The American Bar Association urges federal, state, local, territorial, and tribal governments to enact statutes, rules and regulations that would make it unlawful for any person to transfer, sell, trade, give, transport, or deliver any unfinished firearm frame or receiver to any person (other than a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector) unless (i) the unfinished frame or receiver is serialized in accordance with federal requirements for the serialization of firearms, (ii) the recipient passes a background check consistent with the federal requirements for a licensed dealer’s transfer of a firearm, and (iii) the seller or transferor of the unfinished frame or receiver creates and retains records consistent with the federal record-keeping requirements for licensed firearm dealers related to the disposition of firearms, and prohibit the possession, without a federal firearms license, of a finished or unfinished firearm frame or receiver that has not been serialized.

Full text of Policy 20M107A

The American Bar Association urges federal, state, local, territorial, and tribal governments to enact statutes, rules and regulations that require any person seeking to acquire a designated firearm to apply for a permit from a designated law enforcement or public safety agency, in person, to be fingerprinted, and be subject to a background and criminal records check; and prohibit the sale, delivery or transfer of a firearm to anyone who does not possess a valid permit.

Full text to policy 20M107B

The American Bar Association urges federal, state, local, territorial, and tribal governments to enact statutes, rules and regulations that define the requirements of safe storage of a firearm, require firearm owners to meet those requirements, promote safe storage education for firearm owners, urge the federal government to incentivize safe storage programs within the states.

Full text to policy 20M107C


The ABA urges federal, state, local, territorial, and tribal courts and legislatures to develop policies and protocols as to who may carry firearms in courthouses, courtrooms, and judicial centers that allow only those persons necessary to ensure security, including approved safety officers, judges, and court personnel, have weapons in the courthouse, courtroom, or judicial center, including common areas within the buildings as well as the grounds immediately adjacent to the justice complex, and that require training for those who are permitted to carry firearms.

Full text of Policy 19A105

The ABA opposes laws and policies that would authorize teachers, principals or other non-security school personnel to possess a firearm in, or on the grounds of, a pre-K through grade 12 public, parochial, or private school, and opposes the use of government or public funds to provide firearms training to teachers, principals, or other non-security school personnel, or to purchase firearms for those individuals.

Full text of Policy 19M106A

The ABA urges federal, state, local, territorial, and tribal governments to reduce potential harm that individuals may inflict on themselves or others by enacting statutes, rules, or regulations allowing individuals to temporarily prevent themselves from purchasing firearms.

Full text of Policy 19M106B


The ABA urges state, local, territorial, and tribal governments to enact statutes, rules, or regulations authorizing courts to issue gun violence restraining orders, including ex parte orders.

Full text of Policy 17A118B


The ABA opposes governmental actions and policies that limit the rights of physicians and other health care providers to inquire of their patients whether they possess guns and how they are secured in the home or to counsel their patients about the dangers of guns in the home and safe practices to avoid those dangers.

Full text of Policy 12A111


The ABA urges jurisdictions that allow the carrying of concealed weapons to grant broad discretion to law enforcement authorities to determine whether a permit or license should be issued and opposes legislation that would limit such discretion by requiring issuance of a license or permit to persons simply because they satisfy minimum prescribed requirements. The resolution also opposes federal legislation that would force states to recognize permits or licenses to carry concealed weapons issued in another state.

Full Text of Policy 11A115

The ABA urges government entities to take all appropriate measures to ensure that the National Criminal Background Check System (NICS) is as complete and accurate as possible, so that all persons properly categorized as prohibited from buying firearms are included in the NICS system; urges the Department of Justice to rescind its memorandum that advises other agencies they need not report to the FBI, for inclusion in the NICS system, persons who have failed voluntary drug tests, and urges other federal agencies to rescind any similar policies they have; urges the Department of Justice and its Bureau of ATF to revise existing policy to extend up to five years the period that drug abusers and addicts will remain on the NICS prohibited lis; supports the rights of persons listed in the NICS system to administratively challenge and seek judicial review of any such listing; and urges the government to devote adequate resources to fund complete and accurate implementation of the NICS system.

