Last updated on: 6/27/2022 | Author:


The background and pro and con arguments were written by staff based upon input from the following footnotes:


  1. Saul Cornell and Nathan DeDino, “A Well Regulated Right: The Early American Origins of Gun Control,”, 2004
  2. Robert J. Spitzer, “Five Myths about Gun Control,”, Dec. 21, 2012
  3. US Supreme Court, District of Columbia, et al. v. Heller,, October 2007
  4. CDC, “Data & Statistics (WISQARS),” (accessed July 12, 2017)
  5. David Frum, “Are Gun Accidents ‘Very Rare’?,”, Feb. 20, 2013
  6. P. Cummings, T.D. Koepsell, D.C. Grossman, J. Savarino, and R.S. Thompson, “The Association between the Purchase of a Handgun and Homicide or Suicide,” American Journal of Public Health, June 1997
  7. Mark Follman and Gavin Aronsen, “‘A Killing Machine’: Half of All Mass Shooters Used High-Capacity Magazines,”, Jan. 30, 2013
  8. Everytown for Gun Safety, “Analysis of Recent Mass Shootings,”, July 2014
  9. Ali Winston, “High-Capacity Magazines Flood Oakland,”, Jan. 16, 2013
  10. Arkadi Gerney and Chelsea Parsons, “Women under the Gun: How Gun Violence Affects Women and 4 Policy Solutions to Better Protect Them,”, June 2014
  11. Mayors against Illegal Guns, “The Connection between Domestic Violence and Weak Gun Laws,”, Feb. 27, 2013
  12. Defense Manpower Data Center, “Defense Casualty Analysis System,” (accessed Feb. 18, 2015)
  13. D. Hemenway and E.G. Richardson, “Homicide, Suicide, and Unintentional Firearm Fatality: Comparing the United States with Other High-Income Countries, 2003,” Journal of Trauma, 2011
  14. Everytown, “Guns and Violence against Women,”, 2014
  15. Judith M. McFarlane, Jacquelyn C. Campbell, Susan Wilt, et al, “Stalking and Intimate Partner Femicide,” Homicide Studies,, 1999
  16. Michael Planty and Jennifer L. Truman, “Firearm Violence, 1993-2011,”, May 2013
  17. Violence Policy Institute, “Firearm Justifiable Homicides and Non-Fatal Self-Defense Gun Use,”, Apr. 2013
  18. Institute of Medicine, “Priorities for Research to Reduce the Threat of Firearm-Related Violence,”, June 5, 2013
  19. Lynn Langton, “Firearms Stolen during Household Burglaries and Other Property Crimes, 2005-2010,”, Nov. 2012
  20. Ian Ayres and John J. Donohue III, “Shooting Down the ‘More Guns, Less Crime’ Hypothesis,” Stanford Law Review,, Apr. 16, 2003
  21. Sarabeth A. Spitzer, Kristan L. Staudenmayer, Lakshika Tennakoon, David A. Spain, and Thomas G. Weiser, “Costs and Financial Burden of Initial Hospitalizations for Firearm Injuries in the United States, 2006–2014,” American Journal of Public Health, Apr. 11, 2017
  22. Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, “GSWcost2010,” Jan. 14, 2015)
  23. Embry M. Howell and Peter Abraham, “The Hospital Costs of Firearm Assaults,”, Sep. 2013
  24. Jillian Berman, “Taxpayers Shoulder Bulk of Gun Violence Health Care Costs: Study,”, Sep. 13, 2013
  25. WHO, “The Economic Dimensions of Interpersonal Violence,”, 2004
  26. Embry Howell, Sam Bieler, and Nathaniel Anderson, “State of Variation in Hospital Use and Cost of Firearm Assault Injury, 2010,”, Aug. 2014
  27. Pew Research Center, “Gun Rights Proponents More Politically Active: In Gun Control Debate, Several Options Draw Major Support,”, Jan. 14, 2013
  28. Garen Wintemute, “Inside Gun Shows: What Goes on When Everybody Thinks Nobody’s Watching,”, 2009
