Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Handguns: Summary

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Handguns account for over one-third of Americas' 250+ million privately owned firearms. More than one million new handguns are sold in the U.S. annually. About three-fourths of new handguns are semi-automatics; most of the remainder are revolvers. A quarter of households has one or more handguns.

Defense: The most comprehensive study of defensive gun use, by award-winning criminologist Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz (1993), found that handguns were used for defense nearly two million times per year, amounting to two-thirds of defensive gun uses. Kleck separately studied National Crime Victimization Surveys and found that people who use guns to defend themselves are less likely to be attacked or injured than people who use other means, or no means, of protection. Kleck has concluded that guns are used to defend against crime 3-4 times more often than to commit it. Forty states have Right-to-Carry laws allowing people to carry concealed handguns for protection away from home, and such states have lower violent crime rates, on average, compared to the rest of the country. Since 1991, the number of states that have Right-to-Carry laws has risen from 17 to 40 (an all-time high) and violent crime has dropped 38 percent.

Target Shooting: Millions of handgunners enjoy recreational shooting, and hundreds of thousands participate in thousands of local, state, regional and national handgun matches, such as NRA Bullseye and NRA Action Shooting, International Shooting Union, International Practical Shooting Confederation, and International Defensive Pistol Association events, at 10,000 NRA-affiliated shooting clubs, and commercial and military ranges. Two-thirds of NRA's 55,000 Certified Instructors are certified in handgun disciplines. 

Hunting: Most states allow hunting with handguns. Acknowledging the growth of handgun shooting sports in a 1998 report to Congress, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms noted, "The handgun has developed as a sporting firearm used in both target shooting and hunting." Among contributing factors, BATF cited renewed interest in the single-action revolver, the development of new cartridges for field use, and the popularity of silhouette pistol shooting.

Handgun Bans: Gun bans have historically been aimed at minorities and disfavored political classes. The French Black Code (1751) and southern states' Black Codes after the Civil War prohibited possession of firearms by blacks. Tennessee's "Army and Navy" law (1879), prohibited handguns other than expensive army or navy pistols, thus denying handguns to poor blacks, as do modern bans on relatively inexpensive handguns referred to by gun control advocates with the racially-charged term "Saturday Night Specials." New York's Sullivan Law (1911) prevented new immigrants from legally obtaining handguns, by prohibiting possession of a handgun without a license issued at the discretion of the police. Washington, D.C., banned handguns in the mid-1970s, within 15 years its murder rate tripled, and for the last 20 years D.C. has usually had the highest murder rate of any major U.S. city. (The Supreme Court, in District of Columbia v. Heller, 2008, overturned the ban as a violation of the Second Amendment.) Chicago banned handguns in 1982 and in a decade murders with handguns more than doubled. Sen. Barack Obama has expressed support for a complete ban on handguns. 

Anti-Gun Groups: Brady Campaign chairwoman Sarah Brady has said, "the only reason for guns in civilian hands is for sporting purposes." The group's first chairman, Nelson Shields, said crime victims should "put up no defense - give them [the criminals] what they want." The group's supposed legal expert, Dennis Henigan, has said that self-defense is "not a federally guaranteed constitutional right." The group has called for "a ban on the manufacture, sale, and importation of all handguns and handgun ammunition" and "to make the possession of all handguns and all handgun ammunition...totally illegal."

IN THIS ARTICLE
Handguns
TRENDING NOW
“Unity” President Vows to “Defeat” America’s Oldest and Largest Civil Rights Group

News  

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

“Unity” President Vows to “Defeat” America’s Oldest and Largest Civil Rights Group

Biden issued this “pledge” in a January 8 tweet that falsely tried to suggest the men and women of the NRA were somehow implicated in an infamous crime that was committed a decade ago by ...

Florida Alert! Gun Bills Filed in Florida - SO FAR

Friday, January 15, 2021

Florida Alert! Gun Bills Filed in Florida - SO FAR

As Legislators begin to file bills for the 2021 Florida Legislative Session, we are getting questions about various bills due to media reports on gun bills.  Below is a partial list of bills we will ...

NRA Dumps New York to Reincorporate in Texas, Announces New Strategic Plan

News  

Friday, January 15, 2021

NRA Dumps New York to Reincorporate in Texas, Announces New Strategic Plan

Today, the NRA announced a restructuring plan that positions us for the long-term and ensures our continued success as the nation’s leading advocate for constitutional freedom – free from the toxic political environment of New ...

ATF Withdraws Pistol Brace “Guidance”

News  

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

ATF Withdraws Pistol Brace “Guidance”

On December 23rd, ATF posted a document to its website indicating that its recently published Objective Factors for Classifying Weapons with “Stabilizing Braces” is withdrawn.

Record Amount of Gun Control Legislation Introduced on First Day of Bill Pre-Filing for 2021 Texas Legislative Session

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Record Amount of Gun Control Legislation Introduced on First Day of Bill Pre-Filing for 2021 Texas Legislative Session

Although the 2021 session of the Texas Legislature convenes on January 12, gun control advocates financed by New York billionaire Michael Bloomberg and Beto "Hell Yeah, I'll Take Your Guns" O'Rourke wasted no time in announcing their ...

Double-Standard: Virginia Eliminates Online Carry Courses While Promoting Distancing for Everything Else

News  

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Double-Standard: Virginia Eliminates Online Carry Courses While Promoting Distancing for Everything Else

As part of Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and the General Assembly’s sweeping attack on gun rights in 2020, anti-gun lawmakers enacted legislation that made it more difficult for gun owners to obtain the required training ...

Biden to Nominate Anti-Second Amendment Judge Merrick Garland for Attorney General

News  

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Biden to Nominate Anti-Second Amendment Judge Merrick Garland for Attorney General

President-elect Joe Biden announced he will nominate U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit Judge Merrick Garland for Attorney General. Biden’s choice of a noted Second Amendment opponent to lead the Department ...

OCC Finalizes Non-Discrimination Rule

News  

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

OCC Finalizes Non-Discrimination Rule

On January 14, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) finalized an NRA-supported rule to end politically-motivated discrimination in the provision of financial services. The new regulation is now set to take effect on April ...

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

Mississippi: Senate Judiciary Committee Scheduled to Vote on Preemption Legislation Tomorrow

Monday, January 18, 2021

Mississippi: Senate Judiciary Committee Scheduled to Vote on Preemption Legislation Tomorrow

Tomorrow, Senate Judiciary B Committee will take up preemption legislation, Senate Bill 2107

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.