2nd Amendment

Standing with the tens of millions of gun owners across America.

America First Policies supports the right to bear arms as enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. The freedom to own a firearm is one of America’s most sacred rights and what differentiates the U.S. from nearly every other country in the world. Millions of Americans across the country own firearms for recreation, hunting and to protect themselves, their homes, families, places of worship and schools. To ensure law-abiding citizens are able to exercise their Second Amendment rights, it is of utmost importance to update necessary regulations and stop unnecessary overregulation.

The Facts:

  • The Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states that “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
  • In 2008, the Supreme Court in District of Columbia V. Heller reaffirmed the right of Americans to use firearms in home defense and legally own a gun while being unconnected from a militia.
  • A U.S. Department of Justice survey found that 56% of prisoners who possessed a firearm during their offense obtained the gun illegally. Only seven percent had purchased it under their own name from a licensed firearm dealer.
  • Nearly half of the world’s estimated civilian guns are owned by Americans.
  • In 2017, 30 percent of Americans owned a firearm according to Pew polling. An additional 11 percent said they live with an individual who owns a gun.
  • Of the 69 percent of Americans who did not own a firearm, 36 percent of them said they could see themselves “owning a gun in the future.”
  • Gun ownership is bipartisan. More than four in ten Republicans say they own a gun while one in five registered Democrats do as well.
  • Every year, hundreds of thousands of lawful gun owners use firearms for self-defense purposes.
  • In 2016, 2 million Americans were granted concealed carry permits according to the Crime Prevention Research Center. This brings the total number of Americans with a concealed carry permit to 16.3 million as of 2016.
  • Despite the common claim, statistics show that school shootings have not significantly increased in recent years.
  • From 1993 to 2015, the gun homicide rate dropped by nearly half despite the number of guns in America increased by 50 percent.
  • According to Northeastern University Criminology Professor James Alan Fox, “schools are safer than they were in the 1990s, and school shootings aren’t as common as they used to be.”
  • Only approximately one out of 20 to 30 yearly mass homicides carried out by a firearm take place at a school.
  • Expanding access to so-called ‘assault rifles’ does not correlate with an increase in school shootings.
  • According to studies, an assault rifle was used in only five school shootings in the past 35 years.
  • Eight states have laws enacted that allow school employees like teachers to carry firearms for self-defense.
  • Ten states already allow school employees to concealed carry in schools.

Background:

U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics “Source and Use of Firearms Involved in Crimes: Survey of Prison Inmates, 2016,” January 2019, https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/suficspi16.pdf 

U.S. Department of Education, “Final Report of The Federal commission On School Safety,” December 18, 2018, https://www2.ed.gov/documents/school-safety/school-safety-report.pdf

U.S. Department of Education, “Secretary DeVos Forms School Safety Commission,” March 23, 2018, https://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/secretary-devos-forms-school-safety-commission

Rep. Sam Johnson, U.S. House of Representatives, “H.J. Res 40,” January 30, 2017, https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-joint-resolution/40

U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice, “Gun Violence Facts,” https://www.nij.gov/topics/crime/gun-violence/pages/welcome.aspx

Steven P. Bucci, Heritage Foundation, “4 Steps to Better School Security,” March 28, 2018, https://www.heritage.org/education/commentary/4-steps-better-school-security

Staff, Heritage Foundation, “School Safety Initiative,” https://www.heritage.org/school-safety

John Lott Jr., Crime Prevention Research Center, “How a Botched Study Fooled the World About the U.S. Share of Mass Public Shootings: U.S. Rate is Lower than Global Average, August 29, 2018, https://crimeresearch.org/2018/08/new-cprc-research-how-a-botched-study-fooled-the-world-about-the-u-s-share-of-mass-public-shootings-u-s-rate-is-lower-than-global-average/

Mark Duggan, Randi Hjalmarsson, Brian Jacob, National Bureau of Economic Research, “The Effect of Gun Shows on Gun-Related Deaths: Evidence from California and Texas,” October 2008, https://www.nber.org/papers/w14371.pdf

Read More:

Chris Morris, “Trump Administration Bans Bump Stocks, Says They’re Equal to Machine Guns,” December 18, 2018, http://fortune.com/2018/12/18/trump-bans-bump-stocks-machine-gun-equivalent/

Daniel Payne, “Of course we should let teachers carry guns in school,” Washington Examiner, February 20, 2018, https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/of-course-we-should-let-teachers-carry-guns-in-school

Gabriella Hoffman, “Gun control is a sure way to hurt conservation efforts,” The Hill, June 12, 2018, https://thehill.com/opinion/civil-rights/391916-gun-control-is-a-sure-way-to-hurt-conservation-efforts

Tim Hannon, “Gun control laws don’t reduce crime,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, April 3, 2018, https://www.post-gazette.com/opinion/letters/2018/04/03/Gun-control-laws-don-t-reduce-crime/stories/201804030022

John Lott Jr., “How gun-free zones invite mass shootings,” Chicago Tribune, November 20, 2018, https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/commentary/ct-perspec-mass-shooters-russia-public-shootings-thousand-oaks-mercy-hospital-chicago-1121-story.html

Dennis Prager, “Why The Left Opposes Arming Teachers,” Daily Signal, February 27, 2018, https://www.dailysignal.com/2018/02/27/left-opposes-arming-teachers/

Robert Farago, “Gun control doesn’t work,” USA Today, October 3, 2017, https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2017/10/03/robert-farago-gun-control-doesnt-work-editorials-debates/106276624/

Jon Stokes, “The assault weapon ban didn’t work. A new version won't, either,” Los Angeles Times, March 1, 2018, https://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-stokes-assault-weapon-ban-20180301-story.html

Washington Times Staff, “11 times a good guy with a gun stopped a bad guy, saving lives,” Washington Times, https://www.washingtontimes.com/multimedia/collection/good-guy-gun-stopped-bad-guy-gun/

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