Sample Law Paper on Gun Control – Limiting Citizens’ Freedoms

GUN CONTROL – LIMITING CITIZENS’ FREEDOMS

Introduction

Right to possess and carry guns

The right to the possession and carrying of guns, also known as the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, allows people to own weapons for their defense when their lives are in danger. Only a small number of countries in the world recognize the right to possess and carry guns and protect them as Civil Liberty. This is because they categorize it as an authoritative privilege granted to a few groups and people within the population. The Civil liberties Union of America strongly accepts that councils that are compatible with the Constitution can induce limits to ownership, sale, and the use of various guns and firearms without raising any concerns on civil liberties (Giffords Law Center, 2020). Therefore, the right to own and carry guns is civil liberty according to the Second Amendment of the Constitution in the United States.

Gun control laws and the Constitution

Gun control, also known as firearms regulation, is a set of laws and policies that control the manufacture, transfer, sale, ownership, and use of guns and firearms by various civilians. In the year 2008, the Supreme Court of the United States issued an interpretation of the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution. The Supreme court laid down that the Second Amendment of the Constitution gives out that an individual’s right to own a gun or a firearm for self-defense.

History of the Second Amendment

The Second Amendment of the U.S Constitution safeguards the United States citizens’ rights and uses guns and firearms. The Second Amendment was approved on 15th December the year 1791, together with other articles in the Bill of Rights. At the Columbia V. Heller District in the year 2008, the Supreme Court declared that the right applied to the individuals for self-defense in their homes for the first time (Wikipedia, 2021). The Supreme Court also added that the right does not prevent some well-established prohibitions that include forbidding gun ownership and firearms by people with mental problems and restricting the ownership of dangerous weapons that can cause huge damage to human life. In the year 2010, the said that the McDonald City in Chicago and all the local governments should be limited to the similar range as the federal government from violating the same right.

The Second Amendment was partially based on the right to own and keep firearms in the common English Law. The 1989 English Bill of Rights impacted the Second Amendment. This right was described as a supplementary right by Sir William Blackstone. It supported natural rights for self-defense and the resistance to some form of oppression and defending the state.  Any collection of auxiliary rights should be looked at in the state of affairs of the intrinsic motivation of various bills of rights, thus empowering a group to attain mutually desired results. This, however, does not have to enumerate the importance of the rights. Therefore, all the rights ranked in a Constitution are all secondary rights according to Sir William Blackstone’s perspective. This is because all rights are as important as the extent to which they are exercised.

By January the year 1788, Jersey, Delaware, Connecticut, and Georgia approved the Constitution even without insisting on the amendments. Some of the amendments were put forward. These amendments were, however, not adopted at the time of approving the Constitution. For instance, the Pennsylvania convention argued on the 15 amendments. One of these amendments they argued about was concerned with citizens’ right to own firearms for self-defense. The Massachusetts accord approved the Constitution also with a list of attached amendments which were proposed. In the end, the convention improvements were evenly distributed between those that supported the Constitution and those that did not support it such that the federalists agreed to the approval of the Bill of Rights.

By the 21st century, the second Amendment is subjected to various renewed judicial interests and academic inquiry. The Supreme Court decided that the Amendment safeguards the right of an individual to own a gun to self-defensing themselves. It was the first time for the Supreme Court to agree that the Second Amendment allows an individual the right to own a gun for self-defense.

The NY SAFE Act

The New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement (NY SAFE) Act of 2013 is a law that regulates the sale, acquire, ownership, and use of guns in New York. The state legislature of New York passed the Law, and afterward, it was signed to be a law by Andrew Cuomo, who was the governor of New York. This NY SAFE Act was signed to be a law in January 2013. This Legislation was put down to answer the shooting the occurred at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut, and the Websiter shooting, which occurred on the 24th December in New York (Wikipedia, 2021). This Law was described as one of the toughest laws concerning gun control laws in the U.S. by the New York governor. The NY SAFE Act is made up of various firearms directives.

The NY SAFE Act is also made up of provisions in severability. This allows all the other measures to be in place just in case of the invalidation of the great prohibitions in opposition to weapons by courts. The New York state senate approved this Act based on 43-18 votes in 2013, the month of January. This vote was bilateral were a total of 9 Senate Republicans voted in favor of the Act. This Legislation was sponsored by the State senator, who by then was Jeff D. Klein. The following day, the Legislation was approved by the State Assembly of New York-based on 104-43 votes. After the approval, the governor of New York signed the bill to be a law on the same day. This Law’s approval allowed New York to be the first in passing restrictions on gun control laws.

