: “Rescue, Response, and Resilience: A Critical Incident Review of the Orlando Public Safety Response to the Attack on the Pulse Nightclub.” By Frank Straub and others. U.S. Department of Justice, 2017. <cops.usdoj.gov>

Page 15: “At 2:02 a.m., the suspect entered the club and immediately began firing a Sig Sauer MCX semiautomatic .223 caliber rifle and a Glock 17 9mm (shown on page 16) as fast as he could pull the triggers.”

[241] Webpage: “Sig MCX Virtus Patrol.” Sig Sauer. Accessed March 30, 2020 at <www.sigsauer.com>

“Caliber: 5.56 NATO [.223 Remington] … Barrel Length: 11.5 in (292 mm) … Action Type: Semi-Auto.”

[242] Dataset: “Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for the United States, Regions, States, and Puerto Rico: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2018.” U.S. Census Bureau, December 2018. <www.census.gov>

“July 1, 2017 … United States [=] 325,147,121”

[243] Report: “Estimating Global Civilian-Held Firearms Numbers.” Small Arms Survey, June 2018. <www.smallarmssurvey.org>

Page 4:

Table 1. Estimated total civilian-held legal and illicit firearms in the 25 top-ranked countries and territories, 2017 … United States [=] 393,300,000 …

Table 2. Estimated rate of civilian firearms holdings in the 25 top-ranked countries and territories, 2017 (firearms per 100 residents) … United States [=] 120.5

[244] Calculated with data from:

a) Report: “Annual Firearms Manufacturing and Export Report.” U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, July 22, 2019. <www.atf.gov>

Page 1 (in PDF): “Year 2018 Interim”

b) Report: “Firearms Commerce in the United States Annual Statistical Update 2019.” U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, August 8, 2019. <www.atf.gov>

Page 1: “Exhibit 1. Firearms Manufactured (1986–2017)”

Page 3: “Exhibit 2. Firearms Manufacturers’ Exports (1986–2017)”

Page 5: “Exhibit 3. Firearms Imports (1986–2018)”

NOTE: An Excel file containing the data and calculations is available upon request.

[245] Calculated with data from:

a) Webpage: “In Depth: Guns.” Gallup. Accessed November 13, 2019 at <news.gallup.com>

NOTE: Emails from Gallup to Just Facts on January 29–30, 2020:

2016 … Results are based on telephone interviews conducted October 5-9, 2016 with a random sample of –1,017—adults, aged 18+, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. For results based on this sample of national adults, the margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.

2017 … Results are based on telephone interviews conducted October 5-11, 2017 with a random sample of –1,028—adults, ages 18+, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. For results based on this sample of national adults, the margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.

2018 … Results are based on telephone interviews conducted October 1-10, 2018 with a random sample of –1,019—adults, ages 18+, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. For results based on this sample of national adults, the margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.

2019 … Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted Oct. 1-13, 2019, with a random sample of 1,526 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. For results based on the total sample of national adults, the margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.

b) Report: “Trends in Gun Ownership in the United States, 1972–2018.” General Social Survey, March, 2019. <gssdataexplorer.norc.org>

Page 3: “Table 1. Trends in Household Gun Ownership.”

Page 4: “Table 2. Trends in Personal Ownership of Guns.”

NOTE: Email from General Social Survey to Just Facts on February 3, 2020: “Year … 2016 … GSS Sample size [=] 2867 … Margin of error [=] ±2.85% at the 95% confidence interval level … Year … 2018 … GSS Sample size [=] 2348 … Margin of error [=] ±3.1% at the 95% confidence interval level”

c) Report: “America’s Complex Relationship With Guns.” Pew Research Center, June 22, 2017. <www.pewsocialtrends.org>

Page 74: “Surveys conducted March 13-27, 2017, and April 4-18, 2017 … nationally

representative panel of randomly selected U.S. adults recruited from landline and cellphone

random-digit dial (RDD) surveys. … Most of the data in this report are based on 3,930 respondents who participated in both the March 13 to 27, 2017, and April 4 to 18, 2017, waves of the panel. The margin of sampling error for the full sample of 3,930 respondents is plus or minus 2.8 percentage points.”

d) Poll: “CNN/ORC Poll on Guns in America.” CNN, January 7, 2016. <www.cnn.com>

Page 1: “Interviews with 1,027 adult Americans conducted by telephone by ORC International on January 5–6, 2016. The margin of sampling error for results based on the total sample is plus or minus 3 percentage points.”

e) Poll: “Americans React to the Shooting in Orlando.” CBS News, June 15, 2016. <www.scribd.com>

Page 4: “This poll was conducted by telephone June 13–14, 2016, among a random sample of 1,001 adults nationwide. … The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus four percentage points.”

NOTES:

  • Just Facts requested data on firearm ownership from the U.S. Department of Justice on February 17, 2010. The Department of Justice responded that this information is “not maintained by this Agency.”
  • As documented in the next two footnotes, individuals who refuse to answer poll questions about gun ownership are more likely than not to own a gun or live in a household with a gun. Thus, the upper bound of the ownership figures includes those who refused to answer or said they didn’t know.
  • An Excel file containing the data and calculations is available upon request.

[246] Book: Evaluating Gun Policy: Effects on Crime and Violence. Edited by Jens Ludwig and Philip J. Cook. Brookings Institution Press, 2003. Chapter 3: “Guns and Burglary.” Comment by David B. Kopel. Pages 74–120.

Page 114:

Household surveys of American gun ownership rather consistently yield disparate results (as low as a third of homes, to as high as half of homes) which are well outside the margin of error—so we know that household surveys are not a particularly accurate reflection of reality. The accuracy of household gun surveys is seriously impaired by the “dark figure” created by gun owners who refuse to disclose their gun ownership to a pollster.

[247] Report: “Gun Ownership in the United States: Measurement Issues and Trends.” By Tom W. Smith, Faith Laken, and Jaesok Son. University of Chicago, NORC, General Social Survey, January 2014. <gss.norc.org>

Page 2:

[T]he General Social Surveys (GSSs) conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago with principal support from the National Science Foundation have asked questions about household gun ownership since 1973 and about personal ownership since 1980. The GSSs are national, probability samples of adults living in households in the United States. Interviews are primarily in-person….

Page 4:

[I]n contrast to the validation studies, another body of research finds discrepancies between the gun-ownership reports of husbands and wives. … For example, across all years of the GSS [General Social Survey] (1973–2012), 54.1% of husbands lived in a household with a gun vs. 49.7% of wives (a spousal difference of +4.4 percentage points). … This literature concludes that on average the reports of husbands are more accurate than the reports of wives and therefore that reports by wives underreport the level of household gun ownership.

Page 5:

On the GSS household gun ownership question, there are three types of item nonresponse—refusals to answer, missing data/no answers, and don’t knows. For 1973 through 2012, 0.9% of the cases were refusals, 0.3% missing/no answers, and 0.1% don’t knows. These missing cases were analyzed to see if gun ownership could be imputed based on their other known characteristics. As Table 1 shows, those refusing have a profile that indicates they are probably disproportionately gun owners. The refusers (0.9% of all cases) are closer to gun owners than non-gun owners in having a hunter, being less supportive of gun control, living in a rural area, and having a male respondent. Missing cases (0.3% of all cases) show a more mixed pattern being closer to gun owners on opposing gun control and living in a rural area, but somewhat closer to non-gun owners on having a hunter and a male respondent. The very small don’t know group (0.1% of all cases) is more like non-gun owners except in their lower support for gun control. Based on this profile (and some less differentiating variables also inspected), it was estimated that about 78% of refusers were gun owners. Because of the small numbers and mixed results, the missing and don’t know groups were not allocated and make up a residual category of 0.4% of all cases.

[248] Article: “What Percentage of Americans Own Guns?” By Lydia Saad. Gallup, August 14, 2019. <news.gallup.com>

Number of interviews … U.S. adults [=] 3,064 … Men [=] 1,628 … Women [=] 1,436 … Non-Hispanic white [=] 2,294 … Non-Hispanic black [=] 278 … Republicans [=] 910 … Independents [=] 1,120 … Democrats [=] 944 … Hispanic [=] 294 …

Personally own a gun … Men [=] 43% … Women [=] 17% … Non-Hispanic white [=] 35% … Non-Hispanic black [=] 19% … Hispanic [=] 15% … Republicans [=] 45% … Independents [=] 32% … Democrats [=] 16%”

Based on 2016–2018 combined data…

Survey Methods

The 2016–2018 results for gun ownership are based on combined data from Gallup’s annual Crime survey each year. These are telephone surveys conducted each October with a random sample of approximately 1,000 national adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. For results based on the combined sample of 3,064 national adults, the margin of sampling error is ±2 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. All reported margins of sampling error include computed design effects for weighting.

Each sample of national adults includes minimum quotas for cellphone and landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas by time zone within region. Landline and cellular telephone numbers are selected using random-digit-dial methods.

NOTE: As documented in the next two footnotes, levels of self-declared gun ownership likely understate the actual levels of ownership.

[249] Book: Evaluating Gun Policy: Effects on Crime and Violence. Edited by Jens Ludwig and Philip J. Cook. Brookings Institution Press, 2003. Chapter 3: “Guns and Burglary.” Comment by David B. Kopel. Pages 74–120.

Page 114:

Household surveys of American gun ownership rather consistently yield disparate results (as low as a third of homes, to as high as half of homes) which are well outside the margin of error—so we know that household surveys are not a particularly accurate reflection of reality. The accuracy of household gun surveys is seriously impaired by the “dark figure” created by gun owners who refuse to disclose their gun ownership to a pollster.

[250] Report: “Gun Ownership in the United States: Measurement Issues and Trends.” By Tom W. Smith, Faith Laken, and Jaesok Son. University of Chicago, NORC, General Social Survey, January 2014. <gss.norc.org>

Page 2:

[T]he General Social Surveys (GSSs) conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago with principal support from the National Science Foundation have asked questions about household gun ownership since 1973 and about personal ownership since 1980. The GSSs are national, probability samples of adults living in households in the United States. Interviews are primarily in-person….

Page 4:

[I]n contrast to the validation studies, another body of research finds discrepancies between the gun-ownership reports of husbands and wives. … For example, across all years of the GSS [General Social Survey] (1973–2012), 54.1% of husbands lived in a household with a gun vs. 49.7% of wives (a spousal difference of +4.4 percentage points). … This literature concludes that on average the reports of husbands are more accurate than the reports of wives and therefore that reports by wives underreport the level of household gun ownership.

Page 5:

On the GSS household gun ownership question, there are three types of item nonresponse—refusals to answer, missing data/no answers, and don’t knows. For 1973 through 2012, 0.9% of the cases were refusals, 0.3% missing/no answers, and 0.1% don’t knows. These missing cases were analyzed to see if gun ownership could be imputed based on their other known characteristics. As Table 1 shows, those refusing have a profile that indicates they are probably disproportionately gun owners. The refusers (0.9% of all cases) are closer to gun owners than non-gun owners in having a hunter, being less supportive of gun control, living in a rural area, and having a male respondent. Missing cases (0.3% of all cases) show a more mixed pattern being closer to gun owners on opposing gun control and living in a rural area, but somewhat closer to non-gun owners on having a hunter and a male respondent. The very small don’t know group (0.1% of all cases) is more like non-gun owners except in their lower support for gun control. Based on this profile (and some less differentiating variables also inspected), it was estimated that about 78% of refusers were gun owners. Because of the small numbers and mixed results, the missing and don’t know groups were not allocated and make up a residual category of 0.4% of all cases.

[251] Webpage: “In Depth: Guns.” Gallup. Accessed November 13, 2019 at <www.gallup.com>

“There are many reasons why some people choose to own guns and others do not. What are some of the reasons you own a gun? … Personal safety/Protection [=] 63% … Hunting [=] 40% … Recreation/Sport (nonspecific) [=] 11% … Target shooting [=] 4% … August 15–30, 2019.”

CALCULATION: 4% target shooting + 11% recreation/sport = 15% target shooting, recreation, or sport

[252] Calculated with data from the report: “2018 Crime in the United States.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services, September 2019. <ucr.fbi.gov>

“Expanded Homicide Data Table 8: Murder Victims by Weapon, 2014–2018.” <ucr.fbi.gov>

“Total 2018… [=] 14,123… Total firearms [=] 10,265”

“Table 12: Crime Trends by Population Group, 2017–2018.” <ucr.fbi.gov>

“Total … Murder and nonnegligent manslaughter … 2018 [=] 15,498”

NOTE: “Expanded Homicide Data Table 8” does not account for all murders—only those for which a “Supplemental Homicide Report” was filed (correspondence from the U.S. Department of Justice to Just Facts, January 15, 2010). Hence, Just Facts estimated total murders with firearms by assuming that the rate of firearm usage is the same for cases in which Supplemental Homicide Reports were filed and not filed.

CALCULATIONS:

  • 10,265 firearm murders / 14,123 murders in which Supplemental Homicide Reports were filed = 73%
  • 14,123 murders in which Supplemental Homicide Reports were filed / 15,498 murders = 91%
  • 10,265 firearm murders in which Supplemental Homicide Reports were filed / 91% = 11,280 total firearm murders

[253] Webpage: “2018 Crime in the United States, Murder.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division, September 2019. <ucr.fbi.gov>

The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program defines murder and nonnegligent manslaughter as the willful (nonnegligent) killing of one human being by another. The classification of this offense is based solely on police investigation as opposed to the determination of a court, medical examiner, coroner, jury, or other judicial body. The UCR Program does not include the following situations in this offense classification: deaths caused by negligence, suicide, or accident; justifiable homicides; and attempts to murder or assaults to murder, which are classified as aggravated assaults.
 

[254] Paper: “Armed Resistance to Crime: The Prevalence and Nature of Self-Defense with a Gun.” By Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz. Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, Fall 1995. <scholarlycommons.law.northwestern.edu>

Page 160: “The present survey … was carefully designed to correct all of the known correctable or avoidable flaws of previous surveys…. We interviewed a large nationally representative sample….”

Pages 160–161:

A professional telephone polling firm, Research Network of Tallahassee, Florida, carried out the sampling and interviewing. …

Each interview began with a few general ‘throat-clearing’ questions about problems facing the R’s community and crime. The interviewers then asked the following question: ‘Within the past five years, have you yourself or another member of your household used a gun, even if it was not fired, for self-protection or for the protection of property at home, work, or elsewhere? Please do not include military service, police work, or work as a security guard.’

Page 163:

An additional step was taken to minimize the possibility of DGU [defensive gun use] frequency being overstated. The senior author went through interview sheets on every one of the interviews in which a DGU was reported, looking for any indication that the incident might not be genuine. … There were a total of twenty-six cases where at least one of these problematic indications was present. … Estimates using all of the DGU cases are labeled herein as ‘A’ estimates, while the more conservative estimates based only on cases devoid of any problematic indications are labeled ‘B’ estimates.

Page 172: “While estimates of DGU frequency are reliable because they are based on a very large sample of 4,977 cases, results pertaining to the details of DGU incidents are based on 213 or fewer sample cases, and readers should treat these results with appropriate caution.”

Page 176:

Another way of assessing how serious these incidents appeared to the victims is to ask them how potentially fatal the encounter was. We asked Rs [respondents]: “If you had not used a gun for protection in this incident, how likely do you think it is that you or someone else would have been killed? Would you say almost certainly not, probably not, might have, probably would have, or almost certainly would have been killed?” Panel K indicates that 15.7% of the Rs stated that they or someone else “almost certainly would have” been killed….

Page 184:

Table 2: Prevalence and Incidence of Civilian Defensive Gun Use, U.S. 1988–1993 … Recall Period [=] Past Five Years … All Guns … Household … Bc … % Used [=] 3.456 … Annual Uses [=] 1,029,615

c B estimates are based only on cases with no indications that the case might not be a genuine defensive gun use.

NOTE: In keeping with Just Facts’ Standards of Credibility, the data cited above is the most cautious plausible data from this study. It is for households (as opposed to individuals) and a five-year recall period based “only on cases devoid of any problematic indications.”

CALCULATIONS:

  • 1,029,615 households per year used a gun for self-defense × 15.7% of defensive gun users thought someone “almost certainly would have been killed” if they “had not used a gun for protection” = 161,650 such incidents
  • 3.456% of households used a gun for self-defense over the previous five years × 15.7% of defensive gun users thought someone “almost certainly would have been killed” if they “had not used a gun for protection” = 0.5% of households

[255] Calculated with data from:

a) Report: “Criminal Victimization, 2018.” By Rachel E. Morgan and Barbara A. Oudekerk, U.S. Department of Justice, September 2019. <www.bjs.gov>

Page 4: “Violent-crime categories include rape or sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, and simple assault ... Violent crime ... Excludes homicide because the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) is based on interviews with victims … Table 1: Number and rate of violent victimizations, by type of crime, 2014–2018”

Page 11: “Table 11: Firearm violence, 2017 and 2018”

Page 6: “The UCR includes murder, non-negligent manslaughter, and commercial crimes (including burglary of commercial establishments), while the NCVS excludes those crime types.”

b) Report: “2018 Crime in the United States.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services, September 2019.

<ucr.fbi.gov>

Murder … The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program defines murder and nonnegligent manslaughter as the willful (nonnegligent) killing of one human being by another. … In 2018, the estimated number of murders in the nation was 16,214.” <ucr.fbi.gov>

“Expanded Homicide Data Table 9: Murder Victims by Age by Weapon, 2018.” <ucr.fbi.gov>

“Robbery Table 1: Robbery, Location, Percent Distribution within Region, 2018.” <ucr.fbi.gov>

NOTE: An Excel file containing the data and calculations is available upon request.

[256] The United States government publishes two primary crime measures: The FBI’s “Uniform Crime Report” (UCR) and the Department of Justice’s “National Crime Victimization Survey” (NCVS). The UCR is based upon incidents reported to law enforcement authorities and does not account for unreported crimes. The NCVS is based upon data gathered from extensive interviews, and hence, provides more accurate estimates of crime than the UCR.* The NCVS, however, does not provide data on: murders and nonnegligent manslaughters (because the victims cannot be interviewed), crimes committed against children under the age of 12, and commercial crimes such as robberies of banks and convenience stores.† Therefore, Just Facts uses the NCVS data as a baseline and extrapolates the missing information from UCR and NCVS data.

* Book: Firearms and Violence: A Critical Review. By the Committee to Improve Research and Data on Firearms and the Committee on Law and Justice, National Research Council of the National Academies. Edited by Charles F. Wellford, John V. Pepper, and Carol V. Petrie. National Academies Press, 2005.

Page 21: “The National Crime Victimization Survey … is widely viewed as a “gold standard for measuring crime victimization.”

Page 30: “Although the NCVS data do many things right, they are, like any such system, beset with methodological problems of surveys in general as well as particular problems associated with measuring illicit, deviant, and deleterious activities….”

† Report: “The Nation’s Two Crime Measures.” By Michael Planty and Lynn Langton. U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, September, 2014. <www.bjs.gov>

Page 1:

The U.S. Department of Justice administers two statistical programs to measure the magnitude, nature, and impact of crime in the nation: the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program and the Bureau of Justice Statistic’s National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS). Each of these programs produces valuable information about aspects of the nation’s crime problem. Because the UCR and NCVS programs have different purposes, use different methods, and focus on somewhat different aspects of crime, the complementary information they produce together provides a more comprehensive understanding of the nation’s crime problem than either could produce alone. …

The UCR Program currently collects information on murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, arson, and human trafficking. …

The current NCVS collects detailed information on the frequency and nature of the crimes of rape and other sexual assault, robbery, aggravated and simple assault, personal larceny, household burglary, motor vehicle theft, and other theft. Each year, BJS interviews a nationally representative sample of approximately 169,000 persons age 12 or older living in U.S. households. Households remain in the sample for 3.5 years.

Page 2:

The NCVS includes, but the UCR excludes, sexual assault (completed, attempted, and threatened), attempted robberies, verbal threats of rape, simple assault, and crimes not reported to law enforcement. The UCR includes, but the NCVS excludes, homicide, arson, commercial crimes, and crimes against children under age 12. The UCR captures crimes reported to law enforcement, but collects only arrest data for simple assault and sex offenses other than forcible rape.

[257] Webpage: “All Terms & Definitions.” U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics. Accessed December 3, 2019. <bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov>

Aggravated Assault

An attack or attempted attack with a weapon, regardless of whether an injury occurred, and an attack without a weapon when serious injury results.

With injury—An attack without a weapon when serious injury results or an attack with a weapon involving any injury. Serious injury includes broken bones, lost teeth, internal injuries, loss of consciousness, and any unspecified injury requiring two or more days of hospitalization.

Threatened with a weapon—Threat or attempted attack by an offender armed with a gun, knife, or other object used as a weapon that does not result in victim injury.

Assault

An unlawful physical attack or threat of attack. Assaults may be classified as aggravated or simple. Rape, attempted rape, and sexual assaults are excluded from this category, as well as robbery and attempted robbery. The severity of assaults ranges from minor threats to nearly fatal incidents.

Murder

(1) Intentionally causing the death of another person without extreme provocation or legal justification or (2) causing the death of another while committing or attempting to commit another crime.

Robbery

Completed or attempted theft, directly from a person, of property or cash by force or threat of force, with or without a weapon, and with or without injury.

Simple assault

Attack without a weapon resulting either in no injury, minor injury (e.g., bruises, black eyes, cuts, scratches, or swelling), or an undetermined injury requiring fewer than two days of hospitalization. Also includes attempted assault without a weapon.

With minor injury—An attack without a weapon resulting in injuries such as bruises, black eyes, cuts, or an undetermined injury requiring fewer than two days of hospitalization.

Without injury—An attempted assault without a weapon but not resulting in injury.

[258] Calculated with data from:

a) Report: “Criminal Victimization, 2018.” By Rachel E. Morgan and Barbara A. Oudekerk, U.S. Department of Justice, September 2019. <www.bjs.gov>

Page 11: “Table 11: Firearm violence, 2017 and 2018 … 2018 … Firearm victimizations [=] 470,840”

b) Report: “2018 Crime in the United States.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services, September 2019.

<ucr.fbi.gov>

Murder … The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program defines murder and nonnegligent manslaughter as the willful (nonnegligent) killing of one human being by another. … In 2018, the estimated number of murders in the nation was 16,214.” <ucr.fbi.gov>

“Expanded Homicide Data Table 9: Murder Victims by Age by Weapon, 2018.” <ucr.fbi.gov>

“Robbery Table 1: Robbery, Location, Percent Distribution within Region, 2018.” <ucr.fbi.gov>

“Table 19: Rate: Number of Crimes per 100,000 Inhabitants, Additional Information About Selected Offenses, by Population Group, 2018.” <ucr.fbi.gov>

NOTE: An Excel file containing the data and calculations is available upon request.

[259] Paper: “Measuring Civilian Defensive Firearm Use: A Methodological Experiment.” By David McDowall and others. Journal of Quantitative Criminology, March 2000. <www.springerlink.com>

Page 7:

The most important of the other set of questions asked:

Within the past 12 months, have you yourself used a gun, even if it was not fired, to protect yourself or someone else, or for the protection of property at home, work, or elsewhere?

This is largely identical to the standard question from the other surveys, but the reference period is 1 year rather than 5 years. The question also refers to the respondent alone, rather than to all household members.

Page 8:

Because gun ownership is a strong correlate of firearm resistance (e.g., Kleck and Gertz, 1996, p. 187), we selected a national sample from commercial lists of likely gun owners. Of the eventual respondents, 83% did report the presence of a gun in their home. …

This left 3006 households, an 81% response rate. The interviewers selected a single respondent from within each household. In a random 75% of the cases, the interviewers asked for the male head of household. In the remaining 25% they asked for the female head.

Page 10: “Table II. Types of Incidents of Firearm Defense….”

Type of Incident

Number of

Respondents

Portion of

Respondents

No incident

2,851

94.8%

Civilian against offender, clear

48

1.6%

Civilian against offender, ambiguous

24

0.8%

Law enforcement and security work

30

1.0%

Civilian against possible offender, no contact

20

0.7%

Against animals

13

0.4%

Carries gun for protection only

10

0.3%

Target shooting

8

0.3%

Military duties

2

0.1%

[260] As documented in the previous footnote, this study did not use a nationally representative population. To correct for this, Just Facts used the following equation:

t = c × g × p / [n × r × [[s × d / f] + [(1-s) × (1-d) / (1-f)]]]

Where:

t = Total defensive gun uses in a nationally representative population

c = Defensive gun uses in this survey, civilian against offender, clear = 48

g = Minimum proportion of households with a gun = 0.34 *

p = Population, ages 25–70 = 158,799,375 †

n = Survey sample size = 3,006

r = Proportion of survey respondents with a gun in their home = .83

s = Proportion of survey respondents who are female = .25

d = Proportion of defensive gun uses by females = .46 ‡

f = Proportion of population (ages 25–70) who are females = .51 †

NOTES:

  • In keeping with Just Facts’ Standards of Credibility, we have given preferentiality to figures that are contrary to our viewpoints and used the most cautious plausible interpretations of this data. Details of how we have done this are explained in the following notes.
  • This equation operates under the conservative assumption that respondents in homes without firearms had no defensive gun uses, even though such people may have used others’ firearms for defense. In a range of surveys stretching over the previous 30 years, 34% is the lowest figure we have found for the percentage of homes with guns. [Paper: “Estimating Intruder-Related Firearm Retrievals in U.S. Households, 1994.” By Robin M. Ikeda (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and others. Violence and Victims, Winter 1997. Pages 363–372. <www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov>]
  • * Per page 369 of this study: “A second concern about representativeness of the sample is that the prevalence of households with firearms in our survey (34%) is lower than that reported in polls (41%) for the same year (Maguire & Pastore, 1995). … It is similar, however, to that observed in the 1994 National Health Interview Survey (37%) (personal communication, National Center for Health Statistics) and another national telephone survey about using firearms for protection (36%) (Kleck & Gertz, 1995).”
  • † This survey selected respondents by asking for the male/female head of household. Just Facts used a conservative estimate of this population by only including people aged 25 to 70 years old, which amounted to 158,799,375 people in 2000. [Calculated with the dataset: “U.S. Interim Population Projections by Single Year of Age, Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin: 2000-2050.” U.S. Census Bureau. Accessed April 28, 2010 at <www.census.gov>. An Excel file containing the data and calculations is available upon request.]
  • ‡ Paper: “Armed Resistance to Crime: The Prevalence and Nature of Self-Defense with a Gun.” By Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz. Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, Fall 1995. <scholarlycommons.law.northwestern.edu>. Page 178: “Perhaps the most surprising finding of the survey was the large share of reported DGUs [defensive gun uses] that involved women. Because of their lower victimization rates and lower gun ownership rates, one would expect women to account for far less than half of DGUs. Nevertheless, 46% of our sample DGUs involved women.”

[261] Paper: “Armed Resistance to Crime: The Prevalence and Nature of Self-Defense with a Gun.” By Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz. Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, Fall 1995. <scholarlycommons.law.northwestern.edu>

Page 160: “The present survey … was carefully designed to correct all of the known correctable or avoidable flaws of previous surveys…. We interviewed a large nationally representative sample….”

Pages 160–161:

A professional telephone polling firm, Research Network of Tallahassee, Florida, carried out the sampling and interviewing. …

Each interview began with a few general ‘throat-clearing’ questions about problems facing the R’s community and crime. The interviewers then asked the following question: ‘Within the past five years, have you yourself or another member of your household used a gun, even if it was not fired, for self-protection or for the protection of property at home, work, or elsewhere? Please do not include military service, police work, or work as a security guard.’

Page 163:

An additional step was taken to minimize the possibility of DGU [defensive gun use] frequency being overstated. The senior author went through interview sheets on every one of the interviews in which a DGU was reported, looking for any indication that the incident might not be genuine. … There were a total of twenty-six cases where at least one of these problematic indications was present. … Estimates using all of the DGU cases are labeled herein as ‘A’ estimates, while the more conservative estimates based only on cases devoid of any problematic indications are labeled ‘B’ estimates.

Page 172: “While estimates of DGU frequency are reliable because they are based on a very large sample of 4,977 cases, results pertaining to the details of DGU incidents are based on 213 or fewer sample cases, and readers should treat these results with appropriate caution.”

