1968 Retrospect: Gun Control

The recent tragic shootings will no doubt once again raise the debate on gun control. It is interesting to note that there was very little gun control in the United States prior to 1968.

However, let’s take a look at the nationwide gun control legislation prior to 1968:

  • 1927: The first nationwide gun control law passed, banning the mailing of handguns.
  • 1934: Fully automated firearms are heavily regulated, owners are required register, and heavy transfer taxes are imposed.
  • 1938: The first broad legislation impacting all guns. Guns dealers were required to be federally licensed and keep records of who purchased guns. Violent felons were prohibited from owning firearms.

Then on October 22nd, 1968 the strongest gun control legislation in US history was passed. The Gun Control Act of 1968 included the following provisions:

  • The mail-order sale of all firearms was prohibited except between licensed manufacturers, dealers, and collectors.
  • The importation of non-sporting (i.e. military grade) weaponry is prohibited.
  • Firearms sales are prohibited to those who are convicted of any non-business felony, are mentally incompetent, or use drugs.
  • Sales of handguns were prohibited to those under 21, and other guns were prohibited to those under 18.

Imagine that: Just 40 years ago, your 15-year-old son could go out and buy a handgun!