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Some Research on Gun Ownership and Gun Laws
It was the Shootings of  Tucson that led me to browse some of the legal stuff regarding gun laws in this country.  Mainly, I wanted to know; the basis of gun laws, the difference between state and federal gun laws, and the most pressing current issues related to gun laws. So, here is, briefly, what I learned.  
     The basis for gun ownership seems to come from the  the 2nd amendment of the U. S. constitution.  The amendment 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 in fringed.  There has been debate as to whether this intended individuals to be gun owners or simply referred to states' ability to organize and arm a militia, such as the National Guard.  Currently, and for the first time, the U S. Supreme Court has ruled that an individual has a right to keep guns in a home. This ruling came in July 2008 in a case called, District of Columbia v. Heller . 1  
Gun laws seem always to have been designed to restrict, in some fashion for some reason, the ability of people to freely buy weapons.  From slaves being forbidden as gun owners, to permitted and registered gun owners only, to bans on assault rifles, the laws purpose has been to restrict.  
       Basically, state gun laws apply within the borders of a state and federal gun laws apply within the borders of the United States.  
         Two issues seem to be the current forefront of gun law debate.  One is the Castle Doctrine.  This doctrine allows people to defend themselves with force under certain circumstances.  Previously, if attacked and you defended yourself successfully, you may have been charged for injury to the attacker.  The reason being, you could have retreated and no one would have gotten injured.  Obviously, these are simplifications of the law.  I don't have a lot of legal acumen; These are basic descriptions as I understand them.   The other issue is that local gun laws can be different from state gun laws, depending on the local govt.'s legislation.  What happens if, as a gun owner familiar with one locality's laws, you then travel to another locality within a state which happens to have different laws? 
This second prominent problem is addressed by 'firearm preemption laws'.  These laws are designed to prevent, within a state, numerous and different rules and regulations from county to county or town to town.
Here are links I read for this post.


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