Page 184:

Table 2: Prevalence and Incidence of Civilian Defensive Gun Use, U.S. 1988–1993 … Recall Period [=] Past Five Years … All Guns … Household … Bc … % Used [=] 3.456 … Annual Uses [=] 1,029,615

c B estimates are based only on cases with no indications that the case might not be a genuine defensive gun use.

NOTE: In keeping with Just Facts’ Standards of Credibility, the data cited above is the most cautious plausible data from this study. It is for households (as opposed to individuals) and a five-year recall period based “only on cases devoid of any problematic indications.”

[262] Paper: “Estimating Intruder-Related Firearm Retrievals in U.S. Households, 1994.” By Robin M. Ikeda (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and others. Violence and Victims, Winter 1997. <www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov>

Page 363:

To estimate the frequency of firearm retrieval because of a known or presumed intruder, the authors analyzed data from a 1994 national random digit dialing telephone survey (n = 5,238 interviews). … National projections based on these self-reports reveal an estimated 1,896,842 (95% CI [confidence interval] = 1,480,647–2,313,035) incidents in which a firearm was retrieved, but no intruder was seen; 503,481 (95% CI = 305,093–701,870) incidents occurred in which an intruder was seen, and 497,646 (95% CI = 266,060–729,231) incidents occurred in which the intruder was seen and reportedly scared away by the firearm.

Page 364:

A specified random selection procedure was used to ensure that approximately one half of respondents were male and one half were female. If more than one eligible individual was in the selected gender category, the interviewer asked for the respondent with the most recent birthday. Households occupied by minorities were oversampled to ensure adequate minority representation and then weighted to adjust for unequal selection probabilities.

[263] Press release: “Presidential Memorandum—Engaging in Public Health Research on the Causes and Prevention of Gun Violence.” White House, January 16, 2013. <obamawhitehouse.archives.gov>

Therefore, by the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby direct the following:

Section 1. Research. The Secretary of Health and Human Services (Secretary), through the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other scientific agencies within the Department of Health and Human Services, shall conduct or sponsor research into the causes of gun violence and the ways to prevent it. The Secretary shall begin by identifying the most pressing research questions with the greatest potential public health impact, and by assessing existing public health interventions being implemented across the Nation to prevent gun violence.

[264] Report: “Priorities for Research to Reduce the Threat of Firearm-Related Violence.” Edited by Alan I. Leshner and others. Institute of Medicine and National Research Council of the National Academies of Science, 2013. <www.nap.edu>

Pages 1–2:

In January 2013, President Obama issued 23 executive orders directing federal agencies to improve knowledge of the causes of firearm violence, the interventions that might prevent it, and strategies to minimize public health burden. One of these executive orders noted that “in addition to being a law enforcement challenge, firearm violence is also a serious public health issue that affects thousands of individuals, families, and communities across the Nation,” and directed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), along with other relevant federal agencies, to immediately begin identifying the most pressing firearm-related violence research problems.

The CDC and the CDC Foundation2 requested that the Institute of Medicine (IOM), in collaboration with the National Research Council (NRC), convene a committee of experts to develop a potential research agenda focusing on the public health aspects of firearm-related violence— its causes, approaches to interventions that could prevent it, and strategies to minimize its health burden. In accordance with the CDC’s charge, the committee did not focus on public health surveillance and potentially related behavioral/mental health issues, as these will be addressed separately.

Pages 15–16:

Defensive use of guns by crime victims is a common occurrence, although the exact number remains disputed (Cook and Ludwig, 1996; Kleck, 2001a). Almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million (Kleck, 2001a), in the context of about 300,000 violent crimes involving firearms in 2008 (BJS, 2010). On the other hand, some scholars point to a radically lower estimate of only 108,000 annual defensive uses based on the National Crime Victimization Survey (Cook et al., 1997). The variation in these numbers remains a controversy in the field. The estimate of 3 million defensive uses per year is based on an extrapolation from a small number of responses taken from more than 19 national surveys. The former estimate of 108,000 is difficult to interpret because respondents were not asked specifically about defensive gun use.

A different issue is whether defensive uses of guns, however numerous or rare they may be, are effective in preventing injury to the gun-wielding crime victim. Studies that directly assessed the effect of actual defensive uses of guns (i.e., incidents in which a gun was “used” by the crime victim in the sense of attacking or threatening an offender) have found consistently lower injury rates among gun-using crime victims compared with victims who used other self-protective strategies (Kleck, 1988; Kleck and DeLone, 1993; Southwick, 2000; Tark and Kleck, 2004). Effectiveness of defensive tactics, however, is likely to vary across types of victims, types of offenders, and circumstances of the crime, so further research is needed both to explore these contingencies and to confirm or discount earlier findings.

Even when defensive use of guns is effective in averting death or injury for the gun user in cases of crime, it is still possible that keeping a in the home or carrying a gun in public—concealed or open carry—may have a different net effect on the rate of injury. For example, if gun ownership raises the risk of suicide, homicide, or the use of weapons by those who invade the homes of gun owners, this could cancel or outweigh the beneficial effects of defensive gun use (Kellermann et al., 1992, 1993, 1995). Although some early studies were published that relate to this issue, they were not conclusive, and this is a sufficiently important question that it merits additional, careful exploration.

[265] Book: Armed and Considered Dangerous: A Survey of Felons and Their Firearms (Expanded edition). By James D. Wright and Peter D. Rossi. Aldine De Gruyter, 1986 (Expanded edition published in 1994).

Page 1:

Almost all of the information presented here was obtained from a survey of men serving sentences for felony offenses in 11 state prisons scattered throughout the country. However uncertain one may be about their reliability as sources, convicted criminals are about the only source of empirical information on this topic that can be tapped at reasonable cost. (We also show later that convicted felons are not totally unreliable informants.)

Page 26: “[W]e restricted the study to felons who had been out “on the street” recently enough to possess useful, current information; operationally, this meant a restriction to men who began their current prison term on or after 1 January 1979.”

Page 32:

The definitive study of the quality of prisoner self-report data is Marquis (1981), a data quality analysis of the RAND “Criminal Careers” survey. In this study, data quality was assessed by comparing prisoners’ self reports with information contained in official criminal justice records. Since the format and procedures of the RAND survey were very similar to those followed in our survey, it is reasonable to assume that Marquis’ findings generalize. Summarizing briefly, Marquis found:

1. There is no evidence that prisoners attempt to deny salient aspects of their criminal past. …

2. Comparisons of self-reported conviction-offense data with official records showed that “on a general level, the data are close to unbiased” (Marquis, 1981: 32). Moderate biases were found on some items, but in general, reliability of the self-report data was “moderately high.”

Page 155:

2. Have you ever been scared off, shot at, wounded, or captured by an armed victim? No: 66%, Yes: 34%, (N) = (1673)

3. Was there ever a time in your life when you decided not to do a crime because you knew or believed that the victim was carrying a gun? No, never: 61%, Yes, just once: 10%, Yes, a few times: 22%, Yes, many times: 8%, (N) = (1627)

4. [H]ave any of the criminals you have known personally ever been scared off, shot at, wounded, or captured by an armed victim? No, none: 31%, Yes, but only one: 10%, Yes, a few: 48%, Yes, many: 11%, (N) = (1627)

CALCULATIONS:

  • 10% of felons decided not to commit a crime in one instance because they thought the victim had a gun + 22% “a few times” + 8% “many times” = 40% decided not to commit a crime because they thought the victim was carrying a gun
  • 10% of felons knew one criminal “scared off, shot at, wounded or captured by an armed victim” + 48% knew “a few” + 11% knew “many” = 69% knew criminals “scared off, shot at, wounded or captured by an armed victim”

[266] Calculated with:

a) Report: “2018 Crime in the United States.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division, September 2019. <ucr.fbi.gov>

“Table 16: Number of Crimes per 100,000 Inhabitants by Population Group, 2018.” <ucr.fbi.gov>

“Total … Murder and nonnegligent manslaughter … Rate [=] 5.0”

b) Report: “Mortality in the United States, 2018.” By Jiaquan Xu and others. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, January 2020. <www.cdc.gov>

Page 1: “Life expectancy for the U.S. population in 2018 was 78.7 years, an increase of 0.1 year from 2017.”

NOTES:

  • The computations to determine this fact were completed by a licensed actuary using two different methodologies, both of which yield the same answer. The result was also verified by a Ph.D. mathematician.
  • An Excel file containing the data and calculations is available upon request.

[267] Paper: “The Lethality of Criminal Assault 1960–1999.” By Anthony R. Harris and others. Homicide Studies, May 1, 2002. Pages 128–166. <www.universitychurchchicago.org>

Page 128: “Starting from the basic view that homicides are aggravated assaults with the outcome of the victim’s death, we assembled evidence from national data sources to show that the principal explanation of the downward trend in lethality involves parallel developments in medical technology and related medical support services that have suppressed the homicide rate compared to what it would be had such progress not been made.”

Page 136: “A number of UCR [FBI Uniform Crime Report] and other data sources were used in our analyses. The first dataset used contains annual UCR national-level rates of homicides and aggravated assaults known to the police from 1960 to 1999.”

Page 137:

There is little question about the validity of the UCR-derived homicide count, the sole term in the numerator of the measure and, along with the aggravated assault count, the second term in the lethality denominator. Though the UCR offenses known-based national homicide rate falls consistently about 5% below the gold standard Vital Statistics (NCHS) rate in the period examined, the correlation of the UCR offenses known-based national homicide rate with the Vital Statistics homicide rate is extremely high (r = .9947). Thus, while compared to the Vital Statistics homicide count, the UCR offenses known count leads to a systemic 5% or so underestimate of criminal lethality,7 the difference is more or less constant across time and for the purpose of symmetry does not seriously vitiate the use of UCR counts.

A more complicated set of issues concerns the use of aggravated assaults as an historically unbiased measure of life-threatening, criminally induced injury. … [T]he shortcomings inherent in UCR aggravated assault data are well known…. These shortcomings basically concern variation in citizens’ perceptions and reporting of violent acts—especially among acquaintances, friends, and intimates—as criminal assaults rather than as civil problems, as well as substantial long term and jurisdictional de facto discretion in the police use of the aggravated assault category to record known assaults ranging from criminal threats of injury with weapons, to assaults producing very minor injuries, to assaults producing potentially lethal trauma.

Pages 141–142: “It is worth noting that the second of the two periods of greatest lethality drops, 1960–1965 and 1973–1978, occurs on the heels of the American involvement in Vietnam, quite likely the kind of post-war period of great gain in trauma care identified by medical historians (Rosen and Anderson, 1998; Trunkey, 2000.)”

Page 147:

Table 1.3. Breakdown of Monthly Assaultsa & Lethality by Weaponry for 1964 & 1999 …

Firearms … 1964 Lethality [=] 0.1551 …

Unadjusted 1999 Lethality [=] 0.0539 …

Lethality Drop [=] –65.21% …

a Assaults = Homicides + Aggravated Assaults

Page 157:

Essential here are basic developments in telecommunication services, from the simple proliferation of 911 emergency telephone dialing, radio dispatched communications between emergency service workers, to beeper services for MDs, to the use of cell phones by witnesses of accidents and assaults on isolated highways and streets. Developments in open heart, transplant surgery, emergency medicine, trauma centers and systems, and the training levels of prehospital trauma personnel are important examples of medical progress, as is the development and proliferation of such medical hardware as Computerized Tomographic Scanners (CTs) and portable defibrillators. By no means unimportant here is the simple historical proliferation of local and county hospitals throughout the nation.

[268] Report: “Lifetime Likelihood of Victimization.” By Herbert Koppel. U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, March 1987. <www.ncjrs.gov>

Page 1:

Annual victimization rates alone do not convey the full impact of crime as it affects people. No one would express his or her concern by saying, “I am terribly afraid of being mugged between January and December of this year.” People are worried about the possibility that at some time in their lives they will be robbed or raped or assaulted, or their houses will be burglarized.

Annual rates can provide a false sense of security by masking the real impact of crime. Upon hearing that the homicide rate is about 8 to 10 per 100,000 population, one feels safe; after all, 1 chance in 10,000 is not very frightening. Actually, however, at recent homicide rates about 1 of every 133 Americans will become a murder victim; for black males the proportion is estimated to be 1 of every 30. Similarly, while 16 out of 10,000 women are rape victims annually, the lifetime chances of suffering a rape are much greater.

The problem lies with people’s perception of the meaning of annual rates with respect to their own lives. If the Earth revolved around the sun in 180 days, all of our annual crime rates would be halved, but we would not be safer. …

Because of the assumptions involved in the calculations and because the data derive from a sample survey, the numbers presented in this report are estimates only; they should be interpreted only as indications of approximate magnitude, not as exact measures. Essentially they are calculated values of lifetime risk rather than descriptions of what has been observed.

Page 2: “The estimates of lifetime likelihood of victimization are derived under the assumption that, throughout their lifetimes, people in the U.S. have incurred, and will continue to incur, criminal victimization at the same annual rates as were observed in the years 1975 through 1984.”

Page 2 (Table 1): “Lifetime likelihood of victimization”

Percent of Persons Who Will be Victimized by Violent Crime Starting at 12 Years of Age

Total

Number of Victimizations

one or more

one

two

three or more

Violent Crime

83%

30%

27%

25%

Violent Crime, Completed

42%

32%

9%

2%

CALCULATION: 27% of Americans victimized twice + 25% of Americans victimized three or more times = 52% of Americans victimized more than once

[269] Report: “Firearm Use by Offenders.” By Caroline Wolf Harlow. U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics. Revised February 4, 2002. <www.bjs.gov>

Page 1: “Among inmates in prison for homicide, a sexual assault, robbery, assault or other violent crime, 30% of State offenders and 35% of Federal offenders carried a firearm when committing the crime.”

Page 2: “Data for this report are based primarily on personal interviews with large nationally representative samples of State and Federal prison inmates.”

Page 13: “A total of 14,285 interviews were completed for the State survey and 4,041 for the Federal survey, for overall response rates of 92.5% in the State survey and 90.2% in the Federal survey.”

[270] Report: “Firearm Violence, 1993–2011.” By Michael Planty and Jennifer L. Truman. U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, May 2013. <www.bjs.gov>

Page 13:

In 2004, an estimated 16% of state prison inmates and 18% of federal inmates reported that they used, carried, or possessed a firearm when they committed the crime for which they were serving a prison sentence (table 12). …

Table 12: Possession of Firearms by State and Federal Prison Inmates at Time of Offense, By Type of Firearm, 1997 and 2004 … 2004 … Total … State [=] 15.8% … Federal [=] 17.8% …

Note: Includes only inmates with a current conviction…. Estimates may differ from previously published BJS reports. … Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics, Survey of Inmates in State and Federal Correctional Facilities, 1997 and 2004.

Page 17: “Surveys of Inmates in State and Federal Correctional Facilities (SISCF and SIFCF) … have provided nationally representative data on state prison inmates and sentenced federal inmates held in federally owned and operated facilities. … In 2004, 14,499 state prisoners in 287 state prisons and 3,686 federal prisoners in 39 federal prisons were interviewed.”

[271] Report: “2018 Crime in the United States.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services, September 2019. <ucr.fbi.gov>

“Offenses Cleared.” <ucr.fbi.gov>

In the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, law enforcement agencies can clear, or “close,” offenses in one of two ways: by arrest or by exceptional means. Although an agency may administratively close a case, that does not necessarily mean that the agency can clear the offense for UCR purposes. To clear an offense within the UCR Program’s guidelines, the reporting agency must adhere to certain criteria, which are outlined in the following text. (Note: The UCR Program does not distinguish between offenses cleared by arrest and those cleared by exceptional means in collecting or publishing data via the traditional Summary Reporting System.)

Cleared by Arrest

In the UCR Program, a law enforcement agency reports that an offense is cleared by arrest, or solved for crime reporting purposes, when three specific conditions have been met. The three conditions are that at least one person has been:

• Arrested.

• Charged with the commission of the offense.

• Turned over to the court for prosecution (whether following arrest, court summons, or police notice).

In its clearance calculations, the UCR Program counts the number of offenses that are cleared, not the number of persons arrested. The arrest of one person may clear several crimes, and the arrest of many persons may clear only one offense. In addition, some clearances that an agency records in a particular calendar year, such as 2018, may pertain to offenses that occurred in previous years.

Cleared by exceptional means

In certain situations, elements beyond law enforcement’s control prevent the agency from arresting and formally charging the offender. When this occurs, the agency can clear the offense exceptionally. Law enforcement agencies must meet the following four conditions in order to clear an offense by exceptional means.

The agency must have:

• Identified the offender.

• Gathered enough evidence to support an arrest, make a charge, and turn over the offender to the court for prosecution.

• Identified the offender’s exact location so that the suspect could be taken into custody immediately.

• Encountered a circumstance outside the control of law enforcement that prohibits the agency from arresting, charging, and prosecuting the offender.

Examples of exceptional clearances include, but are not limited to, the death of the offender (e.g., suicide or justifiably killed by police or citizen); the victim’s refusal to cooperate with the prosecution after the offender has been identified; or the denial of extradition because the offender committed a crime in another jurisdiction and is being prosecuted for that offense. In the UCR Program, the recovery of property alone does not clear an offense. …

In the nation in 2018, 45.5 percent of violent crimes and 17.6 percent of property crimes were cleared by arrest or exceptional means.

When considering clearances of violent crimes, 62.3 percent of murder offenses, 52.5 percent of aggravated assault offenses, 33.4 percent of rape offenses, and 30.4 percent of robbery offenses were cleared.

[272] NOTE: As shown in the following three articles, the data cited above is suspect, because it is based on reports from local law enforcement agencies:

a) Article: “Retired Officers Raise Questions on Crime Data.” By William K. Rashbaum. New York Times, February 7, 2010. <www.nytimes.com>

“More than a hundred retired New York Police Department captains and higher-ranking officers said in a survey that the intense pressure to produce annual crime reductions led some supervisors and precinct commanders to manipulate crime statistics, according to two criminologists studying the department.”

b) Article: “Brooklyn’s 81st Precinct Probed by NYPD for Fudging Stats; Felonies Allegedly Marked as Misdemeanors.” By Rocco Parascandola. New York Daily News, February 1, 2010. <www.nydailynews.com>

“A Brooklyn precinct is under investigation for manipulating statistics to make its cops look like better crimefighters, the Daily News has learned. … Schoolcraft told The News the top brass are so concerned with numbers that one precinct lieutenant is known as ‘The Shredder’ because he’s often spotted destroying documents.”

c) Article: “Reducing Rape with an Eraser.” By Judith Riesman. Dr. Judith Riesman, September 12, 2006. <www.drjudithreisman.com>

U.S. News and World Report (April 24, 2000) said, ‘‘facing political heat to cut crime in the city, investigators in the New York PPD’s Sex Crime Unit sat on (thousands of) reports of rapes and other sexual assaults.’’ One officer stated; ‘‘The way crime was solved was with an eraser.’’

In 2000 even the FBI admitted that one district ‘‘failed to report between 13,000 and 37,000 major crimes.’’ ‘‘A 2000 Philadelphia Inquirer report found from 1997–1999, of 300,000 sex crime reports, thousands of rapes got relabeled ‘‘investigation of persons’’ or ‘‘investigation, protection, and medical examination’’—non-crime codes.’’

[273] Paper: “The Decline of Arrest Clearances For Criminal Homicide: Causes, Correlates, and Third Parties.” By Marc Riedel. Criminal Justice Policy Review, September 1999. Pages 27–05. <cjp.sagepub.com>

“The percent of offenders arrested for murder in the United States has declined in all reporting cities from 92% in 1960 to 66% in 1997.”

[274] Report: “2018 Crime in the United States.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services, September 2019. <ucr.fbi.gov>

“Offenses Cleared.” <ucr.fbi.gov>

In the nation in 2018, 45.5 percent of violent crimes and 17.6 percent of property crimes were cleared by arrest or exceptional means.

When considering clearances of violent crimes, 62.3 percent of murder offenses, 52.5 percent of aggravated assault offenses, 33.4 percent of rape offenses, and 30.4 percent of robbery offenses were cleared.

[275] Article: “Victim’s Sex, Race Affect Homicide Clearance Rates.” By Thomas Hargrove (University of Maryland criminologist). Scripps Howard News Service, 2010.

The deliberate killings of men, members of racial and ethnic minorities and young adults are much less likely to be solved than other kinds of homicides, according to a Scripps Howard News Service analysis of detailed FBI computer files of more than half a million homicides committed from 1980 to 2008. …

As a result, there are clear and sometimes cruel patterns to the victims listed among the nation’s 185,000 unsolved homicides since 1980.

[276] Calculated with data from:

a) Report: “2006 Crime in the United States, Murder.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services, September 2007. <www2.fbi.gov>

“The Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program defines murder and nonnegligent manslaughter as the willful (nonnegligent) killing of one human being by another. … An estimated 17,034 persons were murdered nationwide in 2006….”

b) Dataset: “2006 Crime in the United States, Expanded Homicide Data Table 2: Murder Victims by Age, Sex, and Race, 2006.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division, September 2007. <www2.fbi.gov>

c) Report: “Criminal Victimization, 2006.” By Michael Rand and Shannan Catalano. U.S. Department of Justice. December 2007. <www.bjs.gov>

Page 2: “Table 2. Criminal victimization, numbers and rates, 2006 … Rape/sexual assault [=] 272,350 … Robbery [=] 711,570 … Aggravated assault [=] 1,354,750 … Victimization rates are per 1,000 persons age 12 or older…. Excludes murder because the NCVS is based on interviews with victims and therefore cannot measure murder.”

d) Report: “Felony Sentences in State Courts, 2006 Statistical Tables.” By Sean Rosenmerkel and others. U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, December 2009. Revised 11/22/2010. <bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov>

Page 1: “Felonies are widely defined as crimes with the potential of being punished by more than 1 year in prison.”

Page 2: “State courts sentenced an estimated 1,132,290 persons for a felony in 2006, including 206,140 (or 18% of all felony convictions) for a violent felony (table 1.1). … In 2006 an estimated 69% of all persons convicted of a felony in state courts were sentenced to a period of confinement—41% to state prison and 28% to local jails (table 1.2). Jail sentences are usually a year or less in a county or city facility, while prison sentences are usually more than a year and are served in a state facility.”

Page 4: “Table 1.2. Types of Felony Sentences Imposed in State Courts, by Offense, 2006 … Percent of felons sentenced to Incarceration … Violent offenses [=] 77%”

e) Report: “Federal Justice Statistics, 2006 Statistical Tables.” Prepared by the Urban Institute under the supervision of Mark Motivans of the Bureau of Justice Statistics, United States Department of Justice, May 1, 2009. <bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov>

Page 32 (in pdf): “Table 5.2 … Type and Length of Federal Sentences Imposed, by Offense, October 1, 2005 – September 30, 2006 … Incarceration [for] Violent offenses [=] 2,311”

NOTE: An Excel file containing the data and calculations is available upon request.

[277] Webpage: “Definitions.” U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics. Revised July 25, 2016. <bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov>

Aggravated assault
 

An attack or attempted attack with a weapon, regardless of whether an injury occurred, and an attack without a weapon when serious injury results.

With injury—An attack without a weapon when serious injury results or an attack with a weapon involving any injury. Serious injury includes broken bones, lost teeth, internal injuries, loss of consciousness, and any unspecified injury requiring two or more days of hospitalization. …

Murder
 

(1) Intentionally causing the death of another person without extreme provocation or legal justification or (2) causing the death of another while committing or attempting to commit another crime.

Rape

Forced sexual intercourse including both psychological coercion as well as physical force. Forced sexual intercourse means vaginal, anal or oral penetration by the offender(s). This category also includes incidents where the penetration is from a foreign object such as a bottle. Includes attempted rapes, male as well as female victims, and both heterosexual and same sex rape. Attempted rape includes verbal threats of rape.

Robbery

Completed or attempted theft, directly from a person, of property or cash by force or threat of force, with or without a weapon, and with or without injury. …

Sexual assault
 

A wide range of victimizations, separate from rape or attempted rape. These crimes include attacks or attempted attacks generally involving unwanted sexual contact between victim and offender. Sexual assaults may or may not involve force and include such things as grabbing or fondling. Sexual assault also includes verbal threats.

Simple assault
 

Attack without a weapon resulting either in no injury, minor injury (for example, bruises, black eyes, cuts, scratches or swelling) or in undetermined injury requiring less than 2 days of hospitalization. Also includes attempted assault without a weapon.

With minor injury—An attack without a weapon resulting in such injuries as bruises, black eyes, cuts or in undetermined injury requiring less than 2 days of hospitalization.

Without injury—An attempted assault without a weapon not resulting in injury.

[278] The U.S. government publishes two primary crime measures: The FBI’s “Uniform Crime Report” (UCR) and the Department of Justice’s “National Crime Victimization Survey” (NCVS). The UCR is based upon incidents reported to law enforcement authorities and does not account for unreported crimes. The NCVS is based upon data gathered from extensive interviews, and hence, provides more accurate estimates of crime than the UCR.* The NCVS, however, does not provide data on: murders and nonnegligent manslaughters (because the victims cannot be interviewed), crimes committed against children under the age of 12, and commercial crimes such as robberies of banks and convenience stores.† Therefore, Just Facts uses the NCVS data as a baseline and extrapolates the missing information from UCR and NCVS data.

* Book: Firearms and Violence: A Critical Review. By the Committee to Improve Research and Data on Firearms and the Committee on Law and Justice, National Research Council of the National Academies. Edited by Charles F. Wellford, John V. Pepper, and Carol V. Petrie. National Academies Press, 2005.

Page 21: “The National Crime Victimization Survey … is widely viewed as a “gold standard for measuring crime victimization.”

Page 30: “Although the NCVS data do many things right, they are, like any such system, beset with methodological problems of surveys in general as well as particular problems associated with measuring illicit, deviant, and deleterious activities….”

† Report: “The Nation’s Two Crime Measures.” By Michael Planty and Lynn Langton. U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, September, 2014. <www.bjs.gov>

Page 1:

The U.S. Department of Justice administers two statistical programs to measure the magnitude, nature, and impact of crime in the nation: the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program and the Bureau of Justice Statistic’s National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS). Each of these programs produces valuable information about aspects of the nation’s crime problem. Because the UCR and NCVS programs have different purposes, use different methods, and focus on somewhat different aspects of crime, the complementary information they produce together provides a more comprehensive understanding of the nation’s crime problem than either could produce alone. …

The UCR Program currently collects information on murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, arson, and human trafficking. …

The current NCVS collects detailed information on the frequency and nature of the crimes of rape and other sexual assault, robbery, aggravated and simple assault, personal larceny, household burglary, motor vehicle theft, and other theft. Each year, BJS interviews a nationally representative sample of approximately 169,000 persons age 12 or older living in U.S. households. Households remain in the sample for 3.5 years.

Page 2:

The NCVS includes, but the UCR excludes, sexual assault (completed, attempted, and threatened), attempted robberies, verbal threats of rape, simple assault, and crimes not reported to law enforcement. The UCR includes, but the NCVS excludes, homicide, arson, commercial crimes, and crimes against children under age 12. The UCR captures crimes reported to law enforcement, but collects only arrest data for simple assault and sex offenses other than forcible rape.

[279] Report: “Recidivism of Prisoners Released in 30 States in 2005: Patterns from 2005 to 2010.” By Matthew R. Durose, Alexia D. Cooper, and Howard N. Snyder. U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, April 2014. <www.bjs.gov>

Page 1:

Overall, 67.8% of the 404,638 state prisoners released in 2005 in 30 states were arrested within 3 years of release, and 76.6% were arrested within 5 years of release (figure 1). …

Among prisoners released in 2005 in 23 states with available data on inmates returned to prison, 49.7% had either a parole or probation violation or an arrest for a new offense within 3 years that led to imprisonment, and 55.1% had a parole or probation violation or an arrest that led to imprisonment within 5 years.

Page 9:

Table 9: Recidivism of Prisoners Released in 30 States in 2005, By Type of Post-Release Arrest Charge … Percent of released prisoners arrested within 5 years of release … Any offense [=] 76.6% … Violent [=] 28.6% … Homicide [=] 0.9 … Rape/sexual assault [=] 1.7 … Robbery [=] 5.5 … Assault [=] 23.0 … Other [=] 4.0 …

Note: Prisoners were tracked for 5 years following release. … When information on the arrest charge was missing in the criminal history records, the court disposition data were used to describe the charge.

