In the United States, mass shootings have occurred in many gatherings, including schools. This may be mainly due to a weakly regulated gun industry, where the laws are weak and easily manipulated. While there were several policies, including the formation of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), there has not been much improvement in the situation.
An Overview of the American Gun Industry
This national matter is becoming worse with each passing day. In the education sector, at college in particular, a student is now required to write assignments related to this burning issue. One way to do it right is by using professional essay examples available on internet. Using tips for a gun control essay by Graduateway is a great source of ideas for coining an accurate presentation of the topic. However, while the situation seems dire, several Americans are turning to the country’s tort system to help curb the growing monster.
It is no hidden fact that the legislation regulating gun control is, at best, lagging. The first and significant law at the federal level was enacted in 1934, although there was objective evidence of a robust infrastructure of increased firearms in the country. The law, known as the National Firearms Act (NFA), was a political response to a violent demonstration of increased organized crime.
The next law was the Gun Control Act of 1968, which was influenced by the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr., President John F. Kennedy Jr., and Robert Kennedy. This new legislation placed stricter measures for purchasing guns and ammunition. It required a permit from the Federal Government and mandatory checks in inspections for record keeping.
However, these policies became slack with the introduction of the Firearm Owners’ Protection Act (FOPA) in 1986. It reduced the power of the ATF in carrying out routine inspections on gun dealers and allowed almost anyone to purchase a gun based on flimsy excuses.
There have been other amendments and new introductions, including:
- The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act (1933) was influenced by the attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan. It was also responsible for the creation of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NCIS)
- The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act (1994). This act was responsible for the ban on all assault weapon types.
Since then, there has not been a single review of the legislation to meet current demands for regulation of the industry. Hence, loopholes have been generated in the sales of firearms on the internet, less control for gun safety measures, etc.
The current legislation has also reduced the influence of the ATF in combating such issues.
The ATF is charged by federal law to enforce all legislation related to firearms. The agents collaborate with colleagues at the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), the Department of Homeland Security, and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). The agency also coordinates with state and local law enforcement bodies.
Their tasks include investigating and prosecuting individuals who possess and traffick firearms illegally at home and abroad. They also regulate the activities in the gun industry in line with the law. They issue licenses and carry out routine inspections for the stakeholders.
However, as the law empowers the agency, it is also its biggest limitation. Over the years, the ATF has suffered budget cuts that have affected its operations. Part of the other issues includes a shortage of personnel, which has shown less effectiveness.
Another part where the agency falls short is the restriction in the laws, cutting its powers to provide an effective regulatory overwatch for the entire gun industry. For example, the FOPA was amended in 1988 and reduced the ATF’s ability to create a database for records of the location of gun stores, firearm owners, and details of all transactions. This has been left solely at the discretion of firearm dealers, who must file all paperwork for every transaction.
Another severe limitation is the inability of the ATF to make policies and mandate all firearm dealers to enforce them. They are only allowed to provide “guidance,” and it is left to the dealers to take such advice or not. Federal laws also offer limited power for the agency to prosecute dealers who do not comply with the legislation.
While the gun industry keeps growing within the United States, the current federal laws are currently weakened in their present position to provide effective regulations. University scholars have continued to release publications on the possible harms this might emanate, with many essay articles written in this field.