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Fast Fact: Gun Control

Creating laws that make it hard to buy guns or to limit the kind of guns people can buy is called “gun control”. Most countries think guns are dangerous and have strong laws to control who can buy a gun and what kind of guns they can buy.

Here are some ways that laws might control guns:

  • Making some kinds of guns or gun parts against the law.
  • Making an age limit for buying guns.
  • Doing a “background check” on the person buying the gun to see if they might be dangerous.
  • Making a person who wants to buy a gun wait before they can get it.
  • Making a person do a safety class before they can buy a gun.

Gun Control in the US
Because of many shootings in recent years, a lot of people in the US want stronger gun control. In spite of the shootings, the US Congress   has not made stronger gun control laws.

March on Washington for Gun Control (2013)
March on Washington for Gun Control (2013)
(Source: Slowking4, via Wikimedia Commons.)

One main reason is that the rules of the country, the US Constitution, say that people can “keep and bear arms”. This means people can have guns. The Constitution is much harder to change than a regular law. Many people think the rule about guns means that anybody can have any kind of gun they want. Other people say the rule only means simple guns. They point out that when the rule about guns was added to the Constitution, no one had invented guns that could kill a lot of people quickly.

Another reason gun laws have not changed is because many people work hard to keep the laws from being changed. Companies that make guns and groups that like guns, such as the National Rifle Association (NRA), give money to some of the people who make the laws. They hope that the lawmakers won’t put controls on guns. But groups that want gun control are also giving money to lawmakers. They want to get the laws changed.

The Seal of the National Rifle Association
The Seal of the National Rifle Association


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