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How Many Gun Laws Are There? Study Disputes 20,000 Number
CNSNews.com ^ | January 24, 2003 | Susan Jones

Posted on 01/26/2003 2:55:58 PM PST by TERMINATTOR

(CNSNews.com) - Why pass more gun laws, when there are 20,000 of them on the books that should be enforced? Many gun owners use that argument in the effort to stop gun-control groups from infringing on their Second Amendment rights.

But gun control advocates are trying to undermine that "20,000 gun laws" argument with a new study that casts doubt on the meaning of the "20,000" number.

A study from the Brookings Institution Center on Urban and Metropolitan Policy counts only 300 "relevant federal and state laws regarding the manufacture, design, sale, purchase, or possession of guns." The key word is "relevant."

The study does not include a tally of local gun laws. In fact, the authors note that since more than 40 states preempt all or most local gun control laws, there's no reason to include local laws in a gun-law tally. It is "irrelevant" to count local laws that are superceded by state laws, the authors said in a press release heralding their study.

In that same press release, the Brookings Institution said the study disputes the 20,000-gun-laws claim, based on a "thorough examination of the number and type" of state and federal gun laws.

"The number of laws per state range from one to 13," the press release said, adding that the most common laws concern mandatory minimum sentencing; dealer background checks; "shall issue" laws for carrying a concealed weapon; dealer licensing; and child protection.

The study's authors are Jon S. Vernick, associate professor and co-director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health; and Lisa M. Hepburn of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center at the Harvard School of Public Health.

'Meaningful laws, not numbers of laws'

"In the future, rather than trying to count the number of gun control laws, we should try to better evaluate the effect of those laws," said Vernick in the press release.

"Since the notion of the United States having more than 20,000 significant gun laws has become such an important point of reference in the ongoing debate over guns in America, we thought that it would be worthwhile to document the meaningful state and federal laws," Vernick added.

According to the Brookings Institution, the reference to 20,000 gun laws first appeared in Congressional testimony in 1965, but no source was given. The number has taken hold in the public consciousness, however. In 1981, the authors note, President Reagan rejected a call for additional gun legislation, saying, "There are today more than 20,000 gun control laws in effect -- federal, state and local -- in the United States."

The Brookings Institution says the study will be released as a chapter in a book called "Evaluating Gun Policy," which it describes as "a collection of articles on the consequences of gun possession and policies." It's due to be released the first week in February.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Extended News; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: banglist; bogusgunstudy; copernicus5

1 posted on 01/26/2003 2:55:58 PM PST by TERMINATTOR
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To: *bang_list
bang
2 posted on 01/26/2003 3:00:03 PM PST by Mulder (Guns and chicks rule)
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To: Mulder
There is only ONE gun law - The Second Amendment - the rest are tyranny and treason.


The Militia - America's original Homeland Defense - since 1776

3 posted on 01/26/2003 3:07:08 PM PST by TERMINATTOR
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To: TERMINATTOR
Brookings produces lies the way Pepsi produces soft drinks.
4 posted on 01/26/2003 3:10:37 PM PST by WarSlut (Sharpton in '04.... the movement starts here)
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To: Mulder
"The number of laws per state range from one to 13,"

This is so low it's just plain stupid.

Since the gun elimination crowd can't argue on the merits they will bicker over the number 20,000. They may be correct. It might just be 19,998 laws.

5 posted on 01/26/2003 3:11:58 PM PST by 69ConvertibleFirebird
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To: TERMINATTOR
300 gun laws is too many.
6 posted on 01/26/2003 3:14:49 PM PST by Larry Lucido
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To: TERMINATTOR
300 gun laws is too many.
7 posted on 01/26/2003 3:14:54 PM PST by Larry Lucido
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To: Larry Lucido
2 duplicate posts is too many.
8 posted on 01/26/2003 3:15:16 PM PST by Larry Lucido
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To: TERMINATTOR
It is "irrelevant" to count local laws that are superceded by state laws, the authors said in a press release heralding their study.

Translation: "The only way we can dispute the 20,000 number is to not count 19,700 local laws by calling them 'irrelevant.'"

9 posted on 01/26/2003 3:18:04 PM PST by E. Pluribus Unum
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To: Larry Lucido
2 duplicate posts is too many.

ROFLOL! Good one.
10 posted on 01/26/2003 3:22:46 PM PST by BenR2 ((How do you do the tag-line thing, again?))
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To: TERMINATTOR
If there are only 300 "relevant", "meaningful" gun laws out of 20,000, then let's have the Brokkings Institution folks standing with the gun rights people in calling for the immediate and total repeal of the remaining 19,700 laws at issue. Anyone who objects to this course of action undermines the claim that these laws are irrelevant or meaningless.
11 posted on 01/26/2003 3:23:08 PM PST by coloradan
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
Translation: "The only way we can dispute the 20,000 number is to not count 19,700 local laws by calling them 'irrelevant.'"

This sounds like it may be pretty close to the truth.

This way, they can begin planning to get the NEXT 20,000 un-Constitutional gun laws passed at ALL levels of Government -- INCLUDING locally!
12 posted on 01/26/2003 3:24:10 PM PST by BenR2 ((How do you do the tag-line thing, again?))
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To: TERMINATTOR
For whatever ( or little ) it's worth, I recall, in days when I had no idea how to link anything, reading a webpage which claimed to actual, total count among all the states plus the Federal government was 23,086.

I can also tell you that I have before me the official ATF "State Laws & Published Ordinances- Firearms," year 2000, 22 edition, and it has 329 pages.

