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Congress passed the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act in 1968. The act aided state and local governments in reducing crime by prohibiting interstate sales of handguns and any gun sales to individuals younger than 21. Congress strengthened regulations with the subsequent Gun Control Act of 1968.

Records of the U.S. Senate, National Archives and Records Administration

H.R. 5037, Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, June 19, 1968

Juvenile Delinquency and Mail-Order Guns

President John F. Kennedy’s 1963 assassination with a mail-order rifle prompted the Senate Special Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency to investigate interstate gun traffic, a long-standing concern. The subcommittee chairman, Senator Thomas J. Dodd of Connecticut, proposed a gun-control bill, but the Commerce Committee deferred action. In 1965 a New Jersey mayor revived the issue when he demonstrated to the subcommittee that anyone, even a child, could purchase a mail-order revolver. In 1968 Congress passed two laws banning interstate commerce in firearms and sales of guns to minors.

The company that sent me this gun had no way of knowing whether I was a convicted murderer, what my intentions were or whether I was 5 years old or 105 years old.

Mayor Frank X. Graves Jr., “Mail Order Gun Sale Vexes Mayor,” Washington Post Times Herald, April 24, 1965