The District of Columbia’s “Firearms Control Regulations Act of 1975”: The Toughest Handgun Control Law in the United States — Or Is It?

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The District of Columbia’s “Firearms Control Regulations Act of 1975”: The Toughest Handgun Control Law in the United States — Or Is It?

Category: Firearm Policies, Homicide|Journal: The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science (full text)|Author: E Jones|Year: 1981

The District of Columbia’s Firearms Control Regulations Act of 1975 went into effect on 24 September 1976. It was the outgrowth of three more restrictive legislative proposals that had been introduced in 1975 and had two legislative objectives: (1) to reduce the potential of firearms-related crimes and (2) to monitor more effectively firearms’ trafficking. In July 1980, the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ study reported its evaluation of the effectiveness of this act and stated that the act significantly reduced firearm and handgun crime. This report met largely with opposition. This article, in addition to relating the provisions and legislative history of the Firearms Control Regulations Act, analyses the deficiencies in the Conference of Mayors’ research methods and assumptions and also discusses any beneficial effects and weaknesses of the act. However, it can only be concluded that further research on firearms control effectiveness in the District of Columbia is clearly needed to develop demonstrably effective public policies against criminal misuse of handguns.

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