17 Am. J. Crim. L. 19 (1989-1990)
Constitutional Implications of Gun Control and Several Realistic Gun Control Proposals, The

handle is hein.journals/ajcl17 and id is 27 raw text is: Notes

The Constitutional Implications
of Gun Control and Several Realistic
Gun Control Proposals*
I. INTRODUCrION
The public is polarized on the issue of gun control. Anti-gun con-
trol activists believe that it is each and every American's individual
right to bear arms.t Various pro-gun control organizations disagree and
propose different methods of gun control.2 For example, there are in-
dividuals who would ban all handguns;3 as well as those who take a
less radical stand and who would simply increase the controls on
firearms. Moderate gun control groups propose measures such as re-
quiring an individual to successfully complete a firearms safety course
before possession of a gun is allowed,4 or to wait for a mandatory
period of time before taking possession of a gun.5
Today, there are approximately 20,000 different gun control laws
in existence, ranging from those enacted by municipalities and states,
to those enacted by the federal government.6 Individuals opposed to
gun control point to this fact, and assert that gun control is a failure.'
The truth is that, for the most part, these laws are ineffective because
they lack scope, breadth and enforcement!
* The author wishes to acknowledge, with deep gratitude, the insightful comments of Professor
Christine M. Wiseman on the earlierdrafts of this note.
I. See infra notes 36-81 and accompanying text.
2. The most recognized groups representing the pro-gun faction are the Citizens Committee for
the Right to Keep and Bear Arms and the National Rifle Association of America. See I ENCYCLOPEDIA
OF ASSOCIATIONS 1384, 1836-37 (K. Koek, S. Martin & A. Novello 23d Ed. 1989). The advocates of
gun control are represented by Handgun Control, Inc., the Foundation for Handgun Education, and the
National Coalition to Ban Handguns. See id. at 1384.
3. Kates, Handgun Banning in Light of the Prohibition Experience, in FmEARM, S AND VIOLEN CE
139 (D. Kates ed. 1984).
4. D. LESTER, GUN CoMrmoL ISSUES AND ANswERS 125 (1984).
5. See infra notes 183-93 and accompanying text.
6. J. WiiucmH, P. Rossi & K. DALY, UNDER THE GUN 244 (1983); F. ZImmuNG & G. HAwKINs, Tim
CmzENws GUIDETO GUN CoNTRoLI 121 (1987).
7. INsTUrTE FOR LEoIsLAIrVE ACTION, NATIONAL Riz ASSOCIATION, TEN MYTHS ABOUT GUN
CONTROL 18-21 (1988).
8. Kleck, Policy Lessons from Recent Gun Control Research, 49 LAw & CONTEMP. PROBs.
35, 50 (1986); see also TASK FORCE ON F1EARs, NATIONAL CommMirrEE ON THE CAUSES AND

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