Supreme Court cases underlying gun control debate explored by ABA

In 1934, Congress passed the nation’s first federal gun restrictions, in part, to thwart gangland-style shootings that involved machine guns and silencers. More than 80 years later, the nation continues to debate gun violence and gun control, particularly in the wake of mass killings such as the horrific shooting at a country music concert in Las Vegas on Oct. 1.

To provide legal perspective to this debate, the American Bar Association has updated its new web-based ABA Legal Fact Check to explore the law behind the gun control debate as well as key decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court over the past half century. Aside from the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment, the National Firearms Act of 1934 has served as the foundation of federal law affecting ownership of guns, augmented by a mosaic of state and local laws that vary considerably and result in most of the more recent court challenges to gun restrictions.

ABA Legal Fact Check debuted in September and is the first fact check website focusing exclusively on legal matters. The project is one of several initiatives launched by Hilarie Bass, who became ABA president on Aug. 15 at the close of the ABA Annual Meeting in New York.

ABA Legal Fact Check seeks to help the public find dependable answers and explanations to swirling and sometimes confusing legal questions. The URL for the new site is