DOI: 10.17721/2521-1706.2020.10.4

Marharyta Lymar

Ph.D. (Political Sciences)

Petro Mohyla Black Sea National University, Mykolaiv, Ukraine

ORCID: 0000-0001-9902-2709

Iryna Tykhonenko

Ph.D. (Political Sciences)

Petro Mohyla Black Sea National University, Mykolaiv, Ukraine

ORCID: 0000-0002-7716-085X


The purpose of the article is to explore proliferation of firearms in the United States due to social problems (mass shootings) and public demand for increasing gun control. Primary challenges cover exploring the U.S. firearms history, which provides a key to understanding the causes of the current situation in this area; reviewing of Americans’ attitudes toward gun ownership; studying the U.S. foreign policy in the context of arms exports from Ukraine to the United States. Moreover, attention is paid to exploring the influence of the National Rifle Association (NRA) on Donald Trump’s decision on arms control and a comparative analysis of his gun policy with the policy of his predecessors.

The methodological basis of the study includes a set of general and special research methods. Systematic approach is used to consider the U.S. gun policy as a complex system with the determinism of domestic and foreign policy levels. A significant role is played by descriptive-historical and chronological methods that allow to examine the evolution of the U.S. legal framework for firearms and small-arms control. The comparative method makes it possible to compare the approaches of George W. Bush’s, Barack Obama’s and Donald Trump’s administrations to the gun policy. The statistical method allows to consider the peculiarities of the U.S. exports of small arms and Ukraine’s exports of such type of weapons to the USA.

The scientific novelty lies in one of the first attempts among Ukrainian authors to make a comprehensive analysis of the interdependence of internal and external aspects of firearms trafficking among the U.S. civilians. In this context, the paper examines the U.S.–Ukrainian relations. The study concludes that the U.S. gun traditions are the main stumbling block for tightening firearms legislation. On the gun issue, the U.S. domestic policy, which is heavily influenced by the NRA, determines the state’s foreign policy. At the same time, society is demanding reforms aimed at restricting the possession of firearms by the civilian population, which may increase the level of domestic security.

Key words: gun control, small arms, U.S., Ukraine, National Rifle Association, NRA, Trump.

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