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Guns

  • Belton Flintlock Introduced

    In a letter to the Continental Congress, Belton proposed his design for a repeating Flintlock rifle. This is important because it's one of the first rifles that could fire at a high speed. It could fire 8 shots in 3 seconds, faster than a modern day AR-15.
  • 2nd Amendment

    2nd Amendment
    With the ratification of the constitution, the 2nd Amendment was ratified. The militia theory and the right to bear arms was established. The 2nd Amendment is used as the basis for arguments over gun rights and gun control.
  • Militia Act

    This is important because it established who was in the militia, white males aged 18-48. Now, the government can't discriminate based on race or gender, so it would theoretically cover men and women of all ages from ages 18-48. This has been used as the basis for the idea that the militia referred to in the 2nd Amendment is not the national guard, rather, all the people.
  • Georgia Handgun Ban

    This is generally considered the first major ban of firearm possessions in the US. Georgia banned the ownership of handguns. The Supreme Court ruled this ban unconstitutional and threw it out. This is important because the same issue came up again, over 180 years later in D.C. v. Heller.
  • Black Codes

    Following the emancipation proclamation, many southern states adopted black codes, which banned black people from owning firearms. These bans are significant because they were some of the first bans in the United States on who could own guns.
  • Creation of the National Rifle Association

    Creation of the National Rifle Association
    The NRA was founded as a group to improve people's lives with marksmanship and competition, while also preparing civilians for war. The NRA has become one of the biggest opponents to gun control, spending millions every year on lobbying and campaigns to shut down gun control and increase gun sales.
  • United States v. Cruikshank

    Supreme Court ruled that the 2nd Amendment protects but does not establish the right to bear arms, meaning that right can be taken away by the states. This set a lot of precedent. In terms of the 2nd Amendment and gun rights, it established the precedent that the 2nd Amendment and the right to bear arms is only applied to the federal government, but states can choose to limit gun ownership or institute their own gun control.
  • Miller v. Texas

    Supreme Court ruled states can ban concealed carrying and that the 2nd Amendment only protects an individual from the federal government, not state governments. Based on the precedent set in the United States v. Cruikshank, the Supreme Court ruled that it was not unconstitutional for a state to ban concealed carry since the 2nd Amendment only applied to the federal government.
  • National Firearm Act

    In response to the St. Valentines Day Massacre, the Federal Government passed the NFA which imposed taxes on the manufacture, sale, and transportation of firearms that were considered gang firearms. This included machine guns, short barreled rifles and shotguns, and suppressors. This was a very important piece of legislation because it is used as the basis for many firearm restrictions.
  • Federal Firearms Act

    This act required manufacturers to have federal licenses to sell firearms. It required gun dealers to keep records of who they were selling guns to and banned certain people, like convicted felons, from purchasing firearms.
  • Miller v United States

    The Supreme Court ruled that the 2nd Amendment and the right to bear arms applies only in the context of a militia. Miller was convicted of violating the National Firearms Act by transporting a 12 gauge shotgun with a barrel less than 18 inches across state lines. The Supreme Court decided that since a shotgun with a barrel less than 18 inches long is not relevant to a militia, the 2nd Amendment didn't protect this right.
  • Manufacture of the AR-15

    Manufacture of the AR-15
    Colt bought the designs for the AR-15 from Armalite and began production of their first 300 AR-15 rifles. These rifles would be tested but not adopted by the military. The military used the AR-10 and later the M16A1 by Colt, which was based off their AR-15.
  • Gun Control Act

    This act repealed the 1938 Federal Firearms Act and updated the 1934 National Firearms Act. Some of the provisions in the FFA were still saved and added bans on explosives like landmines and grenades. It made the legal purchasing age 21 and established a ban on the import of guns that weren't created for sport.
  • DC gun bans

    D.C. banned civilian ownership of handguns in 1977 in an attempt to reduce crime. They also required rifles and shotguns to be registered. This is very important because it lead to the court case D.C. v Heller.
  • Firearm Owners Protection Act

    Banned the creation of a national registry, limited ATF inspections on gun dealers and makes the definition of a gun dealer much looser, and allowed for guns to be sold at gun shows, hence the gun show loophole.
  • 1989 Assault Weapons Ban

    CA banned the sale and ownership of semi-automatic assault weapons (like the AR-15) following a school shooting that killed 5 children in Stockton. This was the first major assault weapon ban of guns like the AR-15.
  • Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act

