In today’s social and political climate, there are few topics more controversial than the subject of gun laws in the U.S. With each new tragedy in the news, there’s the now familiar influx of debates, editorials, tweets, pledges, and prayers coming from all sides. Both online and in the streets, people have strong opinions on each side of the issue about what The Second Amendment means for regular civilians in today’s modern age.
There has been a wave of gun law activism in the last few years, but it’s important to note that they vary significantly from state to state. Connecticut tops the list of states with the strictest gun laws. In addition to existing rules they have in place, the new proposals include a ban on the 3D printing of guns, the sale of firearms without serial numbers, also known as ghost guns, and the mandatory display of a gun license to law enforcement for anyone choosing to openly carry. In addition, just like many other states, Connecticut is adamantly opposed to the sale and ownership of the rapid-fire rifle enhancements known as bump stocks.
California has the most comprehensive new plan. With a few minor exceptions, they voted to raise the purchasing age for shotguns and rifles from 18 to 21, just as Washington State has done. In addition, residents of California who are convicted of any domestic violence or who have been committed to a mental institution twice in one year will have a lifetime gun purchase ban. There is also a minimum of eight hours of safety training for any Californian who wants to carry a concealed weapon. In addition, sellers of all types of ammunition will be required to check with the Justice Department for each potential customer to ensure they don’t have any restrictions that would ban their purchase.
The state of Illinois enacted the Firearms Restraining Order Act, which authorizes a person’s relatives or the police to request an emergency order of protection if someone is deemed a danger to themselves or to others. This, in turn, could lead to the temporary removal of any guns in their possession. The state also updated some existing gun laws, such as increasing the waiting period to purchase a weapon and letting schools, offices and churches file orders of protection against individuals. They are also demanding that hospitals report any voluntary mental health admissions.
One of the biggest changes in Oregon was the closure of the highly contentious Boyfriend Loophole, which now prevents anyone convicted of misdemeanor stalking from ever owning a gun, as well as anyone convicted of domestic violence against their unmarried partner.