Page 17:

The study excluded releases that were transfers to the custody of another authority, releases due to death, releases on bond, releases to seek or participate in an appeal of a case, and escapes from prison or absent without official leave (AWOL). Inmates whose sentence was less than 1 year were also excluded. The first release during 2005 was selected for persons released multiple times during the year.

CALCULATIONS:

  • 404,638 released prisoners × .9% homicide post-arrest charges = 3,642 new homicide arrests
  • 404,638 released prisoners × 1.7% rape/sexual assault post-arrest charges = 6,879 new rape arrests
  • 404,638 released prisoners × 5.5% robbery post-arrest charges = 22,255 new robbery arrests
  • 404,638 released prisoners × 23% assault post-arrest charges = 93,067 new assault arrests

[280] Report: “2018 Update on Prisoner Recidivism: A 9-Year Follow-up Period (2005–2014).” By Mariel Alper, Matthew R. Durose, and Joshua Markman. U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, May 2018.

<www.bjs.gov>

Page 1:

Five in 6 (83%) state prisoners released in 2005 across 30 states were arrested at least once during the 9 years following their release.

During each year and cumulatively in the 9-year follow-up period, released property offenders were more likely to be arrested than released violent offenders.

Page 5:

Among all released prisoners arrested within 9 years, about 5 in 6 prisoners (82%) were arrested within the 3-year follow-up period (not shown).

Page 7:

Prisoners released in 30 states in 2005 were arrested nearly 2 million times during the 9 years following release … estimated 1,994,000 arrests during the 9-year period, an average of 5 arrests per released prisoner (table 4).

Page 14:

For example, of the 44% of released prisoners who were arrested during their first year after release, 1 in 9 (5% of all released prisoners) had no additional arrests during the 9-year follow-up period.

Page 17:

In other words, 99% of prisoners who were arrested during the 9-year follow-up period were arrested for an offense other than a probation or parole violation.

[281] Article: “New York Killers, and Those Killed, by Numbers.” By Jo Craven Mcginty. New York Times, April 28, 2006. <www.nytimes.com>

“From 2003 through 2005, 1,662 murders were committed in New York. … More than 90 percent of the killers had criminal records; and of those who wound up killed, more than half had them.”

[282] Article: “Deadliest Year in Baltimore History Ends with 344 Homicides.” By Kevin Rector. Baltimore Sun, January 1, 2016.

<www.baltimoresun.com>

“Blood was shed in Baltimore at an unprecedented pace in 2015, with mostly young, black men shot to death in a near-daily crush of violence. … On a per-capita basis, the year was the deadliest ever in the city. The year’s tally of 344 homicides was second only to the record 353 in 1993, when Baltimore had about 100,000 more residents.”

[283] Article: “Statistical Snapshots from Baltimore’s Deadliest Year: Suspects, Victims and Cops.” By Kevin Rector. Baltimore Sun, January 7, 2016. <www.baltimoresun.com>

While detectives have no motive or suspects in many of the year’s 344 homicides, the department’s annual homicide analysis report captures what the department does know about the people it arrested and those who were killed. … The department said it had 85 homicide suspects as of Dec. 31, when the data was compiled. … Among the suspects, 76.5 percent had prior criminal records, 62.4 percent had prior drug arrests, 52.9 percent had been arrested for violent crimes, and 41.2 percent had been arrested for gun crimes. Nearly a quarter were on parole and probation at the time of the killing for which they are now a suspect. Nearly 2.5 percent were on parole and probation specifically for a gun crime at the time of the incident. The average suspect had been arrested more than nine times before, and 15.3 percent of the suspects were suspected gang members, the report said.

[284] Article: “A History of D.C. Gun Ban.” Compiled by Meg Smith and Leah Carliner. Washington Post, June 26, 2008. <www.washingtonpost.com>

June 1976: [T]he D.C. Council votes 12 to 1 in favor of a bill restricting city residents from acquiring handguns. The law exempts guards, police officers and owners who had registered their handguns before it took effect. Under the bill, all firearms (including rifles and shotguns, which were not restricted by the law) must be kept unloaded and disassembled, except those in business establishments.

September 1976: Attempts in Congress to block the District law fail, clearing the way for it to go into effect.

[285] Legal brief: District of Columbia and Adrian M. Fenty, Mayor of the District of Columbia, Petitioners, v. Dick Anthony Heller, Respondent. In the Supreme Court of the United States. By Linda Singer (Attorney General for the District of Columbia) and others. January 4, 2008. Case 07-290. <www.abanet.org>

Pages 1–2:

Relevant portions of the D.C. Code provide:

§ 7-2502.02. Registration of certain firearms prohibited.

(a) A registration certificate shall not be issued for a:

(1) Sawed-off shotgun;

(2) Machine gun;

(3) Short-barreled rifle; or

(4) Pistol not validly registered to the current registrant in the District prior to September 24, 1976, except that the provisions of this section shall not apply to any organization that employs at least 1 commissioned special police officer or other employee licensed to carry a firearm and that arms the employee with a firearm during the employee’s duty hours or to a police officer who has retired from the Metropolitan Police Department.

(b) Nothing in this section shall prevent a police officer who has retired from the Metropolitan Police Department from registering a pistol.

§ 7-2507.02. Firearms required to be unloaded and disassembled or locked.

Except for law enforcement personnel described in § 7-2502.01(b)(1), each registrant shall keep any firearm in his possession unloaded and disassembled or bound by a trigger lock or similar device unless such firearm is kept at his place of business, or while being used for lawful recreational purposes within the District of Columbia.

[286] Ruling: District of Columbia v. Heller. U.S. Supreme Court, June 26, 2008. Case 07-290. Decided 5–4. Majority: Scalia, Roberts, Kennedy, Thomas, Alito. Dissenting: Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg, Breyer. <caselaw.lp.findlaw.com>

The handgun ban and the trigger-lock requirement (as applied to self-defense) violate the Second Amendment. The District’s total ban on handgun possession in the home amounts to a prohibition on an entire class of “arms” that Americans overwhelmingly choose for the lawful purpose of self-defense. Under any of the standards of scrutiny the Court has applied to enumerated constitutional rights, this prohibition—in the place where the importance of the lawful defense of self, family, and property is most acute—would fail constitutional muster. Similarly, the requirement that any lawful firearm in the home be disassembled or bound by a trigger lock makes it impossible for citizens to use arms for the core lawful purpose of self-defense and is hence unconstitutional. Because Heller conceded at oral argument that the D.C. licensing law is permissible if it is not enforced arbitrarily and capriciously, the Court assumes that a license will satisfy his prayer for relief and does not address the licensing requirement. Assuming he is not disqualified from exercising Second Amendment rights, the District must permit Heller to register his handgun and must issue him a license to carry it in the home.

[287] Graph constructed with data from:

a) Dataset: “Uniform Crime Reporting Program, District of Columbia, 1960–2008.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division. Data supplied to Just Facts on June 15, 2010.

b) Report: “2009 Crime in the United States.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division, September 2010. <www2.fbi.gov>

“Table 5: Crime in the United States, by State.” <www2.fbi.gov>

c) Report: “2010 Crime in the United States.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division, September 2011. <ucr.fbi.gov>

“Table 5: Crime in the United States, by State.” <ucr.fbi.gov>

d) Report: “2011 Crime in the United States.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division, September 2012. <ucr.fbi.gov>

“Table 5: Crime in the United States, by State.” <ucr.fbi.gov>

e) Report: “2012 Crime in the United States.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division, October 2013. <ucr.fbi.gov>

“Table 5: Crime in the United States, by State.” <ucr.fbi.gov>

f) Report: “2013 Crime in the United States.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division, November 2014. <ucr.fbi.gov>

“Table 5: Crime in the United States, by State.” <ucr.fbi.gov>

g) Report: “2014 Crime in the United States.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division, September 2015. <ucr.fbi.gov>

“Table 5: Crime in the United States, by State.” <ucr.fbi.gov>

h) Report: “2015 Crime in the United States.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division, September 2016. <ucr.fbi.gov>

“Table 5: Crime in the United States, by State, 2015.” <ucr.fbi.gov>

i) Report: “2016 Crime in the United States.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division, September 2017. <ucr.fbi.gov>

“Table 3: Crime in the United States, by State, 2016.” <ucr.fbi.gov>

j) Report: “2017 Crime in the United States.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division, September 2018. <ucr.fbi.gov>

“Table 5: Crime in the United States, by State, 2017.” <ucr.fbi.gov>

k) Report: “2018 Crime in the United States.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division, September 2019. <ucr.fbi.gov>

“Table 5: Crime in the United States, by State, 2018.” <ucr.fbi.gov>

“Table 1: Crime in the United States by Volume and Rate per 100,000 Inhabitants, 1999–2018.” <ucr.fbi.gov>

NOTE: Data available upon request.

[288] “Firearms Act, 1920.” Office of Public Sector Information.

<www.opsi.gov.uk>

Page 3–4 (in PDF):

Chapter 43, Section 1:

(1) A person shall not purchase, have in his possession, or carry any firearm or ammunition unless he holds a certificate (in this Act called a firearm certificate) granted under this section, and in force at the time.

(2) A firearm certificate shall be granted by the chief officer of police of the district in which the applicant for the certificate resides, if he is satisfied that the applicant is a person who has a good reason for requiring such a certificate and can be permitted to have in his possession, use, and carry a firearm or ammunition without danger to the public safety or to the peace, and on payment of the prescribed fee….

(3) A firearm certificate shall be in the prescribed form and shall specify the nature and number of the firearms to which it relates, and, as respects ammunition, the quantities authorised to be purchased and to be held at any one time thereunder, and the certificate may on the application of the holder thereof be varied from time to time by the chief officer of police of the district in which the holder for the time resides. …

(5) A firearm certificate shall, unless previously revoked or cancelled, continue in force for three years, but shall be renewable for a further period of three years by the chief officer of police of the district in which the holder of the certificate resides….

(7) The fee to be paid on the grant or renewal of a firearm certificate shall be such as is specified in the First Schedule to this Act.

(8) If any person purchases, has in his possession, uses, or carries a firearm or ammunition without holding a firearm certificate or otherwise than as authorised by such a certificate or, in the case of ammunition, in quantities in excess of those so authorised, or fails to comply with any condition subject to which the certificate is granted, he shall be liable in respect of each offence on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding fifty pounds, or to imprisonment, with or without hard labour, for a term not exceeding three months, or to both such imprisonment and fine….

Page 12 (in PDF):

Chapter 43, Section 12:

(1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—The expression “firearm” means any lethal firearm or other weapon of any description from which any shot, bullet, or other missile can be discharged, or any part thereof, and the expression “ammunition” means ammunition for any such firearms, and includes grenades, bombs, and other similar missiles, whether such missiles are capable of use with a firearm or not, and ingredients and components thereof:

Provided that a smooth bore shot-gun or air-gun or air-rifle (other than air-guns and air-rifles of a type declared by rules made by a Secretary of State under this Act to be specially dangerous) and ammunition therefor shall not in Great Britain be deemed to be a firearm and ammunition for the purpose of the provisions of this Act other than those relating to the removal of firearms and ammunition from one place to another or for export….

[289] “Firearms Act, 1968.” Office of Public Sector Information. <www.opsi.gov.uk>

Part I: Provisions as to Possession, Handling and Distribution of Weapons and Ammunition; Prevention of Crime and Measures to Protect Public Safety

General restrictions on possession and handling of firearms and ammunition

Section 1: Requirement of firearm certificate.

(1) Subject to any exemption under this Act, it is an offence for a person—

(a) to have in his possession, or to purchase or acquire, a firearm to which this section applies without holding a firearm certificate in force at the time, or otherwise than as authorised by such a certificate;

(b) to have in his possession, or to purchase or acquire, any ammunition to which this section applies without holding a firearm certificate in force at the time, or otherwise than as authorised by such a certificate, or in quantities in excess of those so authorised.

(2) It is an offence for a person to fail to comply with a condition subject to which a firearm certificate is held by him. …

Section 2: Requirement of certificate for possession of shot guns.

(1) Subject to any exemption under this Act, it is an offence for a person to have in his possession, or to purchase or acquire, a shot gun without holding a certificate under this Act authorising him to possess shot guns.

(2) It is an offence for a person to fail to comply with a condition subject to which a shot gun certificate is held by him. …

Part II: Firearm and Shot Gun Certificates; Registration of Firearms Dealers Grant, renewal, variation and revocation of firearm and shot gun certificates

Section 26 A: Applications for firearm certificates.

(1) An application for the grant of a firearm certificate shall be made in the prescribed form to the chief officer of police for the area in which the applicant resides and shall state such particulars as may be required by the form. …

Section 26B: Applications for shot gun certificates.

(1) An application for the grant of a shot gun certificate shall be made in the prescribed form to the chief officer of police for the area in which the applicant resides and shall state such particulars as may be required by the form.

Section 27: Special provisions about firearm certificates. ….

(2) A firearm certificate shall be in the prescribed form and shall specify the conditions (if any) subject to which it is held, the nature and number of the firearms to which it relates [including if known their identification numbers,] and, as respects ammunition, the quantities authorised to be purchased and to be held at any one time thereunder. …

Section 28: Special provisions about shot gun certificates. …

(2A) A shot gun certificate shall specify the description of the shot guns to which it relates including, if known, the identification numbers of the guns.

[290] Report: “Home Office: Handgun Surrender and Compensation.” House of Commons, Committee of Public Accounts, June 21, 1999. <www.publications.parliament.uk>

6. Over 162,000 handguns and 700 tonnes* of ammunition were compulsorily surrendered to local police stations between July 1997 and February 1998. The surrender was the main measure in response to the tragic events of 13 March 1996, when Thomas Hamilton walked into Dunblane Primary School armed with four handguns and 743 rounds of ammunition and shot dead 16 children and their teacher, and wounded 10 other children and three other teachers. Under the first Firearms (Amendment) Act of 1997 large-calibre handguns became prohibited from 1 July 1997, with owners having until 30 September 1997 to dispose of them lawfully, and small-calibre handguns became prohibited from 1 February 1998, with disposal by 28 February 1998.

7. As a first step in managing the surrender and compensation schemes, the Home Office and the police needed to contact handgun owners and dealers to ensure that they were aware of the terms of the prohibition and surrender. The Home Office provided booklets for the police to distribute to handgun owners and dealers, explaining the requirements of the legislation and the terms of the compensation. …

13. The Home Office could not provide absolute assurance that no handguns had been unlawfully retained, but was reasonably satisfied that individual police forces had ensured that prohibited handguns in their area had either been surrendered or otherwise lawfully disposed of. The Home Office assured us that individual forces had accurate records of firearms held on firearms certificates. They had used these to follow up firearms which were to be surrendered under the terms of the Acts, and had made adequate checks on handguns claimed to have been otherwise lawfully disposed of, for example by owners sending them abroad. Sixteen of the 26 police forces the National Audit Office visited considered that they had satisfied themselves that all relevant handguns had been traced and those prohibited surrendered. The remaining ten had been unable to account for the handguns held by a total of 35 owners by the end of the surrender period, although by September 1998 over three-quarters of these cases had been resolved. …

15. The intention of the prohibition under the 1997 firearms legislation was to remove handguns from civilian ownership, and thereby also from the risk of being used in crime.

NOTE: * 700 metric tons equal 1.5 million pounds.

CALCULATION: 35 unaccounted for handguns – (3/4 × 35 handguns recovered by September 1998) = 8.75 remaining guns

[291] Report: “Homicide in England and Wales, Year Ending March 2018.” Office for National Statistics (UK), February 2019. <www.ons.gov.uk>

“Appendix Table 1: Offences Initially Recorded as Homicide by Current Classification.” <www.ons.gov.uk>

Note:

* Years are calendar years prior to 1998 and fiscal years thereafter (April 1 to March 31).

† Homicide data is published according to the years in which the police initially reported the offenses as homicides, which are not always the same years in which the incidents took place.

[292] Ruling: Hunt v. Daley. Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, Third Division, February 19, 1997. Case 1-95-1779. Decided unanimously. <caselaw.findlaw.com>


This proceeding involves the 1982 Chicago Weapons Ordinance, passed by the Chicago City Council on March 19, 1982 … rendering certain firearms unregisterable in the City of Chicago. Under that ordinance, several categories of firearms, including handguns, became unregisterable in the City of Chicago. … However, pursuant to a grandfathering provision provided in the 1982 ordinance, handgun owners whose handguns were validly registered prior to the effective date of the handgun ban could continue to re-register their handguns. … The 1982 ordinance also required that such re-registration take place every two years. … [It was] … amended and recodified in 1994 to require annual re-registration…. The failure to re-register firearms every two years after the enactment of the 1982 ordinance rendered such firearms permanently unregisterable, and thereby caused handgun owners to forfeit their right to possess such firearms within the City of Chicago.

[293] Ruling: Sklar v. Byrne. U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit, February 8, 1984 (as amended April 17, 1984). Case 83-1431. <openjurist.org>

On March 19, 1982, the Chicago City Council passed an ordinance amending Chapter 11.1 of the Municipal Code of the City of Chicago which regulates the sale, possession and registration of firearms and ammunition. The ordinance requires that all firearms in Chicago be registered with the city. … The ordinance also classifies some firearms as “unregisterable,” thus making illegal their possession in the City of Chicago. Among the categories of “unregisterable” firearms are “Handguns, except those validly registered to a current owner in the City of Chicago prior to the effective date of this Chapter.”… The effective date of the Chapter was April 10, 1982.

[294] Case file: McDonald v Chicago. Plaintiff’s complaint. Filed June 26, 2008. Case 08cv3645. <graphics8.nytimes.com>

“Chicago Municipal Code § 8-20-200 provides: (a) Every registrant must renew his registration certificate annually. Applications for renewal shall be made by such registrants 60 days prior to the expiration of the current registration certificate. (b) The application for renewal shall include the payment of a renewal fee as follows: 1 firearm … $20.00 …”

[295] Article: “Evanston Latest Suburb to Repeal Handgun Ban in Wake of High Court Ruling.” By Deborah Horan. Chicago Tribune, August 12, 2008. <articles.chicagotribune.com>

“Following the lead of at least two other Chicago suburbs [presumably Morton Grove and Wilmette], the City of Evanston has repealed its handgun ban in the wake of the June U.S. Supreme Court decision that ruled blanket prohibitions of handguns in the home for self-defense violated 2nd Amendment rights.”

NOTE: According to their demographics page (<cityofevanston.org>), the City of Evanston had a population of 74,239 as of the 2000 Census. Accessed September 9, 2010.

[296] Article: “Morton Grove Repeals 27-Year-Old Gun Ban.” By Robert Channick. Chicago Tribune, July 28, 2008. <articles.chicagotribune.com>


Morton Grove’s landmark handgun ban, imposed 27 years ago, died quietly Monday night, as the suburb’s Village Board bowed to a new legal reality and repealed the ordinance. The board’s 5–1 vote came in response to last month’s ruling by a divided U.S. Supreme Court that struck down a similar ban. The high court ruled that the 2nd Amendment protects a person’s right to own a firearm for self-defense.

NOTE: According to their website, (<www.mortongroveil.org>) Morton Grove is a village comprising 22,451, as of March 28, 2009. No date is given for the estimate or census result.

[297] Article: “Wilmette Repeals Town’s Handgun Ban after High Court Ruling.” By Susan Kuczka and Hal Dardick. Chicago Tribune, July 25, 2008. <articles.chicagotribune.com>

“Wilmette may be the first, but it’s unlikely to be the last Chicago suburb to repeal its handgun ban in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision last month to declare a similar measure unconstitutional. … In Wilmette, the village’s seven trustees voted unanimously Tuesday night to repeal the ban.”

NOTE: According to their demographics page, (<www.wilmette.com>) Wilmette is a city with a population estimated in 2004 to number 27,628. Accessed March 28, 2009.

[298] Article: “Winnetka Repeals Handgun Ban.” ABC Eyewitness News, November 19, 2008. <abc7chicago.com>

“A north suburb’s 20-year-old ban on handguns has been repealed. The Winnetka Village Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to end its ban on gun possession. The action comes after a Supreme Court decision that calls handgun bans a violation of the 2nd Amendment.”


NOTE: According to their demographics page (<www.villageofwinnetka.org>), Winnetka Village had a total population of 12,419 in the 2000 census. Accessed March 28, 2009.

[299] Article: “City Wins 1st Round in Handgun Ban Challenge.” By Carlos Sadovi and Hal Dardick. Chicago Breaking News Center, December 18, 2008. <articles.chicagobreakingnews.com>


“On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Milton Shadur rejected the gun rights group’s effort to extend the D.C. ruling to Chicago and Oak Park.”


NOTES:

  • See <www.nraila.org> for the original complaint filed against Oak Park by the NRA.
  • Oak Park is a village comprising 50,824 people, according to their demographics page, (<www.oak-park.us>). No date is given for the estimate or census figure. Accessed March 28, 2009.

[300] Ruling: McDonald v Chicago. U.S. Supreme Court, June 28, 2010. Case 08-1521. Decided 5–4. Majority: Alito, Roberts, Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas. Dissenting: Stevens, Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor. <www.law.cornell.edu>

Two years ago, in District of Columbia v. Heller … we held that the Second Amendment* protects the right to keep and bear arms for the purpose of self-defense, and we struck down a District of Columbia law that banned the possession of handguns in the home. The city of Chicago (City) and the village of Oak Park, a Chicago suburb, have laws that are similar to the District of Columbia’s, but Chicago and Oak Park argue that their laws are constitutional because the Second Amendment has no application to the States. … Applying the standard that is well established in our case law, we hold that the Second Amendment right is fully applicable to the States.

NOTE: * Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Ratified December 15, 1791. <justfacts.com>

“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.”

[301] Ruling: Ezell v City of Chicago. U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit, July 6, 2011. Case 10-3525. Decided unanimously. Majority: Kanne and Sykes. Concurring: Rovner. <www.lb7.uscourts.gov>

Pages 1–2 (Majority opinion):

For nearly three decades, the City of Chicago had several ordinances in place “effectively banning handgun possession by almost all private citizens.” McDonald v. City of Chicago, 130 S. Ct. 3020, 3026 (2010). In 2008 the Supreme Court struck down a similar District of Columbia law on an original-meaning interpretation of the Second Amendment.1 District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570, 635-36 (2008). Heller held that the Amendment secures an individual right to keep and bear arms, the core component of which is the right to possess operable firearms—handguns included—for self-defense, most notably in the home. Id. at 592-95, 599, 628-29. Soon after the Court’s decision in Heller, Chicago’s handgun ban was challenged. McDonald, 130 S. Ct. at 3027. The foundational question in that litigation was whether the Second Amendment applies to the States and subsidiary local governments. Id. at 3026. The Supreme Court gave an affirmative answer: The Second Amendment applies to the States through the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Id. at 3050. In the wake of McDonald, the Chicago City Council lifted the City’s laws banning handgun possession and adopted the Responsible Gun Owners Ordinance in their place. The plaintiffs here challenge the City Council’s treatment of firing ranges. The Ordinance mandates one hour of range training as a prerequisite to lawful gun ownership, see CHI. MUN. CODE § 8-20-120, yet at the same time prohibits all firing ranges in the city, see id. § 8-20-080.

Pages 50–51 (Majority opinion):

The plaintiffs have established their entitlement to a preliminary injunction based on their Second Amendment claim.… For the foregoing reasons, we REVERSE the district court’s order denying the plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction and REMAND with instructions to enter a preliminary injunction consistent with this opinion.

[302] Ruling: Ezell v City of Chicago. U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, September 29, 2014. Case 10 C 5135. <cases.justia.com>

Page 2–3:

Rhonda Ezell, Joseph Brown, and William Hespen are Chicago residents who want access to a firing range within the city. … After the Seventh Circuit concluded that the Plaintiffs had a strong likelihood of success on their claim that a blanket ban on firing ranges within the City was unconstitutional, see Ezell v. City of Chicago, 651 F.3d 684 (7th Cir. 2011), the City enacted a comprehensive regulatory scheme encompassing licensing provisions, construction requirements, environmental regulations, and zoning restrictions for firing ranges on July 6, 2011. … While short of a complete ban on ranges, the Plaintiffs challenge the constitutionality of a number of the City’s regulations.

Page 32: “For the foregoing reasons, the Plaintiff’s Motion for Summary Judgment is granted in part and denied in part. Similarly, the City’s Motion for Summary Judgment is granted in part and denied in part.”

NOTE: The plaintiffs challenged several regulations that pertained to firing range zoning restrictions, construction requirements, and business operations. As indicated above, some challenges were resolved in favor of the plaintiffs and some in favor of the City of Chicago.

[303] Article: “Chicago to Get Its First Gun Store.” By Stephen Gutowski. Washington Free Beacon, January 25, 2016. <freebeacon.com>

Despite a number of recent court cases invalidating the city’s strict gun control laws, Chicago still has no gun store or range within the city limits. One man has a plan to change that. …

Christopher O’Connor has developed a plan to build both a gun store and range in the city’s River West section. …

O’Connor said his goal was to give residents a place to exercise their gun rights. “Right now, there’s nowhere to do this in the city,” he said. “There’s a definite need for this. The people of Chicago have a right to exercise their Second Amendment rights.” …

The plan calls for O’Connor to spend $2 million renovating the property he plans to use and sets the end of 2016 as its goal for the shop’s opening.

NOTE: As of February 7, 2020, Just Facts could not find any evidence that a firing range has opened in Chicago.

[304] Ruling: Moore v. Madigan. U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, December 11, 2012. Cases 12-1269, 12-1788. Decided 2–1. Majority: Flaum and Posner. Dissenting: Williams. <sblog.s3.amazonaws.com>

Pages 1–2 (Majority opinion):

An Illinois law forbids a person, with exceptions mainly for police and other security personnel, hunters, and members of target shooting clubs … to carry a gun ready to use (loaded, immediately accessible—that is, easy to reach—and uncased). There are exceptions for a person on his own property (owned or rented), or in his home (but if it’s an apartment, only there and not in the apartment building’s common areas), or in his fixed place of business, or on the property of someone who has permitted him to be there with a ready-to-use gun.

Pages 20–21 (Majority opinion):

The Supreme Court has decided that the amendment confers a right to bear arms for self-defense, which is as important outside the home as inside. The theoretical and empirical evidence (which overall is inconclusive) is consistent with concluding that a right to carry firearms in public may promote self-defense. Illinois had to provide us with more than merely a rational basis for believing that its uniquely sweeping ban is justified by an increase in public safety. It has failed to meet this burden. The Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Second Amendment therefore compels us to reverse the decisions in the two cases before us and remand them to their respective district courts for the entry of declarations of unconstitutionality and permanent injunctions. Nevertheless we order our mandate stayed for 180 days to allow the Illinois legislature to craft a new gun law that will impose reasonable limitations, consistent with the public safety and the Second Amendment as interpreted in this opinion, on the carrying of guns in public.

[305] Article: “General Assembly Overrides Governor’s Veto of Concealed Carry Bill.” By Ray Long, Monique Garcia, and Rick Pearson. Chicago Tribune, July 9, 2013. <www.chicagotribune.com>

Lawmakers made Illinois the last state to allow concealed carry of firearms in two quick votes Tuesday.… The House and Senate voted to override [Governor] Quinn’s amendatory veto of a legislative compromise aimed at satisfying a federal court deadline for legalizing some form of public possession of firearms. Illinois was the last state without some form of legal concealed carry, but the appeals court ruled late last year that the ban was unconstitutional.

