U.S. gun control legislation

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The Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” The interpretation of this amendment has long been the subject of debate, as some believe restrictions on the right to purchase, own, or carry firearms are constitutional, while others do not. The U.S. Congress first passed legislation restricting gun rights in the early twentieth century, though the debate has continued to the present day as issues such as background checks, trigger locks, and the legality of assault weapons have come to the political forefront. This page deals with congressional actions relating to gun control.