  29. Colorado Pols, “‘Hunter Boycott?’ Meet the Hunters against Gun Violence,”, Mar. 28, 2013
  30. Rebecca M. Cunningham, Maureen A. Walton, and Patrick M. Carter, “The Major Causes of Death in Children and Adolescents in the United States,” New England Journal of Medicine, Dec. 20, 2018
  31. Justin Briggs and Alexander Tabarrok, “Firearms and Suicides in US States,” International Review of Law and Economics,, Mar 2014
  32. Katherine Hempstead and Antonio Rodriguez Andres, “Gun Control and Suicide: The Impact of State Firearm Regulations, 1995-2004,”, Dec. 2009
  33. Military Suicide Research Consortium (MSRC), “Information Paper, Subject: Military Suicide Research Consortium (MSRC) Summary of Suicide Prevention Best Practices,”, July 18, 2012
  34. Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, “Gun Safety & Public Health: Policy Recommendations for a More Secure America,”, Sep. 25, 2013
  35. GAO, “Accidental Shootings: Many Deaths and Injuries Caused by Firearms Could Be Prevented,”, Mar. 19, 1991
  36. Marjorie Sanfilippo, “Too Young Guns,”, Feb. 6, 2014
  37. FBI, “Expanded Homicide Data Table 11: Murder Circumstances by Weapon, 2013,” (accessed Mar. 24, 2015)
  38. J Hedeboe, A V Charles, J Nielsen, F Grymer, B N Møller, B Møller-Madson, and S E Jensen, “Interpersonal Violence: Patterns in a Danish Community,” American Journal of Public Health, June 1985
  39. Susan P. Baker, “Without Guns, Do People Kill People?,” American Journal of Public Health, June 1985
  40. Arthur L. Kellermann, Frederick P. Rivara, Norman B. Rushforth, et al., “Gun Ownership as a Risk Factor for Homicide in the Home,”, Oct. 7, 1993
  41. Mark Follman, “More Guns, More Mass Shootings—Coincidence?,”, Dec. 15, 2012
  42. Mark Follman, “Do Armed Civilians Stop Mass Shooters? Actually, No.,”, Dec. 19, 2012
  43. Jeffrey Voccola, “Why I Don’t Want Guns in My Classroom,”, Oct. 14, 2014
  44., “Global Impact of Gun Violence,”, 2013
  45. Small Arms Survey, “Small Arms Survey 2007,”, 2007
  46. Lisa Hepburn and David Hemenway, “Firearm Availability and Homicide: A Review of the Literature,” Aggression and Violent Behavior: A Review Journal, 2004
  47. Michael Waldman, “How the NRA Rewrote the Second Amendment,”, May 19, 2014
  48. Jon Stokes, “The AR-15 Is More Than a Gun. It’s a Gadget,”, Feb. 25, 2013
  49. Jill Lepore, “Battleground America,”, Apr. 23, 2012
  50. Josh Richman, “Assault Weapons: What Are They, and Should They Be Banned?,”, Jan. 18, 2013
  51. Heritage Foundation, “Protecting Second Amendment Rights,”, 2014
  52. Lawrence Hunter, “Gun Control Tramples on the Certain Virtues of a Heavily Armed Citizenry,”, Dec. 28, 2012
  53. Thomas Sowell, “The Great Gun Control Fallacy,”, Dec. 18, 2012
  54. John R. Lott, Jr., “An Interview with John R. Lott, Jr. Author of More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws,”, 1998
  55. Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, “Growing Public Support for Gun Rights,”, Dec. 10, 2014
  56. John Stossel, “Gun Control Isn’t Crime Control,”, Apr. 26, 2007
  57. NRA, “Chris Cox’s NRA Armed Citizen,” (accessed Oct. 6, 2014)
  58. Pew Research Center, “Why Own a Gun? Protection Is Now Top Reason,”, May 9, 2013
  59. Nelson Lund, “The Second Amendment and the Inalienable Right to Self-Defense,”, Apr. 17, 2014
  60. Eugene Volokh, “State Constitutional Right to Keep and Bear Arms Provisions,”, 2006
