3 Laws Targeting the United States Gun Debate

Guns, Regulation

Following the tragic shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary and Fort Hood, there has been a great deal of anti-gun sentiment, including Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s $50 million gun control funding and his Every Town for Gun Safety organization. But with this special emphasis on gun control, there has also been subsequent pro-gun backlash. In light of the recent increase in political efforts behind a perpetually controversial topic, let’s take a look at the three largest gun legislation items we’ve seen recently.

1. The Safe Carry Protection Act

Number one on this list, and most recent, has to be Georgia’s “Safe Carry Protection Act,” called the “guns everywhere bill” by opponents. The bill allows licensed gun owners to carry their weapons, well, basically everywhere — including bars, schools, churches, and certain government buildings. Religious organizations will be able to choose whether or not to allow guns, and school districts may make the decision to choose staff members who will carry firearms in the school as well. The new law also applies to gun owners from twenty-eight other states as well and is being called “the most comprehensive pro-gun reform legislation introduced in recent history,” by the National Rifle Association.

For his part, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (R) was pleased to sign the bill Wednesday, saying, “Our state has some of the best protections for gun owners in the United States. And today we strengthen those rights protected by our nation’s most revered founding document,” according to USA TODAY.

2. Idaho’s Concealed Weapon Bill

In March 2013, Idaho became the seventh state to permit the presence of concealed weapons. In signing the bill, Idaho Gov. C.L. Otter (R) was considerably less enthusiastic in rhetoric than Deal, writing in his statement upon signing that “As elected officials, we have a sworn responsibility to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States — not only when doing so is easy, convenient or without cost, but especially when it is not.”

Bob Kustra, president of Idaho’s Boise State University, said that he sees the legislation as a solution to a problem Idaho campuses have not had.

I’m puzzled for the simple fact that our campuses in Idaho are safe now,” said Kustra in an interview with Boise State Public Radio. “I think the Second Amendment was designed to protect lives. And the strange thing about this legislation is that I think it may have the opposite effect intended by the Second Amendment.”

3. SAFE Act

The SAFE Act is a less recent piece of legislation; it passed in 2013, but had an important deadline recently on April 15. The act required that assault weapon owners register their guns with the state of New York, but as of April 16 The Christian Science Monitor reported that a solid 1 million gun owners had ignored the new gun control legislation and had failed to do so.

The refusal to act on the bill in such a large population places New York’s government in a difficult situation. “The line in the sand has been drawn, and if Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to send state police out on house-to-house searches and put hundreds of thousands of people in prison, they can do that,” said Dave Kopel, research director at the Independence Institute, to The Christian Science Monitor.

The weaponry in question includes semiautomatic rifles with detachable magazines, pistol grips, folding stocks, second hand grips, bayonet mounts, and flash suppressors, and the law made it illegal to purchase said guns, but allowed those already owned to be retained so long as they were registered.

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