The Changing Landscape of Gun Laws in the United States: 2024 Updates

In 2024, the United States continues to grapple with the complex and contentious issue of gun control. With a growing number of mass shootings and daily acts of gun violence, federal and state governments have enacted new laws and regulations aimed at curbing gun-related incidents. This article delves into the significant changes in gun laws in the USA for 2024, reflecting the nation’s ongoing efforts to balance Second Amendment rights with public safety concerns.

Federal Gun Laws: New Developments

  1. Enhanced Background Checks and Executive Actions: President Biden has issued an Executive Order aimed at increasing the number of background checks before firearm sales, moving towards universal background checks without new legislation. The order includes measures to keep more guns out of dangerous hands by increasing the use of “red flag” laws, strengthening efforts to hold the gun industry accountable, and accelerating law enforcement efforts to identify and apprehend shooters​​.
  2. Updates to Federal Laws: Key changes include Section 12003, allowing states to use grant funds from the Byrne JAG program for crisis intervention programs including red flag laws, Section 12004, making trafficking illegal firearms a federal crime with increased penalties, and Section 12005, closing the “boyfriend loophole” in domestic violence cases​​.
  3. Supreme Court Rulings: The Supreme Court’s ruling in NYSRPA v. Bruen has removed the “proper cause” requirement for carrying a firearm in states like New York, leading to a reevaluation of second amendment issues in lower courts. This ruling is likely to impact various state laws regarding firearm carry and restrictions​​.
  4. Undetectable Firearms Act: The U.S. Senate is considering making permanent the Undetectable Firearms Act of 1988, which criminalizes firearms that are undetectable by metal detectors and X-ray machines. This move is seen as a response to the evolving technology in firearms manufacturing, including 3D printed and “ghost guns”​​.

State-Level Changes and Rankings

  1. Michigan: Michigan has enacted comprehensive gun safety policies, improving its gun law ranking from 24th to 20th. The new laws strengthen background checks, implement an Extreme Risk law, require secure storage of firearms, and prohibit convicted domestic abusers from having guns​​.
  2. Minnesota, Illinois, and Vermont: These states have seen improvements in their rankings due to the passage of various gun safety policies, including background checks, Extreme Risk laws, and secure storage and waiting period laws​​.
  3. Florida and Nebraska: Both states experienced a decline in their gun law rankings due to the passage of permitless carry legislation. Florida’s ranking worsened from 19th to 22nd, and Nebraska also passed similar legislation​​.
  4. Illinois: Illinois moved up to 3rd in the nation for the strength of its gun laws following the passage of historic and comprehensive gun safety legislation​​.

Impact on Communities

The implementation of these new laws aims to reduce gun violence and increase public safety. Enhanced background checks, stricter laws on illegal firearm trafficking, and the closure of loopholes in domestic violence cases are steps towards preventing guns from falling into dangerous hands. The varied state-level changes reflect the diverse approaches across the country in addressing gun violence.


The year 2024 marks a significant shift in the United States’ approach to gun laws, with federal and state governments actively updating and enacting legislation to address the persistent issue of gun violence. While these changes represent progress in many respects, they also highlight the ongoing debate and challenges in balancing constitutional rights with public safety. The impact of these laws on reducing gun violence remains to be seen, but they undoubtedly reflect a nation in search of solutions to one of its most pressing problems.