U.S. Gun Policy
Gun Control in the United States: an Overview
The United States has two types of gun laws. Some are federal laws that dictate the sale, purchase, possession, and transfer of firearms, and others are governed by each state individually. Generally, the states decide who can purchase guns, they set the requirements for buying and selling firearms, and they determine open or concealed carry rules. Federal laws require background checks, and gun dealers are not permitted to sell to anyone with a criminal past, drug addiction, or mental illness.
A lot of states require permits to own or carry guns, and more than half of them have “stand-your-ground” laws allowing gun owners to use deadly force to protect themselves or their family. Many states allow gun owners to cross state lines with their firearms, but some do not.
Since 1934 there have been a lot of changes to gun laws. As the U.S. sees more gun violence and shooter incidents (100 U.S. citizens are killed by a gun each day), these laws continue to evolve to protect the rights of citizens to bear arms but also keep society safe.
Some of the most common illegal weapons are machine guns, short-barreled rifles, and short-barreled shotguns. Most laws in the U.S. prohibit the carrying of any weapons on school campuses, federal property, airports, courthouses or other state-owned buildings.