U.S. gun legislation is something that is a part of our history and has been around for a long time. In 1971, the Second Amendment to our 27-amendment constitution was drafted. It spoke about the fact that Americans should feel secure in a free state, that they should possess the ability to have a well-organized militia, and have the right to own armaments.

The National Rifle Association (NRA) was formed in 1871 shortly after the start of the Civil War. Seeing the need for better training classes, Americans who were residing in England sent a letter to President Lincoln requesting an organization similar to the British national rifle association.

The next big gun law changes took place during Prohibition. The formation of organized crime led to the National Firearms Act of 1934 which implemented a tax on making or delivering automatic weaponry of any kind. Five years later, the Supreme Court upheld a ban on sawed-off shotguns.

America went through stricter gun control in the years that followed. Congress passed an interstate gun control act in 1968 that failed to prevent the assassination of then-President John F. Kennedy because his killer used a mail-order gun. In 1976, residents of D.C. were banned from owning a handgun at all. A decade later, Congress approved two laws: The Firearm Owner’s Protection Act which prohibited felons from owning either ammo or guns; and The Law Enforcement Officers Protection Act forbidding the making, importing or selling of any ammunition capable of penetrating a bulletproof garment.

In 1993, The Brady Handgun Violence Act came into existence. This was named after President Ronald Reagan’s press secretary, James Brady, who suffered a massive head injury during a failed presidential assassination attempt. In addition, Congress also established the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. Thanks to the existence of this national database, any gun dealers were now able to check an individual’s criminal history before selling them a gun. The following year, The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act banned the manufacturing, possession, and importation of 19 different types of assault weapons, including AK-47s and Uzis.

After 2008, gun rights in America went in a different direction. Despite a steady rise in horrific public shootings that has since continued, the Supreme Court eliminated the D.C. handgun ban as unconstitutional after a notorious court case ruling that allowed a security guard to keep his weapon at home.