[306] Report: “Concealed Carry Statistics.” Illinois State Police, Firearms Services Bureau, January 16, 2015. <www.isp.state.il.us>

Page 1: “Applications Active by County, January 1, 2014–December 31, 2014 … Cook [County =] 23,921”

Page 3: “Applications Active by County, January 1, 2014–December 31, 2014 … Total [=] 91,651”

CALCULATION: 23,921 Cook County permits / 91,651 total permits = 26%

[307] Graph constructed with data from:

a) Dataset: “Uniform Crime Reporting Program, Illinois, 1960–2008.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division. Data supplied to Just Facts on June 15, 2010.

b) Report: “2009 Crime in the United States.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division, September 2010. <www2.fbi.gov>

“Table 5: Crime in the United States, by State.” <www2.fbi.gov>

c) Report: “2010 Crime in the United States.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division, September 2011. <ucr.fbi.gov>

“Table 5: Crime in the United States, by State.” <ucr.fbi.gov>

d) Report: “2011 Crime in the United States.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division, September 2012. <ucr.fbi.gov>

“Table 5: Crime in the United States, by State.” <ucr.fbi.gov>

e) Report: “2012 Crime in the United States.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division, October 2013. <ucr.fbi.gov>

“Table 5: Crime in the United States, by State.” <ucr.fbi.gov>

f) Report: “2013 Crime in the United States.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division, November 2014. <ucr.fbi.gov>

“Table 5: Crime in the United States, by State.” <ucr.fbi.gov>

g) Report: “2014 Crime in the United States.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division, September 2015. <ucr.fbi.gov>

“Table 5: Crime in the United States, by State.” <ucr.fbi.gov>

h) Report: “2015 Crime in the United States.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division, September 2016. <ucr.fbi.gov>

“Table 5: Crime in the United States, by State, 2015.” <ucr.fbi.gov>

i) Report: “2016 Crime in the United States.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division, September 2017. <ucr.fbi.gov>

“Table 3: Crime in the United States, by State, 2016.” <ucr.fbi.gov>

j) Report: “2017 Crime in the United States.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division, September 2018. <ucr.fbi.gov>

“Table 5: Crime in the United States, by State, 2017.” <ucr.fbi.gov>

k) Report: “2018 Crime in the United States.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division, September 2019. <ucr.fbi.gov>

“Table 5: Crime in the United States, by State, 2018.” <ucr.fbi.gov>

NOTES:

  • * Just Facts compared the data in this brief (which is for the years 1965–2008) with comparable data obtained from the Census Bureau and FBI (available upon request). Notwithstanding some minor differences, the data was largely congruent. Just Facts chose to use the data in this brief because it covers more years than the other sources.

[308] Calculated with data from:

a) Dataset: “Uniform Crime Reporting Program, Chicago, 1960–2008.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division. Data supplied to Just Facts on June 15, 2010.

b) Dataset: “Total Homicides and Homicides Where Victim was Shot, City of Chicago, 2000 to 2014.” Chicago Police Department, Research and Development Division. Supplied to Just Facts on August 17, 2016.

c) Amicus Brief: McDonald v Chicago. By Maureen Martin and Nancy Lee Carlson. Heartland Institute. Case 08-1521. <www.americanbar.org>

Page 22 (of PDF): Appendix 1

d) Report: “2009 Chicago Murder Analysis.” Chicago Police Department. <portal.chicagopolice.org>

Page 23: “Table 12: Weapons Used to Commit Murders, 2009”

e) Report: “2010 Chicago Murder Analysis.” Chicago Police Department. <portal.chicagopolice.org>

Page 23: “Table 12: Weapons Used to Commit Murders, 2010”

f) Report: “2011 Chicago Murder Analysis.” Chicago Police Department, January 6, 2012. <home.chicagopolice.org>

Page 23: “Table 12: Weapons Used to Commit Murders, 2011”

NOTE: An Excel file containing the data and calculations is available upon request.

[309] Calculated with data from:

a) Dataset: “Uniform Crime Reporting Program, Chicago, 1960–2008.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division. Data supplied to Just Facts on June 15, 2010.

b) Dataset: “Total Homicides and Homicides Where Victim was Shot, City of Chicago, 2000 to 2014.” Chicago Police Department, Research and Development Division. Supplied to Just Facts on August 17, 2016.

c) Amicus Brief: McDonald v Chicago. By Maureen Martin and Nancy Lee Carlson. Heartland Institute. Case 08-1521. <www.americanbar.org>

Page 22 (of PDF): Appendix 1

d) Report: “2009 Chicago Murder Analysis.” Chicago Police Department. <portal.chicagopolice.org>

Page 23: “Table 12: Weapons Used to Commit Murders, 2009”

e) Report: “2010 Chicago Murder Analysis.” Chicago Police Department. <portal.chicagopolice.org>

Page 23: “Table 12: Weapons Used to Commit Murders, 2010”

f) Report: “2011 Chicago Murder Analysis.” Chicago Police Department, January 6, 2012. <home.chicagopolice.org>

Page 23: “Table 12: Weapons Used to Commit Murders, 2011”

NOTE: An Excel file containing the data and calculations is available upon request.

[310] Calculated with data from:

a) Dataset: “Uniform Crime Reporting Program, Chicago, 1960–2008.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division. Data supplied to Just Facts on June 15, 2010.

b) Dataset: “Total Homicides and Homicides Where Victim was Shot, City of Chicago, 2000 to 2014.” Chicago Police Department, Research and Development Division. Supplied to Just Facts on August 17, 2016.

c) Amicus Brief: McDonald v Chicago. By Maureen Martin and Nancy Lee Carlson. Heartland Institute. Case 08-1521. <www.americanbar.org>

Page 22 (of PDF): Appendix 1

d) Report: “2009 Chicago Murder Analysis.” Chicago Police Department. <portal.chicagopolice.org>

Page 23: “Table 12: Weapons Used to Commit Murders, 2009”

e) Report: “2010 Chicago Murder Analysis.” Chicago Police Department. <portal.chicagopolice.org>

Page 23: “Table 12: Weapons Used to Commit Murders, 2010”

f) Report: “2011 Chicago Murder Analysis.” Chicago Police Department, January 6, 2012. <home.chicagopolice.org>

Page 23: “Table 12: Weapons Used to Commit Murders, 2011”

NOTE: An Excel file containing the data and calculations is available upon request.

[311] Calculated with data from:

a) Dataset: “Uniform Crime Reporting Program, Chicago, 1960–2008.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division. Data supplied to Just Facts on June 15, 2010.

b) Dataset: “Total Homicides and Homicides Where Victim was Shot, City of Chicago, 2000 to 2014.” Chicago Police Department, Research and Development Division. Supplied to Just Facts on August 17, 2016.

c) Amicus Brief: McDonald v Chicago. By Maureen Martin and Nancy Lee Carlson. Heartland Institute. Case 08-1521. <www.americanbar.org>

Page 22 (of PDF): Appendix 1

d) Report: “2009 Chicago Murder Analysis.” Chicago Police Department. <portal.chicagopolice.org>

Page 23: “Table 12: Weapons Used to Commit Murders, 2009”

e) Report: “2010 Chicago Murder Analysis.” Chicago Police Department. <portal.chicagopolice.org>

Page 23: “Table 12: Weapons Used to Commit Murders, 2010”

f) Report: “2011 Chicago Murder Analysis.” Chicago Police Department, January 6, 2012. <home.chicagopolice.org>

Page 23: “Table 12: Weapons Used to Commit Murders, 2011”

NOTE: An Excel file containing the data and calculations is available upon request.

[312] Correspondence to Just Facts from the Chicago Police Department, Research and Analysis Section, August 10, 2016.

“It was an internal policy decision to discontinue those reports. The annual report will be re-introduced in spring 2017 and is expected to contain the information presented in the murder analysis reports.”

[313] Webpage: “Identify Prohibited Persons.” Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. Accessed January 24, 2020 at <www.atf.gov>

The Gun Control Act (GCA), codified at 18 U.S.C. § 922(g), makes it unlawful for certain categories of persons to ship, transport, receive, or possess firearms or ammunition, to include any person:

  • convicted in any court of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year;
  • who is a fugitive from justice;
  • who is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act, codified at 21 U.S.C. § 802);
  • who has been adjudicated as a mental defective or has been committed to any mental institution;
  • who is an illegal alien;
  • who has been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions;
  • who has renounced his or her United States citizenship;
  • who is subject to a court order restraining the person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner or child of the intimate partner;
  • or who has been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.

The GCA at 18 U.S.C. § 992(n) also makes it unlawful for any person under indictment for a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year to ship, transport, or receive firearms or ammunition.

Further, the GCA at 18 U.S.C. § 922(d) makes it unlawful to sell or otherwise dispose of firearms or ammunition to any person who is prohibited from shipping, transporting, receiving, or possessing firearms or ammunition.

[314] United States Code Title 18, Part I, Chapter 44, Section 922: “Firearms, Unlawful Acts.” Accessed January 24, 2020 at <www.law.cornell.edu>

(g) It shall be unlawful for any person—

(1) who has been convicted in any court of, a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year;†

(2) who is a fugitive from justice;

(3) who is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance…

(4) who has been adjudicated as a mental defective or who has been committed to a mental institution;

(5) who, being an alien—

(A) is illegally or unlawfully in the United States…

(6) who has been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions;

(7) who, having been a citizen of the United States, has renounced his citizenship;

(8) who is subject to a court order that…

(B) restrains such person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner of such person or child of such intimate partner or person, or engaging in other conduct that would place an intimate partner in reasonable fear of bodily injury to the partner or child…

(9) who has been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence, to ship or transport in interstate or foreign commerce, or possess in or affecting commerce, any firearm or ammunition; or to receive any firearm or ammunition which has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce.

NOTE: † In this law, the words, “crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year,” do not mean what they plainly state. See the next footnote for a full clarification. The implications of this are addressed a little later in this research.

[315] United States Code Title 18, Part I, Chapter 44, Section 921: “Definitions.” Accessed January 24, 2020 at <www.law.cornell.edu>

(a) (20) The term “crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year” does not include—

(A) any Federal or State offenses pertaining to antitrust violations, unfair trade practices, restraints of trade, or other similar offenses relating to the regulation of business practices, or

(B) any State offense classified by the laws of the State as a misdemeanor and punishable by a term of imprisonment of two years or less.

What constitutes a conviction of such a crime shall be determined in accordance with the law of the jurisdiction in which the proceedings were held. Any conviction which has been expunged, or set aside or for which a person has been pardoned or has had civil rights restored shall not be considered a conviction for purposes of this chapter, unless such pardon, expungement, or restoration of civil rights expressly provides that the person may not ship, transport, possess, or receive firearms.

[316] United States Code Title 18, Part I, Chapter 44, Section 924: “Firearms, Penalties.” Accessed January 24, 2020 at <www.law.cornell.edu>

“(a)(2) Whoever knowingly violates subsection (a)(6), (d), (g), (h), (i), (j), or (o) of section 922 shall be fined as provided in this title, imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both.”

[317] United States Code Title 18, Part I, Chapter 44, Section 922: “Firearms, Unlawful Acts.” Current as of February 1, 2010. Accessed January 24, 2020 at <www.law.cornell.edu>

(d) It shall be unlawful for any person to sell or otherwise dispose of any firearm or ammunition to any person knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that such person—

(1) is under indictment for, or has been convicted in any court of, a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year;

(2) is a fugitive from justice;

(3) is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance…

(4) has been adjudicated as a mental defective or has been committed to any mental institution;

(5) who, being an alien—

(A) is illegally or unlawfully in the United States…

(6) who … has been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions;

(7) who, having been a citizen of the United States, has renounced his citizenship;

(8) is subject to a court order that restrains such person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner of such person or child of such intimate partner or person, or engaging in other conduct that would place an intimate partner in reasonable fear of bodily injury to the partner or child…

(9) has been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence. …

[318] United States Code Title 18, Part I, Chapter 44, Section 924: “Firearms, Penalties.” Accessed January 24, 2020 at <www.law.cornell.edu>

“(a)(2) Whoever knowingly violates subsection (a)(6), (d), (g), (h), (i), (j), or (o) of section 922 shall be fined as provided in this title, imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both.”

[319] United States Code Title 18, Part I, Chapter 44, Section 922: “Firearms, Unlawful Acts.” Current as of February 1, 2010. Accessed January 24, 2020 at <www.law.cornell.edu>

(a) It shall be unlawful—

(1) for any person—

(A) except a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, or licensed dealer, to engage in the business of importing, manufacturing, or dealing in firearms, or in the course of such business to ship, transport, or receive any firearm in interstate or foreign commerce…

[320] United States Code Title 18, Part I, Chapter 44, Section 921: “Definitions.” Accessed January 24, 2020 at <www.law.cornell.edu>

(a) As used in this chapter …

(21) The term “engaged in the business” means—

(A) as applied to a manufacturer of firearms, a person who devotes time, attention, and labor to manufacturing firearms as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit through the sale or distribution of the firearms manufactured;

(B) as applied to a manufacturer of ammunition, a person who devotes time, attention, and labor to manufacturing ammunition as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit through the sale or distribution of the ammunition manufactured;

(C) as applied to a dealer in firearms, as defined in section 921 (a)(11)(A), a person who devotes time, attention, and labor to dealing in firearms as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit through the repetitive purchase and resale of firearms, but such term shall not include a person who makes occasional sales, exchanges, or purchases of firearms for the enhancement of a personal collection or for a hobby, or who sells all or part of his personal collection of firearms;

(D) as applied to a dealer in firearms, as defined in section 921 (a)(11)(B), a person who devotes time, attention, and labor to engaging in such activity as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit, but such term shall not include a person who makes occasional repairs of firearms, or who occasionally fits special barrels, stocks, or trigger mechanisms to firearms;

(E) as applied to an importer of firearms, a person who devotes time, attention, and labor to importing firearms as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit through the sale or distribution of the firearms imported; and

(F) as applied to an importer of ammunition, a person who devotes time, attention, and labor to importing ammunition as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit through the sale or distribution of the ammunition imported.

(22) The term “with the principal objective of livelihood and profit” means that the intent underlying the sale or disposition of firearms is predominantly one of obtaining livelihood and pecuniary gain, as opposed to other intents, such as improving or liquidating a personal firearms collection: Provided, That proof of profit shall not be required as to a person who engages in the regular and repetitive purchase and disposition of firearms for criminal purposes or terrorism. …

[321] United States Code Title 18, Part I, Chapter 44, Section 924: “Firearms, Penalties.” Accessed January 24, 2020 at <www.law.cornell.edu>

“(n) A person who, with the intent to engage in conduct that constitutes a violation of section 922 (a)(1)(A), travels from any State or foreign country into any other State and acquires, or attempts to acquire, a firearm in such other State in furtherance of such purpose shall be imprisoned for not more than 10 years.”

[322] United States Code Title 18, Part I, Chapter 44, Section 922: “Firearms, Unlawful Acts.” Accessed January 24, 2020 at <www.law.cornell.edu>

(t)(1) Beginning on the date that is 30 days after the Attorney General notifies licensees under section 103(d) of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act that the national instant criminal background check system is established [November 30, 1998*], a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, or licensed dealer shall not transfer a firearm to any other person who is not licensed under this chapter, unless—

(A) before the completion of the transfer, the licensee contacts the national instant criminal background check system established under section 103 of that Act…

NOTE: * Report: “Review of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ Enforcement of Brady Act Violations Identified Through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.” U.S. Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General, July 2004. <www.justice.gov>

The Brady Act of 1993 created a 3-day waiting period before a purchaser can take possession of a firearm, and it established a background check system—the NICS [National Instant Criminal Background Check System]—that firearms dealers were required to contact before the transfer of any firearm to ensure that a person receiving a firearm was not prohibited under the GCA [1968 Gun Control Act] from possessing firearms. The FBI implemented the NICS on November 30, 1998.

[323] Webpage: “National Instant Criminal Background Check System Fact Sheet.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division. Accessed January 24, 2020 at <www2.fbi.gov>

Mandated by the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act (Brady Act) of 1993 … the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) was established for Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs) to contact by telephone, or other electronic means, for information to be supplied immediately on whether the transfer of a firearm would be in violation of Section 922 (g) or (n) of Title 18, United States Code, or state law. …

The NICS is a national system that checks available records on persons who may be disqualified from receiving firearms. The FBI developed the system through a cooperative effort with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and local and state law enforcement agencies. The NICS is a computerized background check system designed to respond within 30 seconds on most background check inquiries so the FFLs receive an almost immediate response. Depending on the willingness of state governments to act as a liaison for the NICS, the FFLs contact either the FBI or a designated state Point of Contact (POC) to initiate background checks on individuals purchasing or redeeming firearms. The background check process, as performed by the FBI and by state POCs, is described below.

[324] United States Code Title 18, Part I, Chapter 44, Section 922: “Firearms, Unlawful Acts.” Current as of February 1, 2010. Accessed January 24, 2020 at <www.law.cornell.edu>

(a) It shall be unlawful…

(3) for any person, other than a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector to transport into or receive in the State where he resides … any firearm purchased or otherwise obtained by such person outside that State, except that this paragraph

(A) shall not preclude any person who lawfully acquires a firearm by bequest or intestate succession in a State other than his State of residence from transporting the firearm into or receiving it in that State, if it is lawful for such person to purchase or possess such firearm in that State…

(5) for any person (other than a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector) to transfer, sell, trade, give, transport, or deliver any firearm to any person (other than a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector) who the transferor knows or has reasonable cause to believe does not reside in … the State in which the transferor resides; except that this paragraph shall not apply to

(A) the transfer, transportation, or delivery of a firearm made to carry out a bequest of a firearm to, or an acquisition by intestate succession of a firearm by, a person who is permitted to acquire or possess a firearm under the laws of the State of his residence…

[325] United States Code Title 18, Part I, Chapter 44, Section 922: “Firearms, Unlawful Acts.” Accessed January 22, 2020 at <www.law.cornell.edu>

(d) It shall be unlawful for any person to sell or otherwise dispose of any firearm or ammunition to any person knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that such person—

(1) is under indictment for, or has been convicted in any court of, a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year;

(2) is a fugitive from justice;

(3) is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance…

(4) has been adjudicated as a mental defective or has been committed to any mental institution;

(5) who, being an alien—

(A) is illegally or unlawfully in the United States…

(6) who … has been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions;

(7) who, having been a citizen of the United States, has renounced his citizenship;

(8) is subject to a court order that restrains such person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner of such person or child of such intimate partner or person, or engaging in other conduct that would place an intimate partner in reasonable fear of bodily injury to the partner or child…

(9) has been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence. …

[326] United States Code Title 18, Part I, Chapter 44, Section 924: “Firearms, Penalties.” Accessed January 22, 2020 at <www.law.cornell.edu>

“(a)(2) Whoever knowingly violates subsection (a)(6), (d), (g), (h), (i), (j), or (o) of section 922 shall be fined as provided in this title, imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both.”

[327] Report: “First Reports Evaluating the Effectiveness of Strategies for Preventing Violence: Firearms Laws.” By Robert A. Hahn and others. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, October 3, 2003. <www.cdc.gov>

The Brady Law … established national restrictions on acquisition of firearms and ammunition from federal firearms licensees. The interim Brady Law (1994–1998) mandated a 5-day waiting period to allow background checks. The permanent Brady Law, enacted in 1998, eliminated the required waiting period. It normally allows 3 days for a background check, after which, if no evidence of a prohibited characteristic is found, the purchase may proceed…. Certain states have established additional restrictions, and some require background checks of all firearms transactions, not only those conducted by federal firearms licensees.

[328] Webpage: “California Gun Laws.” National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action, November 7, 2014. Accessed January 22, 2020 at <www.nraila.org>

“All firearms sales, transfers, including private transactions and sales at gun shows, must go through a California licensed firearms dealer.”

NOTE: As explained above, federal law requires all dealers to conduct a background check to sell or transfer any firearm. Thus, this California law effectively requires background checks for all firearms transactions.

[329] Report: “State Laws and Published Ordinances—Firearms (31st Edition 2010–2011).” U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, January 2011. <www.atf.gov>

Page 33: “[CA Penal Code Section 12072] (d) Where neither party to the transaction holds a dealer’s license issued pursuant to Section 12071, the parties to the transaction shall complete the sale, loan, or transfer of that firearm through a licensed firearms dealer….” <www.gallup.com>

[330] Report: “Firearm Violence, 1993–2011.” By Michael Planty and Jennifer Truman. U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, May 2013. <www.bjs.gov>

Page 13:

In 2004, among state prison inmates who possessed a gun at the time of offense, fewer than 2% bought their firearm at a flea market or gun show, about 10% purchased it from a retail store or pawnshop, 37% obtained it from family or friends, and another 40% obtained it from an illegal source (table 14). …

Table 14. Source of firearms possessed by state prison inmates at time of offense, 1997 and 2004 … 2004 … Source of firearm … Retail store [=] 7.3 % … Pawnshop [=] 2.6% … Flea market [=].6% … Gun show [=] 0.8% … Family or friend [=] 37.4% … Street/illegal source [=] 40.0% …

Note: Includes only inmates with a current conviction. Estimates may differ from previously published BJS reports. … Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics, Survey of Inmates in State and Federal Correctional Facilities, 1997 and 2004.

Page 17: “Surveys of Inmates in State and Federal Correctional Facilities (SISCF and SIFCF) … have provided nationally representative data on state prison inmates and sentenced federal inmates held in federally owned and operated facilities. … In 2004, 14,499 state prisoners in 287 state prisons and 3,686 federal prisoners in 39 federal prisons were interviewed.”

[331] Paper: “Gaps Continue in Firearm Surveillance: Evidence from a Large U.S. City Bureau of Police.” By Anthony Fabio and others. Social Medicine, July 2016. <www.socialmedicine.info>

Page 13:

The objectives of this study are to describe how guns come into police possession, identify the primary source of these guns, determine how guns leave possession of lawful owners, and determine disposition of guns and perpetrators. In order to meet the objectives, we analyzed data on 762 cases in which a gun was recovered by the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police Firearm Tracking Unit (FTU). Descriptive analyses were conducted.

Page 15: “We collected data on 762 cases for 2008. … It is assumed that this included all cases for that year.”

Page 17:

Of the 762 cases, 553 (73 percent) involved a total of 607 perpetrators. Most (n = 478, 78.7%) were carrying or linked to a firearm that did not belong to them. Eighty-six (14.2%) were owners that committed an offense while legally carrying their firearm, 10 (1.6%) were owners illegally carrying their firearm but committing no other offense, and 12 (2.0%) were owners that committed an offense while illegally carrying their firearm (Figure 2).

CALCULATION: 14.2% owned gun and legally carried during crime + 1.6% owned gun and committed sole crime of illegally carrying + 2.0% owned gun, illegally carried and committed other crime = 17.8% of criminals legally owned the gun

[332] Report: “National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) 2018 Operations Report.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division, 2019. <www.fbi.gov>

Page ii:

The National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) Section of the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division has processed firearm background checks since its inception—November 30, 1998. … From November 30, 1998, to December 31, 2018, the NICS processed a total of 304,634,316 transactions.… Since its inception, the NICS Section has denied a total of 1,596,966 transactions.

CALCULATION: 1,596,966 denied transactions / 304,634,316 transactions processed = 0.5% denial rate

[333] Calculated with data from the report: “National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) 2018 Operations Report.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division, 2019. <www.fbi.gov>

Page 17: “Federal Denials, Reasons Why the NICS Section Denies, November 30, 1998–December 31, 2018”

NOTE: An Excel file containing the data and calculations is available upon request.

[334] Report: “Law Enforcement: Few Individuals Denied Firearms Purchases Are Prosecuted and ATF Should Assess Use of Warning Notices in Lieu of Prosecutions.” United States Government Accountability Office, September 2018. <www.gao.gov>

Page 2 (of PDF):

Table: Federal National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) Firearms Denial Cases Investigated and Prosecuted, Fiscal Year 2017 … Federal NICS Transactions [=] 8,606,286 … Denials … 112,090 … United States Attorney’s Offices Prosecutions [=] 12.

ATF field divisions investigate denial cases based on USAO criteria and generally only refer cases to USAOs for prosecution when aggravating circumstances exist, such as violent felonies or multiple serious offenses over a short period of time. Officials from two of three selected states refer all denial cases for investigation, while one state uses risk-based criteria for selecting cases that include conditions such as felony convictions and misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence. Prosecutors from these three states said they generally pursue cases that involve indications of violence, though individual prosecutors had differing priorities based on public safety concerns.

Page 34: “Of the 12 examples from our six selected field divisions provided, 9 involved delayed denials and 3 involved standard denials. Eleven of the 12 cases have been completed as of May 2018. Of the 9 cases charged in federal court, 1 case was declined by prosecutors, and the other 8 resulted in guilty pleas.”

CALCULATION: 8 guilty pleas / 112,090 total denials = 0.007%

[335] Report: “Enforcement of the Brady Act, 2010: Federal and State Investigations and Prosecutions of Firearm Applicants Denied by a NICS Check in 2010.” By Ronald J. Frandsen. National Criminal Justice Reference Service, August 2012. <www.ncjrs.gov>

Page 9:

The DENI Branch’s referrals to ATF field divisions [for investigations] decreased nearly 50%, from 9,432 for 2006 to 4,732 for 2010. Unlawful possession investigations decreased by 26% from 2006 to 2010 and investigations that resulted in a firearm retrieval decreased by over 21%. The number of charges referred by field offices for prosecution fell by over 77%, from 273 for the 2006 cases to 62 for the 2010 cases. The number of charges that resulted in guilty pleas and verdicts fell by about 82%, from 73 for the 2006 cases to 13 for the 2010 cases.

[336] Report: “Enforcement of the Brady Act, 2010: Federal and State Investigations and Prosecutions of Firearm Applicants Denied by a NICS Check in 2010.” By Ronald J. Frandsen. National Criminal Justice Reference Service, August 2012. <www.ncjrs.gov>

Page 7: “When an investigation is complete, the field office and the U.S. Attorney decide whether the case merits prosecution. A case that is not deemed appropriate for federal prosecution may be referred to a state prosecutor.”

Pages 9–10:

The Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) Firearms Division is a NICS point of contact and conducts background checks on prospective firearm purchasers. PSP denials that involve federal prohibitions are referred to ATF. Cases with potential state law violations may be referred to PSP troops or local law enforcement. PSP denied 10,596 firearm transfers in 2010, an increase of almost 11% from the 9,535 denials issued in 2006. Denials referred for investigation increased about 55%, from 285 in 2006 to 441 in 2010. Apprehensions of wanted persons decreased from 119 in 2006 to 114 in 2010 (about 4%) and reported arrests increased from 194 in 2006 to 205 in 2010 (about 6%). Convictions of denied persons decreased by over 25%, from 173 in 2006 to 129 in 2010.

[337] Report: “Enforcement of the Brady Act, 2010: Federal and State Investigations and Prosecutions of Firearm Applicants Denied by a NICS Check in 2010.” By Ronald J. Frandsen. National Criminal Justice Reference Service, August 2012. <www.ncjrs.gov>

Pages 3–4:

A licensee initiates a NICS check by contacting either the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or a point of contact (POC) agency designated by state government. The FBI and the POC agencies always check three major federal databases, the National Crime Information Center (NCIC), the Interstate Identification Index (III), and the NICS Index. If the transferee is not a citizen of the United States, the NICS will query Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) records. A POC may check additional state records. A check may include contacting an agency that maintains a record that the FBI or POC cannot access directly.

After a search of available federal and state records, the checking agency responds with a notice to the licensee that the transfer may proceed, may not proceed, or is delayed pending further review of the applicant’s record. If further review of a record indicates that the transfer would not violate federal or state law, the checking agency notifies the licensee that the transfer may proceed. If the licensee does not receive a response within three business days, the transfer may proceed at the licensee’s discretion.

[338] Article: “Background Check Flaw Let Dylann Roof Buy Gun, F.B.I. Says.” By Michael S. Schmidt. New York Times, July 10, 2015. <www.nytimes.com>

The man accused of killing nine people in a historically black church in South Carolina last month was able to buy the gun used in the attack because of a breakdown in the federal gun background check system, the F.B.I. said Friday.

Despite having previously admitted to drug possession, the man, Dylann Roof, 21, was allowed to buy the .45-caliber handgun because of mistakes by F.B.I. agents, a failure by local prosecutors to respond to a bureau request for more information about his case, and a weakness in federal gun laws.

[339] Statement by FBI Director James Comey Regarding Dylann Roof, July 10, 2015. <www.fbi.gov>

On April 11, Roof attempted to purchase a handgun from a store in West Columbia, South Carolina, a near suburb of Columbia. That day was a Saturday. On the next business day, April 13, an examiner in our West Virginia facility was assigned the case and began to process it.

Her initial check of Roof’s criminal history showed that he had been arrested in South Carolina March 1 on a felony drug charge. This charge alone is not enough to deny proceeding with the transaction. As a result, this charge required further inquiry of two potential reasons to deny the transaction. First, the person could have been convicted of a felony since the arrest. Second, the underlying facts of the arrest could show the person to be an unlawful drug user or addict. …

The Columbia police arrested Dylann Roof on drug charges…. Importantly, as part of that arrest, the report by the Columbia police reflected that Roof admitted he was in possession of drugs. If a NICS examiner saw that, Roof would be denied permission to buy a gun. But the examiner never saw that. …

By Thursday, April 16, the case was still listed as “status pending,” so the gun dealer exercised its lawful discretion and transferred the gun to Dylann Roof. …

… But the bottom line is clear: Dylann Roof should not have been able to legally buy that gun that day.