    This act amended the Gun Control Act by requiring background checks on gun purchases from a dealer or manufacturer. It created the NICS or National Instant Criminal Background Check System run by the FBI.
  • Federal Assault Weapons ban

    Federal Assault Weapons ban
    Congress banned the sale and and production of assault weapons. This included AR-15 style rifles, AK style rifles, some AUGs, TEC9s, and various other weapons.
  • Columbine Shooting

    One of first major school shootings in modern American history. This shooting started a movement for gun control that's still going on today. Two students attacked their high school, killing 15 and injuring 24 others.
  • Trigger Locks and Waiting Periods

    The senate voted on a bill, passed 51-50, that required newly manufactured handguns to have a trigger lock (safety) and to increase waiting periods on gun purchases. This has a small but significant impact, specifically the waiting periods. States have introduced their own waiting periods on different firearms, meaning that you apply for one and you can't actually get the firearm right away. MN has a 3 day waiting period on handguns.
  • Tiahrt Amendment

    An extremely controversial amendment that in essence protected gun manufacturers and sellers from lawsuits and public scrutiny by prohibiting the ATF from releasing the names or locations from which a criminal purchased a firearm. It said that only law enforcement officers and prosecutors could access this amendment. Proposed by Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.)
  • Federal Assault Weapons Ban Expires

    The FAWB passed in 1994 expires. There was no noticeable decrease in crime, and no significant decrease in crime with banned firearms. This is often attributed to the amount of firearms that were already in the US before the ban took effect, and also due to the marketing campaigns of companies like Glock leading up to the ban.
  • Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act

    This act in 2005 protected gun manufacturers from being named in federal or state civil law suits by victims of crimes from guns made by that company. The purpose was to protect manufacturers and sellers from lawsuits that would hurt their company just because a criminal misused one of their firearms that worked as it was meant to work.
  • District of Columbia v Heller

    District of Columbia v Heller
    This case is critical because the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that it was unconstitutional for federal or state governments to completely ban ownership of handguns by civilians. Police officer Dick Heller sued, saying that it was unconstitutional for this ban to be in place. The Supreme Court at the time decided that the 2nd Amendment was created in part for self-defense, and a handgun ban was unconstitutional because it prevented people from being able to defend themselves.
  • National Criminal Background Check Improvement Act

    Bush signed into law the NCBCIA, which required for gun dealers to screen for mental illness in their background checks. People who were mentally ill could not own firearms. Up until this point, sellers did not screen for mental illness in the NICS or other background checks at the state level.
  • McDonald v Chicago

    McDonald v Chicago
    Struck down Chicago's handgun ban, precedent set in District of Columbia v. Heller. Based on the precedent set in D.C. v. Heller, Chicago's handgun ban was struck down by the Supreme Court. The Court reaffirmed that the 2nd Amendment's "keep and bear arms" applied to people's right to defend themselves.
  • Sandy Hook Shooting

    The Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting is one of the biggest tragedies in America. Adam Lanza used an AR-15 and a Glock to kill 27 people. The AR used was a Bushmaster, owned by Remington. Remington has since filed for bankruptcy.
  • Voisine v United States

    Voisine v United States
    The Lautenberg Amendment in 1996 banned people with domestic violence convictions from owning firearms. Voisine was arrested for possessing a firearm illegally due to a series of domestic violence convictions in his past. He argued that he should still have the right to defend himself, even if he'd been convicted of domestic violence. The Supreme Court ruled in 2016 that the ban was constitutional in a vote of 6-2.
  • Las Vegas Shooting

    Las Vegas Shooting
    Stephen Paddock killed 59 people and injured over 800 more by firing into crowds at a concert venue in Las Vegas using multiple AR-15s with bump stocks. This was the deadliest shooting in modern US history.
  • Automatic Gunfire Prevention Act

    This is an important piece of legislation currently in the Senate. After the Las Vegas Shooting, Diana Feintstein (D-CA.) proposed legislation that would ban bump stocks. NJ and MA both passed statewide bump stock bans. Though there are estimated to be thousands of bump stocks in each state, people have not been following the mandatory turn in. New Jersey has collected 0 bump stocks and MA has received only 3 as of 05.04/18.
  • Stoneman Douglas High School School Shooting

    Stoneman Douglas High School School Shooting
    Nikolas Cruz shot and killed 17 people, and injured 17 others using an AR-15. This sparked a nationwide movement of students to call for gun control lead by Emma Gonzales and David Hogg.