Ban the Bullets

Well, we can’t make cars illegal, so we’ll just outlaw gas. This is a tactic being used by gun control activists who are targeting munitions controls instead of outright gun bans. A bill that would ban the sale of high-capacity magazines (more than 10 rounds) has been introduced in the U.S. Senate. Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) added an amendment to a Cybersecurity Bill which would ban such magazines.

Several states, including New Jersey, New York, California, Massachusetts and Hawaii, currently ban or limit the use of high-capacity magazines. Despite this, gun crime was up in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts in 2010 from 2009. Rates in California were down 8%, but there were still 3.37 firearm murders per 100,000 residents. According to 2010 FBI reports, the District of Columbia has the highest firearm murder rate at 16 per 100,000. It also has a ban on high capacity magazines. The lowest rate was Vermont at .32 (only two gun murders). Vermont does not require permits to purchase, carry or conceal any guns and allows the purchase of assault weapons.

Additionally, the Stop Online Ammunition Sales Act has been introduced in the Senate (also by Lautenberg) to ban online sales of ammunition. This comes after the Colorado shooting, where the alleged gunman purchased more than 6,000 rounds anonymously online. The bill would require sellers to personally check the photo I.D. of anyone purchasing ammunition, essentially making online sales illegal (you would have to go to a seller to pick it up in person). Sellers would also have to keep sales records, have a license and report sales of over 1,000 rounds.

Mayor Bloomberg of New York is also calling for gun control. He said in a statement that “If Washington doesn’t act, 48,000 Americans will be murdered with guns in the next president’s term.” New York is one of the few states which don’t honor gun licenses from other states. Additionally, in New York City you cannot obtain a carry permit unless you have a special occupation that would require it, such as a police officer. Otherwise, you can only obtain a permit to have a gun in your own private residence, or sometimes place of business.

The United States has the most privately owned guns in the world. An estimated 270 million guns are held by civilians. That equates to 88.8 firearms per person in the U.S., also the highest rate in the world. Many Americans cherish their Second Amendment rights, which is one reason why gun control has been a topic that most politicians are wary of touching. A 2011 Gallup poll showed that only 26% of Americans supported a handgun ban. Only 43% of Americans support the broader concept of making gun laws “more strict.”

Additional Resources

U.S. News Should Online Ammunition Sales Be Banned? http://www.usnews.com/opinion/articles/2012/08/01/should-online-ammunition-sales-be-banned

Gallup Poll Handgun Ban: http://www.gallup.com/poll/150341/record-low-favor-handgun-ban.aspx

The Guardian Gun Crime Statistics by U.S. State: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2011/jan/10/gun-crime-us-state#data

U.S.A. Today Gun Control Advocates Target High-Capacity Magazines: http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2012-07-31/gun-control-colorado-theater-shooting/56621536/1?sf5346792=1

U.S.A. Today N.J. Senator Pushes Gun-Control Bill after Colo. Shootings: http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/story/2012-07-23/lautenberg-gun-control-colorado-shooting/56441422/1

The Daily Beast The Most Armed States: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2010/06/28/states-with-the-most-guns.html

State Restrictions on Magazines, Chemical Sprays and Stun Guns: http://www.handgunlaw.us/documents/NoHiCapChemSpray.pdf

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