The NY SAFE Act is made of several provisions, which include:

 The legal definition of assault weapon provision

The NY SAFE Act expanded the legal definition of assault weapon provision to accommodate the semiautomatic shotguns, semiautomatic pistols, and semiautomatic rifles. Under this category, the provision allowed those who own an assault weapon to own then still, but then they must register with them to the state police of New York. No fee is charged upon the registration of the weapon. Another alternative to this is that those who owned these weapons were required to either sell the weapon to the state of New York or sell the weapons to someone out of the state.

The high-capacity magazine provision

The Act also included the high-capacity magazine provision. Concerning this provision, only the high-capacity magazines were allowed to be sold to the New York State before the 15th January of 2013. This provision allowed the possession of the high-capacity magazines until the specified date after which they will be sold to the New York state.

The language ammunition provision

The NY SAFE Act has the language ammunition provision while requiring that all the dealers carry out checks on the ammunition buyers’ background.  This includes a ban on all internet sales of ammunition. All the ammunition sales online are legal in New York, but the potential buyers must acquire the ammunition from a licensed online dealer.

The universal background check provision

The NY SAFE Act also implemented the universal background check provision, which requires that the firearm sellers carry out a background check on all their buyers. The provision also requires that the transfer of firearms should be done through a licensed dealer.

New Yorkers’ repeal on the Gun Control Law

As New York renews the gun control law debate, the Supreme Court has to decide if it will press with the case concerning the Second Amendment of the Constitution. Various gun control classes work under the “no-good-news” approach towards the Supreme Court. They keenly offer their majority views on the possibility to stretch gun rights and weaken the restrictive laws set to govern the ownership and use of guns and various firearms for self-defense (Liptak, 2020). Rather than ruling from the first Second Amendment case, the Supreme Court found it debatable following the City’s repeal of the challenged directive. The Supreme Court says that it cannot decide what could be referred to as its initial decision about the extent o the Second Amendment for almost one decade now. The finding on the repeal of the City about the gun control regulations made the issue more debatable.

When the Supreme Court decided on hearing the case concerning the gun control regulations, the possibility of the same decision disturbed various gun control advocates. These advocates required the New York state officials to repeal the regulation. In response to the City’s advocates’ requirement, the New York state officials decided to do so. On the same matter, the lawmakers of the state later approved a law that almost made it impossible for the state officials to change their decision. The corporation counsel, Mr. James Johnson of the New York City, said that the Court’s decision was correct and right. The City’s corporation counsel added that the Court keenly recognized that the claims all the petitioners brought to the Court don’t demonstrate a live case. This is because the challenging rule of the City does not exist anymore.

The opinion of the majority concerning the gun control law was unsigned. Several Justices issued out 31-page dissent, which carried the information about the case, and it clearly said that the case was not debatable. Hence, all the regulations concerning the gun control law violated the Second Amendment of the Supreme Court’s precedents. According to the Justices’ decision, the Court is likely to agree on hearing a new case soon on the Second Amendment. For the Supreme Court to hear a new case on the Second Amendment, it has to take four votes to carry out the addition of a case into the Court’s docket. For this case, a Justice by the name Brett M Kavanaugh, up0on complying with the opinion, said that he was prepared in joining the three differing justices to vote in the granting of a review of the Second Amendment case petitions which are waiting for an action from the Supreme court.

Justice Brett M Kavanaugh further wrote that together with another Justice by the name of Alito, agree that the lower courts may not be in a position to apply the precedents of the Second Amendment of the Supreme Court properly. Therefore, the Court should address the issue as soon as possible. The New York city regulations though they appeared to be distinctive to the nation, gave the residents ownership of licenses the chance to bring all their guns to either of the shooting ranges around the City. On the other hand, this prohibited the residents from hiding or transferring their guns to other homes or other shooting ranges that are not within the City. Though it seemed not likely to endorse the Law and that its decision concerning the case would better allow it to elaborate the extent or the range of the Second Amendment rights.

Gov. Cuomo and the NY SAFE Act

In the year 2013, date 15th January, New York was the first state to pass the gun control law, which was declared the toughest in the nation, and this was due to the shooting which occurred at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. The Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo signed the bill into Law, and it was called the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement (NY SAFE) Act. The Act includes a tough assault weapons prohibition that expands the clarity of what makes an assault weapon and limits the size of magazines in a gun to seven bullets that were ten previously. The further requires checks on the background of ammunition and all the gun buyers, including even all the private sales. The Act also includes the imposing of tough penalties on those who use guns for illegal purposes, checking keenly on all the purchases done on guns and various firearms. This is done to reduce the number of crimes committed in New York.

