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
Court Rules Second Amendment Prohibits Federal Pre-Conviction Firearms Ban

News  

Monday, September 26, 2022

Court Rules Second Amendment Prohibits Federal Pre-Conviction Firearms Ban

Last week, a federal judge in the Western District of Texas ruled that a law which prohibits the acquisition of firearms by someone who is under felony indictment violates the Second Amendment. The decision to ...

More Pushback on Credit Card Surveillance of Firearm Buyers

News  

Monday, September 26, 2022

More Pushback on Credit Card Surveillance of Firearm Buyers

As we’ve previously reported, on September 9, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) approved a Merchant Category Code (MCC) for firearm retailers. MCCs enable payment processors and banks to categorize, monitor, and collect data on various types of ...

Illinois Sets the Stage for Possible Unprecedented Crime Wave

News  

Monday, September 26, 2022

Illinois Sets the Stage for Possible Unprecedented Crime Wave

As part of a criminal justice “reform” effort, the state of Illinois is preparing to unleash the first statewide no-cash bail law, which will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2023, and the ramifications could ...

Update: Further Dispatches from New York’s War on Guns

News  

Monday, September 26, 2022

Update: Further Dispatches from New York’s War on Guns

Speaking about her new gun control legislation, New York State Governor Kathy Hochul claimed that “we took swift and thoughtful action to keep New Yorkers safe…. we will continue leading the way forward and implementing ...

Shipping Companies Prohibit the Lawful Shipping of Firearms

News  

Monday, September 19, 2022

Shipping Companies Prohibit the Lawful Shipping of Firearms

Wondering what federal law says regarding individuals who do not have a Federal Firearms License (FFL) that need to ship firearms? Well, if you go to the website for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and ...

South Carolina: The City of Columbia Passes More Unconstitutional Gun Control

Friday, September 23, 2022

South Carolina: The City of Columbia Passes More Unconstitutional Gun Control

Last week, the Columbia City Council passed Ordinance No.: 2022-080 to require its residents to report their lost or stolen firearms to the police within 24 hours or face up to a $500 fine. This is ...

Brace Yourself: Biden Administration Reinterprets “Firearm,” Prepares Crackdown

News  

Monday, August 29, 2022

Brace Yourself: Biden Administration Reinterprets “Firearm,” Prepares Crackdown

When we say “brace yourself,” we’re not kidding. The pistol brace rule is coming as well. But first, a different sort of crackdown was unleashed on the nation this week, as an ATF rule published ...

OREGON: Vote NO on Ballot Measure 114!

News  

Thursday, September 15, 2022

OREGON: Vote NO on Ballot Measure 114!

Ballot Measure 114 is the nation’s most extreme gun control Initiative and will be voted on this November! The NRA has launched a website to inform voters why they must VOTE NO on Ballot Measure 114.  It ...

Join us for the 2022 NRA-ILA Firearms Law & the Second Amendment Symposium on October 8th in Pittsburgh

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Join us for the 2022 NRA-ILA Firearms Law & the Second Amendment Symposium on October 8th in Pittsburgh

Join us for the 2022 NRA-ILA Firearms Law & The Second Amendment Symposium on Saturday, October 8th, at the Doubletree Hilton Pittsburgh-Green Tree in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Financial Surveillance Used to Build Gun Owner Registry

News  

Monday, September 19, 2022

Financial Surveillance Used to Build Gun Owner Registry

On September 9, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) approved a Merchant Category Code (MCC) for firearm retailers. The ISO is a Geneva-based non-governmental organization that consists of a network of “standards bodies” from around the globe ...

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.