Historically, gauntlets were used by soldiers and knights. It was considered an important piece of armour, since the hands and arms were particularly vulnerable in hand-to-hand combat. With the rise of easily reloadable and effective firearms, hand-to-hand combat fell into decline along with personal armour, including gauntlets.
Jousting Weapon: Lance - used in tournaments. It was designed to reduce the number of potential injuries to the knights. The purpose of the jousting lance was to unhorse a rider in single combat, such as in the "joust for peace." The vamplate was added to the lance to protect the hand. It first appeared as a small protective disk but grew to a conical shape by the 14th century. (11th-17th Century)