13 posted on 01/26/2003 3:26:36 PM PST by backhoe
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To: TERMINATTOR
Looks like an outcome based study to me. They determined the outcome they sought, then adjusted the input to achieve the desired results. Commonly referred to as "cheating".

In a poker game in the Old West it could get you tarred and feathered... or worse.

14 posted on 01/26/2003 3:31:28 PM PST by Ches
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To: TERMINATTOR
However many gun laws there are - most of them are totally ineffectual in controlling either crime or violence. Because the criminal is already not particularly concerned about breaking the law, prohibitions against possession of weapons are meaningless, it is just one more law to break.

Violence arising from rage has little to do with the presence or absence of a sidearm or handgun. The violence will proceed with ou without the discharge of a gun. Just that guns make the encounter somewhat more deadly, but the emotions involved are unchanged.
15 posted on 01/26/2003 3:40:17 PM PST by alloysteel
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To: TERMINATTOR; madfly; FITZ; Bill Davis FR; mhking; 68-69TonkinGulfYatchClub; Elkiejg; barker; ...
The following organizations have lent monetary, grassroots or some other type of direct support to Anti-Gun organizations. In many instances, these organizations lent their name in support of specific campaigns to pass Anti-Gun legislation such as the March 1995 HCI “Campaign to Protect Sane Gun Laws.” Many of these organizations were listed as “Campaign Partners,” for having pledged to fight any efforts to repeal the Brady Act and the Clinton “assault weapons” ban. All have officially endorsed Anti-Gun positions
16 posted on 01/26/2003 3:42:15 PM PST by ATOMIC_PUNK (The Fellowship of Conservatives)
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CCW database state by state
17 posted on 01/26/2003 3:56:35 PM PST by ATOMIC_PUNK (The Fellowship of Conservatives)
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To: TERMINATTOR
I think the 20,000 estimate is probably a low count...

The BATF's latest annual "State Laws and Published Ordinances - Firearms, 2001 - 23rd ed" (ATF P 5300.5) is 411 pages of State laws, current as of 2001. The 22nd edition was 330 pages and the 21st edition (1998 laws) was only 202 pages. This is only BATF selected State laws.

To get an "official" measure of the volume of federal AND state laws regarding firearms refer to the BATF web site: http://www.atf.treas.gov/ or the NRA ILA research library: http://www.nraila.org/GunLaws.asp

I've found the best source to research local (city/county) laws in California is "The California Rifle and Pistol Assn" http://www.crpa.org

Finally, for those that want to see how bad it really is in CA, California Dept of Justice, firearms laws: http://caag.state.ca.us/firearms/

18 posted on 01/26/2003 4:14:36 PM PST by XHogPilot
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To: backhoe; sauropod; madfly
""official ATF "State Laws & Published Ordinances- Firearms," year 2000, 22 edition, and it has 329 pages."
BH, I wonder if the "THINKERS"{?} at Brookings institute thought of asking the BATF?? Kinda doubt it. Stone cold fact is hard to refute. THANKS!! Peace and love, George.
19 posted on 01/26/2003 4:19:00 PM PST by George Frm Br00klyn Park (FREEDOM!!!!!!!)
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To: George Frm Br00klyn Park
We only need ONE "gun law"...it's called the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the Unites States of America.
20 posted on 01/26/2003 5:14:52 PM PST by outpost44
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To: Larry Lucido
2 duplicate posts is too many

Technically, I think it's only one duplicate post.

21 posted on 01/26/2003 5:22:29 PM PST by Mason
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To: coloradan
If there are only 300 "relevant", "meaningful" gun laws out of 20,000, then let's have the Brokkings Institution folks standing with the gun rights people in calling for the immediate and total repeal of the remaining 19,700 laws at issue. Anyone who objects to this course of action undermines the claim that these laws are irrelevant or meaningless.

I second that motion.

22 posted on 01/26/2003 7:46:56 PM PST by T. P. Pole
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To: TERMINATTOR
Hey, may people die in auto accidents on Friday. Let's make-a-law-against < drum roll > Friday! That will end all senseless Friday deaths of "the children." (Look out progresoRats, I have a campaign issue.)
23 posted on 01/27/2003 4:07:07 AM PST by OneLoyalAmerican (Convict pedophile wannabe traitor Ritter thread: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/829655/posts)
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To: TERMINATTOR
HOW STUPID ARE THESE PEOPLE??

JUST ASK ME WHEN I TRAVEL THRU SKOKIE ILLINOIS, AND THEY ARREST ME AND PUT ME IN JAIL.
24 posted on 01/28/2003 2:06:35 PM PST by CHICAGOFARMER
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To: backhoe
I can also tell you that I have before me the official ATF "State Laws & Published Ordinances- Firearms," year 2000, 22 edition, and it has 329 pages.

OK

How many laws on each page??
25 posted on 01/28/2003 3:12:06 PM PST by CHICAGOFARMER
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To: CHICAGOFARMER
Well, it has since migrated to the trash pile- what I can tell you is that each state does not seem to have a lot of statutes- the claim of an average of 13 may be somewhat accurate.

Within each statute, however, are numerous definitions, descriptions, exemptions, etc.

I will tell you frankly that when I was in that line of work, I relied on a local Title II manufacturer who was regarded by ATF as the expert in interpreting laws- to the degree that they frequently consulted him for opinions of law. In other words, it was so complex I did not feel competent to rely on my own reading of the law.

26 posted on 01/28/2003 3:37:49 PM PST by backhoe
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