Skip to main content

Gun Control

Use this guide to find print and electronic resources at the Bailey Library dealing with the gun control debate.


Government regulation of the manufacture, sale, and possession of firearms.

The SECOND AMENDMENT to the U.S. Constitution is at the heart of the issue of gun control. The Second Amendment declares that “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.”

from the  Gale Encyclopedia of American Law . Vol. 5. 3rd ed. Detroit: Gale, 2010

Terms for this Topic

Gun control
Concealed carry laws
Firearm laws
Second amendment rights
Assault weapons
Federal Assault Weapon Ban
Brady Handgun Violence Protection Act

Topic Overview

"In its broadest sense, the term "gun control" refers to any government policies that influence the availability and use of firearms among the general public or distinct subsets of the population - such as minors, convicted felons, and the mentally ill."  Guns in American Society : An Encyclopedia of History, Politics, Culture and the Law 2002

 Such regulation, and the state and federal laws which protect it, has been hotly debated for years.  The tragedy at Columbine High School and the shootings at a  Denver cinema and most recently the tragic shooting of 20 children and 6 adults at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT on Dec 14, 2012 have elicited a national response to this contentious issue.