  61. NRA-ILA, “Guarantees of the Right to Arms in State Constitutions,”, July 3, 2014
  62. Washington Post Editorial Board, “The NRA’s Simplistic Response to Newtown: ‘Good Guy with a Gun,'”, Dec. 21, 2012
  63. James Wright and Peter Rossi, “Armed Criminals in America: A Survey of Incarcerated Felons, 1983,”, 1985
  64. Daniel Strauss, “Sen. Feinstein No Longer Has Concealed Weapon Permit,”, Dec. 20, 2012
  65. US Fish and Wildlife Service, “National Survey – 2011 Survey,”, 2011
  66. US Fish and Wildlife Service, “2011 National Survey of Fishing Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation,”, Feb. 2014
  67. NRA, “Ten Myths about Gun Control,”, Oct. 1994
  68. National Shooting Sports Foundation, “Background Information on So-Called ‘Assault-Weapons,'”, 2011
  69. Mark Follman, Gavin Aronsen, and Deanna Pan, “A Guide to Mass Shootings in America,”, May 24, 2014
  70. John R. Lott, Jr., “Gun Control Misfires in Europe,” Wall Street Journal,, May 4, 2002
  71. Chicago Tribune, “Chicago Shooting Victims,”, Feb. 10, 2015
  72. Tanveer Ali, “Though Chicago Murders Are Down, ‘Gang Culture’ Remains an Issue: Top Cop,”, Dec. 29, 2014
  73. Chicago Tribune, “Chicago Shooting Victims,”, Mar. 22, 2015
  74. Kevin Quealy and Tim Wallace, “Where 50,000 Guns Recovered in Chicago Came From,”, Jan, 29, 2013
  75. David Welna, “Some Gun Control Opponents Cite Fear of Government Tyranny,” npr.prg, Apr. 8, 2013
  76. CNN, “Piers Morgan Debates Alex Jones,”, Jan. 7, 2013
  77. Amber Phillips, “Despite Harry Reid’s Growing Support, Gun Control Legislation Probably Isn’t Going Anywhere in Congress,”, June 11, 2014
  78. Vince Coglianese, “EXCLUSIVE: ACLU Says Reid’s Gun Legislation Could Threaten Privacy Rights, Civil Liberties,”, Apr. 4, 2013
  79. NRA-ILA, “Micro-Stamping & Ballistic ‘Fingerprinting,'” (accessed June 12, 2015)
  80. Rand Paul, Mike Lee, and Ted Cruz, “Sens. Paul, Lee, and Cruz Join Together to Protect Second Amendment,”, Mar. 26, 2013
  81. Jim Barrett, “Mythbusting: We’d Have Fewer Suicides with More Gun Control,”, Oct. 11, 2013
  82. Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute, Inc, “Decades of Success in Reducing Firearms Accidents,”, 2003
  83. Claire Moore, “To Teach or Not to Teach Gun Safety in School,” (accessed Feb. 11, 2015)
  84. NRA, “Eddie Eagle,” (accessed Feb. 11, 2015)
  85. Kyle Wintersteen, “10 Need-to-Know Gun Control Myths,”, May 1, 2013
  86. Libertarian Party, “Gun Laws: Why Libertarians Support Equal Rights for America’s Gun Owners,” (accessed Feb. 13, 2015)
  87. James J. Featherstone, Richard E. Gardiner, and Robert Dowlut, “The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution Guarantees and Individual Right to Keep and Bear Arms,”, 1982
  88. Simon Rogers, “Gun Homicides and Gun Ownership Listed by Country,”, July, 22, 2012
  89. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), “Global Study on Homicide,” (accessed Oct. 30, 2014)
  90. Damien Cave, “At a Nation’s Only Gun Shop, Looking North in Disbelief,”, July 24, 2012
  91. ATF, “Report of Active Firearms Licenses – License Type by State Statistics,”, Feb. 10, 2015
  92. William Booth, “In Mexico, Only One Gun Store but No Dearth of Violence,”, Dec. 29, 2010
  93. John Burnett, “Law-Abiding Mexicans Taking up Illegal Guns,”, Jan. 28, 2012
