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Gun Regulation and Legislation in America

This database brings together essential documents on the difficult and controversial topic of regulating firearms in the United States.

Additional Resources

Brady | United against Gun Violence

Brady is one of America's oldest gun violence prevention groups. Originally founded in 1974 as the National Council to Control Handguns and later renamed to the Handgun Control, Inc., in 1980, the organization received national prominence after the attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan in 1981, during which Press Secretary Jim Brady was shot in the head, leaving him paralyzed. Soon after the shooting, Jim's wife Sarah began working at  HCI. Through the Bradys and HCI's campaigning, the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act was signed into law in 1993, which mandated Brady Background Checks on all handgun purchases from federally licensed firearm dealers. Today, Brady continues to work to strengthen gun laws, combat gun violence, and modernize background checks.

Everytown for Gun Safety | The Movement to End Gun Violence

Founded in 2013 after the merger of Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, Everytown for Gun Safety is a nonprofit organization that advocates for gun control and the end of gun violence. Some of the issues tackled by the organization include extreme risk laws, universal background checks, the prohibition of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and the prohibition of open carry.

Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence

Formed by the merging of Americans for Responsible Solutions and Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, the Giffords Center is named after Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who in 2011 was shot and seriously wounded while meeting with constituents in Tucson, AZ. Today, the Giffords Center tracks and evaluates gun safety bills, provides state rankings on gun laws, and conducts litigation to defend gun control laws in courts.

NRA-ILA

The Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the lobbying arm of the National Rifle Association (NRA). ILA's work concerns any issue that directly or indirectly affects firearm ownership and use, such as hunting, wildlife conservation, civilian marksmanship, law enforcement-related issues, and product liability.

The NRA is America's most prominent gun rights advocacy group. Founded in 1871, the NRA is a a major influence on politicians and legislation. Aside from its political activities, the NRA conducts firearm training and hunter education programs across the country to promote responsible gun ownership and best practices.

Second Amendment Foundation

The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) is dedicated to promoting better understanding about American's Constitutional heritage to privately own and possess firearms. It publishes several magazines and newsletters, organizes public education programs, and takes legal action on gun rights issues.

Brady Law

This resource from the Buearu of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) provides an overview of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act as well as links to resources for compliance with the Act's provisions.

The ATF is the primary federal agency responsible for protecting the public from crimes involving firearms, explosives, arson, and the diversion of alcohol and tobacco products; regulates lawful commerce in firearms and explosives; and provides worldwide support to law enforcement, public safety, and industry partners.

Duke Center for Firearms Law

The Duke Center for Firearms Law at Duke University is dedicated to the development of firearms law as a scholarly field. It seeks to do so through the development and support of reliable, original, and insightful scholarship, research, and programming on firearms law that will be useful to lawyers, policy makers, and the interested layperson.

Firearms-Control Legislation and Policy: Canada

This report from the Library of Congress provides an overview of the relevant firearms legislation in Canada and its impact.

Firearms-Control Legislation and Policy: South Africa

This report from the Library of Congress provides an overview of the relevant firearms legislation in South Africa and its impact.

Gun Policy in America

Gun Policy in America, an initiative of the RAND Corporation, provides information on what scientific research can tell us about the effects of gun laws. Its goal is to establish a shared set of facts that will improve public discussions and support the development of fair and effective gun policies.

The RAND Corporation is a research organization that develops solutions to public policy challenges to help make communities throughout the world safer and more secure, healthier and more prosperous. RAND is nonprofit, nonpartisan, and committed to the public interest.

RAND State Firearm Law Database

In 2016, the RAND Corporation launched its Gun Policy in America initiative with the goal of creating objective, factual resources for policymakers and the public on the effects of gun laws. As part of this initiative, RAND developed a longitudinal data set of state firearm laws that is free to the public, including other researchers, to support improved analysis and understanding of the effects of various laws.

The RAND Corporation is a research organization that develops solutions to public policy challenges to help make communities throughout the world safer and more secure, healthier and more prosperous. RAND is nonprofit, nonpartisan, and committed to the public interest.

Repository of Historical Gun Laws

This searchable database from the Duke Center for Firearms Law contains gun laws from the medieval age to 1776 in England and from the colonial era to the middle of the twentieth century in the United States. It is intended as a resource for scholars and practitioners interested in historical laws concerning firearms and other similar weapons.

Science of Gun Policy: A Critical Synthesis of Research Evidence on the Effects of Gun Policies in the United States

In this report, part of the RAND Corporation's Gun Policy in America initiative, researchers seek objective information about what the scientific literature reveals about the likely effects of various gun laws. It examines the effects of 18 policies on firearm deaths, violent crime, the gun industry, defensive gun use, and other outcomes.

The RAND Corporation is a research organization that develops solutions to public policy challenges to help make communities throughout the world safer and more secure, healthier and more prosperous. RAND is nonprofit, nonpartisan, and committed to the public interest.

United States: Gun Ownership and the Supreme Court

This article from the Law Library of Congress provides an overview of cases that have appeared before the U.S. Supreme Court on the Second Amendment and gun ownership.

Gun Violence Archive

The Gun Violence Archive is an online archive of gun violence incidents collected from over 7,500  law enforcement, media, government and commercial sources daily in an effort to provide near-real time data about the results of gun violence. GVA is a not-for-profit,  independent data collection and research group with no affiliation with any advocacy organization.

K-12 School Shooting Database

This database documents each and every instance a gun is brandished, fired, or a bullet hits school property for any reason, regardless of the number of victims, time, or day of the week. It compiles information from more than 25 different sources, including peer-reviewed studies, government reports, mainstream media, and more.

The School Shooting Database Project is conducted as part of the Advanced Thinking in Homeland Security (HSx) program at the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Homeland Defense and Security (CHDS).

Gun Control & Ownership

This libguide, part of Vanderbilt University's Public Policy Hot Topics research guide series, is a bibliographic guide to researching gun control and ownership on the internet, with links to basic sites, interest groups, research centers, statistics and more, featuring sources on both sides of the debate.

Librarian Solves Mystery of First School Shooting in the U.S.

This article from WVTF, a National Public Radio affiliate in southwestern Virginia, details the fascinating story of a librarian at the University of Virginia whose research unearthed the story of the first school shooting to occur in the United States, in 1840.

Revisiting the Messy Language of the Second Amendment

This article, part of JSTOR Daily, explores the linguistic debate over the Second Amendment's curious wording and odd phraseology, and how that has propelled arguments on both sides of the debate and both aided and hampered courtroom interpretation.

JSTOR Daily provides context for current events using scholarship found in JSTOR, a digital library of academic journals, books, and other material.