A Comprehensive Overview of New Gun Laws in the United States for 2024

As the calendar turns to 2024, the United States sees a raft of new gun laws, reflecting the ongoing national debate around gun rights and gun control. These changes, both at the federal and state levels, aim to address various aspects of gun ownership, sales, and usage, marking significant shifts in the country’s approach to firearm regulation.

Federal Changes and Executive Actions

  1. Federal Firearms License Requirements: A key change is the clarification of definitions around gun sellers. Section 12002 of the new legislation mandates that those selling firearms “predominantly to earn a profit” must register as Federal Firearms License (FFL) holders. This move aims to tighten the regulatory net around the sale of firearms and ensure better tracking and accountability of gun sales​​.
  2. Crisis Intervention Programs Funding: States now have the option to use Byrne JAG program grant funds to implement various crisis intervention programs, including red flag laws. These laws are designed to prevent individuals at risk of harming themselves or others from accessing firearms. The new bill emphasizes due process protections in these programs, including fair hearings and legal counsel, underscoring the balance between safety and individual rights​​.
  3. Illegal Firearms Trafficking and Straw Purchases: New federal legislation makes trafficking illegal firearms into the U.S. a federal crime, with increased penalties. It also criminalizes straw purchases (buying a firearm on behalf of someone prohibited from purchasing one) and expands statutes to forbid smuggling firearms outside of the U.S.​​.
  4. Closing the ‘Boyfriend Loophole’: The law expands restrictions on firearm purchases by those convicted of domestic assault to include individuals in romantic relationships, regardless of marital status. This change aims to address a significant gap in domestic violence protection​​.
  5. Executive Order by President Biden: Aimed at reducing gun violence, the Executive Order focuses on increasing background checks, encouraging the use of red flag laws, holding the gun industry accountable, and preventing the loss or theft of firearms during shipping. Additionally, President Biden has directed the Federal Trade Commission to analyze how gun manufacturers market firearms to minors​​.

State-Level Changes

  1. Alabama’s Open Carry Laws: As of January 1, 2023, Alabama allows individuals to carry a pistol (openly or concealed) in public places without a permit, with certain restrictions. However, carriers must declare their weapon if asked by police, and the police have the right to temporarily confiscate the weapon to check for legality​​.
  2. New York’s Response to NYSRPA v Bruen: Following the Supreme Court ruling in NYSRPA v Bruen, which struck down the “proper cause” requirement for carrying a firearm, New York enacted laws to restrict concealed carry in various locations and introduced stringent requirements for CCW permit applicants. These include training, social media account checks, and periodic background checks. These new state laws are expected to be the subject of multiple legal challenges​​.

Looking Forward

These new gun laws in the United States for 2024 represent a multifaceted approach to firearm regulation, addressing issues from sales and background checks to crisis intervention and domestic violence. While federal changes set a broad framework, state-level adaptations reflect diverse regional perspectives on gun control and gun rights. As these laws take effect, they are likely to influence the ongoing national conversation around gun safety, rights, and violence prevention.

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