In the United States, access to guns is controlled by law under a number of federal statutes. These laws regulate the manufacture, trade, possession, transfer, record keeping, transport, and destruction of firearms, ammunition, and firearms accessories. They are enforced by state agencies and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
In addition to federal gun laws, all state governments and some local governments have their own laws that regulate firearms.
The right to keep and bear arms is protected by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, although there was a lack of clear federal court rulings defining the right until the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that it protects any individual’s right to keep and bear arms unconnected with service in a militia for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home, in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008). This was followed up by the Supreme Court affirming in McDonald v. City of Chicago (2010) that the Second Amendment is incorporated by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and thereby applies to state and local laws as well as federal laws.