[340] Report: “National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) Operations 2010.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division, 2011. <www.fbi.gov>

Page 15:

Because of the NICS Section’s commitment to public safety and national security, the search for the needed disposition information continues beyond the three business days allowed by the Brady Act. In some instances, the information is subsequently obtained and a final status determined; however, if the final status (determined after the lapse of three business days) results in a deny decision and the NICS Section is advised by the FFL that the firearm was transferred, then the ATF is notified a prohibited person is in possession of a firearm. In 2010, the NICS Section referred 2,955 firearm retrieval actions to the ATF.

[341] Report: “Enforcement of the Brady Act, 2010: Federal and State Investigations and Prosecutions of Firearm Applicants Denied by a NICS Check in 2010.” By Ronald J. Frandsen. National Criminal Justice Reference Service, August 2012. <www.ncjrs.gov>

Page 6: “Table 2. NICS denials by FBI referred to ATF field divisions in 2010 … referrals to ATF field divisions … Delayed denials [=] 2,265 …”

Page 12:

Table C. 2010 NICS denial cases involving unlawful firearm possession … Outcome of ATF investigation … Delayed [denial =] 1,858 … Retrieval of a firearm … Delayed [cases =] 1,157 … Subject not prohibited [=] 498 … Unable to locate subject [=] 128 … Firearm not transferred [=] 43 … Given to local law enforcement [=] 20 … Referred to other agency [=] 12 …

NOTE: The FBI refers delayed denials to a branch of the ATF that screens the referrals before referring them to ATF field offices for investigations. According to this report, in 2010, ATF field offices received 2,265 delayed denials for further investigation, but only investigated 1,858 cases. (According to the previous footnote, the FBI referred 2,955 delayed denials to the ATF. There is no apparent explanation for the discrepancy.) As the ATF only investigated 1,858 cases, it is also unclear what occurred in the remaining cases that were not investigated. Some of these may have been duplicate cases or cases that were opened in another year.

[342] Report: “Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives—Enhancing Data Collection Could Improve Management of Investigations.” Government Accountability Office, June 2014. <www.gao.gov>

ATF does not have readily available data to track and monitor the timeliness and outcomes of delayed denial investigations. Delayed denial investigations are investigations of individuals who improperly purchased firearms when background checks did not initially determine that the individuals were ineligible to purchase a firearm. N-Force, ATF’s investigations database, does not have information readily available to systematically track the timeliness and outcomes—such as if a firearm is retrieved—of delayed denial investigations. ATF considers these investigations a top priority and is committed to responding to them quickly to protect public safety and prevent violent crime. A mechanism to (1) readily obtain data on the timeliness of such investigations and (2) allow managers to easily query and analyze trends on the outcomes of such investigations could help ensure that ATF is retrieving firearms from prohibited persons to maximize public safety.

[343] “Statement of Timothy J. Heary, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Virginia before the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate.” Presented on February 12, 2013. <www.justice.gov>

Page 6:

There has been much public discussion lately about the Department’s prosecution philosophy with regard to individuals who improperly attempt to purchase a firearm by lying to an FFL. We do prosecute these cases. For example, the United States Attorney’s Office in Maine recently prosecuted a defendant who falsely completed an application form in the attempted acquisition of a Colt, Model 1911A1, .45 Caliber pistol. The defendant did not reveal that he was subject to a domestic violence protection order obtained by his abused, live-in girlfriend. He was denied the firearm and subsequently prosecuted for violating 18 U.S.C. §922(a)(6), which prohibits making false representations in connection with the acquisition of a firearm. He was convicted at trial and sentenced to six months’ imprisonment. The victim’s family expressed deep appreciation for the officers and prosecutors who helped avert a potentially lethal domestic incident. Despite the nominal sentence, this case provides an example of the type of “lie and try” case that it makes sense for the Department to prosecute, given the defendant’s history of violence, the existence of a domestic violence protection order, and the fact that the woman he had abused continued to reside in the home they had previously shared together.

For the most part, however, the Department prioritizes prosecuting prohibited persons who actually obtain guns—people who have gotten around the background check system and acquired weapons illegally—rather than those who attempted to purchase a firearm through the background check system but were unsuccessful.

[344] Executive Summary: “Review of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ Enforcement of Brady Act Violations Identified Through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.” U.S. Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General, July 2004. <www.justice.gov>

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) reviewed the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) enforcement of violations of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993 (Brady Act) (Public Law 103–159) that are identified through the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). Specifically, we reviewed the extent to which the ATF investigated violations of the Brady Act referred by the FBI, whether the ATF retrieved firearms issued to prohibited persons in a timely manner, and the extent to which Brady Act violations were referred to and prosecuted by the U.S. Attorneys’ offices (USAO). …

The FBI refers to the ATF the names of all prohibited persons who attempted to or succeeded in obtaining a firearm from an FFL [Federal Firearms Licensee].

[345] Report: “Review of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ Enforcement of Brady Act Violations Identified Through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.” U.S. Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General, July 2004. <www.justice.gov>

Despite the large number of Brady Act violations identified by the FBI, these violations rarely have been prosecuted. Historically, the USAOs [U.S. Attorneys’ offices] have been unsuccessful in achieving convictions in many of these types of cases. Consequently, they have been unwilling to prosecute most NICS [National Instant Criminal Background Check System] cases. …

NICS Subjects Are Not Considered Dangerous

The special agents we spoke with generally commented that they do not consider the vast majority of NICS referral subjects a danger to the public because the prohibiting factors are often minor or based on incidents that occurred many years in the past. For example, one group supervisor cited a retrieval case in which the person was prohibited from owning a firearm because of a felony conviction for stealing four hubcaps from a car. In another example, a Brady Operations Branch specialist cited a case where the person was prohibited due to a 1941 felony conviction for stealing a pig. We also were told that “bad guys” generally do not purchase their firearms through legitimate dealers; instead, they have someone with a clean record purchase the firearm for them (known as a “straw purchase”) through an FFL, buy a firearm on the black market, or purchase the firearm at a flea market or gun show from a non-FFL.

… One of the Brady Operations Branch specialists told us that he once received a denial for a 1941 felony conviction for stealing a pig. A special agent at one of the field offices cited a 1969 felony for stealing four hubcaps from a car.

[346] Executive Summary: “Review of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ Enforcement of Brady Act Violations Identified Through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.” U.S. Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General, July 2004. <www.justice.gov>

Some Denied Persons Are Subsequently Determined by the ATF Not to Be Prohibited

After performing additional research, the ATF frequently determines that the denied individual is not prohibited from possessing a firearm. Generally this occurs because the FBI could not readily determine the individual’s prohibited status due to inaccurate and incomplete automated state records.

We found that 69 of the 197 (35 percent) delayed denials and 16 of the 200 (8 percent) standard denials in our sample were applicants who should not have been prohibited from purchasing a firearm.34 Special agents in each of the four divisions we visited stated that this was a common occurrence. Although the investigative files did not specify why the subjects in our sample were found not to be prohibited, our discussions with ATF personnel identified several reasons why this generally occurs: (1) the subject’s firearm rights had been restored under state law, (2) the subject’s prohibition for a misdemeanor crime of violence did not meet the federal criteria, or (3) a protective order had expired or was about to expire. These circumstances are discussed in detail in the following sections.

[347] Report: “Enforcement of the Brady Act, 2010: Federal and State Investigations and Prosecutions of Firearm Applicants Denied by a NICS Check in 2010.” By Ronald J. Frandsen. National Criminal Justice Reference Service, August 2012. <www.ncjrs.gov>

Page 11: “Table A. Background checks on firearm applicants processed by the FBI in 2010 … Denials [=] 72,659 … Appeal rate [=] 22.7% … Reversal rate [=] 21.1%”

[348] Report: “Gun Control: National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) Operations and Related Legislation.” Congressional Research Service, October 17, 2019. <crsreports.congress.gov>

Page 40:

Following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the U.S. government reevaluated its terrorist screening procedures. In February 2004, the DOJ and FBI modified the NICS background check procedures and recalibrated NICS to query an additional file in the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) that included terrorist watchlist records. Prior to that, the FBI did not conduct terrorist watchlist queries as part of firearms background checks because being a known or suspected terrorist was not a disqualifying factor for firearms transfer and possession eligibility; nor is it today under current law.

[349] Article: “Senate Votes Down Proposal to Bar Gun Sales to Terrorism Suspects.” By Lisa Mascaro and Jill Ornitz. Los Angeles Times, June 20, 2016. <www.latimes.com>

“The Republican-led Senate on Monday voted down proposals to bar gun sales to terrorism suspects.…”

[350] Letter: “Update on Firearm and Explosive Background Checks Involving Terrorist Watchlist Records.” From Government Accountability Office to The Honorable Dianne Feinstein, U.S. Senate, March 6, 2015. <drive.google.com>

Page 2:

Overall, since NICS [the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System] started checking against terrorist watchlist records in February 2004, FBI data show that individuals on the terrorist watchlist were involved in firearm or explosives background checks 2,233 times, of which 2,043 (about 91 percent) of the transactions were allowed to proceed and 190 were denied.7

Table 1: Number of National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) Transactions Involving Individuals on the Terrorist Watchlist, February 2004 through December 2014 … Total [=] 2,233b

The total number of NICS transactions involving individuals on the terrorist watchlist ... does not include complete statistics for calendar years 2011 and 2012. …

7 Of the 2,233 transactions, 2,230 involved firearm-related background checks and 3 involved explosives checks. All 3 explosives checks were allowed to proceed. …

[351] United States Code Title 18, Part I, Chapter 44, Section 921: “Firearms, Definitions.” Accessed January 2, 2020 at <www.law.cornell.edu>

(a)(20) The term “crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year” does not include—

(A) any Federal or State offenses pertaining to antitrust violations, unfair trade practices, restraints of trade, or other similar offenses relating to the regulation of business practices, or

(B) any State offense classified by the laws of the State as a misdemeanor and punishable by a term of imprisonment of two years or less.

What constitutes a conviction of such a crime shall be determined in accordance with the law of the jurisdiction in which the proceedings were held. Any conviction which has been expunged, or set aside or for which a person has been pardoned or has had civil rights restored shall not be considered a conviction for purposes of this chapter, unless such pardon, expungement, or restoration of civil rights expressly provides that the person may not ship, transport, possess, or receive firearms.

NOTE: The term “crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year” is used in the section of this code governing who can legally purchase and possess firearms (see here).

[352] Report: “Firearms Purchased From Federal Firearm Licensees Using Bogus Identification.” Government Accountability Office, March 19, 2001.

Page 3: “Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) regulations implementing the Brady Act provide that before an FFL [Federal Firearms Licensee] may sell or deliver a firearm, the prospective purchaser must provide photo-identification issued by a government entity.”

[353] Summary: “Firearms Purchased from Federal Firearms Licensees Using Bogus Identification.” In “Counterfeit Identification and Identification Fraud Raise Security Concerns.” Government Accountability Office, September 9, 2003. <www.gao.gov>

Page 8:

From October 2000 through February 2001, we used counterfeit driver’s licenses with fictitious identifiers to purchase firearms from federal firearm licensees in five states—Virginia, West Virginia, Montana, New Mexico, and Arizona. The weapons purchased included (1) a 9mm stainless semiautomatic pistol, (2) a .380 semiautomatic pistol, (3) a 7.62mm Russian-manufactured rifle, (4) a .22 caliber semiautomatic rifle, (5) a 9mm semiautomatic pistol, and (6) a .25 caliber semiautomatic pistol.

The five states in which we purchased firearms conformed to the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 19937 by requiring instant background checks. For the most part, the federal firearm licensees we contacted adhered to then-existing federal and state laws regarding such purchases, including the instant background checks. Because we used counterfeit driver’s licenses and fictitious identities there was no negative information in the system about the names we created.

[354] Article: “Undercover Federal Probe Finds Defects in Gun Background Checks.” Associated Press, March 22, 2001. <articles.latimes.com>

The background check system can determine if a potential gun buyer has a criminal history, but there is no safeguard to verify whether the name or identification being used by the buyer is valid, the General Accounting Office investigation found. …

Officials at the GAO used off-the-shelf software and laminators to create counterfeit driver’s licenses, inventing fictitious names, Social Security numbers and dates of birth. …

The agents told committee members at a hearing that they were sold guns every time they tried.

[355] Report: “Firearms Purchased From Federal Firearm Licensees Using Bogus Identification.” Government Accountability Office, March 19, 2001. <www.gpo.gov>

Page 1: “The five states that we selected to purchase firearms in … conformed to the Brady Act’s minimum requirements, relying on an instant background check.”

Page 2: “Consistent with the Brady Act … we found that the instant background check does not positively identify purchasers of firearms. Rather, it is a negative check that cannot ensure that the prospective purchaser is not a felon or other prohibited person. …”

[356] Executive Summary: “The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ Investigative Operations at Gun Shows.” U.S. Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General, June 2007. <www.justice.gov>

Introduction: “A gun show is an exhibition or gathering where guns, gun parts, ammunition, gun accessories, and literature are displayed, bought, sold, traded, and discussed.”

[357] Executive Summary: “The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ Investigative Operations at Gun Shows.” U.S. Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General, June 2007. <www.justice.gov>

“We found no definitive source for the number of gun shows held annually. … Available estimates of the number of gun shows in the United States ranged from 2,000 to 5,200 annually.”

[358] Executive Summary: “The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ Investigative Operations at Gun Shows.” U.S. Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General, June 2007. <www.justice.gov>

These shows provide a venue for the sale and exchange of firearms by federal firearms licensees (FFL) who are licensed by the federal government through ATF to manufacture, import, or deal in firearms. Such shows also are a venue for private sellers who buy and sell firearms for their personal collections or as a hobby. In these situations, the sellers are not required to have a federal firearms license. Although federal firearms laws apply to both FFLs and private sellers at gun shows, private sellers, unlike FFLs, are under no legal obligation to ask purchasers whether they are legally eligible to buy guns or to verify purchasers’ legal status through background checks.

[359] Executive Summary: “The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ Investigative Operations at Gun Shows.” U.S. Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General, June 2007. <www.justice.gov>

We found that ATF does not have a formal gun show enforcement program, but conducts investigative operations at gun shows when it has law enforcement intelligence that illegal firearms activity has occurred or is likely to occur at specific gun shows. …

ATF conducted investigative operations at gun shows based on law enforcement intelligence. …

From fiscal year (FY) 2004 through FY 2006, ATF opened approximately 6,233 firearms trafficking investigations. During this 3-year period, ATF Special Agents conducted 202 operations at 195 gun shows…. ATF’s operations at these gun shows led to 121 arrests, resulting in 83 convictions. (Some cases are still pending, so their final dispositions are unknown.) Additionally, ATF seized 5,345 firearms during investigative operations related to these shows.

Seventy-seven percent of ATF’s investigative operations at gun shows were covert operations that targeted specific individuals suspected of firearms trafficking. …

Of the 202 investigative operations conducted by ATF at gun shows, only 23 percent (46) targeted general firearms trafficking at the shows. Further, only 6 of the ATF’s 23 field divisions—Columbus, Houston, New Orleans, Phoenix, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.—conducted these types of operations. The operations were not part of investigations of specific individuals, but rather were initiated based on intelligence from law enforcement and other sources such as FFLs, that various firearms trafficking crimes were occurring at gun shows in those six divisions’ geographic areas of responsibility.

[360] Report: “Firearm Violence, 1993–2011.” By Michael Planty and Jennifer Truman. U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, May 2013. <www.bjs.gov>

Page 13:

In 2004, among state prison inmates who possessed a gun at the time of offense, fewer than 2% bought their firearm at a flea market or gun show, about 10% purchased it from a retail store or pawnshop, 37% obtained it from family or friends, and another 40% obtained it from an illegal source (table 14). …

Table 14. Source of firearms possessed by state prison inmates at time of offense, 1997 and 2004 … 2004 … Source of firearm … Retail store [=] 7.3 % … Pawnshop [=] 2.6% … Flea market [=].6% … Gun show [=] 0.8% … Family or friend [=] 37.4% … Street/illegal source [=] 40.0% …

Note: Includes only inmates with a current conviction. Estimates may differ from previously published BJS reports. … Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics, Survey of Inmates in State and Federal Correctional Facilities, 1997 and 2004.

Page 17: “Surveys of Inmates in State and Federal Correctional Facilities (SISCF and SIFCF) … have provided nationally representative data on state prison inmates and sentenced federal inmates held in federally owned and operated facilities. … In 2004, 14,499 state prisoners in 287 state prisons and 3,686 federal prisoners in 39 federal prisons were interviewed.”

[361] Book: Guns in American Society: An Encyclopedia of History, Politics, Culture, and the Law. Edited by Gregg Lee Carter. ABC-CLIO, 2002. Article: “Right-to-Carry Laws.” By James A. Beckman.

Page 502:

Right-to-carry laws, often also called “shall issue” laws, refer to those state laws that mandate that state law enforcement officials or courts shall issue concealed firearm-carrying permits to applicants who meet fair and minimally restrictive statewide standards established by the state legislature. The right-to-carry laws make the allocation or distribution of firearm-carrying permits mandatory upon state officials so long as the applicants meet the minimum statewide standards.

[362] Connecticut law allows local police, wardens, or selectmen to issue temporary concealed carry permits to private citizens, which the state government reviews for issuance of “a state permit to carry a pistol or revolver.”*† Between January 1, 2000 and December 31, 2009, the state of Connecticut issued 166,190 permits, while during almost the same period (January 1, 2000–February 24, 2010), the state denied 436 permits (2.6% of the total).‡

NOTES:

  • * Report: “Gun Permit Issues.” By Veronica Rose. Connecticut Office of Legislative Research, April 10, 2008. <www.cga.ct.gov>
    “Connecticut is a ‘may issue’ state, in that the permit-issuing official has discretion to determine whether to issue or revoke a permit.”
  • † Connecticut Law: Title 29, Chapter 529, Section 29-28(b): “Permit to carry pistol or revolver.” Accessed January 31, 2020 at <law.justia.com>

Upon the application of any person having a bona fide residence or place of business within the jurisdiction of any such authority, such chief of police, warden or selectman may issue a temporary state permit to such person to carry a pistol or revolver within the state, provided such authority shall find that such applicant intends to make no use of any pistol or revolver which such applicant may be permitted to carry under such permit other than a lawful use and that such person is a suitable person to receive such permit.

‡ Correspondence from the Connecticut Special Licensing & Firearms Unit to Just Facts, February 24, 2010 and March 18, 2010.

[363] Article: “The State (by State) of Right-To-Carry.” By Dave Kopel. National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action, July 28, 2006. <www.nraila.org>

Do-Issue: Three states—Alabama, Connecticut and Iowa—have statutes that are not completely Shall-Issue, but that reserve some discretion to the issuing law enforcement agency. In these states, local law enforcement will generally issue a permit to the same kinds of persons who would qualify for a permit in a Shall-Issue state, and many times these states are included on Shall-Issue state lists.

Capricious-Issue: Eight coastal states have permit laws but give local law enforcement almost unlimited discretion to deny permits. Although there can be significant variation from one locality to another, permits are rarely issued in most jurisdictions, except to celebrities or other influential people. These Capricious-Issue states are Hawaii, California, Delaware (not as bad as the others, in practice), Maryland, New Jersey (the worst), New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

[364] Article: “General Assembly Overrides Governor’s Veto of Concealed Carry Bill.” By Ray Long, Monique Garcia and Rick Pearson. Chicago Tribune, July 9, 2013. <www.chicagotribune.com>

Lawmakers made Illinois the last state to allow concealed carry of firearms in two quick votes Tuesday…. The House and Senate voted to override [Governor] Quinn’s amendatory veto of a legislative compromise aimed at satisfying a federal court deadline for legalizing some form of public possession of firearms. Illinois was the last state without some form of legal concealed carry, but the appeals court ruled late last year that the ban was unconstitutional.

[365] Ruling: Moore v. Madigan. U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, December 11, 2012. Cases 12-1269, 12-1788. Decided 2–1. Majority: Flaum and Posner. Dissenting: Williams. <sblog.s3.amazonaws.com>

Pages 1–2 (Majority opinion):

An Illinois law forbids a person, with exceptions mainly for police and other security personnel, hunters, and members of target shooting clubs … to carry a gun ready to use (loaded, immediately accessible—that is, easy to reach—and uncased). There are exceptions for a person on his own property (owned or rented), or in his home (but if it’s an apartment, only there and not in the apartment building’s common areas), or in his fixed place of business, or on the property of someone who has permitted him to be there with a ready-to-use gun.

Pages 20–21 (Majority opinion):

The Supreme Court has decided that the amendment confers a right to bear arms for self-defense, which is as important outside the home as inside. The theoretical and empirical evidence (which overall is inconclusive) is consistent with concluding that a right to carry firearms in public may promote self-defense. Illinois had to provide us with more than merely a rational basis for believing that its uniquely sweeping ban is justified by an increase in public safety. It has failed to meet this burden. The Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Second Amendment therefore compels us to reverse the decisions in the two cases before us and remand them to their respective district courts for the entry of declarations of unconstitutionality and permanent injunctions. Nevertheless we order our mandate stayed for 180 days to allow the Illinois legislature to craft a new gun law that will impose reasonable limitations, consistent with the public safety and the Second Amendment as interpreted in this opinion, on the carrying of guns in public.

[366] Webpage: “Handgunlaw.us.” By Steve Aikens and Gary Slider. Last updated 12/1/2019. <www.handgunlaw.us>

NOTES:

  • Overviews of the laws in each state are provided via the clickable map.
  • This was the only comprehensive, up-to-date, and easily accessible source that Just Facts was able to locate for this information.
  • For more detailed information on the laws of each state, see the report: “State Laws and Published Ordinance—Firearms (31st Edition 2010–2011).” U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, January 2011. <www.atf.gov>
  • In 2013 (after the report above was published), Alabama Senate Bill 286 and Illinois Public Act 098-0063 made these states shall-issue states.

[367] Rhode Island Law Title 11, Chapter 11-47, Section 11-47-11: “Criminal Offenses, Weapons, License or Permit to Carry Concealed Pistol or Revolver.” Rhode Island General Assembly. Accessed December 5, 2016 at <webserver.rilin.state.ri.us>

(a) The licensing authorities of any city or town shall, upon application of any person twenty-one (21) years of age or over having a bona fide residence or place of business within the city or town, or of any person twenty-one (21) years of age or over having a bona fide residence within the United States and a license or permit to carry a pistol or revolver concealed upon his or her person issued by the authorities of any other state or subdivision of the United States, issue a license or permit to the person to carry concealed upon his or her person a pistol or revolver everywhere within this state for four (4) years from date of issue, if it appears that the applicant has good reason to fear an injury to his or her person or property or has any other proper reason for carrying a pistol or revolver, and that he or she is a suitable person to be so licensed. …

[368] Rhode Island Law Title 11, Chapter 11-47, Section 11-47-18: “Criminal Offenses, Weapons, License or Permit Issued by Attorney General on Showing of Need.” Rhode Island General Assembly. Accessed December 5, 2019 at <webserver.rilin.state.ri.us>

“(a) The attorney general may issue a license or permit to any person twenty-one (21) years of age or over to carry a pistol or revolver, whether concealed or not, upon his or her person upon a proper showing of need….”

[369] Article: “Few Have Legal Right to Carry Concealed Handgun in Rhode Island.” By Tim White. WPRI Eyewitness News, August 25, 2016. <wpri.com>

Very few Rhode Islanders have a permit to legally carry a concealed handgun, but the vast majority of those who do submit their applications through the state rather than their local cities or towns, according to a Target 12 review of data.

Target 12 requested data on concealed carry weapon permits from every police department as well as the Rhode Island Attorney General’s office. By law, people seeking a concealed carry permit can submit an application through a local police department or the attorney general’s office.

As of the end of the 2015 calendar year, the data shows 3,577 Rhode Island residents had an active permit to carry a hidden handgun, which is just 0.34% of the population. …

Nearly 70 percent of active permits—2,489 of the 3,577 statewide—were obtained through the attorney general’s office. A spokesperson for Attorney General Peter Kilmartin said in 2015 the state approved 98 percent of all new concealed carry applications and 96 percent of renewals. Towns approved 87 percent of all applications. …

In Warren, the data shows the town hasn’t issued a single concealed carry permit dating back to 2010. All of the 21 active permits there were issued by the attorney general’s office. In an email, Chief Peter Achilli said the “historic practice is to refer all inquires to the attorney general’s office where there is an established and effective process of issuance and statewide record keeping.”

[370] Webpage: “Handgunlaw.us.” By Steve Aikens and Gary Slider. Last updated 12/1/2019. <www.handgunlaw.us>

NOTES:

  • Overviews of the laws in each state are provided via the clickable map.
  • This was the only comprehensive, up-to-date, and easily accessible source that Just Facts was able to locate for this information.
  • For more detailed information on the laws of each state, see the report: “State Laws and Published Ordinance—Firearms (31st Edition 2010–2011).” U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, January 2011. <www.atf.gov>
  • In 2013 (after the report above was published), Alabama Senate Bill 286 and Illinois Public Act 098-0063 made these states shall-issue states.

[371] Paper: “Carrying Concealed Weapons in Self-Defense: Florida Adopts Uniform Regulations for the Issuance of Concealed Weapons Permits.” By Richard Getchall. Florida State University Law Review, 1987. Pages 751–791. <litigation-essentials.lexisnexis.com>

Page 777: “The concealed weapons Act is named the Jack Hagler Self Defense Act….”

Page 789: “The Jack Hagler Self Defense Act became law on October 1, 1987.”

[372] Florida Law 790.06: “Weapons and Firearms, License to Carry Concealed Weapon or Firearm.” Accessed January 24, 2020 at <law.justia.com>

(2) The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services shall issue a license if the applicant:

(a) Is a resident of the United States …

(b) Is 21 years of age or older;

(c) Does not suffer from a physical infirmity which prevents the safe handling of a weapon or firearm;

(d) Is not ineligible to possess a firearm pursuant to s. 790.23 by virtue of having been convicted of a felony;

(e) Has not been committed for the abuse of a controlled substance or been found guilty of a crime under the provisions of chapter 893 or similar laws of any other state relating to controlled substances within a 3-year period immediately preceding the date on which the application is submitted;

(f) Does not chronically and habitually use alcoholic beverages or other substances to the extent that his or her normal faculties are impaired. …

(g) Desires a legal means to carry a concealed weapon or firearm for lawful self-defense;

(h) Demonstrates competence with a firearm by any one of the following:

1. Completion of any hunter education or hunter safety course approved by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission or a similar agency of another state;

2. Completion of any National Rifle Association firearms safety or training course;

3. Completion of any firearms safety or training course or class available to the general public offered by a law enforcement, junior college, college, or private or public institution or organization or firearms training school, utilizing instructors certified by the National Rifle Association, Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission, or the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services;

4. Completion of any law enforcement firearms safety or training course or class offered for security guards, investigators, special deputies, or any division or subdivision of law enforcement or security enforcement;

5.Presents evidence of equivalent experience with a firearm through participation in organized shooting competition or military service;

6. Is licensed or has been licensed to carry a firearm in this state or a county or municipality of this state, unless such license has been revoked for cause; or

7. Completion of any firearms training or safety course or class conducted by a state-certified or National Rifle Association certified firearms instructor …

(i) Has not been adjudicated an incapacitated person under s. 744.331, or similar laws of any other state, unless 5 years have elapsed since the applicant’s restoration to capacity by court order;

(j) Has not been committed to a mental institution under chapter 394, or similar laws of any other state, unless the applicant produces a certificate from a licensed psychiatrist that he or she has not suffered from disability for at least 5 years prior to the date of submission of the application;

(k) Has not had adjudication of guilt withheld or imposition of sentence suspended on any felony or misdemeanor crime of domestic violence unless 3 years have elapsed since probation or any other conditions set by the court have been fulfilled, or the record has been sealed or expunged;

(l) Has not been issued an injunction that is currently in force and effect and that restrains the applicant from committing acts of domestic violence or acts of repeat violence; and

(m) Is not prohibited from purchasing or possessing a firearm by any other provision of Florida or federal law.

[373] Calculated with data from:

a) Dataset: “Concealed Weapon or Firearm License Summary Report.” Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Licensing, November 30, 2019.

