Guest Post – Key Things you Must Know Legally about Weapons or Firearms Charges
One of the most sensitive topic in the United States is firearm or gun ownership. It is tricky to calculate the percentage of individuals who possess a gun. Why? Because it is quite impossible to count that people are not owners of weapons are living with someone who owns a gun or two.
In fact, around 30% of the population owns a firearm, weapon or gun. However, a notable percentage of 36% who do not possess a gun want to purchase and own one in the future. Moreover, the most common type of weapon possessed by single gun owners are handguns.
Gun Ownership Facts
The majority of gun owners are men, specifically those who grow up in households where their favorite activity is hunting. Gun ownership is becoming a pressing issue as it is killing more citizens and innocents annually.
Approximately 30,000 Americans are killed by guns annually. Americans are at a greater risk of being killed by firearms 25 times more than other countries.
You may have come across news about incidents where people have used gun illegally and left a lot of casualties. Unfortunately, it is still apparent because most citizens own a gun illegally, including teenagers. But why do these people own a gun in the first place?
Reasons Why People Own A Gun
People possess at least one gun or firearm for a few reasons. The most common reasons are:
- Protection: This is probably the number one reason why households own guns. It is either the simply wanting to protect themselves in case of emergencies, or they live in an unsafe neighborhood.
- Work-related: Some people own guns because it is necessary in their field of work. For instance, people who work as security, military, or those whose business involves firearms. Simply put, they are required to purchase and own weapons to accomplish their jobs.
- Hobby: People possess guns as a hobby. For instance, those who love to go target shooting or hunting purchase and collect guns to satiate their leisure activity.
Nonetheless, whichever is the reason why people purchase and own gun, it must not be done illegally.
Legal Issues of Possession of Weapons/Firearms
Purchasing and possession of a gun or firearm requires a lot of responsibility on the seller and consumer’s part. There are a lot of legal issues involving owning a gun and some of these are:
- The National Firearms ACT: The NFA enforces restrictions on sales, purchase and possession of silencers, machine guns, and short-barreled shotguns. Those that are considered as NFA firearms or devices can and must be acquired after going through a methodical background check. The legal process also includes purchasing a tax stamp, and registering the firearms under the NFA registry of Tobacco, Alcohol, Explosives and Firearms Bureau.
- Second Amendment to the Constitution of the US: It expresses that all citizens have the right to possess and bear arms. This section has been a subject for debate for so long. This is because of the alarming incidents of gun-related deaths. According to some parties, guns ought to be regulated to decrease the risks of casualties related to firearms. Meanwhile, firearm enthusiasts argue that it is a violation against the second amendment.
- Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act: This section restricts and prevents specific individuals from purchasing and possessing a firearm. These individuals include:
- Fugitives against the law
- People who committed a felony crime and are sentenced of more than a year in jail
- Addicts and users of any illegal substance
- Illegal aliens who are illegally in the US
- Those institutionalized in a mental facility or persons who were considered mentally insufficient
- People found guilty of domestic violence and are sentenced for it
- Members of the US Armed Forces who were dishonorably discharged
- People with restraining order from courts which involved intimate partners or partner’s children
- US citizens who relinquished their citizenship
Legal Steps In Purchasing And Owning Weapons/Firearms
Remember that possession of guns, weapons or firearms must be done legally to prevent yourself from getting involved in unlawful problems. It is not difficult to purchase firearms in the US.
Purchasing firearms is an easy process as long as you are not affected by the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act. You can legally purchase and own a gun if you have a clean record and the conditions under the act does not apply to you.
Moreover, you can purchase guns legally with the following steps:
- Study regulations and laws concerning gun ownership: The first thing you must do is to study and be familiar with the laws involving weapons ownership. Basically, you must be 18 years old to purchase firearms such as rifles or shotguns. Moreover, consumers above the age of 21 must fulfill the regulations established by their state.
- Decide which kind of weapon you need: There are certain weapons which may fit your needs. Do your research and determine which gun is ideal for you.
- Purchase firearms from a licensed store: Most importantly, you must purchase your firearms from a legitimate firearms dealer. Make sure to check the weapon’s bill of sale and the registered serial numbers. In fact, there are around 54,026 licensed weapons dealers across the country. Do you research before going to your chosen gun dealer.
Always remember never to purchase guns from illegal weapons dealers. There are penalties involved regarding illegal possession of firearms and the consequences vary from state to state. Moreover, do significant research before purchasing any weapon or firearm. If you own one, make sure that it is secured and to you use it responsibly and legally.
When you’ve been charged with both DUI and illegal possession of firearms, the legal consequences may be more damaging to yourself and your family. If you consider gaining more knowledge about this subject, you may click here.
Michelle Blakney believes experience is an important part of the learning process. She hopes her articles can enlighten the common reader to important aspects of the law. Michelle enjoys long and fruitful discussions over coffee, and she loves sharing her professional insights with others.