Gun Control after Heller and McDonald:. What Cannot Be Done and What Ought to Be Done

By Kleck, Gary | Fordham Urban Law Journal, October 2012 | Go to article overview

Gun Control after Heller and McDonald:. What Cannot Be Done and What Ought to Be Done


Kleck, Gary, Fordham Urban Law Journal


Introduction
  I. What Cannot Be Done: Constitutionally Impermissible Gun
       Control
  II. What May Still Be Permissible
  III. Do Gun Levels Affect Violence?
  IV. Forms of Gun Control
      A. Lawsuits Against Gun Manufacturers, Distributors,
         and Dealers
      B. Behavioral Interventions to Reduce Firearms Injury
      C. Firearms Safety Technology
  V. Effects of Gun Control Laws on Crime
      A. Bans on Possession of Specific Gun Types
         1. Local Handgun Bans
         2. Assault Weapon Bans
         3. "Saturday Night Special" Bans
      B. Bans on Acquisition or Possession of Guns by High-Risk
         Subsets of the Population
      C. Background Checks of Prospective Gun Buyers
         1. The Brady Act
         2. State-Mandated Background Checks
      D. Gun Registration
      E. One-Gun-a-Month Laws
      F. Waiting Periods
      G. Enhanced Penalties for Crimes Committed with Guns.
      H. Child-Access Protection Laws: Requiring Guns to Be
         Stored Secured
      I. Restrictions on Carrying Guns Away From Home
      J. Gun Decontrol: Right-to-Carry Laws
      K. Increased Enforcement of Carry Laws
Conclusion: What Should Be Done

INTRODUCTION

The Heller and McDonald decisions rendered certain gun control measures unconstitutional. This Article discusses the kinds of gun control that still may be constitutionally permissible in light of those decisions. It also analyzes which kinds of gun control are effective, first reviewing evidence on the fundamental underlying issue of whether gun ownership levels affect violence rates. This Article then outlines the major forms that gun control efforts have taken and critically reviews the research evidence concerning the impact of gun control measures on crime. Finally, the Conclusion outlines the types of constitutionally permissible gun control policies that should be implemented to reduce crime.

I. WHAT CANNOT BE DONE: CONSTITUTIONALLY IMPERMISSIBLE GUN CONTROL

In District of Columbia v. Hellerand McDonald v. City of Chicago, the Supreme Court established that the Second Amendment protects an individual's right to own a gun for personal use and that neither the federal government nor state or local governments can abridge this right. (1) More specifically, the Court ruled that there is a constitutional right to keep a loaded handgun at home for self-defense. (2) Thus, it seems clear that governments may not completely forbid the ownership of handguns, or of all guns, or require that all guns kept in the home remain unloaded.

II. WHAT MAY STILL BE PERMISSIBLE

Beyond these limitations, it remains unclear what other gun control measures, if any, are now constitutionally impermissible. Because the decisions explicitly addressed the possession of guns in the home, it remains possible that governments could completely forbid the possession of firearms outside the home. Possession in the home can be restricted in a variety of ways short of total prohibition. For example, after the McDonald decision struck down Chicago's handgun ban, the city of Chicago quickly responded by implementing a revised ordinance that forbade keeping more than one handgun assembled and operable in the home. (3)

Likewise, the Court did not explicitly forbid the enactment of laws establishing restrictive firearms licensing laws and ordinances. New York City requires residents to have a pistol permit to own a handgun legally, but the law is administered so stringently that virtually no residents of New York City other than retired police officers are able to get a permit. (4) It costs $431.50 just to apply for a handgun license (including fingerprinting charges), the fees are nonrefundable, and the odds are stacked heavily against the application being approved. (5) For example, in 1987, only twenty-one percent of applications were approved. (6) Applicants may be denied if they had a moving violation in their driving history, failed to get fingerprinted, or failed to provide all the voluminous paperwork and documentation required. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Gun Control after Heller and McDonald:. What Cannot Be Done and What Ought to Be Done
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.