<www.fdacs.gov>

10/01/1987 - 11/30/2019

Licenses Issued

4,396,259

Licenses Valid

2,062,817

b) Dataset: “2018 Florida Population, Ages 21 to 80+; Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 2018.” U.S. Census Bureau. Accessed December 5, 2018 at <www.census.gov>

“Persons (Numbers in Thousands) [=] 15,946”

CALCULATION: 2,062,817 valid licenses / 15,946,000 Florida population, 21 years and older = 13% of the population 21 years and older

[374] Graph constructed with data from:

a) Dataset: “Uniform Crime Reporting Program, Florida, 1960–2008.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division. Data supplied to Just Facts on June 15, 2010.

b) Report: “2009 Crime in the United States.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division, September 2010.

<www2.fbi.gov>

“Table 5: Crime in the United States, by State.” <www2.fbi.gov>

c) Report: “2010 Crime in the United States.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division, September 2011. <ucr.fbi.gov>

“Table 5: Crime in the United States, by State.” <ucr.fbi.gov>

d) Report: “2011 Crime in the United States.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division, September 2012. <ucr.fbi.gov>

“Table 5: Crime in the United States, by State.” <ucr.fbi.gov>

e) Report: “2012 Crime in the United States.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division, October 2013. <ucr.fbi.gov>

“Table 5: Crime in the United States, by State.” <ucr.fbi.gov>

f) Report: “2013 Crime in the United States.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division, November 2014. <ucr.fbi.gov>

“Table 5: Crime in the United States, by State.” <ucr.fbi.gov>

g) Report: “2014 Crime in the United States.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division, September 2015. <ucr.fbi.gov>

“Table 5: Crime in the United States, by State.” <ucr.fbi.gov>

h) Report: “2015 Crime in the United States.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division, September 2016. <ucr.fbi.gov>

“Table 5: Crime in the United States, by State, 2015.” <ucr.fbi.gov>

i) Report: “2016 Crime in the United States.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division, September 2017. <ucr.fbi.gov>

“Table 3: Crime in the United States, by State, 2016.” <ucr.fbi.gov>

j) Report: “2017 Crime in the United States.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division, September 2018. <ucr.fbi.gov>

“Table 5: Crime in the United States, by State, 2017.” <ucr.fbi.gov>

k) Report: “2018 Crime in the United States.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division, September 2019. <ucr.fbi.gov>

“Table 5: Crime in the United States, by State, 2018.” <ucr.fbi.gov>

l) Dataset: “Uniform Crime Reporting Program, United States, 1960–2008.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division. Data supplied to Just Facts on June 15, 2010.

m) Report: “2018 Crime in the United States.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division, September 2019. <ucr.fbi.gov>

“Table 1: Crime in the United States by Volume and Rate per 100,000 Inhabitants, 1999–2018.” <ucr.fbi.gov>

NOTE: Data available upon request.

[375] Report: “Concealed Weapon or Firearm License Summary Report.” Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Licensing, November 30, 2019. <www.fdacs.gov>

10/01/87 – 11/30/19

Applications Received

4,480,872

Licenses Issued

4,396,259

Licenses Valid

2,062,817

Applications Denied

49,105

Disqualifying History

17,995

Incomplete Application

31,110

Licenses Revoked †

15,472

Reinstated ‡

1,279

CALCULATION: 15,472 Licenses Revoked / 4,396,259 Licenses Issued = 0.4%

NOTES:

  • † As of January 2011, the agency no longer maintains statistical information concerning the breakdown of license revocations by type.
  • ‡ Statistics regarding number of licenses reinstated not maintained prior to January 1990.

[376] Webpage: “Concealed Weapon / Firearm Summary Report.” Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Licensing, July 31, 2010. <www.freshfromflorida.com>

10/1/87 – 07/31/10

Applications Received

1,848,835

Licenses Issued

1,825,143

Licenses Valid

746,430

Applications Denied

12,648

Criminal History

4,242

Incomplete Application

8,406

Licenses Revoked

5,674

Clemency Rule Change or Legislative Change

66

Illegible Prints With No Response

10

Crime Prior to Licensure

522

Crime After Licensure

4,955

—Firearm Utilized—

[168]

Other

121

Reinstated*

633

* Statistics regarding number of licenses reinstated not maintained prior to January 1990.

[377] Article: “Guns in America: Part II: Texas Massacre, Fear of Crime Spur Concealed-Gun Laws.” By Ralph Winingham. San Antonio Express News, 1997. <www.chron.com>


“In January 1996, a law took effect allowing Texans to carry loaded handguns if they obtain a license and complete a safety course.”

[378] Report: “Texas License to Carry a Handgun Statute and Selected Laws, 2019–2020.” Texas Department of Public Safety, December 2019. <www.dps.texas.gov>

Page 8: “Chapter 411 … Subchapter H: License to Carry a Handgun”

Pages 10–13:

Section 411.172: “Eligibility.”

(a) A person is eligible for a license to carry a handgun if the person:

(1) is a legal resident of this state for the six-month period preceding the date of application under this subchapter or is otherwise eligible for a license under Section 411.173(a);

(2) is at least 21 years of age;

(3) has not been convicted of a felony;

(4) is not charged with the commission of a Class A or Class B misdemeanor or equivalent offense, or an offense under Section 42.01, Penal Code, or equivalent offense, or of a felony under an information or indictment;

(5) is not a fugitive from justice for a felony or a Class A or Class B misdemeanor or equivalent offense;

(6) is not a chemically dependent person;

(7) is not incapable of exercising sound judgment with respect to the proper use and storage of a handgun;

(8) has not, in the five years preceding the date of application, been convicted of a Class A or Class B misdemeanor or equivalent offense or of an offense under Section 42.01, Penal Code, or equivalent offense;

(9) is fully qualified under applicable federal and state law to purchase a handgun;

(10) has not been finally determined to be delinquent in making a child support payment administered or collected by the attorney general;

(11) has not been finally determined to be delinquent in the payment of a tax or other money collected by the comptroller, the tax collector of a political subdivision of the state, or any agency or subdivision of the state;

(12) is not currently restricted under a court protective order or subject to a restraining order affecting the spousal relationship, other than a restraining order solely affecting property interests;

(13) has not, in the 10 years preceding the date of application, been adjudicated as having engaged in delinquent conduct violating a penal law of the grade of felony; and

(14) has not made any material misrepresentation, or failed to disclose any material fact, in an application submitted pursuant to Section 411.174. …

(g) Notwithstanding Subsection (a)(2), a person who is at least 18 years of age but not yet 21 years of age is eligible for a license to carry a handgun if the person:

(1) is a member or veteran of the United States armed forces, including a member or veteran of the reserves or national guard;

(2) was discharged under honorable conditions, if discharged from the United States armed forces, reserves, or national guard….

Page 14:

Section 411.174: “Application.”

(a) An applicant for a license to carry a handgun must submit to the director’s designee described by Section 411.176: …

(7) evidence of handgun proficiency, in the form and manner required by the department …

Pages 27–28:

Section 411.188: “Handgun Proficiency Requirement.”

(a) The director by rule shall establish minimum standards for handgun proficiency and shall develop a course to teach handgun proficiency and examinations to measure handgun proficiency. The course to teach handgun proficiency is required for each person who seeks to obtain a license and must contain training sessions divided into two parts. One part of the course must be classroom instruction and the other part must be range instruction and an actual demonstration by the applicant of the applicant’s ability to safely and proficiently use a handgun. An applicant must be able to demonstrate, at a minimum, the degree of proficiency that is required to effectively operate a handgun. The department shall distribute the standards, course requirements, and examinations on request to any qualified handgun instructor or approved online course provider seeking to administer the course or a part of the course as described by Subsection (b).

(b) Only qualified handgun instructors may administer the range instruction part of the handgun proficiency course. A qualified handgun instructor or approved online course provider may administer the classroom instruction part of the handgun proficiency course. The classroom instruction part of the course must include not less than four hours and not more than six hours of instruction on: (1) the laws that relate to weapons and to the use of deadly force; (2) handgun use and safety, including use of restraint holsters and methods to ensure the secure carrying of openly carried handguns; (3) nonviolent dispute resolution; and (4) proper storage practices for handguns with an emphasis on storage practices that eliminate the possibility of accidental injury to a child.

(d) Except as provided by Subsection (e), only a qualified handgun instructor may administer the proficiency examination to obtain a license. The proficiency examination must include: (1) a written section on the subjects listed in Subsection (b); and (2) a physical demonstration of proficiency in the use of one or more handguns and in handgun safety procedures.

[379] Calculated with data from:

a) Report: “Active License/Certified Instructor Counts as of December 31, 2018.” Texas Department of Public Safety, Regulatory Services Division, Handgun Licensing Program. <www.dps.texas.gov>

“Active License Holders: 1,362,945”

b) Dataset: “2018 Texas Population, Ages 21 to 80+; Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 2018.” U.S. Census Bureau. Accessed December 5, 2018 at <www.census.gov>

“Persons (Numbers in Thousands) [=] 19,531”

CALCULATION: 1,362,945 active licensees / 19,531,000 Texas population aged 21 years and older = 7%

[380] Graph constructed with data from:

a) Dataset: “Uniform Crime Reporting Program, Texas, 1960–2008.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division. Data supplied to Just Facts on June 15, 2010.

b) Report: “2009 Crime in the United States.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division, September 2010. <www2.fbi.gov>

“Table 5: Crime in the United States, by State.” <www2.fbi.gov>

c) Report: “2010 Crime in the United States.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division, September 2011. <ucr.fbi.gov>

“Table 5: Crime in the United States, by State.” <ucr.fbi.gov>

d) Report: “2011 Crime in the United States.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division, September 2012. <ucr.fbi.gov>

“Table 5: Crime in the United States, by State.” <ucr.fbi.gov>

e) Report: “2012 Crime in the United States.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division, October 2013. <ucr.fbi.gov>

“Table 5: Crime in the United States, by State.” <ucr.fbi.gov>

f) Report: “2013 Crime in the United States.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division, November 2014. <ucr.fbi.gov>

“Table 5: Crime in the United States, by State.” <ucr.fbi.gov>

g) Report: “2014 Crime in the United States.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division, September 2015. <ucr.fbi.gov>

“Table 5: Crime in the United States, by State.” <ucr.fbi.gov>

h) Report: “2015 Crime in the United States.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division, September 2016. <ucr.fbi.gov>

“Table 5: Crime in the United States, by State, 2015.” <ucr.fbi.gov>

i) Report: “2016 Crime in the United States.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division, September 2017. <ucr.fbi.gov>

“Table 3: Crime in the United States, by State, 2016.” <ucr.fbi.gov>

j) Report: “2017 Crime in the United States.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division, September 2018. <ucr.fbi.gov>

“Table 5: Crime in the United States, by State, 2017.” <ucr.fbi.gov>

k) Report: “2018 Crime in the United States.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division, September 2019. <ucr.fbi.gov>

“Table 5: Crime in the United States, by State, 2018.” <ucr.fbi.gov>

“Table 1: Crime in the United States by Volume and Rate per 100,000 Inhabitants, 1999–2018.” <ucr.fbi.gov>

l) Dataset: “Uniform Crime Reporting Program, United States, 1960–2008.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division. Data supplied to Just Facts on June 15, 2010.

NOTE: Data available upon request.

[381] Public notice: “Governor Abbott Signs Legislation Expanding Texans’ Second Amendment Rights.” Office of the Governor, Greg Abbott, June 13, 2015. <gov.texas.gov>

Governor Greg Abbott today signed HB 910 (Phillips, R-Sherman; Estes, R-Wichita Falls) and SB 11 (Birdwell, R-Granbury; Fletcher, R-Cypress), which expand Texans’ Second Amendment rights. Both bills implement proposals in the Governor’s Bicentennial Blueprint. HB 910, known as “open carry,” authorizes individuals with a license to carry a holstered handgun openly in all locations that allow the licensed carrying of a concealed handgun. SB 11, known as “campus carry” authorizes individuals with a license to carry a concealed handgun on campuses of public institutions of higher education.

[382] Michigan Law Section 28.421a: “Firearms, Concealed Pistol Licenses; Issuance; Creation of Standardized System.” Accessed January 29, 2020 at <law.justia.com>


“It is the intent of the legislature to create a standardized system for issuing concealed pistol licenses to prevent criminals and other violent individuals from obtaining a license to carry a concealed pistol, [and] to allow law abiding residents to obtain a license to carry a concealed pistol. … Eff. July 1, 2001.”

[383] Michigan Law Section 28.422: “License to Purchase, Carry, Possess, or Transport Pistol; Issuance; Qualifications; Applications….” Michigan Legislature. Accessed January 29, 2020 at <www.legislature.mi.gov>

Sec. 2.

(1) Except as otherwise provided in this act, a person shall not purchase, carry, possess, or transport a pistol in this state without first having obtained a license for the pistol as prescribed in this section. …

(3) The commissioner or chief of police of a city, township, or village police department that issues licenses to purchase, carry, possess, or transport pistols, or his or her duly authorized deputy, or the sheriff or his or her duly authorized deputy, in the parts of a county not included within a city, township, or village having an organized police department, in discharging the duty to issue licenses shall with due speed and diligence issue licenses to purchase, carry, possess, or transport pistols to qualified applicants unless he or she has probable cause to believe that the applicant would be a threat to himself or herself or to other individuals, or would commit an offense with the pistol that would violate a law of this or another state or of the United States. An applicant is qualified if all of the following circumstances exist: …

(b) The person is 18 years of age or older or, if the seller is licensed under 18 USC 923*, is 21 years of age or older.

(c) The person is a citizen of the United States or an alien lawfully admitted into the United States and is a legal resident of this state. …

(d) A felony charge or a criminal charge listed in section 5b against the person is not pending at the time of application.

(e) The person is not prohibited from possessing, using, transporting, selling, purchasing, carrying, shipping, receiving, or distributing a firearm under section 224f of the Michigan penal code, 1931 PA 328, MCL 750.224f.

(f) The person has not been adjudged insane in this state or elsewhere unless he or she has been adjudged restored to sanity by court order.

(g) The person is not under an order of involuntary commitment in an inpatient or outpatient setting due to mental illness.

(h) The person has not been adjudged legally incapacitated in this state or elsewhere. This subdivision does not apply to a person who has had his or her legal capacity restored by order of the court.

NOTE: * This refers to a federally licensed firearms dealer: United States Code Title 18, Part I, Chapter 44, Section 923: “Licensing.” Current as of February 1, 2010. Accessed January 29, 2020 at <www.law.cornell.edu>

“(a) No person shall engage in the business of importing, manufacturing, or dealing in firearms, or importing or manufacturing ammunition, until he has filed an application with and received a license to do so from the Attorney General.”

[384] Michigan Law Section 28.425b: “License Application….” Michigan Legislature. Accessed January 29, 2020 at <www.legislature.mi.gov>

Sec. 5b.

(1) To obtain a license to carry a concealed pistol, an individual shall apply to the county clerk in the county in which the individual resides. … The application must contain all of the following: …

(h) A certificate stating that the applicant has completed the training course prescribed by this act.

[385] House Bill 4530: “An Act to Regulate and License the Selling, Purchasing, Possessing, and Carrying of Certain Firearms….” Michigan Legislature. Signed into law on January 1, 2001. <www.legislature.mi.gov>

Pages 9–10:

(1) A pistol training or safety program described in section 5b(7)(n) meets the requirements for knowledge or training in the safe use and handling of a pistol only if all of the following conditions are met:

(a) The program is certified by this state or a national or state firearms training organization and provides instruction in, but is not limited to providing instruction in, all of the following:

(i) The safe storage, use, and handling of a pistol including, but not limited to, safe storage, use, and handling to protect child safety.

(ii) Ammunition knowledge, and the fundamentals of pistol shooting.

(iii) Pistol shooting positions.

(iv) Firearms and the law, including civil liability issues.

(v) Avoiding criminal attack and controlling a violent confrontation.

(vi) All laws that apply to carrying a concealed pistol in this state.

(vii) At least 8 hours of instruction, including 3 hours of firing range time.

(b) The program provides a certificate of completion that states the program complies with the requirements of this section and that the individual successfully completed the course, and that is signed by the course instructor.

(c) The instructor of the course is certified by this state or a national organization to teach the 8-hour pistol safety training course described in this section.

[386] Graph constructed with data from:

a) Dataset: “Uniform Crime Reporting Program, Michigan, 1960–2008.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division. Data supplied to Just Facts on June 15, 2010.

b) Report: “2009 Crime in the United States.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division, September 2010. <www2.fbi.gov>

“Table 5: Crime in the United States, by State.” <www2.fbi.gov>

c) Report: “2010 Crime in the United States.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division, September 2011. <ucr.fbi.gov>

“Table 5: Crime in the United States, by State.” <ucr.fbi.gov>

d) Report: “2011 Crime in the United States.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division, September 2012. <ucr.fbi.gov>

“Table 5: Crime in the United States, by State.” <ucr.fbi.gov>

e) Report: “2012 Crime in the United States.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division, October 2013. <ucr.fbi.gov>

“Table 5: Crime in the United States, by State.” <ucr.fbi.gov>

f) Report: “2013 Crime in the United States.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division, November 2014. <ucr.fbi.gov>

“Table 5: Crime in the United States, by State.” <ucr.fbi.gov>

g) Report: “2014 Crime in the United States.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division, September 2015. <ucr.fbi.gov>

“Table 5: Crime in the United States, by State.” <ucr.fbi.gov>

h) Report: “2015 Crime in the United States.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division, September 2016. <ucr.fbi.gov>

“Table 5: Crime in the United States, by State, 2015.” <ucr.fbi.gov>

i) Report: “2016 Crime in the United States.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division, September 2017. <ucr.fbi.gov>

“Table 3: Crime in the United States, by State, 2016.” <ucr.fbi.gov>

j) Report: “2017 Crime in the United States.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division, September 2018. <ucr.fbi.gov>

“Table 5: Crime in the United States, by State, 2017.” <ucr.fbi.gov>

k) Report: “2018 Crime in the United States.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division, September 2019. <ucr.fbi.gov>

“Table 5: Crime in the United States, by State, 2018.” <ucr.fbi.gov>

l) Dataset: “Uniform Crime Reporting Program, United States, 1960–2008.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division. Data supplied to Just Facts on June 15, 2010.

m) Report: “2018 Crime in the United States.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division, September 2019. <ucr.fbi.gov>

“Table 1: Crime in the United States by Volume and Rate per 100,000 Inhabitants, 1999–2018.” <ucr.fbi.gov>

NOTE: Data available upon request.

[387] Calculated with the dataset: “20 Leading Causes of Unintentional Injury Deaths, All Races, Both Sexes, All Ages, 2017.” U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Accessed November 1, 2019 at <webappa.cdc.gov>

NOTE: An Excel file containing the data and calculations is available upon request.

[388] Calculated with the dataset: “20 Leading Causes of Unintentional Injury Deaths by Age, All Races, Both Sexes, 2017.” U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Accessed November 1, 2019 at <webappa.cdc.gov>

NOTE: An Excel file containing the data and calculations is available upon request.

[389] Calculated with data from:

a) Dataset: “Unintentional Firearm Gunshot Nonfatal Injuries and Rates per 100,000, All Races, Both Sexes, All Ages, 2014.” U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Accessed January 8, 2020 at <webappa.cdc.gov>

“Unintentional Firearm Gunshot Nonfatal Injuries … Number of injuries [=] 15,928”

b) Dataset: “Unintentional Nonfatal Injuries and Rates per 100,000, All Causes, All Races, Both Sexes, All Ages, 2014.” U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Accessed January 8, 2020 at <webappa.cdc.gov>

“Number of injuries [=] 28,728,927”

CALCULATION: 15,928 unintentional nonfatal firearm injuries / 28,728,927 total unintentional nonfatal injuries = 0.06%

[390] Calculated with data from:‡

a) “20 Leading Causes of Nonfatal Unintentional Injuries, All Races, Both Sexes, All Ages, Disposition: Hospitalized, 2014.” U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Accessed January 8, 2020 at <webappa.cdc.gov>

b) Dataset: “Nonfatal Unintentional Injuries, All Causes, All Races, Both Sexes, All Ages, Disposition: Hospitalized, 2014.” U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Accessed January 8, 2020. <webappa.cdc.gov>

NOTE: An Excel file containing the data and calculations is available upon request.

[391] Ruling: District of Columbia v. Heller. U.S. Supreme Court, June 26, 2008. Case 07-290. Decided 5–4. Majority: Scalia, Roberts, Kennedy, Thomas, Alito. Dissenting: Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg, Breyer. <caselaw.lp.findlaw.com>

Dissent (Stevens, joined by Souter and Ginsburg):

First, consider the facts as the legislature saw them when it adopted the District statute. As stated by the local council committee that recommended its adoption, the major substantive goal of the District’s handgun restriction is “to reduce the potentiality for gun-related crimes and gun-related deaths from occurring within the District of Columbia.” …

[A]ccording to the committee, “[f]or every intruder stopped by a homeowner with a firearm, there are 4 gun-related accidents within the home.” …

[392] Report: “Firearms Control Regulations Act of 1975, Council Act No. 1-142 : Hearing and Disposition Before the Committee on the District of Columbia, House of Representatives, Ninety-Fourth Congress, Second Session on H. Con. Res. 694.” August 25, 1976. <www.archive.org>

One out of every 100 deaths in the United States is the result of a firearm. Guns are responsible for 69 deaths in this country each day. Approximately 25,000 gun-deaths occur each year and 200,000 individuals are wounded by firearms during this same period. Close to 3,000 accidental deaths are caused by firearms. One-fourth of the victims are under 14 years of age. For every intruder stopped by a homeowner with a firearm, there are 4 gun-related accidents within the home.

[393] Paper: “Estimating Intruder-Related Firearm Retrievals in U.S. Households, 1994.” By Robin M. Ikeda (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and others. Violence and Victims, Winter 1997. <www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov>

Page 363:

To estimate the frequency of firearm retrieval because of a known or presumed intruder, the authors analyzed data from a 1994 national random digit dialing telephone survey (n = 5,238 interviews). … National projections based on these self-reports reveal an estimated 1,896,842 (95% CI [confidence interval] = 1,480,647–2,313,035) incidents in which a firearm was retrieved, but no intruder was seen; 503,481 (95% CI = 305,093–701,870) incidents occurred in which an intruder was seen, and 497,646 (95% CI = 266,060–729,231) incidents occurred in which the intruder was seen and reportedly scared away by the firearm.

Page 364:

A specified random selection procedure was used to ensure that approximately one half of respondents were male and one half were female. If more than one eligible individual was in the selected gender category, the interviewer asked for the respondent with the most recent birthday. Households occupied by minorities were oversampled to ensure adequate minority representation and then weighted to adjust for unequal selection probabilities.

[394] Calculated with data from:

a) Dataset: “Unintentional Firearm Gunshot Nonfatal Injuries and Rates per 100,000, 2001, United States, All Races, Both Sexes, All Ages, Disposition*: All Cases.” U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Accessed August 29, 2016 at <webappa.cdc.gov>

“Injuries [=] 17,696”

b) Dataset: “Unintentional Firearm Deaths and Rates per 100,000, All Races, Both Sexes, All Ages, All Ages, 2001.” U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Accessed August 29, 2016 at <webappa.cdc.gov>

“Deaths [=] 802”

CALCULATION: 17,696 nonfatal injuries + 802 deaths = 18,498 unintentional firearm injuries and deaths

[395] As of August 29, 2016, CDC’s “Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System” (<www.cdc.gov>) has accidental death rates from 1981, including 1994 (the year that would be ideal to compare to the CDC survey regarding the number of Americans who use guns to frighten away intruders who are breaking into their homes). However, it does not have nonfatal, accidental injury rates for any earlier than 2000, and the 2000 data is not reliable: “Due to possible seasonal effects on the 2000 estimates, comparing estimates for 2000 and 2001 and later is not recommended.” Thus, Just Facts is using the earliest year possible, which is 2001.

[396] Calculated with data from:

a) Paper: “Estimating Intruder-Related Firearm Retrievals in U.S. Households, 1994.” By Robin M. Ikeda (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and others. Violence and Victims, Winter 1997. <www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov>

Page 363: “To estimate the frequency of firearm retrieval because of a known or presumed intruder, the authors analyzed data from a 1994 national random digit dialing telephone survey (n = 5,238 interviews). … National projections based on these self-reports reveal an estimated … 497,646 (95% CI = 266,060–729,231) incidents occurred in which the intruder was seen and reportedly scared away by the firearm.

b) Dataset: “Unintentional Firearm Gunshot Nonfatal Injuries and Rates per 100,000, 2001, United States, All Races, Both Sexes, All Ages, Disposition: All Cases.” U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Accessed August 29, 2016 at <webappa.cdc.gov>

“Number of injuries [=] 17,696”

c) Dataset: “Unintentional Firearm Deaths and Rates per 100,000, 2001, United States, All races, Both Sexes, All Ages.” U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Accessed August 29, 2016 at <webappa.cdc.gov>

“Number of Deaths [=] 802”

CALCULATIONS:

  • 17,696 injuries + 802 deaths = 18,498 gun-related accidents resulting in death or emergency room visit
  • 497,646 incidents where intruder scared away by firearm / 18,498 = 26.9 times more incidents where intruder scared away by firearm than unintentional firearm injuries

NOTE: In keeping with Just Facts’ Standards of Credibility, we are giving preferentiality to figures that are contrary to our viewpoints by citing all gun-related accidents (within and outside the home) for comparison with the D.C. council committee’s claim in District of Columbia v. Heller that, “[fo]r every intruder stopped by a homeowner with a firearm, there are 4 gun-related accidents within the home.”

[397] Adapted from an NRA firearms safety course and the article: “So You’ve Bought Yourself a Gun.” By Sunni Maravillosa. Sierra Times, November 27, 2001. <www.sunnimaravillosa.com>

Starting out with your gun …

Most gun accidents stem from not always, always following gun handling rules. Briefly, they are:

• Always treat a gun as if it’s loaded, even when you know it isn’t.

• Don’t point a gun at anything you don’t want to shoot.

• Make sure of your target and what’s beyond it.

• Keep your finger off the trigger until you’re ready to shoot.

• Whenever you’re handed a gun, check to see if it’s loaded. If you don’t know how to do that, give it back or to someone who does know how to check it. …

• Never use a drug that might affect your judgment while you’re shooting (including prescription drugs).

[398] Webpage: “Gun Rights: Long-Term Contribution Trends.” Center for Responsive Politics. Accessed January 8, 2020 at <www.opensecrets.org>

Election Cycle [=] 1990–2020 … Total Contributions [=] $44,813,039… Donations to Democrats [=] $4,123,705 … Donations to Republicans [=] $39,741,903 … % to Dems [=] 9% … % to Repubs [=] 91% …

The numbers on this page are based on contributions from donors (individuals as well as corporations and unions that give directly from their treasuries) to outside groups and from PACs (including super PACs) and individuals giving more than $200 to candidates and party committees. …

Data for the current election cycle were released by the Federal Election Commission on Monday, November 27, 2017.

[399] Webpage: “Gun Control: Long-Term Contribution Trends.” Center for Responsive Politics. Accessed January 8, 2020 at <www.opensecrets.org>

Election Cycle [=] 1990–2020 … Total Contributions [=] $9,369,787 … Donations to Democrats [=] $4,870,176 … Donations to Republicans [=] $135,251 … % to Dems [=] 97% … % to Repubs [=] 3% …

The numbers on this page are based on contributions from donors (individuals as well as corporations and unions that give directly from their treasuries) to outside groups and from PACs (including super PACs) and individuals giving more than $200 to candidates and party committees. …

Data for the current election cycle were released by the Federal Election Commission on Monday, December 16, 2019.

[400] Webpages: “Top Industries Giving to Members of Congress, 2020, 2018, 2016, 2014, 2012, 2010, 2008, 2006, 2004, 2002, 2000 Cycles.” Center for Responsive Politics. Accessed January 8, 2020 at <www.opensecrets.org>

Who’s got the most juice on Capitol Hill? Here’s a list of the top interest groups contributing to members of the 114th Congress during the 2017-2018 election cycle. The first list shows the overall 50 biggest interest groups. The other two highlight the top 25 interest groups giving to members of each of the two major parties. In all cases, the Top Recipient listed is the individual member of the 114th Congress who received the most from the interest group. Totals shown here include only the money that went to current incumbents in Congress.