Full Text of Policy 11A10A


In trying to solve violent crimes in which guns are used, law enforcement is limited in the investigative use which can be made of the cartridge casing of spent ammunition which are usually left at the scene. Only if a weapon is recovered will law enforcement be able to do forensic tests to determine whether the particular weapon was used in the crime. Unfortunately, more often then not, the weapon is not recovered at the scene. The ABA supports fitting newly-manufactured semi-automatic pistols with microstamping technology, which would enable law enforcement to examine the cartridge casing fired from such weapons and learn the serial number of the weapon used. This, in turn, will enable law enforcement to trace the original purchaser of the weapon and to commence an investigation to attempt to identify the person (whether the original owner or someone else) who used the weapon in the violent crime.

Full text of Policy 10A115


The ABA supports the traditional property rights of private employers and others to exclude, form the workplace and other property, persons in possession of firearms or other weapons, and opposing federal, state, and local legislation that abrogates those rights.


The ABA supports federal, state and territorial laws to restrict the sale, transfer and possession of .50 caliber sniper weapons.


The ABA supports stronger enforcement and prosecution of federal gun laws.

Full text of Policy 04A115

The American Bar Association urges federal, state, territorial and local governments to adopt legislation that promotes school violence prevention education, instruction, awareness training and programs for children, parents, teachers and school administrators, and urges all lawyers to support school violence prevention education in school and community settings by volunteering time or contributing resources to promote programs that help prevent violent acts by children through encouraging timely, appropriate resolution of conflict.

Full text of Policy 04M109



The ABA opposes federal, state or territorial legislation to create special legal immunity for the firearms industry from civil tort liability.


The ABA supports a comprehensive approach to address gun violence by young persons at schools that includes preventative school-based peer mediation programs, firearms education programs, support for increased efforts to enforce laws to prevent unauthorized or illegal access to firearms by minors, and enactment of firearm laws that emphasize prevention, adult responsibility, and safety.


The ABA supports amending the Gun Control Act of 1968 to provide a private cause of action, with concurrent state and federal jurisdiction, for those persons sustaining injury or damage as a result of a violation of the Act; and supports legislation to adopt and extend state and territorial laws to provide civil claims for relief for those persons sustaining injury or damage as a result of a violation of state, territorial or municipal laws regulating the use, sale, possession, license, ownership, or control of firearms or ammunition.


The ABA reaffirms its policies regarding the regulation of firearms; encourages a multi-disciplinary education and awareness effort to prevent and reduce gun violence; supports amending the Gun Control Act of 1968 to expand the list of persons prohibited from receiving or possessing firearms, require a federal license for any person to posses a personal arsenal of firearms or ammunition, provide that Federal Firearms licenses be limited to bona fide firearms dealers, and provide authority to the federal government to regulate firearms as consumer products; and supports legislation that would require gun-owners to obtain and maintain a current handgun license, that all handguns be registered, and that would increase the federal tax on handguns and handgun-ammunition.

Full Text of Policy 94A10E


The ABA supports legislation to limit availability of assault weapons to the military and law enforcement organizations.


The ABA supports the enactment of appropriate penalties to deter firearms-related crimes; endorses effective and proven measures to control the possession of handguns; and opposes efforts to repeal provisions of the Gun Control Act of 1968.


The ABA supports legislation to amend to the Gun Control Act of 1968, to, inter alia: prohibit interstate sales by unlicensed persons of ammunition and firearms components; define the term "firearms for sporting purposes"; upgrade standards of eligibility for licensing of dealers, requiring background checks of applicants and making conferral of such licenses discretionary rather than mandatory; require dealers, manufacturers, transporters and importers of firearms and ammunition to provide adequate and secure storage facilities in order to reduce theft of firearms and ammunition; mandate a waiting period prior to firearms purchases for a criminal background check by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms; encourage severe, but not mandatory, penalties for offenses involving firearms; and require periodic review of eligibility of handgun possessors consistent with due process of law.


The ABA supports legislation to limit the sale and possession of cheap, foreign-made handguns.

Full text of Policy 73M107.6


The ABA reiterated support for the federal legislative measures supported in its 1965 policy.


The ABA supports legislation to amend the Federal Firearms Act of 1934, to, inter alia: require licensing of dealers in interstate commerce of firearms; prohibit sales to felons, fugitives, persons under indictment, adjudicated mental incompetents and minors; restrict sale of handguns to residents of the state where purchased; and control commerce and importation of larger caliber weapons and firearms in general.

Policy 65A Criminal Justice