Gun laws in the US

General aspects

The United States have a federal system of government. This means that governing powers are divided between national and state governments. Each level of government has full autonomy to pass laws and rules in certain areas while in other areas they share power. For instance, only the federal government can declare war, but both levels have authority regarding tax law.

Between the 1980s and 2001, the government in the US was characterized by what is called “New Federalism”. This type of federalism is about gradually giving states more autonomy and power.

Judicial courts play an important role in the US federal system because court rulings become law. The highest judiciary body in the US is the Supreme Court which functions at a federal level. The Supreme Court is not only the highest court of appeal but also the main authority in interpreting the US Constitution. 

Gun legislation is an area in which state and national governments share power. Gun laws are concerned with the production, trade, ownership, transfer, registration, and destruction of firearms, as well as regulation regarding ammunition and weapon accessories. They are enforced by both the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and local state agencies.

Federal laws

There are over a dozen federal laws that include references to gun laws in the US.

For example, the 1934 National Firearms Act established the taxation of production and transfer of weapons such as machine guns, heavy weapon...

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