Need for gun control recognized in 1930’s

Knoxville News Central

by Ina Hughes

Back in the early 1930s, lawmakers decided they’d had enough with the recent rise in gun violence: the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre of 1929; the near assassination of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933; wholesale gangster wars on the streets of New York and Chicago.It’s stuck in my mind ever since I read it, an article in The New York Times headlined “Proof that gun control can work.” And it sent me to the history books.

They decided to do something about it. They passed the National Firearms Act of 1934, which required owners of firearms to be checked and registered, as well as be severely taxed at $200 (in today’s dollars, that would be $3,538).

Weapons specifically mentioned as needing to be “regulated” by government included machine guns, short-barreled rifles and shotguns, grenades and — get this — other military-type “destructive devices.” Read more.

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