  94. Claire Gordon, “Gun Control Debate amongst African-Americans Involves Complicated History,”, Mar. 18, 2013
  95. Michael L. Betsch, “Blacks Allegedly Victimized by ‘Racist’ Gun Control Laws,”, July 7, 2008
  96. John Blake, “Does Race Shape Americans’ Passion for Guns?,”, Oct. 10, 2014
  97. Barbara Chai, “Love Your Gun? Thank the Black Panthers, Says New Book,”, Sep. 21, 2011
  98. Clayton E. Cramer, “The Racist Roots of Gun Control,”, 1993
  99. Cornell University Law School, “10 U.S. Code § 246 – Militia: Composition and Classes,” (accessed Aug. 7, 2017)
  100. Daniel J. Schultz, “The Second Amendment: The Framers’ Intentions,” (accessed June 16, 2015)
  101. Adam Winkler, “The Secret History of Guns,”, Sep. 2011
  102. David Lampo, “Gun Control: Myths and Realities,”, May 13, 2000
  103. Mark Gius, “An Examination of the Effects of Concealed Weapons Laws and Assault Weapons Bans on State-Level Murder Rates,” Applied Economics Letters,, Nov. 26, 2013
  104. Stav Ziv, “U.S. Gun Ownership Declines,”, Mar. 10, 2015
  105. Clayton E. Cramer, Armed America: The Story of How and Why Guns Became as American as Apple Pie, 2006
  106. Michael Waldman, The Second Amendment: A Biography, 2014
  107., “History of Georgia’s Carry Laws,” (accessed May 5, 2015)
  108. Adam Winkler, “Did the Wild West Have More Gun Control Than We Do Today?,”, Sep. 9, 2011
  109. Charles G. Worman, Gunsmoke and Saddle Leather: Firearms in the Nineteenth-Century American West, 2005
  110. Whet Moser, “Gun Control in the Age of Al Capone,”, July 25, 2012
  111., “St. Valentine’s Day Massacre,” (accessed Mar. 26, 2015)
  112. ATF, “National Firearms Act Handbook,”, Apr. 2009
  113. ATF, “Federal Firearms Regulations Reference Guide,”, 2014
  114. Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, “Key Congressional Acts Related to Firearms,”, May 21, 2012
  115. Steven Rosenfeld, “The NRA Once Supported Gun Control,”, Jan. 14, 2013
  116. ATF, “Brady Law,” (accessed Mar. 18, 2015)
  117. Associated Press, “Congress Lets Assault Weapons Ban Expire,”, Sep. 13, 2004
  118. Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, “Gun Industry Immunity Policy Summary,”, May 20, 2015
  119. ATF, “Open Letter to Federal Firearms Licensees Child Safety Lock Act of 2005,”, Apr. 1, 2006
  120. FBI, “Testimony: David Cuthbertson, Assistant Director, Criminal Justice Information Services Division Federal Bureau of Investigation,”, Nov. 15, 2011
  121. Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence and the Brady Campaign, “2013 State Scorecard: Why Gun Laws Matter,”, 2013
  122. NRA-ILA, “About the NRA Institute for Legislative Action,” (accessed Mar. 9, 2015)
  123. US Supreme Court, McDonald et al. v. City of Chicago, Illinois, et al., (accessed Mar. 17, 2015)
  124. NRA, “History,” (accessed Mar. 9, 2015)
  125. NRA Headquarters, “A Brief History of the NRA,” (accessed Mar. 9, 2015)
  126. William Marvel, “Ambrose E. Burnside (1824-1881),” (accessed Mar. 9, 2015)
  127. Josh Sugarman, “National Rifle Association: Money Firepower Fear,”, May 1992
  128. Washington Post, “Timeline of the NRA,”, Jan. 12, 2013
  129. Todd C. Frankel, “Why the CDC Still Isn’t Researching Gun Violence, despite the Ban Being Lifted Two Years Ago,”, Jan. 14, 2015
  130. Christine Jamieson, “Gun Violence Research: History of the Federal Funding Freeze,”, Feb. 2013
  131. Michael Luo, “N.R.A. Stymies Firearms Research, Scientists Say,”, Jan. 25, 2011