NOTE: Neither gun rights nor gun control interest groups appear in these lists for any of these election cycles.

[401] Constructed with data from:

a) Webpage: “Hedge Funds: Long-Term Contribution Trends.” Center for Responsive Politics. Accessed October 12, 2019 at <www.opensecrets.org>

“Election Cycle(s) [=] 1990–2020 … Total Contributions [=] $597,767,768 … Data for the current election cycle were released by the Federal Election Commission on Monday, December 16, 2019.”

b) Webpage: “Lawyers / Law Firms: Long-Term Contribution Trends.” Center for Responsive Politics. Accessed October 12, 2019 at <www.opensecrets.org>

“Election Cycle(s) [=] 1990–2020 … Total Contributions [=] $2,403,142,412 … Data for the current election cycle were released by the Federal Election Commission on Monday, December 16, 2019.”

c) Webpage: “Gun Rights: Long-Term Contribution Trends.” Center for Responsive Politics. Accessed October 12, 2019 at <www.opensecrets.org>

“Election Cycle(s) [=] 1990–2020 … Total Contributions [=] $44,639,817 … Data for the current election cycle were released by the Federal Election Commission on Monday, December 16, 2019.”

d) Webpage: “Labor: Long-Term Contribution Trends.” Center for Responsive Politics. Accessed October 12, 2019 at <www.opensecrets.org>

“Election Cycle(s) [=] 1990–2020 … Total Contributions [=] $1,452,631,652 … Data for the current election cycle were released by the Federal Election Commission on Monday, December 16, 2019.”

e) Webpage: “Pro-Abortion Rights: Long-Term Contribution Trends.” Center for Responsive Politics. Accessed October 12, 2019 at <www.opensecrets.org>

“Election Cycle(s) [=] 1990–2020 … Total Contributions [=] $41,757,847 … Data for the current election cycle were released by the Federal Election Commission on Monday, December 16, 2019.”

f) Webpage: “Defense: Long-Term Contribution Trends.” Center for Responsive Politics. Accessed October 12, 2019 at <www.opensecrets.org>

“Election Cycle(s) [=] 1990–2020 … Total Contributions [=] $300,748,196 … Data for the current election cycle were released by the Federal Election Commission on Monday, December 16, 2019.”

g) Webpage: “Health: Long-Term Contribution Trends.” Center for Responsive Politics. Accessed October 12, 2019 at <www.opensecrets.org>

“Election Cycle(s) [=] 1990–2020 … Total Contributions [=] $2,062,564,762 … Data for the current election cycle were released by the Federal Election Commission on Monday, December 16, 2019.”

h) Webpage: “Books, Magazines & Newspapers: Long-Term Contribution Trends.” Center for Responsive Politics. Accessed October 12, 2019 at <www.opensecrets.org>

“Election Cycle(s) [=] 1990–2020 … Total Contributions [=] $287,797,057 … Data for the current election cycle were released by the Federal Election Commission on Monday, December 16, 2019.”

NOTE: For all of the sources above, the data:

  • is “based on contributions from donors (individuals as well as corporations and unions that give directly from their treasuries) to outside groups and from PACs (including super PACs) and individuals giving more than $200 to candidates and party committees.”
  • was “released by the Federal Election Commission on Thursday, February 01, 2018.

[402] “2016 Republican Party Platform.” Republican National Committee, July, 2016. <prod-static-ngop-pbl.s3.amazonaws.com>

Pages 1–3:

We uphold the right of individuals to keep and bear arms, a natural inalienable right that predates the Constitution and is secured by the Second Amendment. Lawful gun ownership enables Americans to exercise their God-given right of self-defense for the safety of their homes, their loved ones, and their communities.

We salute the Republican Congress for defending the right to keep and bear arms by preventing the President from installing a new liberal majority on the Supreme Court. The confirmation to the Court of additional anti-gun justices would eviscerate the Second Amendment’s fundamental protections. Already, local officials in the nation’s capital and elsewhere are defying the Court’s decisions upholding an individual right to bear arms as affirmed by the Supreme Court in Heller and McDonald. We support firearm reciprocity legislation to recognize the right of law-abiding Americans to carry firearms to protect themselves and their families in all 50 states. We support constitutional carry statutes and salute the states that have passed them. We oppose ill-conceived laws that would restrict magazine capacity or ban the sale of the most popular and common modern rifle. We also oppose any effort to deprive individuals of their right to keep and bear arms without due process of law.

We condemn frivolous lawsuits against gun manufacturers and the current Administration’s illegal harassment of firearm dealers. We oppose federal licensing or registration of law-abiding gun owners, registration of ammunition, and restoration of the ill-fated Clinton gun ban. We call for a thorough investigation—by a new Republican administration—of the deadly “Fast and Furious” operation perpetrated by Department of Justice officials who approved and allowed illegal sales of guns to known violent criminals.

[403] “2016 Democratic Party Platform.” Democratic Platform Committee, July 21, 2016. <www.presidency.ucsb.edu>

Page 39:

With 33,000 Americans dying every year, Democrats believe that we must finally take sensible action to address gun violence. While responsible gun ownership is part of the fabric of many communities, too many families in America have suffered from gun violence. We can respect the rights of responsible gun owners while keeping our communities safe. To build on the success of the lifesaving Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, we will expand and strengthen background checks and close dangerous loopholes in our current laws; repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) to revoke the dangerous legal immunity protections gun makers and sellers now enjoy; and keep weapons of war—such as assault weapons and large capacity ammunition magazines (LCAM’s)—off our streets. We will fight back against attempts to make it harder for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives to revoke federal licenses from law breaking gun dealers, and ensure guns do not fall into the hands of terrorists, intimate partner abusers, other violent criminals, and those with severe mental health issues. There is insufficient research on effective gun prevention policies, which is why the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention must have the resources it needs to study gun violence as a public health issue.

[404] Constitution of the United States. Signed September 17, 1787. Enacted June 21, 1788. <justfacts.com>

Article 2, Section 2, Clause 2: “[The President] with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court….”

[405] Constitution of the United States. Signed September 17, 1787. Enacted June 21, 1788. <justfacts.com>

Article III, Section 1: “The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour….”

Article II, Section 4: “The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

Article I, Section 2, Clause 5: “The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.”

Article I, Section 3, Clause 6: “The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. … And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.”

[406] Article: “Senate Republicans Deploy ‘Nuclear Option’ to Clear Path for Gorsuch.” By Matt Flegenheimer. New York Times, April 6, 2017. <www.nytimes.com>

After Democrats held together Thursday morning and filibustered President Trump’s nominee, Republicans voted to lower the threshold for advancing Supreme Court nominations from 60 votes to a simple majority. …

Senate Democrats in 2013 first changed the rules of the Senate to block Republican filibusters of presidential nominees to lower courts and to government positions. But they left the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees untouched, an acknowledgment of the court’s exalted status. On Thursday, that last pillar was swept away on a party-line vote, with all 52 Republicans choosing to overrule Senate precedent and all 48 Democrats and liberal-leaning independents pushing to keep it.

Democrats placed the blame squarely on Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, and his Republican colleagues….

[407] Report: “Filibusters and Cloture in the Senate.” By Valerie Heitshusen and Richard S. Beth. Congressional Research Service, April 7, 2017. <digital.library.unt.edu>

Page 2 (of PDF):

The filibuster is widely viewed as one of the Senate’s most characteristic procedural features. Filibustering includes any use of dilatory or obstructive tactics to block a measure by preventing it from coming to a vote. The possibility of filibusters exists because Senate rules place few limits on Senators’ rights and opportunities in the legislative process. …

Senate Rule XXII, however, known as the cloture rule, enables Senators to end a filibuster on any debatable matter the Senate is considering. Sixteen Senators initiate this process by presenting a motion to end the debate. In most circumstances, the Senate does not vote on this cloture motion until the second day of session after the motion is made. Then, it requires the votes of at least three-fifths of all Senators (normally 60 votes) to invoke cloture. (Invoking cloture on a proposal to amend the Senate’s standing rules requires the support of two-thirds of the Senators present and voting, whereas cloture on nominations requires a numerical majority.)

Page 9:

Invoking cloture usually requires a three-fifths vote of the entire Senate—”three-fifths of the Senators duly chosen and sworn.” Thus, if there is no more than one vacancy, 60 Senators must vote to invoke cloture. In contrast, most other votes require only a simple majority (that is, 51%) of the Senators present and voting, assuming those Senators constitute a quorum. In the case of a cloture vote, the key is the number of Senators voting for cloture, not the number voting against. Failing to vote on a cloture motion has the same effect as voting against the motion: it deprives the motion of one of the 60 votes needed to agree to it.

There are two important exceptions to the three-fifths requirement to invoke cloture. First, under Rule XXII, an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the Senators present and voting is required to invoke cloture on a measure or motion to amend the Senate rules. This provision has its origin in the history of the cloture rule. Before 1975, two-thirds of the Senators present and voting (a quorum being present) was required for cloture on all matters. In early 1975, at the beginning of the 94th Congress, Senators sought to amend the rule to make it somewhat easier to invoke cloture. However, some Senators feared that if this effort succeeded, that would only make it easier to amend the rule again, making cloture still easier to invoke. As a compromise, the Senate agreed to move from two-thirds of the Senators present and voting (a maximum of 67 votes) to three-fifths of the Senators duly chosen and sworn (normally, and at a maximum, 60 votes) on all matters except future rules changes, including changes in the cloture rule itself.17 Second, pursuant to precedent established by the Senate on November 21, 2013, and April 6, 2017, the Senate can invoke cloture on a nomination by a majority of Senators voting (a quorum being present).18

[408] Webpage: “Rules of the Senate: Rule XXII: Precedence Of Motions.” Accessed October 2, 2018 at <www.rules.senate.gov>

2. Notwithstanding the provisions of rule II or rule IV or any other rule of the Senate, at any time a motion signed by sixteen Senators, to bring to a close the debate upon any measure, motion, other matter pending before the Senate, or the unfinished business, is presented to the Senate, the Presiding Officer, or clerk at the direction of the Presiding Officer, shall at once state the motion to the Senate, and one hour after the Senate meets on the following calendar day but one, he shall lay the motion before the Senate and direct that the clerk call the roll, and upon the ascertainment that a quorum is present, the Presiding Officer shall, without debate, submit to the Senate by a yea-and-nay vote the question:

“Is it the sense of the Senate that the debate shall be brought to a close?” And if that question shall be decided in the affirmative by three-fifths of the Senators duly chosen and sworn—except on a measure or motion to amend the Senate rules, in which case the necessary affirmative vote shall be two-thirds of the Senators present and voting—then said measure, motion, or other matter pending before the Senate, or the unfinished business, shall be the unfinished business to the exclusion of all other business until disposed of.

Thereafter no Senator shall be entitled to speak in all more than one hour on the measure, motion, or other matter pending before the Senate, or the unfinished business, the amendments thereto, and motions affecting the same, and it shall be the duty of the Presiding Officer to keep the time of each Senator who speaks. Except by unanimous consent, no amendment shall be proposed after the vote to bring the debate to a close, unless it had been submitted in writing to the Journal Clerk by 1 o’clock p.m. on the day following the filing of the cloture motion if an amendment in the first degree, and unless it had been so submitted at least one hour prior to the beginning of the cloture vote if an amendment in the second degree. No dilatory motion, or dilatory amendment, or amendment not germane shall be in order. Points of order, including questions of relevancy, and appeals from the decision of the Presiding Officer, shall be decided without debate.

After no more than thirty hours of consideration of the measure, motion, or other matter on which cloture has been invoked, the Senate shall proceed, without any further debate on any question, to vote on the final disposition thereof to the exclusion of all amendments not then actually pending before the Senate at that time and to the exclusion of all motions, except a motion to table, or to reconsider and one quorum call on demand to establish the presence of a quorum (and motions required to establish a quorum) immediately before the final vote begins. The thirty hours may be increased by the adoption of a motion, decided without debate, by a three-fifths affirmative vote of the Senators duly chosen and sworn, and any such time thus agreed upon shall be equally divided between and controlled by the Majority and Minority Leaders or their designees. However, only one motion to extend time, specified above, may be made in any one calendar day.

[409] Article: “In Landmark Vote, Senate Limits Use of the Filibuster.” By Jeremy W. Peters. New York Times, November 21, 2013. <www.nytimes.com>

The Senate approved the most fundamental alteration of its rules in more than a generation on Thursday, ending the minority party’s ability to filibuster most presidential nominees….

… But when the vote was called, Senator Harry Reid, the majority leader who was initially reluctant to force the issue, prevailed 52 to 48.

Under the change, the Senate will be able to cut off debate on executive and judicial branch nominees with a simple majority rather than rounding up a supermajority of 60 votes. The new precedent established by the Senate on Thursday does not apply to Supreme Court nominations or legislation itself. …

Only three Democrats voted against the measure.

The changes will apply to all 1,183 executive branch nominations that require Senate confirmation—not just cabinet positions but hundreds of high- and midlevel federal agency jobs and government board seats.

[410] Article: “Senate Republicans Deploy ‘Nuclear Option’ to Clear Path for Gorsuch.” By Matt Flegenheimer. New York Times, April 6, 2017. <www.nytimes.com>

After Democrats held together Thursday morning and filibustered President Trump’s nominee, Republicans voted to lower the threshold for advancing Supreme Court nominations from 60 votes to a simple majority. …

Senate Democrats in 2013 first changed the rules of the Senate to block Republican filibusters of presidential nominees to lower courts and to government positions. But they left the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees untouched, an acknowledgment of the court’s exalted status. On Thursday, that last pillar was swept away on a party-line vote, with all 52 Republicans choosing to overrule Senate precedent and all 48 Democrats and liberal-leaning independents pushing to keep it.

Democrats placed the blame squarely on Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, and his Republican colleagues….

[411] Ruling: District of Columbia v. Heller. U.S. Supreme Court, June 26, 2008. Case 07-290. Decided 5–4. Majority: Scalia, Roberts, Kennedy, Thomas, Alito. Dissenting: Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg, Breyer. <caselaw.lp.findlaw.com>

Majority:

In sum, we hold that the District’s ban on handgun possession in the home violates the Second Amendment, as does its prohibition against rendering any lawful firearm in the home operable for the purpose of immediate self-defense. Assuming that Heller is not disqualified from the exercise of Second Amendment rights, the District must permit him to register his handgun and must issue him a license to carry it in the home.

[412] Ruling: District of Columbia v. Heller. U.S. Supreme Court, June 26, 2008. Case 07-290. Decided 5–4. Majority: Scalia, Roberts, Kennedy, Thomas, Alito. Dissenting: Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg, Breyer. <caselaw.lp.findlaw.com>

Majority:

There seems to us no doubt, on the basis of both text and history, that the Second Amendment conferred an individual right to keep and bear arms. Of course the right was not unlimited, just as the First Amendment’s right of free speech was not, see, e.g., United States v. Williams … (2008). Thus, we do not read the Second Amendment to protect the right of citizens to carry arms for any sort of confrontation, just as we do not read the First Amendment to protect the right of citizens to speak for any purpose. …

In sum, we hold that the District’s ban on handgun possession in the home violates the Second Amendment, as does its prohibition against rendering any lawful firearm in the home operable for the purpose of immediate self-defense. Assuming that Heller is not disqualified from the exercise of Second Amendment rights, the District must permit him to register his handgun and must issue him a license to carry it in the home.

[413] Webpage: “Members of the Supreme Court of the United States.” U.S. Supreme Court. Accessed October 6, 2014 at <www.supremecourt.gov>

Name

Appointed by

President

Judicial Oath

Taken

Date Service

Terminated

Stevens, John Paul

Ford [R]

12/19/1975

6/29/2010

Scalia, Antonin

Reagan [R]

9/26/1986

2/13/2016

Kennedy, Anthony M.

Reagan [R]

2/18/1988

Souter, David H.

Bush, G. H. W. [R]

10/9/1990

6/29/2009

Thomas, Clarence

Bush, G. H. W. [R]

10/23/1991

Ginsburg, Ruth Bader

Clinton [D]

8/10/1993

Breyer, Stephen G.

Clinton [D]

8/3/1994

Roberts, John G., Jr.

Bush, G. W. [R]

9/29/2005

Alito, Samuel A., Jr.

Bush, G. W. [R]

1/31/2006

[414] Ruling: District of Columbia v. Heller. U.S. Supreme Court, June 26, 2008. Case 07-290. Decided 5–4. Majority: Scalia, Roberts, Kennedy, Thomas, Alito. Dissenting: Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg, Breyer. <caselaw.lp.findlaw.com>

Dissent:

The centerpiece of the Court’s textual argument is its insistence that the words “the people” as used in the Second Amendment must have the same meaning, and protect the same class of individuals, as when they are used in the First and Fourth Amendments. …

As used in the Second Amendment, the words “the people” do not enlarge the right to keep and bear arms to encompass use or ownership of weapons outside the context of service in a well-regulated militia.

[415] Webpage: “Members of the Supreme Court of the United States.” U.S. Supreme Court. Accessed October 6, 2014 at <www.supremecourt.gov>

Name

Appointed by

President

Judicial Oath

Taken

Date Service

Terminated

Stevens, John Paul

Ford [R]

12/19/1975

6/29/2010

Scalia, Antonin

Reagan [R]

9/26/1986

2/13/2016

Kennedy, Anthony M.

Reagan [R]

2/18/1988

Souter, David H.

Bush, G. H. W. [R]

10/9/1990

6/29/2009

Thomas, Clarence

Bush, G. H. W. [R]

10/23/1991

Ginsburg, Ruth Bader

Clinton [D]

8/10/1993

Breyer, Stephen G.

Clinton [D]

8/3/1994

Roberts, John G., Jr.

Bush, G. W. [R]

9/29/2005

Alito, Samuel A., Jr.

Bush, G. W. [R]

1/31/2006

[416] Webpage: “Protecting Our Second Amendment Rights Will Make America Great Again.” Donald J. Trump for President. Accessed September 26, 2016 at <www.donaldjtrump.com>

The Second Amendment to our Constitution is clear. The right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed upon. Period.

The Second Amendment guarantees a fundamental right that belongs to all law-abiding Americans. The Constitution doesn’t create that right—it ensures that the government can’t take it away. Our Founding Fathers knew, and our Supreme Court has upheld, that the Second Amendment’s purpose is to guarantee our right to defend ourselves and our families. This is about self-defense, plain and simple.

[417] Article: “Leaked Audio: Clinton Says Supreme Court Is ‘Wrong’ on Second Amendment.” By Alana Goodman and Stephen Gutowski. Washington Free Beacon,

October 1, 2015. <freebeacon.com>

Although Clinton did not identify which Supreme Court case she disagreed with, she appeared to be criticizing the landmark 2008 ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller, which found the handgun ban in Washington, D.C., unconstitutional.

“I was proud when my husband took [the National Rifle Association] on, and we were able to ban assault weapons, but he had to put a sunset on so 10 years later. Of course [President George W.] Bush wouldn’t agree to reinstate them,” said Clinton.

“We’ve got to go after this,” Clinton continued. “And here again, the Supreme Court is wrong on the Second Amendment. And I am going to make that case every chance I get.”

[418] Article: “Hillary Clinton Opposes Heller Gun Rights Ruling, Adviser Says.” By Sahil Kapur. Bloomberg, May 20, 2016. <www.bloomberg.com>

Hillary Clinton slammed the Supreme Court as “wrong on the Second Amendment” and called for reinstating the assault weapons ban during a small private fundraiser in New York last week, according to audio of her remarks obtained by the Washington Free Beacon. …

Hillary Clinton believes a 2008 Supreme Court ruling that is the linchpin of an individual’s right to own a gun was “wrongly decided,” her policy adviser told Bloomberg Politics on Friday.

“Clinton believes Heller was wrongly decided in that cities and states should have the power to craft common sense laws to keep their residents safe, like safe storage laws to prevent toddlers from accessing guns,” Maya Harris, a policy adviser to Clinton, said in an e-mailed statement.

“In overturning Washington D.C.’s safe storage law, Clinton worries that Heller may open the door to overturning thoughtful, common sense safety measures in the future.”

[419] Transcript: “This Week: Hillary Clinton.” By ABC News, June 5, 2016. <abcnews.go.com>

STEPHANOPOULOS: Let’s talk about the Second Amendment. As you know, Donald Trump has also been out on the stump, talking about the Second Amendment, saying you want to abolish the Second Amendment.

I know you reject that. But I -- but I want to ask you a specific question.

Do you believe that an individual’s right to bear arms is a constitutional right, that it’s not linked to service in a militia?

CLINTON: I think that for most of our history, there was a nuanced reading of the Second Amendment until the decision by the late Justice Scalia and there was no argument until then that localities and states and the federal government had a right, as we do with every amendment, to impose reasonable regulation.

So I believe we can have common sense gun safety measures consistent with the Second Amendment, and, in fact, what I have proposed is supported by 90 percent of the American people and more than 75 percent of responsible gun owners.

So that is exactly what I think is constitutionally permissible.

And once again, you have Donald Trump just making outright fabrications, accusing me of something that is absolutely untrue. But I’m going to continue to speak out for comprehensive background checks, closing the gun show loopholes, closing the online loophole, closing the so-called Charleston loophole, reversing the bill that Senator Sanders voted for and I voted against, giving immunity from liability to gun makers and sellers. I think all of that can and should be done and it is, in my view, consistent with the “Constitution.”

STEPHANOPOULOS: And the “Heller” decision also does say there can be some restrictions.

But that’s what I asked.

I said do you believe that their conclusion that an individual’s right to bear arms is a constitutional right?

CLINTON: If it is a constitutional right, then it, like every other constitutional right, is subject to reasonable regulation. And what people have done with that decision is to take it as far as they possibly can and reject what has been our history from the very beginning of the republic, where some of the earliest laws that were passed were about firearms.

So I think it’s important to recognize that reasonable people can say, as I do, responsible gun owners have a right—I have no objection to that. But the rest of the American public has a right to require certain kinds of regularity, responsible actions to protect everyone else.

[420] Article: “Clinton: Every Right That We Have Is Open to and Subject to Reasonable Regulations.” By Tim Hains. Real Clear Politics, July 31, 2016. <www.realclearpolitics.com>

CHRIS WALLACE, FNC: At a fund-raiser last year you said this, “The Supreme Court is wrong on the Second Amendment.” Now, in the 2008 Heller case, the court said there’s a constitutional individual right to bear arms.

What’s wrong with that?

HILLARY CLINTON: Well, I think what the court said about there being an individual right is in line with constitutional thinking. And I said in the convention, I’m not looking to repeal the second amendment. I’m not looking to take people’s guns away, but I am looking for more support for the reasonable efforts that need to be undertaken to keep guns out of the wrong hands.

WALLACE: And the Second Amendment includes an individual right to bear arms.

CLINTON: Yes, but that right like every other of our rights, our First Amendment rights, every right that we have is open to and even subject to reasonable regulations.

WALLACE: I just want to pursue this a bit. Heller, Justice Scalia, he said that the right to bear arms is reasonably limited. He let the door open to regulation. If you’re elected president, you’re going to appoint the Ninth Supreme Court justice.

CLINTON: Um-hmm.

WALLACE: Are you saying you do not want to see the Heller decision, the individual right to bear arms overturned?

CLINTON: No, I don’t, but here’s what I do want. And I want to be very clear about this: I want the Congress to step up and do its job. I want to get out of the horrible cycle we’re in, where we go and mourn dozens, hundreds, thousands of people killed by gun violence. …

[421] Webpage: “Members of the Supreme Court of the United States.” U.S. Supreme Court. Accessed October 6, 2014 at <www.supremecourt.gov>

Name

Appointed by

President

Judicial Oath

Taken

Date Service

Terminated

Scalia, Antonin

Reagan [R]

9/26/1986

2/13/2016

Kennedy, Anthony M.

Reagan [R]

2/18/1988

Thomas, Clarence

Bush, G. H. W. [R]

10/23/1991

Roberts, John G., Jr.

Bush, G. W. [R]

9/29/2005

Alito, Samuel A., Jr.

Bush, G. W. [R]

1/31/2006

[422] Article: “Anti-Alito Filibuster Soundly Defeated.” CNN, January 30, 2006. <www.cnn.com>

Judge Samuel Alito stands just one step away from a lifetime appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court after a spirited ninth-inning campaign by some Democratic senators to block his nomination fizzled Monday evening.

Alito’s supporters in the Senate, as expected, cleared the final roadblock Monday when senators, by a vote of 72-25, decided to cut off debate and proceed to a final vote, rebuffing an attempt by a cadre of liberal senators to talk the nomination to death. …

Among the 24 Democrats who supported the filibuster were five senators being mentioned as possible 2008 White House contenders—Kerry, who lost to Bush in 2004; Hillary Clinton of New York; Evan Bayh of Indiana; Russ Feingold of Wisconsin; and Joe Biden of Delaware.

[423] Article: “Roberts Confirmed as 17th Chief Justice.” By Charles Babington and Peter Baker. Washington Post, September 30, 2005. <www.washingtonpost.com>

John Glover Roberts Jr. was sworn in yesterday as the 17th chief justice of the United States, enabling President Bush to put his stamp on the Supreme Court for decades to come, even as he prepares to name a second nominee to the nine-member court.

Among those opposing Roberts were presidential aspirants who typically veer to the center but now are eyeing the liberal activist groups that will play key roles in Iowa, New Hampshire and other early-voting states in 2008. They included Sens. Evan Bayh (Ind.), Joseph R. Biden Jr. (Del.) and Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.).

[424] Vote 2: “On the Nomination of Samuel A. Alito, Jr., of New Jersey, to be an Associate Justice.” U.S. Senate, January 31, 2006. <www.senate.gov>

“NAYs … Clinton (D-NY)”

[425] Article: “Trump hits Scalia Over Comments on Black Students.” By Eugene Scott. CNN, December 13, 2015. <www.cnn.com>

On Saturday, however, Trump called Scalia “terrific” at a campaign event while telling South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson that his “favorite justice” is Clarence Thomas, calling the court’s only black justice “underrated.”

“Scalia’s terrific, but Clarence Thomas has been so consistent,” he said in Aiken, South Carolina. “He has been very, very strong and consistent and I really respect that.”

[426] Article: “McCain Promises Judges Like Roberts, Alito.” Associated Press, May 6, 2008. <www.cbsnews.com>

“Obama, on the other hand, voted against Roberts and Alito.”

[427] Article: “Obama, Mccain Talk Issues at Pastor’s Forum.” By Ed Hornick. CNN, August 17, 2008. <www.cnn.com>

“Neither candidate shied away from a question about which current Supreme Court justice they would not have nominated. Obama’s reply: Clarence Thomas.”

[428] Article: “Obama: I Would Not Have Nominated Clarence Thomas.” By Sam Stein. Huffington Post, August 16, 2008. <www.huffingtonpost.com>

[Quoting Obama:] “I would not have nominated Justice Scalia….”

[429] Webpage: “Members of the Supreme Court of the United States.” U.S. Supreme Court. Accessed October 6, 2014 at <www.supremecourt.gov>

Name

Appointed by

President

Judicial Oath

Taken

Date Service

Terminated

Stevens, John Paul

Ford [R]

12/19/1975

6/29/2010

Souter, David H.

Bush, G. H. W. [R]

10/9/1990

6/29/2009

Ginsburg, Ruth Bader

Clinton [D]

8/10/1993

Breyer, Stephen G.

Clinton [D]

8/3/1994

[430] Webpage: “Members of the Supreme Court of the United States.” U.S. Supreme Court. Accessed October 6, 2014 at <www.supremecourt.gov>

Name

Appointed by

President

Judicial Oath

Taken

Date Service

Terminated

Stevens, John Paul

Ford [R]

12/19/1975

6/29/2010

Souter, David H.

Bush, G. H. W. [R]

10/9/1990

6/29/2009

Ginsburg, Ruth Bader

Clinton [D]

8/10/1993

Breyer, Stephen G.

Clinton [D]

8/3/1994

[431] Article: “Obama, Mccain Talk Issues at Pastor’s Forum.” By Ed Hornick. CNN, August 17, 2008. <www.cnn.com>

“McCain said he would have never nominated Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, David Souter and John Paul Stevens.”

[432] Webpage: “Biographies of the Current Justices of the Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor.” U.S. Supreme Court. Accessed August 2, 2016 at <www.supremecourt.gov>

“President Barack Obama nominated her as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court on May 26, 2009, and she assumed this role August 8, 2009.”

