Article

Fact Sheets: Federal Legislative Gun Issues

While the United States has some federal laws designed to prevent gun violence, these laws have significant gaps that allow dangerous people to have easy access to guns.

Authors

  • Lauren Speigel
  • Eugenio Weigend Vargas
Guns are displayed for sale at an arms seller in Colorado, July 2014. (AP/Brennan Linsley)
Guns are displayed for sale at an arms seller in Colorado, July 2014. (AP/Brennan Linsley)

The United States has a significant problem with gun violence. An average of 33,000 people are killed with guns every year in this country, and roughly 33 people are murdered with guns every day. While the United States has some federal laws designed to prevent gun violence, these laws have significant gaps that continue to allow dangerous people—such as felons, domestic abusers, and the dangerously mentally ill—to have easy access to guns.

As the 114th Congress begins, legislators in both the House and the Senate will be called upon to address a number of issues that relate to guns. Proposals to strengthen gun laws and to help keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people are likely to be introduced, including measures to require background checks for all guns sales and to ensure that domestic abusers and stalkers are prohibited from buying and possessing guns. Measures to further weaken federal gun laws are likely to be introduced as well, including legislation designed to undermine individual state laws and require national concealed-carry reciprocity and to further weaken the federal government’s ability to enforce gun laws and regulate the gun industry.

For more information about the federal legislative gun issues poised to arise in the 114th Congress, see the following fact sheets:

Lauren Speigel is the Research Associate for the Crime and Firearms Policy team at American Progress. Eugenio Weigend is the Senior Policy Analyst for the Guns and Crime Policy team at American Progress.

The positions of American Progress, and our policy experts, are independent, and the findings and conclusions presented are those of American Progress alone. A full list of supporters is available here. American Progress would like to acknowledge the many generous supporters who make our work possible.

Authors

Lauren Speigel

Research Associate, Guns and Crime Policy

Eugenio Weigend Vargas

Director

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