History of Gun Regulation feature
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History of Gun Regulation in the United States

A Condensed History of Gun Rights in the United States

The infographic below is a thorough but condensed history of gun rights in the United States since the ratification of The Second Amendment in the late 1700s. Because so many things have changed in our great country since it was founded and gun regulations have changed and evolved.

Infographic provided by and posted with permission from Bear Creek Arsenal.

A Timeline  of the History of Gun Regulation

Gun Regulations 1700s

1791 – The Second Amendment

The Second Amendment to the US Constitution is created and ratified. “A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

Gun Regulations 1900s

1934 – National Firearms Act of 1934

This act imposed a tax on the manufacturing and transfer of firearms. It also required firearms owners to register weapons and silencers with the Secretary of the Treasury.

1939 – Unites States vs. Miller

The Supreme Court of The United Stated upholds a federal ban on sawed-off shotguns.

1968 – Gun Control Act

This act created 4 new gun regulations.

  1. Created stricter licensing and regulations for the firearm industry.
  2. Established new categories of firearm offenses.
  3. Prohibited the sale of firearms & ammunition to felons.
  4. Expanded gun regulations to include “destructive devices”. This means bombs, mines, grenades, etc.

1976 – Firearms Control Regulations Act of 1976

Prohibited Washington D.C. residents from owning handguns.

1986 – The Firearm Owner’s Protection Act

Amended the NFA definition of a silencer to include a combination of parts for silencers. Additionally, this act prohibited the transfer or possession of fully automatic guns.

The Law Enforcement Officer’s Protection Act of 1986

Banned the manufacturing, importing, and selling of ammunition that can penetrate a bullet-proof vest.

1993 – The Brady Handgun Violence Act

Established the NICS and instituted a 5-day waiting period before a firearm could be sold.

1994 – Violent Crime Control & Law Enforcement Act

Banned 19 types of semiautomatic rifles, including AR-15s, tec-9’s, and AK-47’s (expired in ’04).

Gun Regulations 2000s

2008 – District of Columbia vs. Heller

Reversed a 32-year old handgun ban in Washington D.C. (the Firearms Control Regulations Act of 1976)

2018 – Bump Stock Ban

The Department of Justice includes bump stock-type devices in “machine gun” category. This act requires them to be destroyed or turned into the ATF.

Final Thoughts

Thanks to Bear Creek Arsenal for this important and informational infographic! Each of these gun regulations is important to gun owners for a different reason. This also helps to show the importance of paying attention to what is happening in the gun industry and the regulations that are ever-changing. So, keep learning and researching, a gun owner’s education is never complete.

Learn more about The Second Amendment

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2 thoughts on “History of Gun Regulation in the United States

  1. Susan Voss-Crossette says:

    Thank You

  2. I cannot thank you enough for your concise, easily understood and thoughtful article on gun regulations. The timeline alone made your article stellar, yet to couple that with a well written feature was outstanding journalism at its best!!. Thank you, for taking the time to put these pieces together for your readers. I know, for myself, I surely enjoy reading them.

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