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Recommended reading: looking for books on 1968 GCA

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by DataMonkey, Jan 2, 2012.

  1. DataMonkey

    DataMonkey Well-Known Member

    Happy New Year!

    I'm looking for reading recommendations on the GCA. I wasn't alive at the time so I'm looking for a bit political history and how/who affected the changes How did we get to where we're at today?

    Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
  2. DoubleTapDrew

    DoubleTapDrew Well-Known Member

  3. Hypnogator

    Hypnogator Well-Known Member

    Look for a copy of No Right to Bear Arms by Carl Bakal.

    Hope you have a strong stomach! :uhoh::banghead::banghead::banghead::cuss::cuss::cuss:
  4. JohnBT

    JohnBT Well-Known Member

    Not a book, but a heck of a history on it. You can skip the ancient history at the beginning if you like, but it adds perspective to what was eventually passed.

  5. Midwest

    Midwest Well-Known Member

    I have been studying the gun laws for awhile , I have some interesting bookmarks from my studies. One of the interesting threads is what it was like before the GCA 1968. People used to be able to do mail order of firearms. Also firearms were sold in gas stations and hardware stores. Seems that firearms were openly sold and obtained as easy as a hammer or saw.

    I know you are looking for books, but there are some interesting threads out there as well. I'm sure others will chime in as well, but if you are interested I will focus on what it was like before the 1968 GCA.

    The way the second amendment used to be with actual ads for mail order guns.

    Origins of the Gun Control Act of 1968(Warning:LONG)


    Vintage gun ads recall the true America

    Remember When You Could Buy These Firearms By Mail Order Before The Gun Control Act of 1968?


    I didn't want to overload you with information, but I will add this. There were gun control laws before 1968 GCA, most notably the Sullivan Act 1911 in New York. There are references of some gun control activity in California with Los Angeles residents needing a conceal carry permit.

    And Jim Crow laws in Southern States where one needed a permit from the sheriff to buy a pistol. But before 1968 GCA that part was rather moot as one could travel to other states and buy a pistol with no problems at the time.

    Two years before the 1968 GCA. In 1966 The State of New Jersey passed the Sills Act . From this point on You need a firearms permit (FID) to buy a rifle, a blackpowder rifle and a BB gun rifle. You need to get fingerprinted, get a criminal and mental background check, character references and wait 30 to 90 days or longer for the background and processing and pay a fee and this permit is good for any amount of rifles. A separate purchase permit for each handgun (and this includes blackpowder and BB gun pistols).

    And many suspect that even open carry was officially outlawed with passage of the Sills Act whereas before it was tolerated in some areas according to some posts I have read.

    The law was written up in 1965, passed in 1966 by mainly Democrats, it was challenged and allowed to stand in 1968. Illinois FOID and Massachusetts ID card laws were inspired by New Jersey's 1966 Sills act.

    I could write volumes on this, but hopefully it will help you in your studies. I need help too, I been looking for ANY information on ANY articles or write ups dealing with the original draft of the 1965 Sills act of NJ, the exact posted law in 1966 of the final passage of the Sills Act as well as who exactly voted for and against the 1966 Sills Act.

    The only thing I have found on the net is the 1968 Burton vs Sills unsuccessful challenge but very little on the writing and passing of the act.

    This piece of abomination was hoisted on the citizens of New Jersey two years before the 1968 GCA and have inspired two states to pass similar laws.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2012
  6. Ryanxia

    Ryanxia Well-Known Member

    Sounds like Midwest might be pretty knowledgeable on the subject :)
  7. rodregier

    rodregier Well-Known Member

  8. DataMonkey

    DataMonkey Well-Known Member

    Great stuff. By "books" I simply mean reading material. Midwest, I will definitely check some of those out. Perhaps you should consider writing a book.

    Thanks, everyone!
  9. Midwest

    Midwest Well-Known Member

    Don't let another Sills Act happen again!
    I strongly believe that the 1966 (NJ Gun Control) Sills Act would not have passed if the internet existed and the gun lobby was much stronger back then. Maybe Illinois and Massachusetts would not have the Firearms Owners ID Law now, I don't know.

    Unanswered Questions
    Where was the NRA on any of this? Who voted for and for against the act? What was the bill's exact wording? None of those questions have been answered through my searches. What did the citizens of NJ think of the proposal? What did the gun stores/sporting goods think of the proposal? Did anyone have a chance to read the proposal or oppose it?

    My internet searches only comes up with the standard Burton vs Sills 1968 challenge of the law. There is nothing, nowhere that explains in detail of what led up to writing and passage of the 1966 Sills Act...that I find quite strange since the act has affected many people including those who don't live in NJ.

    We need to look why such a draconian law was drafted, voted, passed and signed into law within such a short time. If we don't study the past, we doomed to repeat it. New Jersey had a constitutional convention in 1947 and left out the second amendment. Could this could explain the quick passage of the Sills Act in 1966?

    Onto 1968 GCA
    What enabled the passage of the 1968 GCA was the assassinations of MLK and RFK. One could look deeper into that and draw your own conclusions. There has been a lot written on the 1968 GCA, there were bills right after the JFK assassination. There were drafts, proposals and even one to ban handguns outright, another one to register all weapons and other proposals.

    Some say the 1968 GCA could have been a lot worse and the NRA did step in and help stop the more draconian provisions. Others have disagreed and have said that the NRA did not do enough.

    More Observations
    But that does not explain why the NJ Gun Control Act was written in 1965, and passed and signed into law in 1966. Two years before 1968 GCA. Other than JFK in 1963, there was no 'excuse' as so to speak for the passage of that law. Lets hope we always keep awake and alert for legislation like the 1966 Sills Act and 1968 GCA. We did stop Brady Two in 1994...including it's insane "arsenal license" proposal...

    Last edited: Jan 4, 2012
  10. antiquus

    antiquus Well-Known Member

    1966 U of Texas Charles Whitman. National impact.
  11. AlexanderA

    AlexanderA Well-Known Member

    I disagree that the Whitman Massacre had any direct relation to the GCA '68. As I said in another post recently, having been there, there was favorable gun publicity after the Whitman incident, because guns in private citizens' hands minimized the damage that Whitman did (shooting by civilians forced him to keep his head down), and a private armed citizen actually assisted the police in ending Whitman's rampage. In any case, the GCA '68, if it had been law, wouldn't have done a thing to prevent Whitman's rampage. He had a homicidal/suicidal urge apparently caused by a brain tumor. Killed his mother first to "spare her the embarassment" of what he was about to do.

    I think it was the 1968 assassinations of MLK and RFK, and the riots which followed, that prompted the GCA.
  12. Midwest

    Midwest Well-Known Member

    Here are some more links dealing with what is was like before the 1968 Gun Control Act

    Gun Laws prior to 1968 Gun Control Act?

    Who Here Remembers How it was Before the GCA of 1968?

    Before the 1966 (Sills Act) FID Gun Law (New Jersey)

    Federal form 4473...what year?

    "In most of the country, buying a gun was like buying a hammer or screwdriver prior to the GCA of 1968."

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