  132. Josh Harkinson, “Does the NRA Really Have 4 Million Members?,”, Jan. 14, 2013
  133. Guidestar, (accessed Mar. 25, 2015)
  134. NRA-ILA, “2014 NRA-ILA Firearms Fact Card,”, Mar. 26, 2014
  135., “National Rifle Assn,”, Feb. 11, 2015
  136. Gregg Lee Carter, Guns in American Society: An Encyclopedia of History, Politics, Culture, and the Law, 2002
  137. Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, “Our History,” (accessed Mar. 10, 2015)
  138., “Gun Control,”, Feb. 11, 2015
  139. Everytown for Gun Safety, “The Real Story of Mass Shootings in America,” (accessed May 7, 2015)
  140. Mark Follman, Gavin Aronsen, Deanna Pan, and Maggie Caldwell, “US Mass Shootings, 1982-2012: Data from Mother Jones’ Investigation,”, Dec. 28, 2012
  141. Pew Research Center, “Growing Support for Gun Rights,”, Dec. 10, 2014
  142. The White House, “FACT SHEET: New Executive Actions to Reduce Gun Violence and Make Our Communities Safer,”, Jan. 4, 2015
  143., “Obama Executive Action on Guns to Require Background Checks for More Sales,”, Jan. 5, 2015
  144. Sam Stein, “The Congressman Who Restricted Gun Violence Research Has Regrets,”, Oct. 6, 2015
  145. Richard Gonzales, “Federal Appeals Court Says There Is No Right to Carry Concealed Weapons in Public,”, June 9, 2016
  146. Adam Nagourney and Erik Eckholm, “2nd Amendment Does Not Guarantee Right to Carry Concealed Guns, Court Rules,”, June 9, 2016
  147. Erin Grinshteyn and David Hemenway, “Violent Death Rates: The US Compared with Other High-Income OECD Countries, 2010,”, Mar. 2016
  148. Bindu Kalesan, Matthew E. Mobily, Olivia Keiser, Jeffrey A. Fagan, and Sandro Galea, “Firearm Legislation and Firearm Mortality in the USA: A Cross-Sectional, State-Level Study,”, Mar. 10, 2016 *A 2016 RAND report, written by Terry L. Schell and Andrew R. Morral, “Evaluating Methods and Findings from a Study of State Gun Policies,” critiqued this study, but Lancet left it up without comment. 
  149. Ines de la Cuetara, “Marco Rubio Goes All-in on Guns Following Debate,”, Jan. 17, 2016
  150. Melissa Jeltsen, “Supreme Court Affirms That Even ‘Reckless’ Domestic Abusers Should Lose Gun Rights,”, June 27, 2016
  151. Supreme Court of the United States, Voisine v. United States,, June 27, 2016
  152. Office of the United States Attorneys, “1117. Restrictions on the Possession of Firearms by Individuals Convicted of a Misdemeanor Crime of Domestic Violence,” (accessed June 27, 2016)
  153. Brent Kendall, “Supreme Court Declines to Ease Gun Access for Misdemeanor Domestic Violence Offenders,”, June 27, 2016
  154. Kim Parker, Juliana Menasce Horowitz, Ruth Igielink, et al., “America’s Complex Relationship With Guns,”, June 22, 2017
  155. Quinnipiac University, “February 20, 2018 – U.S. Support for Gun Control Tops 2-1, Highest Ever, Quinnipiac University National Poll Finds; Let Dreamers Stay, 80 Percent of Voters Say,”, Feb. 20, 2018
  156. Pete Williams, “Supreme Court Won’t Hear Challenge to California Gun Waiting Period,”, Feb. 20, 2018
  157. Joseph Blocher and Eric Ruben, “The Second Amendment Allows for More Gun Control Than You Think,”, May 23, 2018
  158. Martin Kaste, “Gun Studies: Permit Laws Reduce Murders; Red Flag Laws Cut Suicides,”, June 4, 2018
  159. Aaron J. Kivisto and Peter Lee Phalen, “Effects of Risk-Based Firearm Seizure Laws in Connecticut and Indiana on Suicide Rates 1981-2015,”, June 1, 2018
