WASHINGTON (Sinclair Broadcast Group) - As Congress returns to Capitol Hill this week following a 10-day break, many are facing public pressure to take action on gun violence following the deaths of 17 people at a Florida high school on Valentine's Day.
While some have suggested proposals, The Associated Press reports no plan appears ready to take off quite yet.
Originally, there were 12 amendments proposed to the Bill of Rights but only 10 were ratified by three -fourths of the state legislatures on Dec. 15, 1791. Those 10 Amendments became our nation's Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights included the Second Amendment authored by James Madison which states; "A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed."
The interpretation of the Second Amendment has been fiercely debated for years. One of the major pieces of legislation that impacted gun control legislation in the last century was the National Firearms Act of 1934. The piece of legislation was later amended several times.
For a look at the most recent modifications to gun laws, check out the list below:
The National Firearms Act was enacted by Congress in 1934. The law "imposed a tax on the making and transfer of firearms defined by the Act, as well as a special (occupational) tax on persons and entities engaged in the business of importing, manufacturing, and dealing in NFA firearms," according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). The also required the registration of NFA guns with the Secretary of the Treasury. The guns specified in the 1934 version of the Act included shotguns, rifles with a barrel less than 18 inches in length, "any other weapon," machineguns, firearm mufflers and silencers. These types of firearms were found by Congress to be of concern due to their frequent use in crimes.
Here are the current firearms regulations under the NFA:
Along with the registration of the firearm, a $200 tax was imposed and had to be paid at the initial registration and again if the gun is later sold. This portion of the law has remained unchanged since 1934.
The Gun Control Act of 1968 amended the National Firearms Act of 1934.
The Gun Control Act was enacted by Congress in 1968. The law regulated the "interstate and foreign commerce in firearms, including importation, "prohibited persons," and licensing provisions," according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Meaning the law imposes stricter licensing and regulation on the firearms industry and also established new categories of firearms offenses. The "prohibited persons" provisions prohibit the sale of firearms and ammunition to felons. This law also created the first Federal Jurisdiction over "destructive devices" including bombs, grenades and other explosive devices.
Following the enactment of the Gun Control Act, four additional laws The Brady Law, Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act, The Patriot Act and NICS Improvement Amendments Act were amended to the 1968 law.
Between 1993 and 2001 when the Gun Control Act was amended, there were additional laws created pertaining to firearm regulations.
The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act was passed by Congress in 1994. This law expanded the current laws enforced by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The bill also "added a new category of prohibited persons: any person under certain restraining orders; implemented a ban on semi-automatic assault weapons," according to the Justice Department. This banned the manufacturing of 19 "military-style" assault weapons and some 'high-capacity" magazines with more than 10 rounds, according to the National Criminal Justice Reference Service.
The Homeland Security Act was enacted by Congress in 2002 and created The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms (ATF). The "authorities, functions, personnel, and assets of ATF from the Department of the Treasury to the Department of Justice (DOJ), and created within DOJ the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which continues to be referred to as ATF," according to the Department of Justice.
This law was passed by Congress in 2005. The law prohibits qualified civil liability action, or lawsuit, from being filed in any state or federal court against "a manufacturer or seller of a firearm." This also includes manufacturers of ammunition or components of firearms that have "been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce, or against a trade association of such manufacturers or sellers, for damages, punitive damages, injunctive or declaratory relief, abatement, restitution, fines, penalties, or other relief resulting from the criminal or unlawful misuse of a firearm. Requires pending actions to be dismissed," according to the Act's filing.
At the time of this case, the District of Columbia law prohibiting handguns in the nation's capital was already enacted by the DC city council in 1976. Defendant Dick Anthony Heller worked as an armed security guard and wanted to bring his handgun home at the end of the evening. The District rejected his application to keep the gun in his home. The District Court then appealed to the Supreme Court. In 2008, the Supreme Court found DC's handgun ban to be unconstitutional and struck down the lower court ruling.
Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 passed a vote in the House on Dec. 6, 2017. It then was received by the Senate and read twice before being referred to the Committee on the Judiciary. The bill is still in committee.