15 May 2022


Restrictive Gun Laws and Gun Violence in America

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Gun policy and restrictive gun laws has been a contentious debate in the American political, social, and judicial landscape throughout the country’s history. United States is known to be most armed nation worldwide with 270 million guns being owned by its citizens (Kleck, 2017). Despite the Second Amendment guaranteeing citizens the rights to possess guns, several restrictive gun laws have been imposed in distribution and possession of guns. Certain groups of people including the mentally unstable, criminals and soldiers have been dishonorably discharged from the military, are not allowed to possess guns (Halbrook, 2019). The restrictive gun laws fail to reduce violence and many gang members do not have their guns fully registered. Although more restrictive gun laws may be believed to lower gun violence, it makes it harder for law-abiding citizens to be gun owners and the criminals are still getting their guns illegally just like they were in the first place.

By imposing restrictive gun laws, United States government is breaking the promise of protecting the rights of the citizen making it harder for them to own guns. According to the Second Amendment, “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” (Winkler, 2018). This law allows United States citizens to own firearms and the government cannot impede upon this right. However, many citizens are finding it harder to own guns due to the imposed restrictive gun laws. Having a roster that is certified to sell handguns in California, the DOJ states that no handguns are to be sold to the citizens unless they made of models that passed the functionality and safety tests (Anestis et al., 2015).This law is infringing upon the second amendment since it prevents the public from owning guns. The government validated the law by arguing that restrictive gun laws will prove to be helpful in reducing violence and crime. In reality, the restrictive gun laws have failed to solve either of these issues and are denying the people their rights of owning guns.

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The restrictive gun laws do not solve the issue of violence. This is because there are many cases of violence reported across the country even with the imposed laws. From Brady Campaign 100-point scorecard, Illinois was ranked among the strictest states with gun control laws (Anetsis et al., 2015). For the past six years, the state has been having strict gun control laws, yet a lot of violence and is still reported. In 2017, Illinois was listed number one among the top thirty cities with the highest homicide rates (Kleck, 2017). This directly indicates that restrictive gun laws do not solve any crime or violence issues. Since most criminals are proving to break the law, additional laws would not prevent them from committing more crimes. For this reason, restrictive gun laws are not effective mechanisms of solving violence since criminals do not operate on the laws of supply and demand. Instead the main reasons that make them commit crimes lies solely on issues such as psychotic behaviors (Winkler, 2018).To this end restrictive gun laws do not solve the issues of violence and the government should seek other mechanisms for taming criminals.

Restrictive gun laws infract American citizen’s freedom to own guns for sports and hunting. Halbrook (2019) alludes that many hunters have in mind that the “common sense” gun laws would not affect them in any way. They believe that the laws only apply on mentally unstable people and criminals; hence, they can continue hunting without any restrictions from the government. However, the federal government is adding more restrictive gun laws which make it harder for them to purchase guns. After the second amendment, there were no restrictive gun laws, but as time progressed, the government accumulated a vast of them. This certainly affected the gun hunters most since the laws eventual turned into gun ban. California State made it illegal for unauthorized people to own or bring gun to any public school (Anestis et al., 2015) .This law directly affected university and high school students by making it difficult or impossible for them to have trap teams. Many schools are forced not to offer trap teams or find somewhere else to practice the game. This violates the freedom of Americans since schools are entitled to offer trap teams for students to join.

Restrictive gun laws do not stop criminals from owning or acquiring firearms. Between 1982 and 2012, United States had 62 group shootings in which 49 of the criminals used guns that were legally acquired (Anestis et al., 2015). Over 140 firearms were owned by the shooters with 75% being acquired legally. Kleck (2017) argued that the main issue with restrictive gun laws is that legally obtained firearms are taken from law abiding people while many criminal offenders get away and are ignored. Further, many prison inmates who used guns to commit crime, obtained the guns from their family members or friends. In Chicago many cases of gun violence, assault of weapons and murders have been reported despite the ban on gun shops (Winkler, 2018).The state has had over 390 killings with 50,000 firearms recovered by the police. This shows that the restrictive gun laws are not effective in solving crimes and more criminals are possessing guns both legally and illegally.

Proponents of restrictive gun laws argue that gun control laws prevent more cases of violence and owning guns has increased the number of deaths and nonfatal injuries in the county. Over the past few decades, there have been several discussions on whether gun usage has been within the standards of written laws (Hsiao & Bernstein, 2016) . This has been due to the countless tragedies being tied to firearm usage. Many incidences of murder and gun violence could have been prevented by the government if additional laws on restrictions of guns, were imposed. Gun ownership has been an issue with vast negative effects in the country as result of gun misuse and sometimes unintended murders which is a threat to the public safety. Therefore, the Second Amendment has not been effective in lowering the incidences of violence and restrictive gun laws can be effective in preventing more deaths.

In conclusion, it is evident from the arguments presented that restrictive gun laws deny the American citizens their rights to own guns and do not correlate to reducing the incidences of violence. The Second Amendment allows all citizens to own guns and it the government’s job to make sure that their rights are not infringed. Restrictive gun laws limit the freedom of citizens to hunt, play certain games. Additionally, many cases of violence are reported as more criminals own guns both legally and illegally. This shows that the restrictive gun laws have been ineffective. Therefore, the American government should consider the rights of the people and new solutions should be explored to deal with crime and violence instead of stricter gun laws.


Anestis, M. D., Khazem, L. R., Law, K. C., Houtsma, C., LeTard, R., Moberg, F., & Martin, R. (2015). The association between state laws regulating handgun ownership and statewide suicide rates.  American journal of public health 105 (10), 2059-2067.

Halbrook, S. P. (2019). The Right of ‘The People’to ‘Bear Arms’: The Common Law, the Second Amendment, and the Carrying of Firearms Outside the Home.  Available at SSRN 3355601 .

Hsiao, T., & Bernstein, C. Z. (2016). Against moderate gun control.  Libertarian Papers 8 , 293.

Kleck, G. (2017).  Point blank: Guns and violence in America . Routledge.

Winkler, A. (2018). Is the Second Amendment Becoming Irrelevant.  Ind. LJ 93 , 253.

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