[433] Vote Number 262: “Confirmation of Sonya Sotomayor to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.” U.S. Senate, August 6, 2009. <www.senate.gov>

“YEAs [=] 68 … NAYs [=] 31 … Not Voting [=] 1 Kennedy (D-MA)”

NOTE: This record reflects that 2 Independents, 58 Democrats, and 8 (out of 39) Republicans voted to confirm Sotomayor. All of the 31 “NAYs” were Republicans.

CALCULATION: 31 Republicans voting against / 39 total Republicans = 79%

[434] Article: “Sotomayor is Confirmed.” By Martha Neil. ABA Journal, August 6, 2009. <www.abajournal.com>

“In a historic moment, the U.S. Senate today voted 68–31 to confirm President Barack Obama’s nomination of Sonia Sotomayor for a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court.”

[435] Ruling: McDonald v Chicago. U.S. Supreme Court, June 28, 2010. Case 08–1521. Decided 5–4. Majority: Alito, Roberts, Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas. Dissenting: Stevens, Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor. <www.law.cornell.edu>

Breyer dissent (<www.law.cornell.edu>):

Justice Breyer, with whom Justice Ginsburg and Justice Sotomayor join, dissenting. …

The Court … asks whether the Second Amendment right to private self-defense is “fundamental” so that it applies to the States through the Fourteenth Amendment.* …

… the use of arms for private self-defense does not warrant federal constitutional protection from state regulation….

In sum, the Framers did not write the Second Amendment in order to protect a private right of armed self-defense.

NOTE: * Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Ratified July 9, 1868. <justfacts.com>

“Section 1. … No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

[436] Webpage: “Biographies of the Current Justices of the Supreme Court—Elena Kagan.” U.S. Supreme Court. Accessed August 2, 2016 at <www.supremecourt.gov>

“[T]he President nominated her as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court on May 10, 2010. She took her seat on August 7, 2010.”

[437] Article: “Kagan Was ‘Not Sympathetic’ as Law Clerk to Gun-Rights Argument.” By Greg Stohr and Kristin Jensen. Bloomberg, May 13, 2010. <www.bloomberg.com>

Elena Kagan said as a U.S. Supreme Court law clerk in 1987 that she was “not sympathetic” toward a man who contended that his constitutional rights were violated when he was convicted for carrying an unlicensed pistol.

Kagan, whom President Barack Obama nominated to the high court this week, made the comment to Justice Thurgood Marshall, urging him in a one-paragraph memo to vote against hearing the District of Columbia man’s appeal.

[438] Vote Number 229: “Confirmation of Elena Kagan to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.” U.S. Senate, August 5, 2010. <www.senate.gov>

“YEAs [=] 63 … NAYs [=] 37”

NOTE: This record reflects that 5 Republicans, 1 Independent, and 57 (out of 58) Democrats voted for her confirmation, and 1 Democrat and 36 (out of 41) Republicans voted against it.

CALCULATIONS:

  • 57 Democrats confirming / 58 total Democrats = 98%
  • 36 Republicans voting against / 41 total Republicans = 88%

[439] Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Ratified December 15, 1791. <justfacts.com>

[440] Book: The Bill of Rights and the States: The Colonial and Revolutionary Origins of American Liberties. Edited by Patrick T. Conley & John P. Kaminski. Madison House Publishers, 1992. Pages 461–514: “The Bill of Rights: A Bibliographic Essay.” By Gaspare J. Saladino.

Page 484:

The best historical treatments of the legislative history of the Bill of Rights in the first federal Congress are in the general accounts by Rutland, Dumbauld, Brant, Schwartz, and Levy, and in David M. Matteson, The Organization of the Government under the Constitution (1941; reprint ed., New York, 1970). All agree that James Madison, against considerable odds, took the lead in the House of Representatives, and that without his efforts there probably would have been no Bill of Rights. Madison’s amendments, a distillation of those from the state conventions (especially Virginia’s) were, for the most part, those that the House eventually adopted.

[441] Article: “Madison, James.” Contributor: Robert J. Brugger (Ph.D., Editor, Maryland Historical Magazine, Maryland Historical Society). World Book Encyclopedia, 2007 Deluxe Edition.

Madison, James (1751–1836), the fourth president of the United States, is often called the Father of the Constitution. He played a leading role in the Constitutional Convention of 1787, where he helped design the checks and balances that operate among Congress, the president, and the Supreme Court. He also helped create the U.S. federal system, which divides power between the central government and the states.

[442] The Federalist Papers. By Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and James Madison. October 27, 1787–May 28, 1788. <www.gutenberg.org>

Federalist Paper 1: “General Introduction.” By Alexander Hamilton. From the Independent Journal. October 27, 1787.

“Yes, my countrymen, I own to you that, after having given it an attentive consideration, I am clearly of opinion it is your interest to adopt it. I am convinced that this is the safest course for your liberty, your dignity, and your happiness.”

[443] Book: The Federalist. Edited with an introduction and notes by Jacob E. Cooke. Wesleyan University Press, 1961.

Page xi: “The Federalist, addressed to the People of the State of New York, was occasioned by the objections of many New Yorkers to the Constitution which had been proposed…. [T]he pages of New York newspapers were filled with articles denouncing the new frame of government. … The decision to publish [the] series of essays… was made by Alexander Hamilton.”

Pages xiv–xv:

The first edition, printed by J. and A. McLean and corrected by Hamilton, is the source from which most editions of The Federalist have been taken. … McLean, having observed “the avidity” with which the “Publius” essays had been sought after by politicians and persons of every description,” announced plans for the publication of “The FEDERALIST, A Collection of Essays, written in favour of the New Constitution, By a Citizen of New-York, Corrected by the Author, with Additions and alterations. [The first 36 essays were collectively published in a book dated March 22, 1788. On May 28 of the same year, the rest of the essays that appeared in newspapers were published in book form along with eight more written by Hamilton. These last eight essays were subsequently published in newspapers.]

[444] The Federalist Papers. By Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and James Madison. October 27, 1787–May 28, 1788. <www.gutenberg.org>

Federalist Paper 46: “The Influence of the State and Federal Governments Compared.” By James Madison. From the New York Packet, January 29, 1788.

The only refuge left for those who prophesy the downfall of the State governments is the visionary supposition that the federal government may previously accumulate a military force for the projects of ambition. The reasonings contained in these papers must have been employed to little purpose indeed, if it could be necessary now to disprove the reality of this danger. That the people and the States should, for a sufficient period of time, elect an uninterrupted succession of men ready to betray both; that the traitors should, throughout this period, uniformly and systematically pursue some fixed plan for the extension of the military establishment; that the governments and the people of the States should silently and patiently behold the gathering storm, and continue to supply the materials, until it should be prepared to burst on their own heads, must appear to every one more like the incoherent dreams of a delirious jealousy, or the misjudged exaggerations of a counterfeit zeal, than like the sober apprehensions of genuine patriotism. Extravagant as the supposition is, let it however be made. Let a regular army, fully equal to the resources of the country, be formed; and let it be entirely at the devotion of the federal government; still it would not be going too far to say, that the State governments, with the people on their side, would be able to repel the danger. The highest number to which, according to the best computation, a standing army can be carried in any country, does not exceed one hundredth part of the whole number of souls; or one twenty-fifth part of the number able to bear arms. This proportion would not yield, in the United States, an army of more than twenty-five or thirty thousand men. To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties, and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence. It may well be doubted, whether a militia thus circumstanced could ever be conquered by such a proportion of regular troops. Those who are best acquainted with the last successful resistance of this country against the British arms, will be most inclined to deny the possibility of it. Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of. Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms. And it is not certain, that with this aid alone they would not be able to shake off their yokes. But were the people to possess the additional advantages of local governments chosen by themselves, who could collect the national will and direct the national force, and of officers appointed out of the militia, by these governments, and attached both to them and to the militia, it may be affirmed with the greatest assurance, that the throne of every tyranny in Europe would be speedily overturned in spite of the legions which surround it. Let us not insult the free and gallant citizens of America with the suspicion, that they would be less able to defend the rights of which they would be in actual possession, than the debased subjects of arbitrary power would be to rescue theirs from the hands of their oppressors. Let us rather no longer insult them with the supposition that they can ever reduce themselves to the necessity of making the experiment, by a blind and tame submission to the long train of insidious measures which must precede and produce it.

[445] Webpage: “Civil War Facts.” American Battlefield Trust. Accessed July 24, 2018 at <www.battlefields.org>

“The war began when the Confederates bombarded Union soldiers at Fort Sumter, South Carolina on April 12, 1861. The war ended in Spring, 1865. Robert E. Lee surrendered the last major Confederate army to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Courthouse on April 9, 1865. The last battle was fought at Palmito Ranch, Texas, on May 13, 1865. … The Northern armies were victorious, and the rebellious states returned to the Union.”

[446] Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Ratified July 9, 1868. <justfacts.com>

[447] Webpage: “Jacob Merritt Howard.” Historic Elmwood Cemetery & Foundation. Accessed April 24, 2017 at <www.elmwoodhistoriccemetery.org>

Few men in this country have the opportunity to make significant changes to our Federal Constitution. Jacob M. Howard, in his lifetime, wrote state and national laws whose principles and precepts are still observed today. …

… He was elected Detroit Attorney in 1834 and state representative in 1838. He was Michigan Attorney General from 1855 to 1861. As one of the founders of the Republican Party, he made political and legislative history in Michigan and the nation’s capitol. …

Following the Civil War, his actions led to the creation of the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments to the U. S. Constitution. He felt that Congress could enforce the 13th which freed all those subjected to slavery. He then considered the need to protect the rights of all Americans, thus the 14th Amendment which upholds human rights of those freed from slavery was passed.

[448] Book: Processes of Constitutional Decision-Making: Cases and Materials (5th edition). By Paul Brest and others. Aspen Publishers, 2006.

Senator Jacob Howard, Speech Introducing the Fourteenth Amendment

Speech delivered in the U.S. Senate, May 23, 1866

[Senator Jacob Howard of Michigan was a member of the Joint Committee on Reconstruction that drafted the Fourteenth Amendment. He was the floor manager for the Amendment in the Senate. In this speech, he introduces the Amendment on the floor of the Senate and explains its purposes.]

I can only promise to present to the Senate, in a very succinct way, the views and the motives which influenced th[e] committee, so far as I understand those views and motives, in presenting the report which is now before us for consideration, and the ends it aims to accomplish. …

The first section [of the 14th Amendment] … relates to the privileges and immunities of citizens of the several States, and to the rights and privileges of all persons, whether citizens or others, under the laws of the United States. …

To these privileges and immunities, whatever they may be—for they are not and cannot be fully defined in their entire extent and precise nature—to these should be added the personal rights guarantied and secured by the first eight amendments of the Constitution; such as the freedom of speech and of the press; the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the Government for a redress of grievances, a right appertaining to each and all the people; the right to keep and to bear arms; the right to be exempted from the quartering of soldiers in a house without the consent of the owner; the right to be exempt from unreasonable searches and seizures, and from any search or seizure except by virtue of a warrant issued upon a formal oath or affidavit; the right of an accused person to be informed of the nature of the accusation against him, and his right to be tried by an impartial jury of the vicinage; and also the right to be secure against excessive bail and against cruel and unusual punishments.

Now, sir, here is a mass of privileges, immunities, and rights, some of them secured by the second section of the fourth article of the Constitution, which I have recited, some by the first eight amendments of the Constitution; and it is a fact well worthy of attention that the course of decision of our courts and the present settled doctrine is, that all these immunities, privileges, rights, thus guarantied by the Constitution or recognized by it, are secured to the citizen solely as a citizen of the United States and as a party in their courts. They do not operate in the slightest degree as a restraint or prohibition upon State legislation. States are not affected by them, and it has been repeatedly held that the restriction contained in the Constitution against the taking of private property for public use without just compensation is not a restriction upon State legislation, but applies only to the legislation of Congress.

Now, sir, there is no power given in the Constitution to enforce and to carry out any of these guarantees. They are not powers granted by the Constitution to Congress, and of course do not come within the sweeping clause of the Constitution authorizing Congress to pass all laws necessary and proper for carrying out the foregoing or granted powers, but they stand simply as a bill of rights in the Constitution, without power on the part of Congress to give them full effect; while at the same time the States are not restrained from violating the principles embraced in them except by their own local constitutions, which may be altered from year to year. The great object of the first section of this amendment is, therefore, to restrain the power of the States and compel them at all times to respect these great fundamental guarantees….

[449] Webpage: “The Second Amendment: No Right to Keep and Bear Arms.” Violence Policy Center, 1998. Accessed August 2, 2016 at <www.vpc.org>

“The purpose of the Second Amendment is to guarantee the states’ ability to maintain independent militias composed of state residents available to be called upon to defend the country should its security be threatened.”

[450] Article: “Appeals Court Says Gun Ban Violates 2nd Amendment.” By Adam Liptak. New York Times, March 9, 2007. <query.nytimes.com>

“Most federal appeals courts have said that the amendment, read as a whole, protects only a collective right of the states to maintain militias—in modern terms, the National Guard.”

[451] Ruling: Silveira v Lockyer. U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, December 05, 2002. Case 01-15098. Before: Reinhardt, Magill, and Fisher, Circuit Judges. <caselaw.findlaw.com>

In any event, it is clear that the drafters believed the militia that provides the best security for a free state to be the permanent state militia, not some amorphous body of the people as a whole, or whatever random and informal collection of armed individuals may from time to time appear on the scene for one purpose or another. …

The debates of the founding era demonstrate that the second of the first ten amendments to the Constitution was included in order to preserve the efficacy of the state militias for the people’s defense—not to ensure an individual right to possess weapons. Specifically, the amendment was enacted to guarantee that the people would be able to maintain an effective state fighting force—that they would have the right to bear arms in the service of the state.

[452] Article: “A Primer on the Constitutional Right to Keep and Bear Arms.” By Nelson Lund. Virginia Institute for Public Policy, June 2002. <www.virginiainstitute.org>

The Second Amendment unambiguously and irrefutably establishes an individual right to keep and bear arms. This conclusion, which is dictated by the language of the Constitution, is confirmed by an abundance of historical evidence. Nor is it contradicted by anything yet discovered in the Constitution’s legislative history or in the historical background that illuminates the intentions of those who adopted the Bill of Rights.

[453] Ruling: United States v Emerson. U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit, October 16, 2001. Case 99-10331. Decided unanimously. Before: Garwood, Demoss, and Parker, Circuit Judges. <caselaw.findlaw.com>

“We reject the collective rights and sophisticated collective rights models for interpreting the Second Amendment. We hold, consistent with Miller, that it protects the right of individuals, including those not then actually a member of any militia or engaged in active military service or training, to privately possess and bear their own firearms….”

[454] Article: “A History of D.C. Gun Ban.” Compiled by Meg Smith and Leah Carliner. Washington Post, June 26, 2008. <www.washingtonpost.com>

June 1976: [T]he D.C. Council votes 12 to 1 in favor of a bill restricting city residents from acquiring handguns. The law exempts guards, police officers and owners who had registered their handguns before it took effect. Under the bill, all firearms (including rifles and shotguns, which were not restricted by the law) must be kept unloaded and disassembled, except those in business establishments.

September 1976: Attempts in Congress to block the District law fail, clearing the way for it to go into effect.

[455] Legal brief: District of Columbia and Adrian M. Fenty, Mayor of the District Of Columbia, Petitioners, v. Dick Anthony Heller, Respondent. In the Supreme Court of the United States. By Linda Singer (Attorney General for the District of Columbia) and others. January 4, 2008. Case 07-290. <www.abanet.org>

Pages 1–2:

Relevant portions of the D.C. Code provide:

§ 7-2502.02. Registration of certain firearms prohibited.

(a) A registration certificate shall not be issued for a:

(1) Sawed-off shotgun;

(2) Machine gun;

(3) Short-barreled rifle; or

(4) Pistol not validly registered to the current registrant in the District prior to September 24, 1976, except that the provisions of this section shall not apply to any organization that employs at least 1 commissioned special police officer or other employee licensed to carry a firearm and that arms the employee with a firearm during the employee’s duty hours or to a police officer who has retired from the Metropolitan Police Department.

(b) Nothing in this section shall prevent a police officer who has retired from the Metropolitan Police Department from registering a pistol.

§ 7-2507.02. Firearms required to be unloaded and disassembled or locked.

Except for law enforcement personnel described in § 7-2502.01(b)(1), each registrant shall keep any firearm in his possession unloaded and disassembled or bound by a trigger lock or similar device unless such firearm is kept at his place of business, or while being used for lawful recreational purposes within the District of Columbia.

[456] Ruling: District of Columbia v. Heller. U.S. Supreme Court, June 26, 2008. Case 07-290. Decided 5–4. Majority: Scalia, Roberts, Kennedy, Thomas, Alito. Dissenting: Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg, Breyer. <caselaw.lp.findlaw.com>

Majority:

In sum, we hold that the District’s ban on handgun possession in the home violates the Second Amendment, as does its prohibition against rendering any lawful firearm in the home operable for the purpose of immediate self-defense. Assuming that Heller is not disqualified from the exercise of Second Amendment rights, the District must permit him to register his handgun and must issue him a license to carry it in the home.

[457] Ruling: District of Columbia v. Heller. U.S. Supreme Court, June 26, 2008. Case 07-290. Decided 5–4. Majority: Scalia, Roberts, Kennedy, Thomas, Alito. Dissenting: Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg, Breyer. <caselaw.lp.findlaw.com>

[458] Ruling: District of Columbia v. Heller. U.S. Supreme Court, June 26, 2008. Case 07-290. Decided 5–4. Majority: Scalia, Roberts, Kennedy, Thomas, Alito. Dissenting: Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg, Breyer. <caselaw.lp.findlaw.com>

[459] Ruling: District of Columbia v. Heller. U.S. Supreme Court, June 26, 2008. Case 07-290. Decided 5–4. Majority: Scalia, Roberts, Kennedy, Thomas, Alito. Dissenting: Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg, Breyer. <caselaw.lp.findlaw.com>

[460] Ruling: District of Columbia v. Heller. U.S. Supreme Court, June 26, 2008. Case 07-290. Decided 5–4. Majority: Scalia, Roberts, Kennedy, Thomas, Alito. Dissenting: Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg, Breyer. <caselaw.lp.findlaw.com>

[461] Ruling: District of Columbia v. Heller. U.S. Supreme Court, June 26, 2008. Case 07-290. Decided 5–4. Majority: Scalia, Roberts, Kennedy, Thomas, Alito. Dissenting: Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg, Breyer. <caselaw.lp.findlaw.com>

[462] Ruling: District of Columbia v. Heller. U.S. Supreme Court, June 26, 2008. Case 07-290. Decided 5–4. Majority: Scalia, Roberts, Kennedy, Thomas, Alito. Dissenting: Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg, Breyer. <caselaw.lp.findlaw.com>

[463] First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Ratified December 15, 1791. <justfacts.com>

[464] Fourth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Ratified December 15, 1791. <justfacts.com>

[465] Ruling: District of Columbia v. Heller. U.S. Supreme Court, June 26, 2008. Case 07-290. Decided 5–4. Majority: Scalia, Roberts, Kennedy, Thomas, Alito. Dissenting: Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg, Breyer. <caselaw.lp.findlaw.com>

[466] Ruling: District of Columbia v. Heller. U.S. Supreme Court, June 26, 2008. Case 07-290. Decided 5–4. Majority: Scalia, Roberts, Kennedy, Thomas, Alito. Dissenting: Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg, Breyer. <caselaw.lp.findlaw.com>

[467] Ruling: District of Columbia v. Heller. U.S. Supreme Court, June 26, 2008. Case 07-290. Decided 5–4. Majority: Scalia, Roberts, Kennedy, Thomas, Alito. Dissenting: Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg, Breyer. <caselaw.lp.findlaw.com>

[468] Ruling: District of Columbia v. Heller. U.S. Supreme Court, June 26, 2008. Case 07-290. Decided 5–4. Majority: Scalia, Roberts, Kennedy, Thomas, Alito. Dissenting: Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg, Breyer. <caselaw.lp.findlaw.com>

[469] Ruling: District of Columbia v. Heller. U.S. Supreme Court, June 26, 2008. Case 07-290. Decided 5–4. Majority: Scalia, Roberts, Kennedy, Thomas, Alito. Dissenting: Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg, Breyer. <caselaw.lp.findlaw.com>

[470] Ruling: Barron v Baltimore. U.S. Supreme Court, January Term, 1833. <caselaw.lp.findlaw.com>

The plaintiff in error contends, that it comes within that clause in the fifth amendment to the constitution, which inhibits the taking of private property for public use, without just compensation. He insists, that this amendment being in favor of the liberty of the citizen, ought to be so construed as to restrain the legislative power of a state, as well as that of the United States. If this proposition be untrue, the court can take no jurisdiction of the cause.

The question thus presented is, we think, of great importance, but not of much difficulty. The constitution was ordained and established by the people of the United States for themselves, for their own government, and not for the government of the individual states. Each state established a constitution for itself, and in that constitution, provided such limitations and restrictions on the powers of its particular government, as its judgment dictated. The people of the United States framed such a government for the United States as they supposed best adapted to their situation and best calculated to promote their interests. The powers they conferred on this government were to be exercised by itself; and the limitations on power, if expressed in general terms, are naturally, and, we think, necessarily, applicable to the government created by the instrument. They are limitations of power granted in the instrument itself; not of distinct governments, framed by different persons and for different purposes.

If these propositions be correct, the fifth amendment must be understood as restraining the power of the general government, not as applicable to the states.

[471] Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Ratified July 9, 1868. <justfacts.com>

[472] Book: Processes of Constitutional Decision-Making: Cases and Materials (5th edition). By Paul Brest and others. Aspen Publishers, 2006.

Senator Jacob Howard, Speech Introducing the Fourteenth Amendment

Speech delivered in the U.S. Senate, May 23, 1866

[Senator Jacob Howard of Michigan was a member of the Joint Committee on Reconstruction that drafted the Fourteenth Amendment. He was the floor manager for the Amendment in the Senate. In this speech, he introduces the Amendment on the floor of the Senate and explains its purposes.]

I can only promise to present to the Senate, in a very succinct way, the views and the motives which influenced th[e] committee, so far as I understand those views and motives, in presenting the report which is now before us for consideration, and the ends it aims to accomplish. …

The first section [of the 14th Amendment] … relates to the privileges and immunities of citizens of the several States, and to the rights and privileges of all persons, whether citizens or others, under the laws of the United States. …

To these privileges and immunities, whatever they may be—for they are not and cannot be fully defined in their entire extent and precise nature—to these should be added the personal rights guarantied and secured by the first eight amendments of the Constitution; such as the freedom of speech and of the press; the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the Government for a redress of grievances, a right appertaining to each and all the people; the right to keep and to bear arms; the right to be exempted from the quartering of soldiers in a house without the consent of the owner; the right to be exempt from unreasonable searches and seizures, and from any search or seizure except by virtue of a warrant issued upon a formal oath or affidavit; the right of an accused person to be informed of the nature of the accusation against him, and his right to be tried by an impartial jury of the vicinage; and also the right to be secure against excessive bail and against cruel and unusual punishments.

Now, sir, here is a mass of privileges, immunities, and rights, some of them secured by the second section of the fourth article of the Constitution, which I have recited, some by the first eight amendments of the Constitution; and it is a fact well worthy of attention that the course of decision of our courts and the present settled doctrine is, that all these immunities, privileges, rights, thus guarantied by the Constitution or recognized by it, are secured to the citizen solely as a citizen of the United States and as a party in their courts. They do not operate in the slightest degree as a restraint or prohibition upon State legislation. States are not affected by them, and it has been repeatedly held that the restriction contained in the Constitution against the taking of private property for public use without just compensation is not a restriction upon State legislation, but applies only to the legislation of Congress.

Now, sir, there is no power given in the Constitution to enforce and to carry out any of these guarantees. They are not powers granted by the Constitution to Congress, and of course do not come within the sweeping clause of the Constitution authorizing Congress to pass all laws necessary and proper for carrying out the foregoing or granted powers, but they stand simply as a bill of rights in the Constitution, without power on the part of Congress to give them full effect; while at the same time the States are not restrained from violating the principles embraced in them except by their own local constitutions, which may be altered from year to year. The great object of the first section of this amendment is, therefore, to restrain the power of the States and compel them at all times to respect these great fundamental guarantees….

[473] Ruling: Hunt v Daley. Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, Third Division, February 19, 1997. Case 1-95-1779. <caselaw.findlaw.com>


This proceeding involves the 1982 Chicago Weapons Ordinance, passed by the Chicago City Council on March 19, 1982 … rendering certain firearms unregisterable in the City of Chicago. Under that ordinance, several categories of firearms, including handguns, became unregisterable in the City of Chicago. … However, pursuant to a grandfathering provision provided in the 1982 ordinance, handgun owners whose handguns were validly registered prior to the effective date of the handgun ban could continue to re-register their handguns. … The 1982 ordinance also required that such re-registration take place every two years. … [It was] … amended and recodified in 1994 to require annual re-registration…. The failure to re-register firearms every two years after the enactment of the 1982 ordinance rendered such firearms permanently unregisterable, and thereby caused handgun owners to forfeit their right to possess such firearms within the City of Chicago.

[474] Ruling: Sklar v Byrne. U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit, February 8, 1984 (as amended April 17, 1984). Case 83-1431. <openjurist.org>

On March 19, 1982, the Chicago City Council passed an ordinance amending Chapter 11.1 of the Municipal Code of the City of Chicago which regulates the sale, possession and registration of firearms and ammunition. The ordinance requires that all firearms in Chicago be registered with the city. … The ordinance also classifies some firearms as “unregisterable,” thus making illegal their possession in the City of Chicago. Among the categories of “unregisterable” firearms are “Handguns, except those validly registered to a current owner in the City of Chicago prior to the effective date of this Chapter.”… The effective date of the Chapter was April 10, 1982.

[475] Case file: McDonald v Chicago. Plaintiff’s complaint. Filed June 26, 2008. Case 08cv3645. <graphics8.nytimes.com>

Page 7: “Chicago Municipal Code § 8-20-200 provides: (a) Every registrant must renew his registration certificate annually. Applications for renewal shall be made by such registrants 60 days prior to the expiration of the current registration certificate. (b) The application for renewal shall include the payment of a renewal fee as follows: 1 firearm … $20.00….”

[476] Ruling: McDonald v Chicago. U.S. Supreme Court, June 28, 2010. Case 08–1521. Decided 5–4. Majority: Alito, Roberts, Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas. Dissenting: Stevens, Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor. <www.law.cornell.edu>

Two years ago, in District of Columbia v. Heller … we held that the Second Amendment* protects the right to keep and bear arms for the purpose of self-defense, and we struck down a District of Columbia law that banned the possession of handguns in the home. The city of Chicago (City) and the village of Oak Park, a Chicago suburb, have laws that are similar to the District of Columbia’s, but Chicago and Oak Park argue that their laws are constitutional because the Second Amendment has no application to the States. … Applying the standard that is well established in our case law, we hold that the Second Amendment right is fully applicable to the States.

NOTE: * Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Ratified December 15, 1791. <justfacts.com>

“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.”

[477] Ruling: McDonald v Chicago. U.S. Supreme Court, June 28, 2010. Case 08–1521. Decided 5–4. Majority: Alito, Roberts, Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas. Dissenting: Stevens, Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor. <www.law.cornell.edu>

[478] Ruling: McDonald v Chicago. U.S. Supreme Court, June 28, 2010. Case 08–1521. Decided 5–4. Majority: Alito, Roberts, Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas. Dissenting: Stevens, Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor. <www.law.cornell.edu>

[479] Ruling: McDonald v Chicago. U.S. Supreme Court, June 28, 2010. Case 08–1521. Decided 5–4. Majority: Alito, Roberts, Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas. Dissenting: Stevens, Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor. <www.law.cornell.edu>

[480] Ruling: McDonald v Chicago. U.S. Supreme Court, June 28, 2010. Case 08–1521. Decided 5–4. Majority: Alito, Roberts, Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas. Dissenting: Stevens, Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor. <www.law.cornell.edu>

Just Facts | 641 Shunpike Rd #286 | Chatham, NJ 07928 | Contact Us | Careers

Copyright © Just Facts. All rights reserved.
Just Facts is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization.
Information provided by Just Facts is not legal, tax, or investment advice.
justfacts.com | justfactsdaily.com