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Regulating Guns in America: An Evaluation and Comparative Analysis of Federal, State and Selected Local Gun Laws

NCJ Number
Date Published
212 pages
Based on legal research conducted through July 2006, this report reviews Federal, State, and selected local gun laws across the United States.
Gun laws are examined in six general policy areas: classes of weapons that can be possessed, sales and transfers, gun dealers and other sellers, gun ownership, consumer and child safety, and crime detection. A review of Federal law highlights some of the significant gaps in the aforementioned policy areas, since Federal regulation of firearms is limited. A review of State gun laws addresses all 50 States and the District of Columbia, comparing and contrasting the regulatory approaches in each of the 6 general policy areas. The review of local gun laws focuses on the laws in 10 major U.S. cities. These cities are located in eight of the nine States that currently provide local jurisdictions broad authority to regulate firearms. In the absence of Federal law that bans assault weapons, large-capacity ammunition magazines, and 50 caliber rifles, some States and local communities have enacted legislation to fill this gap. For each gun-policy topic, this report lists features that characterize comprehensive gun regulation. Appended "snapshot" of Federal, State, and selected local gun laws