Gun restrictions throughout U.S. history

By Anna Sackel and Shauna Golden

The topic of gun control is more prevalent today than it has ever been before. Following the mass shooting in Las Vegas that occurred on Sunday night, now the largest mass shooting in American history, citizens are wondering what it will take to prevent more shootings from happening.

In the past 1,735 days there have been 1,516 mass shooting in the United States, according to the Guardian. As these mass shootings have occurred throughout the years, both state and national gun laws have changed and developed over time.

Though it is currently unclear what legislation, if any, will be passed in the future, there are still evident changes that have been made to legislation since the installation of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution in 1791. 

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Early Gun Legislation

  • In 1791, The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution is written. It gives American citizens "the right to keep and bear arms."
  • The Federal Firearms Act of 1938 requires gun dealers to be licensed. It also prohibits the sale of firearms to anyone who had been convicted of a violent crime.
  • The Gun Control Act of 1968 prevents the sale of firearms to drug dealers, felons and people with mental illnesses.
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Recent Mass Shootings

  • April 20, 1999, at Columbine High School in Colorado, 13 people are killed by Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold.
  • Many schools nation-wide adapt a "zero tolerance" policy regarding violent and disruptive behavior.
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  • April 16, 2007, at Virginia Tech University, 32 people are killed by a mentally ill senior student, Seung Hui Cho.
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  • Many people start to question the simplicity of buying a gun and talks of required background checks stir in the political world.
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  • Dec. 14, 2012, in Newtown, Connecticut at Sandy Hook Elementary School, 27 people, including 20 children under the age of 9, are killed by gunman Adam Lanza.
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Recent Legislation Concerning Gun Control

  • President Barack Obama presents new legislation to Congress that would call for stricter gun control. The bill does not pass.
  • Early in 2013, Connecticut State Government passes new legislation that requires background checks for all private gun owners and prohibits the sale of high-capacity ammunition clips.
  • Connecticut gives a budget of $15 million to public schools in the state to help improve security.
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  • After the events at Sandy Hook, Connecticut becomes the state with the strictest gun control laws.
NationalAnna Sackel