  160. Cassandra Crifasi, et al., “Association between Firearm Laws and Homicide in Urban Counties,”, May 21, 2018
  161. Ryan Lucas, “Justice Department Bans Bump Stocks, Devices Used in Deadly Las Vegas Shooting,”, Dec. 18, 2018
  162. CDC, WISQARS Database, (accessed July 17, 2018)
  163. Faiz Gani, Joseph V. Sakran, and Joseph K. Canner, “Emergency Department Visits for Firearm-Related Injuries in the United States, 2006–14,” Health Affairs, Oct. 2017
  164. Maggie Fox, “State-by-State Study Links Gun Ownership with Youth Suicide,”, Jan. 17, 2019
  165. Domenico Montanaro, “Americans Largely Support Gun Restrictions to ‘Do Something’ about Gun Violence,”, Aug. 10, 2019
  166. Stephen Gandel, “Guns and Ammo Sales Spike in U.S. on Coronavirus Worries,”, Mar. 17, 2020
  167. Sophie Lewis, “March 2020 Was the First March without a School Shooting in the U.S. since 2002,”, Apr. 14, 2020
  168. Adam Liptak, “Supreme Court Dismisses Challenge to New York City Gun Ordinance,”, Apr. 27, 2020
  169. Rebecca Klar, “FBI Gun Background Checks in April among Highest Ever Recorded,”, May 5, 2020
  170. Keith Collins and David Yaffe-Bellany, “About 2 Million Guns Were Sold in the U.S. as Virus Fears Spread,”, Apr. 1, 2020
  171. David M. Studdert, et al., “Handgun Ownership and Suicide in California,”, June 4, 2020
  172. Benedict Carey, “First-Time Gun Owners at Risk for Suicide, Major Study Confirms,”, June 3, 2020
  173. Melissa Quinn, “Supreme Court Declines to Hear Host of Gun Rights Cases,”, June 15, 2020/li>
  174. FBI, “NICS Background Checks: Month/Year: November 30, 1998 – May 31, 2020,” fbi/gov (accessed June 29, 2020)
  175. Josh Campbell, “US Firearms Purchases Skyrocket during Pandemic, According to FBI Records,”, Aug. 3, 2020
  176. J. Edward Moreno, “Secret Service Report Finds Large Portion of Mass Shootings Done with Illegal Gun,”, Aug. 6, 2020
  177. Carol D. Leonnig and Tom Hamburger, “New York Attorney General Seeks to Dissolve NRA in Suit Accusing Gun Rights Group of Wide-Ranging Fraud and Self-Dealing,”, Aug. 6, 2020
  178. Danny Hakim, “New York Attorney General Sues N.R.A. and Seeks Its Closure,”, Aug. 6, 2020
  179. Josh Campbell, “FBI Firearm Background Checks Set All-Time Record in 2020,”, Nov. 2, 2020
  180. Clare Duffy, “NRA Files for Bankruptcy,”, Jan. 16, 2021
  181. FBI, “NICS Firearm Checks: Month/Year,” (accessed Feb. 1, 2021)
  182. Adrienne Vogt, “Here’s How the DOJ Will Work to Reduce the Risk of Gun Violence, According to the US Attorney General,”, Apr. 8, 2021
  183. Tim Mak, “Judge Dismisses NRA Bankruptcy Case, Heightening Risk for Dissolution of Group,”, May 11, 2021
  184. Associated Press, “Mexico Sues U.S. Gun Manufacturers For Contributing To Arms Trafficking Deaths,”, Aug. 5, 2021
  185. Dakin Andone, “13 States Have Backed the Mexican Government’s Lawsuit against a Group of US Gun Manufacturers,”, Feb. 6, 2022
  186. Tierney Sneed and Ariane de Vogue, “Supreme Court Strikes Down New York Concealed Gun Law,”, June 23, 2022
  187. Amy Howe, “In 6–3 Ruling, Court Strikes Down New York’s Concealed-Carry Law,”, June 23, 2022
  188. Emily Cochrane and Zolan Kanno-Youngs, “Biden Signs Gun Bill Into Law, Ending Years of Stalemate,”, June 25, 2022
  189. Don Clyde and Shauneen Miranda, “Biden Signs Gun Safety Bill into Law,”, June 25, 2022