Gun Control Debate

November 12, 2004 • Volume 14, Issue 40
Do gun bans violate Americans' Second Amendment rights?
By Bob Adams

Introduction

Congress allowed the 10-year ban on assault weapons to expire in September despite overwhelming public support for the law and a 50 percent drop in illegal use of the rapid-fire guns.  (Getty Images/Thomas Cooper)
Congress allowed the 10-year ban on assault weapons to expire in September despite overwhelming public support for the law and a 50 percent drop in illegal use of the rapid-fire guns. (Getty Images/Thomas Cooper)

On Sept. 13, 2004, Congress allowed a 10-year ban on assault weapons to expire, once again legalizing rapid-fire, semiautomatic weapons like the AK-47, the TEC-9 and the Uzi. Two weeks later, despite 10 years of declining murder rates, the House of Representatives voted to abolish the District of Columbia's strict gun laws. Gun control supporters and major police organizations said the laws had protected civilians and police officers. But the powerful National Rifle Association (NRA) argued that the laws were ineffective and trampled constitutional rights. Meanwhile, victims of gun violence have won $4.4 million in damages from gun dealers and a manufacturer. As the industry lobbies Congress and the states to immunize it against such suits, gun control advocates vow to renew the assault-weapons ban and strengthen the 1993 Brady law. However, given the results of the Nov. 2 presidential and congressional elections, it is considered highly unlikely that the new Congress will pass additional gun control measures.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Gun Control and the Second Amendment
Jan. 27, 2017  Guns on Campus
Mar. 08, 2013  Gun Control
Oct. 31, 2008  Gun Rights Debates Updated
May 25, 2007  Gun Violence
Nov. 12, 2004  Gun Control Debate
Dec. 19, 1997  Gun Control Standoff
Jun. 10, 1994  Gun Control
Mar. 22, 1991  Reassessing the Nation's Gun Laws
Nov. 13, 1987  Gun Control
Dec. 13, 1985  Guns in America: the Debate Continues
Jul. 19, 1972  Gun Control: Recurrent Issue
Nov. 11, 1959  Firearms Control
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Gun Control