Gun control has been around for a long time, and some even say that it is as old as the United States of America. Back in the late 1700s, guns already needed to be registered under state laws. In 2008, gun rights advocates saw victory when the US Supreme Court ruled the Second Amendment decree, protecting the rights of an individual to possess a firearm for self-defense. This article tackles some of the facts that you should know when it comes to gun control.
Minimum Age for Gun Purchase
One of the first things that you need to be aware of when it comes to gun control is that there is a minimum age for gun purchase. According to the Gun Control Act of 1968 which encompasses the federal level, citizens and legal residents who intend to purchase shotguns or rifles, as well as other ammunition must be at least 18 years of age. However, if you are after a handgun, then you must be at least 21 years old or older. The firearms experts behind The Arms Guide suggest that you familiarize yourself with the particular laws in your state because local officials can implement higher age restrictions. Nonetheless, they are prohibited to lower the age requirement below the federal minimum.
People Restricted from Gun Acquisition and Possession
Another thing that you need to know about gun control is that certain people are restricted from buying and owning a gun. These are the fugitives, as well as other people who are deemed to be a danger to society, including those who are under the care of mental health facilities. Some other people who are prohibited from acquiring and possessing a gun include those with prior felony convictions with a prison sentence exceeding a year or misdemeanors with a sentence of more than two years.
People Allowed to Sell Firearms
Before selling any kind of firearm, the Gun Control Act requires an individual to secure a Federal Firearms License (FFL). One of the requirements for them to be able to apply for the license is that they should be at least 21 years of age. Alongside this, they should also have a physical shop or appropriate business location where they can deal with the sale. They should also alert local authorities as soon as they begin their application for the license.
Federal and State Regulations
State regulations may vary when it comes to gun control but their laws must still adhere to the standards set on a federal level. This means that the requirements when it comes to buying and owning a gun remain the same. However, the ability of people to carry their firearms in public may be regulated by the state.
Permit to Purchase and Carry Firearms
Certain states require purchase permits for handguns and some other states such as California and Hawaii even require a purchase permit for rifles and shotguns. In California, applicants for a purchase permit need to pass a written test and attend a gun safety class. The reason behind this is that California doesn’t recognize the concealed carry reciprocity, allowing gun owners of other states to bring in their weapons in the state. When it comes to carrying guns though, most states require a permit.
A background check is required to purchase a firearm. This is supposed to be conducted by the bearer of an FFL or someone selling a gun, as amended in the Gun Control Act of 1968. This amendment is also known as the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993. In this case, those who want to buy a gun need to fill out ATF 4473, which is a federal form that checks for prior convictions or other red flags that need to be noted.
Gun Show Loophole
There are certain instances wherein a background check may be waived, particularly when it falls in the gun show loophole. This is an ambiguity in the regulation that allows people to purchase a firearm without a background check necessary. For instance, if the sale of the gun is not conducted as a part of regular business activity, such as a sale occurring at a gun show or flea market, then background checks can be waived.
You need to be of legal age to buy a gun but certain people are restricted from buying and owning a gun even if they are of legal age. In parallel to this, individuals who intend to sell, buy, or own a gun must adhere to certain federal and state regulations, including background checks as necessary. Apart from this, you also need to familiarize yourself with certain loopholes in these regulations particularly if you also intend to sell guns in the future.