By Andy Sullivan
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Joe Biden announced restrictions to tackle gun violence in the United States last week, but more ambitious steps will be difficult to take despite broad support public opinion.
Here are some facts about gun violence in the United States:
HOW MANY USERS OWN A CAT?
With around 121 guns in circulation for every 100 residents, the United States is by far the most powerful armed society in the world, according to the Geneva-based Small Arms Survey, a research group.
However, owning a gun is becoming less common nationwide. According to research by RAND Corp, 1 in 3 households in the United States own a gun, down by nearly half from 1990. Ownership varies significantly by state: 66% of Montana households own a gun. guns, compared with just 8% in New Jersey.
WHAT ARE GOVERNMENT FIRE LAWS?
The second Amendment to the US Constitution respects the “right to carry arms,” which the Supreme Court explained is allowing individuals to keep pistols at home for self-defense. Conservative courts can decide early on whether gun owners can take guns outside.
The federal government requires most gun buyers to do criminal background investigation and strictly regulate ownership of fully automatic machine guns and silencers.
Most other gun laws are located at the state level, where policies vary widely https://giffords.org/lawcenter/resources/scorecard.
Many Democratic-dominated states have tightened their laws in recent years.
California, for example, banned semi-automatic military “assault weapons” and large-volume journals and had the most robust “red flag” system, allowing the government to take guns away from identified people. is dangerous.
The state also prohibits people from carrying firearms loaded in public – a practice known as “open carry” – and gun owners must obtain a permit before carrying a weapon that has been concealed.
Gun laws are much easier in rural states, including Idaho, Kentucky and Wyoming.
Mississippi has the most permissive US law, according to the Giffords Law Center, a gun control group. Residents of that state do not need a permit to carry loaded weapons, whether explicitly or concealed, and the sale of “offensive weapons” and large volume magazines is legal. Buyers do not have to face waiting times and there is no state law to fly the red flag.
Mississippi and 28 other states have also enacted “Stand Your Ground” laws that allow people to use deadly force when they feel threatened.
WHAT IMPACT IS THIS?
Experts say that Americans are not necessarily more violent than other cultures – but their disputes are more likely to become deadly.
University of Iowa criminology professor Mark Berg found assault rates in the United States comparable to other countries, but murder rates were higher due to the prevalence of guns.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), guns were a factor responsible for 39,740 deaths in the US in 2018, similar to the number caused by motor vehicle accidents. Suicides account for 6 out of 10 gun deaths.
Has the law of life changed?
The right to use a gun is one of the most divisive issues in American politics. Proponents see guns as an important tool for self-defense, shooting and hunting, as well as a powerful symbol of individual rights. Critics argue that America’s easy-going approach results in tens of thousands of deaths each year.
The intense mass shootings have increased public pressure to tighten regulations. Most Americans supported https://www.reuters.com/article/us-florida-shooting-annestival-poll-idUSKCN1PX11I the more harsher gun law, according to a Reuters / Ipsos poll, but Washington did very little. to solve the problem in recent years.
One reason: Small, rural states, where the possession of a common gun has disproportionate influence in the US Senate, where a supermajority of 60 votes is needed to make most of the laws in a 100-seat room .
The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives passed a law to extend the background check last month, but it faces long odds in the Senate, which is splitting 50-50 between the two parties.
When Congress was at a standstill, the presidents took action on their own.
After the 2018 mass shooting in Las Vegas that killed 58 people, President Donald Trump then banned “ammunition” that allowed semi-automatic rifles to fire at the same speed as automatic guns.
But Trump, a Republican, also makes it easier for people with mental illness to buy guns.
Biden, a Democrat, aims to tighten regulations on self-assembled “ghost guns” that can now be sold without a serial number or background check and to make it easier for states to pass legislation red flag.
The political landscape may be changing. The National Rifle Association (NRA) has been one of the most influential gun rights advocacy groups in Washington for decades, but in recent years has been plagued by internal fights. The conglomerate recently filed for bankruptcy in an attempt to avert a legal challenge in New York.
The NRA awarded $ 30 million to candidates in the 2020 presidential and congressional elections, down from $ 55 million in 2016, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Meanwhile, advocacy groups like the Moms Demand Action advocating for stronger restrictions have increased lobbying costs over the past decade, although they still keep an eye on gun rights advocacy groups as a whole.