Strong Gun Safety Legislation
When we talk about gun safety legislation in the US, we do so in the context of the second amendment of the Bill of Rights of the US Constitution, which reads:
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.
Article 1, Section 8, of the Constitution provides for the calling forth, organizing, arming, disciplining and governing of a well regulated Militia:
To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;
To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;
Many historians agree that the primary reason for the passing of the Second Amendment was to prevent the need for the United States to have a professional standing army. At the time it was passed, it may not have been intended to grant private individuals the right to keep weapons for self-defense, but over the years, the Supreme Court has interpreted the amendment as protecting that right.
Most favor strong gun control legislation
While the National Rifle Association (NRA) spends nearly $5 million a year lobbying Congress to oppose gun control legislation, 70% favor new gun safety laws. Specifically, 67% of gun owners and 90% of all voters support background checks. The majority of Republicans (64%), Democrats (86%), and Independents (74%) all strongly support requiring backgound checks on all gun sales. A 2021 Pew Research Center study found that:
- 89% favor preventing the mentally ill from purchasing guns.
- 79% oppose concealed carry without a permit.
- 63% favor banning assault-type weapons.
- 64% favor banning high capacity magazines.