What Is Gun Control Act Of 1968

What Is Gun Control Act Of 1968

When people think of the history of firearms in the United States, their minds often jump to the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. However, the Gun Control Act of 1968 was also a crucial turning point in shaping America's approach to firearms. This legislation was a response to the devastating assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy, along with rising concerns about crime and public safety.

The Gun Control Act of 1968

Gun Control Act of 1968

The Gun Control Act of 1968 was passed with bipartisan support and signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson. The law strengthened and expanded on previous gun control measures, including the National Firearms Act of 1934 and the Federal Firearms Act of 1938. It established new requirements for gun dealers and purchasers, such as a system of licenses and permits, background checks, and record-keeping. It also banned the import of certain firearms and prohibited certain individuals, such as convicted felons and those with mental illness, from owning guns.

The Gun Control Act of 1968 had a significant impact on the firearms industry and the culture of gun ownership in the United States. It created a more regulated and standardized system for buying and selling guns, which helped to reduce illegal trafficking and sales. It also gave law enforcement agencies more tools to investigate and prosecute gun crimes. However, it also faced criticism and opposition from some gun rights advocates, who saw it as an infringement on their Second Amendment rights.

Common Misconceptions about the Gun Control Act of 1968

Despite its importance in shaping America's approach to firearms, there are many misconceptions and myths about the Gun Control Act of 1968. One common misconception is that it banned all sales of firearms through the mail. While the law did restrict mail-order sales of certain firearms, it did not ban sales entirely. Instead, it required that any such sales go through licensed dealers and be subject to the same regulations as in-person sales.

Another common myth is that the Gun Control Act of 1968 created a national gun registry. However, the law did not establish a national registry of all firearms owners or guns in circulation. It did require that gun dealers keep records of all transactions, but these records are not easily searchable or accessible to law enforcement.

The Legacy of the Gun Control Act of 1968

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The Gun Control Act of 1968 remains a controversial and divisive issue in American politics and culture. While it has been effective in reducing some forms of gun violence, it has not eliminated the problem entirely. Mass shootings and other forms of gun violence continue to be major public health and safety concerns.

However, the legacy of the Gun Control Act of 1968 also includes positive developments in public awareness and activism around gun control. Organizations such as the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and Moms Demand Action have worked to raise awareness about the impact of gun violence and advocate for common-sense gun reform measures.

The Importance of Responsible Gun Ownership

Regardless of one's stance on gun control laws, it is essential that all gun owners take responsibility for their firearms and use them safely and ethically. This includes storing guns securely, keeping them out of the hands of children and unauthorized individuals, and following all applicable laws and regulations. It also means using guns only for legitimate purposes, such as hunting or self-defense, and avoiding any actions that could lead to accidents or harm to oneself or others.

One important aspect of responsible gun ownership is education and training. Anyone who owns a gun should receive proper training on how to use it safely and effectively. This includes understanding how to handle and store a firearm, how to clean and maintain it, and how to shoot accurately and responsibly. Training programs and classes are available from a variety of sources, including gun clubs, sportsmen's groups, and law enforcement agencies.


The Gun Control Act of 1968 was a crucial moment in America's history of firearms regulation and legislation. While it has faced criticism and opposition over the years, it remains an important tool for reducing gun violence and promoting public safety. Whether through activism, education, or responsible ownership, we all have a role to play in shaping the future of gun control in the United States.

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