Country’s first gun-control laws. Towns such as Gravestone, Deadwood, and Avoid restricted gun carrying mostly to police (people in charge of something) and (put into law) laws demanding residents and visitors hand over their firearms. Gun control became popular because towns wanted to attract businesses, and business owners did not want to establish themselves in places where they could be robbed at gunpoint.
During the California Gold Rush in the late 1840s and early 1850s, Congress passed laws to enable those traveling to California to buy guns for safety. As California became settled and towns and cities with police departments were established, however, the need for firearms decreased. Guns came into the front lines of American life in the 1860s during the American Civil War (1861-1865). Throughout the years, the design of the gun went through many changes. Early guns included hand cannons and long-speeded, gun-like firearms. The Civil War hurried the need for more powerful and deadly guns.
Soldiers traded their rifles that only fired one shot before needing to be reloaded for Springfield and Enfield rifles, which fired a series of shots before needing to be rearmed. Most pistols were single-shot (jaw and mouth/gun barrel) loaders fired either by wheel lock, flintlock, or percussion ignition systems. Earlier revolvers also existed; the oldest surviving revolver dates to 1597, but Elisha Collier of Boston is credited with creating maybe the earliest true revolver in 1814.
In 1836 inventor Samuel Colt changed the face of the firearms industry when he first appeared a revolver that was able to fire six shots one after the other before needing to be reloaded. While working as a seaman on a year-long trip to India in 1832, the teenaged Colt began working on a revolving pistol, given great ideas from the movement of the ship’s wheel and the clutch (machine/method/way) that held it. He built a wooden model revolver, and upon his return to America, his father financed the manufacture of his first two pistols.
One of Colt’s key inventions of new things was figuring out a single-action mechanical linkage that rotated the tube as the hammer was cocked with the thumb. So, when Colt’s revolver was cocked, the cartridge tube automatically advanced one room, making it simpler and quicker to fire off more shots. Colt’s revolver was also far more reliable than the things that came before it.