Gun Control - 3
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Gun Control is an effort to fight violent crime by strengthening laws on the ownership of firearms. The use of a gun in a crime is more likely to result in a person's death than is the use of most other kinds of weapons, including knives. Many people own guns for the protection of their home, for use in hunting or target shooting, or for other legitimate reasons. Gun control laws aim to reduce the criminal use of guns as much as possible and, at the same time, to interfere as little as possible with other gun use.
The federal government and all U.S. states have some gun control laws. These laws use two main approaches to reducing gun violence. The first involves keeping high-risk people from obtaining firearms. The second prohibits high-risk guns from being acquired by anyone but the police.
In the United States and other countries, laws have been adopted to give law enforcement officials a chance to make sure the buyer is not a high-risk person. For example, some U.S. communities require a person who wishes to own a gun to first get a license. In 1993, the U.S. Congress passed the "Brady bill," which made gun buyers go through a waiting period of five working days between the time they purchased a handgun (revolver or pistol) and the time they took possession of it. In 1998, new federal legislation replaced the waiting period with a requirement that gun buyers undergo background checks prior to purchasing a handgun, rifle, or shotgun. Under Canadian law, first-time gun buyers must wait 28 days to buy a gun. Moreover, in 1995, Canada's Parliament voted to require all gun owners to license and register their guns. Many European countries also require handguns to be licensed or registered. But enforcement of the European laws varies greatly.
People opposed to gun control argue that taking guns from law-abiding citizens does not prevent the possession of guns by criminals. People who oppose licensing, waiting periods, and background checks argue...