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Old May 23, 2002, 11:41 PM   #4
Justin
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 24, 2000
Location: Colorado Springs
Posts: 1,641
Wyldone, following is my attempt to peice together the events that led to the passage of the above gun-control laws.

NFA '34 was the direct result of the passage of the Volstead Act (prohibition), and the gangland violence that it gave rise to. Probably the most well known example of this is the 1929 St. Valentine's Day Massacre in which 7 men were executed with Thompson Submachineguns (Tommy guns, like in the old movies.)
Also, the acts of other criminals such as Bonnie and Clyde gave rise to (supposedly) a public outcry.

Skip ahead to the 1960's.
On Nov. 22, 1963 John F. Kennedy was assinated. The weapon used was a bolt-action Carcano that Oswald purchased via mail order.
April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King, Jr. is assasinated, ostensibly by James Earl Ray, but according to the biography of Dr. King at The King Center
Quote:
On December 8, 1999, a jury of twelve citizens of Memphis, Shelby County, TN concluded in Coretta Scott King, Martin Luther King, III, Bernice King, Dexter Scott King and Yolanda King Vs. Loyd Jowers and Other Unknown Conspirators that Loyd Jowers and governmental agencies including the City of Memphis, the State of Tennessee, and the federal government were party to the conspiracy to assassinate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
I didn't know that.

June 5, 1968 Robert F. Kennedy is assasinated by Sirhan Sirhan shortly after winning the California Democratic Primary.
IIRC, Sirhan used a .22 revolver.

Taking those 3 murders into account, you can trace the lineage of the Gun Control Act of 1968. A big part of this was a ban on mail-order guns, and you had to fill out paperwork in order to purchase ammo. You could not cross state lines with a firearm as well. (My knowledge on GCA '68 is a little muzzy here, another TFL'er might be able to fill in with more knowledge.)

In 1986 the Firearms Owner's Protection Act is passed by Reagan. It does away with the paperwork that had to be filled out for ammo purchases, and also makes it easier for people to travel from state to state with a gun. (This was included because the GCA '68 had more or less crippled hunting. What FOPA did was to say that if you're legal in State A, and Legal in State Y, then you are legal in transition.)
FOPA also had a rider attached that put a cap on the number of legally held fully-automatic weapons, which has resulted in artificially inflated prices.

Volokh seems to have left the
1994 Assault Weapons Ban off of his list. A big part of why this was passed was the shooting of school kids by
Patrick Purdy in 1989. Throw in a couple of other high-profile shootings, and a rising crime rate, and the '94 ban was the result.

Since that time, there really haven't been any high-profile assasinations of public figures, but suffice it to say that the school shootings at Columbine in CO, Jonesboro, AR; Springfield, OR; West Paducah, KY; and others have led to all sorts of assinine proposals, many of which have been tried before.

Ok, I threw this timeline together pretty quickly relying only on my memory, and a couple of web searches. I may have missed a few events, or gotten them wrong. By no means is it all encompassing. If I've missed something, I'd appreciate it if other people added to it.
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