A Debate on Gun Control

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  • Topic: Firearm
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  • Published : March 18, 2016
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Rachel Bohnenberger
Professor Bartholomew
JLC 103-001
31 March 2014
Gun Control Debate Paper
Summary of Readings
In chapter three, restrictions, possible effects of the restrictions, and laws in favor of gun control are examined. The two most common approaches to restricting gun control are a discretionary licensing and a non-discretionary system. Under the discretionary, or “may issue,” licensing, people who wish to own a gun must show a legitimate need. On the other hand, under the non-discretionary, or “shall issue,” system, if specific criteria is met by the applicant, a license to own a gun must be given. Since 1985, after the National Rifle Association announced that it would be in favor of the “shall issue” system, Florida, Mississippi, Oregon, and more have made the switch from may issue licensing. Florida passed its “shall issue” law on October 1, 1987, requiring that any person who was qualified—meaning they had taken a firearm safety course, no history of drug or alcohol problems, have not been convicted of a felony, had no history of mental illness, had no physical disabilities, and were residents of the state—had to be issued a license to carry a concealed weapon. Oregon passed its own “shall issue” law on January 1, 1990 and Mississippi passed a “shall issue” law similar to Florida’s on July 1, 1990.

There are several possible and already existing effects of non-discretionary laws on crime. It is believed that possible effects of “shall issue” licensing would be to reduce crime by deterring criminals from being able to obtain a gun, and criminals would be more inclined to avoid possible victims based on the knowledge that the person might be carrying a gun. People opposed to non-discretionary laws think that crime rates would increase because access to guns would be easier. Effects of “shall issue” laws that already exist include the fact that Florida’s homicide rates decreasing after the passing of the law, but most of the data...
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