PODCAST STYLE 🎧
Mass shootings have become disturbingly common in the United States, and the pace has quickened in the past decade. The NRA and pro-gun advocates suggest that more guns can improve safety, while mass shooting survivors and gun safety organizations are pushing for new regulation. When it comes to the laws regulating guns and reducing violence, what does the data support?
In part 1 of this 2-part series, Professor John Donohue of Stanford Law discusses how the interpretation of the Second Amendment has evolved and what his empirical research shows about the effect of the number of guns on crime.
Watch Part 2 of Mass Shootings and Gun Laws.
Second Amendment - “[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 infringed.”
District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) - Established the Second Amendment as a personal right rather than a right of a militia.
McDonald v. Chicago (2010) - The constitutional “right of the people to keep and bear Arms” applies to state and local governments as well as to the federal government.
Sandy Hook - Soto v. Bushmaster Firearms (settled 2022) - certain Sandy Hook victims families filed lawsuits against the firearm manufacturer that produced the gun used in the school shooting.
New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. City of New York (pending) - decision that could further limit state and local firearms regulations.
Federal Assault Weapons Ban (lapsed) - Prohibited the manufacture, sale, and possession of semi-automatic assault weapons and high capacity magazines.
Brady Law - Established a background check system for gun ownership and prohibits certain individuals — such as convicted felons, those with certain mental illnesses, those who unlawfully used a controlled substance, or those convicted of domestic violence — from buying guns.