Our legal experts regularly work with lawmakers to craft and promote the lifesaving gun laws that are proven to protect public safety. Often, this work is based on model laws that our attorneys have crafted to serve as the foundation from which state or local lawmakers can draft legislation to fit the needs of their communities. Over the years, we’ve worked with many states and municipalities to enact legislative and community-based solutions to the gun violence epidemic in the United States.

Each model law is based upon a thorough review of existing laws, judicial decisions, policy research, studies, and other gun violence prevention data, and each contains detailed findings regarding the need for, and benefits of, the specific law. Of course, every jurisdiction seeking to adopt a model law must determine which provisions are politically viable and appropriate for its constituents.

To request a copy of any of the model laws listed below, please contact us for more information. The experts at Giffords Law Center are  available to provide assistance to any jurisdiction seeking to tailor a model law to its particular needs.

Model Laws for a Safer America

Seven Regulations to Promote Responsible Gun Ownership and Sales

Model Laws for a Safer America is designed for use by activists and elected officials nationwide seeking to close dangerous loopholes in our federal regulatory system. The publication provides sample language for state and local gun laws in seven crucial areas, supported by detailed legislative findings.
The publication provides sample language for state and local laws to: 1) require background checks on all gun purchasers; 2) license firearm owners; 3) register all firearms; 4) regulate firearms dealers and ammunition sellers; 5) require the reporting of lost or stolen firearms; 6) impose a waiting period before the sale of a firearm; and 7) limit firearm purchases to one per person every 90 days. The publication also includes a discussion of common opposition arguments and legal issues.

Classes of Weapons

Assault Weapons and Large Capacity Ammunition Magazines

This updated model law, published in December 2012, bans assault weapons and large capacity ammunition magazines using an approach that is stronger and more comprehensive than the former federal ban.

Local jurisdictions in California may also consider this California-specific model law to prohibit the possession of large capacity ammunition magazines. State law bans the manufacture and transfer of large capacity ammunition magazines.

Fifty Caliber Rifles

Prohibits the sale of 50 caliber rifles and cartridges.

Air Rifles

Bans the sale and possession of air rifles, defined to include B-B, air and pellet guns.

Sales and Transfers

Universal Background Checks

Requires background checks on all prospective firearm purchasers, closing a loophole in federal law that allows private firearm sellers (i.e., unlicensed persons) to sell guns without conducting background checks.

Gun Dealers and Other Sellers

Regulating Gun Dealers

Supplements federal law by requiring, among other things, that dealers obtain a local permit, conduct employee background checks and obtain liability insurance. Also prohibits dealers from operating in residential neighborhoods and near other “sensitive” areas, such as schools, playgrounds and places of worship. The Law Center has created a model for California, which can be tailored to other jurisdictions.

Gun Ownership

The Gun Owners’ Safety and Responsibility Ordinance

Requires any person seeking to own, possess, purchase or otherwise acquire a firearm to obtain a firearm safety certificate, which obligates the applicant to successfully complete a safety training course that includes live firing, a safe-handling demonstration and a written test of firearm laws. Firearm owners also must register their firearms and notify law enforcement when their weapons are lost or stolen. In addition, the model requires that gun owners safely store their firearms in the home to prevent access by children and other unauthorized users. This model law is designed specifically for local jurisdictions in Illinois.

Reporting of Lost or Stolen Firearms

Requires any firearm owner or possessor to report the loss or theft of his or her firearm to law enforcement within 48 hours of the time he or she knew or reasonably should have known of the loss or theft. This model is designed for use by local jurisdictions in California.

Firearms in Public Places

Regulating the Carrying and Possession of Firearms in Public Places

Establishes rules for the issuance of permits to carry concealed firearms in public and prohibitions for carrying guns in public under certain circumstances. This model legislation prohibits the carrying of exposed firearms, and limits the carrying of concealed guns to persons issued a permit pursuant to a detailed, discretionary permitting process.

Consumer and Child Safety

Personalized Handguns

Requires the personalization of handguns – equipping handguns with technology that prevents them from firing when operated by an unauthorized user. Provides testing standards and certification procedures for personalized handguns. Prohibits the manufacture, importation, purchase and transfer of non-personalized handguns.

Public Health Research and Data Collection

Firearm Violence Research Centers

Establishes a center for research into firearm-related violence that would be housed within an academic university of the state. The center would conduct interdisciplinary research on the causes, consequences, prevention, and treatment of firearm violence. The research conducted by the center would provide scientific evidence on which sound firearm violence prevention policies and programs can be based. The model law provides guidance about the composition and operations of the research center, as well as the underlying funding structure of the center.

Law Enforcement Resolutions

Resolution Urging Law Enforcement to Obtain and Utilize California Department of Justice Information Regarding Prohibited Armed Persons

Urges law enforcement to receive information from the California Department of Justice (DOJ) regarding persons who legally purchased firearms in the jurisdiction but subsequently became prohibited from possessing them. The resolution urges law enforcement agencies who have received this information to seek training from DOJ regarding its use, and to retrieve illegally possessed firearms whenever possible. This resolution is designed for use by local jurisdictions in California.

Resolution Urging Law Enforcement to Send Letters to Prospective Handgun Purchasers

Urges law enforcement to obtain information from the California Department of Justice about persons who reside in the jurisdiction and have recently applied to purchase handguns. Based on a successful program in Los Angeles, this resolution urges law enforcement to send letters to these prospective handgun purchasers to inform them of their responsibilities as firearm owners. This resolution is designed for use by local jurisdictions in California.