The Second Amendment: Different Active Laws on Gun Restrictions in the US (Pt 7/9)

Over the next couple of weeks, I will be posting my research on the Second Amendment in several parts. Click here for part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6

VII. Different Active Laws on Gun Restrictions in the US

Of course the United States has some kind of limitations on the Second Amendment now too. The problem is not that there’s not any restrictions, but that there’s not enough. Currently there are several different restrictions in different states.

Place and Manner Restrictions

Most of the states have place and manner restrictions, which “..attempt to separate illegitimate from legitimate gun use by regulating the place and manner in which firearms may be used”. They ban uses which involve high risk, such as carrying firearms within city limits or in vehicles, carrying concealed weapons, or discharging firearms in populated areas. These kind of restrictions try to prevent gun violence by police intervention before any kind of crime or violence actually takes place. Obviously, there are limits in their abilities to discover people who violate place and manner law and to prevent violence, thus a lot of gun violence is still left without any treatment.

Increasing Penalties

More than half the states have laws providing longer sentences for criminals who carry or use a gun whilst committing a felony. Thus, if you commit a robbery without a gun, you might get 5 years, but if you commit robbery with a gun, you might get 7. But the problem with this approach is that criminals don’t really care if the punishment gets worse – they are already taking the risk. Also, if the crime itself is a shooting, then there’s nothing more to do. The person who attacks with a gun is already risking the maximum punishment of the law if there’s death of victims. So then there’s nothing more the state can do.


A lot of state impose gun restriction laws by making it harder to get guns. They require one of the two process: “getting a license to buy a gun, or an application to purchase coupled with a waiting period”. This way, the person has a chance to prove that he is eligible to buy and own a gun before he can obtain a licence. But unfortunately half of all the handguns in the US are acquired through a second hand seller, from private parties, who may not ask to see a license. So then what is the state supposed to do? They can’t ban all handguns, that’s unconstitutional. They can decrease the number of handguns by asking the civilians to return their guns if they’re not licensed, but that’s a utopian dream. Restrictive licensing is also one of the ways to cut down on gun violence, it asks for a person to establish a need for a gun before a license. This way, unless you have proof that you actually need it, you won’t get it.

There’s also background checks, handgun bans, and other kind of restrictions. None of these restrictions are enough anymore, clearly there need to be more. We need a system of firearms control which will involve different kind of laws together, each with a separate purpose, and they all have to operate together. That’s why, either only the militia should be able keep firearms, or new laws need to be created to fill up the loopholes and balance everything out.

Works Cited:

Zimring, Franklin E., and Gordon Hawkins. The Citizen’s Guide to Gun Control. New York: Macmillan Pub., 1992. Print.

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