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:
- How Congress Can Protect All Women from Abusers and Stalkers
- Background Checks for All Gun Sales
- Have Gun, Will Travel: Mandated National Concealed-Carry Legislation
(A more recent version of this fact sheet is available here.)
- Ensuring a Smart Approach to Prevent Gun Suicides by Military Veterans
- The Terror Gap
- Immunizing the Gun Industry: The Harmful Effect of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act
- Removing Barriers and Reinvesting in Public Health Research on Gun Violence
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.