A Virgina gun store owner Carl (Donald Sutherland) sidesteps controversy while running the shop he loves. His new employee, granddaughter Mary Ann (Linda Cardellini) has been pressured to join the family business. Curiosity overcomes her as she becomes seduced by the weapons.
In Oregon, Janet (Marcia Gay Harden) suffers through a TV interview marking the anniversary of her older son's high school shooting rampage. She worries for a younger son, now the same age as his brother when he attacked.
On Chicago's gritty west side, principal Carl (Forest Whitaker) struggles to keep his high school from exploding as his wife fears for their son. When ace student Jay is caught with a gun, both he and Carl must face choices they never wanted to make.
Nominated for 3 Independent Spirit awards, AMERICAN GUN director Aric Avelino "shows an almost tender restraint in his story-telling, not pounding us with a message but simply looking steadily at how guns have made these lives difficult." - Roger Ebert