On June 28, the Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment, which gives citizens the right to bear arms, is not limited by state and local laws. This means that states do not have the power to pass laws that put a limit on the amendment and an individual’s right to carry a weapon.
The controversial topic of gun control is not new to the United States. In fact, it is an issue the country has faced since the days of the Revolutionary War, Prohibition, and even the hippie era.
The following timeline highlights some important landmarks in the history of gun control that lead up to the recent Supreme Court case.
1775: As American try to gain independence, the British limit the amount of gun powder shipped to the colonies. Paul Revere is caught by British on their way to take U.S. weapons at an arsenal.
1822: Bliss v. Commonwealth solidifies peoples’ rights to bear arms to defend themselves. The right to bear arms is seen as an individual right.
1842: State v. Buzzard changes opinion and the right to bear arms is now seen as a political right, not an individual right. The case sends the country into cci 400 primers in stock decades of debate over whether the right to bear arms is an individual or collective right.
1856: The well known case of Dred Scott v. Sandford gives African Americans the right to bear arms.
1868: Amid worries that the Southern states were attempting to disarm former slaves, the 14th Amendment is enacted, stating that “no state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States.”
1934: Soon after the repeal of Prohibition and the violent gang related Saint Valentine’s Day massacre, the National Firearms Act is passed, requiring the registration of firearms.
1968: The Gun Control Act makes it illegal for anyone except licensed manufacturers, dealers, and importers to participate in interstate firearms transfers.
1974: The National Coalition to Ban Handguns is founded. It includes labor, religious, and nonprofit groups who support gun owner licensing, firearm registration, and the ban of privately-owned handguns (with a few exceptions) to fight gun-related crime.
1990: The National Coalition to Ban Handguns is renamed the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence.
1993: The Brady Act requires federal background checks to purchase guns in the United Sates.
1994: It becomes illegal to sell assault weapons to civilians, according to the Assault Weapons Ban.
2007: Background check requirements are added to by the NICS Improvement Amendments Act.
2008: The Supreme Court rules, in District of Columbia v. Heller, that the 2nd Amendment allows individuals to carry firearms in federal enclaves. The ruling does not make it clear whether the decision also applies to states.
2010: The Supreme Court rules that the 2nd Amendment is not limited by state and local laws and that individuals have the right to bear arms.
This summary is only the beginning. The history of American government and laws is very interesting, in depth, and pertinent to today’s rulings. Both the criminal justice and legal industries are full of exciting information and opportunities.