5 Facts About Gun Control in the US

Gun control is a controversial issue in the US and it almost always has been. However in recent times the debate has been picked up with a new intensity following the mass shootings and subsequent deaths occurring in various schools across the US.

According to research, it is estimated that over 100,000 people are shot each year in the US by way of assaults, accidents, police investigations, suicide attempts, and suicides. What is scary about this fact—for those in favor of stricter gun regulations—is that there are an average of 88 guns per 100 people in the US, making the chances of gun related violence and deaths incredibly high.

On the other hand, those who are for guns staying as readily available objects to the public, also fear for safety if the regulations are tightened. They argue that less guns would mean less of a chance for people to protect themselves against each other. While the debate over guns is always raging on, it can be hard to find solid facts about gun control. Here, we’ve listed 10.

1. Age

In the US, anyone who wishes to own a shotgun or rifle must be over the age of 18 to do so. Similarly they must be over 18 to buy ammunition for these firearms. Any other firearm is only available for purchase by those who are aged 21 years and older.

State officials are able to raise these age restraints but they are not allowed to lower them.

2. Purchase

In the US, firearms are not able to be purchased by everyone. Fugitives, those deemed a danger to society, and those patients involuntarily committed to a mental institution are among the few select groups of individuals who are not allowed to purchase firearms.

3. Sellers

To sell firearms, a Federal Firearms License is required. Anyone can apply for this license giventhat they:

  • Are at least 21 years of age;
  • Have premises for conducting business;
  • Have alerted local law enforcement officials at the time of submitting their application to the federal bureau that regulates firearms

4. Background checks

Background checks are required for the purchase of a firearm. Those interested in buying a firearm fill out a federal form (ATF 4473) so that prior convictions and other red flags can be identified. It varies state-to-state as to whether this check is done with the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System or with state agency information as well.

5. Permits – Purchase and carry

Purchase:
Most states do not require a permit to purchase a firearm. There are a small number of states that do require this, and only three states (California, Connecticut, Hawaii) that also require a permit for the purchase of rifles and shotguns.

Carry:
Most states require permits to carry handguns. It depends on which state you are in whether you need a permit to have a concealed carry or an open carry. Most states do no require a permit to carry rifles or shotguns.