Rifles were an integral part of life in America when this country was first formed. We see that when the founding fathers inserted the 2nd amendment it to the constitution that was back in 1791. For reasons unknown to me, Georgia passes a law banning hand guns but the Supreme Court ruled that law unconstitutional. Rifles and hand gun were essential during the “wild west”days when they were needed for hunting and defense out on the prairie. The next thing to come along about guns was the forming of the National Rifle Association in 1871 to encourage rifle shooting on a “scientific basis”. It wasn’t until 1934 that anyone thought we needed gun control laws.
The first real laws dealing with controlling of gun came about in 1934 with the National Firearms Act. This act was passed due to the gangster culture that came about during the prohibition period. This act was to remove automatic weapons for the streets of America along with sawed off shotguns and sawed off rifles, silencers, guns hidden in canes and other gadget type of guns. In 1938 the “Federal Firearms Act” was passed restricting the selling and shipping firearms. It required that anyone selling firearms must obtain a Federal Firearms License from the Secretary of Commerce ($1 yearly fee). This is also when they started having to keep track of to whom the sold the guns.
America got along fine with those laws until the 1960’s when President Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. Then Dr. Martin Luther King Jr was killed and shortly after Robert Kennedy was also killed. That was when we got the “Gun Control Act of 1968”. This act restricted who could sell guns and requiring even more licenses and it also started listing who could not buy a gun. Mail order of guns and rifles was banned. Four years later the ATF was created to enforce the Gun Control Act, they also were given control of regulating alcohol and tobacco.
In 1986 we got 2 new laws, the first on called “Law Enforcement Officers Protection Act” which banned “cop-killer bullets” (very good law), which are able to penetrate bulletproof clothing. And the Firearms Owners Protection Act” which eased restrictions on gun sellers and the sale of some of the guns. It also added penalties for persons committing certain crime and those with robbery and burglary convictions who were shipping guns.
In 1990 the Crime Control Act was passed that set up “drug-free school zones” and added penalties for possessing and discharging a firearm in a school zone. It also made it illegal to assemble semiautomatic rifles and shotguns form legally imported parts. In 1994 we got “the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act” that set up a five day waiting period and background check system. The “Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act” was also passed and that was referred to as the “Assault Weapons Ban”. It banned large capacity ammo magazines and importing of new semiautomatic assault type of weapons for civilian use. It also restricted juveniles from buying and selling guns.