As he signed the bill, the governor of New York, Cuomo, stated that the bill is the toughest and best gun control law. This is because the Law did something to fight the tragedies that had occurred, leading to the loss of many and innocent lives. The governor also added that since they had gone through many terrible situations, they had learned a lot as a state and that from experience, they had taken a turning point.

The Assault Weapons Ban (1994-2004)

The Federal Assault Weapons Act (AWB) or The Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act was a subdivision of the Law Enforcement Act and the Violent Crime Control, which was implemented in 1994. It was a U. S’s Federal Law that included prohibiting some firearms by civilians, referred to as assault weapons. In some ammunition magazines, it was referred to as the large capacity. The ban, which lasted for ten years, was passed by the Congress of the U.S in the year 1994 on 13th September. This ban was followed by the closing of the 52-48 vote U.S Senate. It was signed into Law by Bill Clinton, who was by then the United States of America’s president (Wikipedia, 2021). This ban applied to all the weapons that were manufactured immediately after the day the Law was signed. The Law was to expire on 13th September the year 2004.

According to the sunset provision, several additional challenges were filed against the various provisions concerning the ban. In return, all these challenges were not accepted by the Court. Several attempts were made to renew the ban, but unfortunately, no one succeeded. Several studies have discovered that the ban had minimal impact on the overall activities related to crimes. There was no enough evidence that the ban reduced the occurrence of various public shootings. Various efforts intensified in creating restrictions on the assault weapon in the federal section of the government in 1989, followed after a total number of 34 children and a teacher were shot to death using a semiautomatic rifle. In 1991, other shootings killed a total number of 23 people while other 27 people were left wounded. In the year 1993, the month of July, other shootings occurred in California, and all these factors contributed greatly to the ban’s passing. The California shootings left eight people killed while the other six suffered from serious injuries. The types of firearms that were used in the killings were the TEC 9 and the Hell-Fire triggers.

Due to the increased number of prevailing shootings, in May 1994, three of the former presidents, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, and Gerald Ford wrote to the house representatives in the U.S supporting the ban of assault guns. This Act, besides, included several exclusions and exemptions, which included the “grandfather clause.” This allowed the possession and transfer of ammunition and weapons that were not lawfully owned during the day the Law was enacted. Some of the exemptions included some 650 types of firearms, including all their copies and duplicates. The Act also exempted all the firearms used and operated by levers, bolts or pumps, and permanently deadly firearms.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the paper has explained the right to possess guns or s the right to bearing firearms is a right that allows individuals or residents of the state to possess weapons for their defense. This right is usually classified as an authoritative privilege, and therefore it is only granted to some limited groups and people. This paper has also given a general history of the Second Amendment concerning owning and using guns and firearms. The formation and the passing and signing of the second Amendment have been well explained and how it has impacted the United States. The paper has also explained well on the NY SAFE Act, whose main aim was to regulate the sale, acquire, ownership, and use of guns in New York. This was in response to the various shootings and killings which were experienced in New York City.

The paper has also explained Federal Assault Weapons Act (AWB). This Law included prohibiting the use of some firearms by civilians, referred to as assault weapons. In some ammunition magazines, it was referred to as the large capacity. In general, all the paper’s discussed laws were implemented to control the purchase, ownership, transfer, and use of various guns and firearms. From a self-defense point of view, the laws need to be looked at to accommodate those that require the purpose of defending themselves in the case of the emergence of danger rather than focusing on a criminal point of view. In other cases, these guns are used for hunting in some states, so putting more restrictions on the use of these firearms could greatly affect hunting as an economic activity. Some groups use guns for shooting sports. This is done for recreational purposes where the accuracy as well as the testing speed in the shooting. Therefore, putting strict measures on the use of guns and firearms could negatively affect these parties.

References

Wikipedia. (2021, March 13). Second amendment to the United States Constitution. Retrieved March 18, 2021, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

Wikipedia. (2021, January 20). Ny safe act. Retrieved March 18, 2021, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NY_SAFE_Act

Liptak, A. (2020, April 27). Supreme court Dismisses challenge to New York city Gun Ordinance. Retrieved March 18, 2021, from https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/27/us/supreme-court-new-york-city-guns.html

Wikipedia. (2021, March 15). Federal assault weapons ban. Retrieved March 18, 2021, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_Assault_Weapons_Ban#:~:text=The%20Public%20Safety%20and%20Recreational%20Firearms%20Act%20was%20enacted%20as,as%20defined%20by%20the%20Act.

Giffords Law Center. (2020, October 23). State right to bear arms in New York. Retrieved March 19, 2021, from https://giffords.org/lawcenter/state-laws/state-right-to-bear-arms-in-new-york/