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Gun Legislation A History Few topics in American history have been more disputed or the controversy more heated than Gun legislation The history of Gun Legislation dates back to the Revolutionary period In 1792 Congress passed a law that required all able-bodied male citizens between the ages of 18-44 to equip themselves with a musket or a weapon adequate for war along with a minimum amount of ammunition The Congress passed this law on the reasoning that in case of a need for national defense the male citizens should arm themselves because the federal government may not necessarily be able to arm its citizens with the necessary weapons to arm the militias In reaction to the new law gun ownership began to rise exponentially and therefore new problems associated with guns were raised with it Soon after the South was defeated in the Civil War talk of how to control the amount of guns began The reason for the new focus on the issue stemmed from concerns the North had that another insurrection would arise in the South In response to the gun control actions of the day involving the Norths apparent plans to disarm southern citizens Civil War veterans founded the National Rational Association in 1871 Shortly after in 1876 the Supreme Court case the United States v Cruikshank Ref 2 the Supreme Court ruled that the 2nd amendment does not grant US citizens the right to bear arms but rather only restricts the power of the federal government Ten years later in 1886 in the Supreme Court extended it ruling in the case of Pressner v Illinois by virtue of the 14th amendment to include the powers of the states Ref 2 The Sullivan law of 1911 was passed in New York State The law required the citizens of New York to purchase a permit before purchasing a firearm The laws original intention was to stifle immigrants
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