Key Things you Need to Know Legally about Firearm / Weapon Charges

Key Things you Need to Know Legally about Firearm / Weapon Charges

Gun ownership in the United States is a complicated topic, as it is not easy to quantify. Gauging the percentage of gun ownership may be tricky, as people who do not own a gun may live with someone who does own one.

30{a1bb51ed87ab2f9b26f9e91a476eab2ad3d3640c8f05d790a29b24b677946549} of the population owns a gun; however, a significant proportion (36{a1bb51ed87ab2f9b26f9e91a476eab2ad3d3640c8f05d790a29b24b677946549}) of those who do not own firearms see themselves purchasing and owning a gun in the near future. Handguns are the most common types of firearms owned by single gun owners.

Most gun owners are composed of men, particularly those who grew up in households where hunting is a favorite activity. While recreational hunting has its perks, gun ownership has its downsides. In fact, 30,000 Americans get killed using guns annually. Americans are at risk of being murdered by a gun 25 times more than other countries.

Reasons Why People Want to Own a Gun

People own at least one gun for several reasons. Some of these are:

  • Protection – Some households own guns for protection. Either they live in unsafe neighborhoods or they simply want to protect their own homes in case an emergency happens.
  • Necessity – Purchasing a gun out of necessity may mean that guns are in line with their work. They may be in the security field or their business is a firing range. They are required to purchase guns in order to do their jobs.
  • Hobby – There are people who guns because of their hobbies. They may be into hunting or target shooting, which is why they are into purchasing and collecting guns.

Regardless of the reasons why people purchase guns, it should be done legally.

Legal Issues of Owning a Gun

Purchasing and owning a gun takes a lot of responsibility on both the seller and the buyer. Many legal issues are present when it comes to owning a gun. Some of these legal issues are:

  1. The Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States – This states that everyone has the right to keep and to bear arms. It has been a long and tough debate. This is due to the rise in gun-related deaths. Some parties argue that guns should be regulated in order to lessen the number of fatalities related to guns. However, gun enthusiasts and fanatics argue that this is a violation of the Second Amendment of the United States of America’s constitution.
  2. The National Firearms Act – NFA imposes restrictions on the sale, purchase and possession of machine guns, silencers and short-barreled shotguns. These are considered as “NFA devices or firearms”. In order to be able to acquire these, the owners should undergo a meticulous background check, purchase the tax stamp, and register the firearms with the NFA registry of the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Bureau.
  3. Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act – This act prevents and prohibits certain individuals from acquiring and owning a gun. These people include:
    1. Those who were sentenced to a crime that requires a punishment of more than one year.
    2. Those who were fugitives from the law.
    3. Those who were users and addicts of any type of controlled substance.
    4. Those who are illegal aliens living unlawfully in the United States.
    5. Those who were sentenced due to domestic violence.
    6. Those who were dishonorably discharged from the United States Armed Forces.
    7. Those who were institutionalized in a mental facility or whom the court deemed mentally defective.
    8. Those who have a restraining order from the courts that involve an “intimate partner” or the partner’s children.
    9. United States citizens who renounced their U.S. citizenship.

Tips on How to Own a Gun Legally

If you are planning on owning a gun, you have to do it legally in order to avoid any problems with the law. Purchasing a gun in the United States is not difficult. In fact, there are a total of 54, 026 licensed firearms dealers operating in the United States. Some neighborhoods are within a 10-mile distance from gun stores.

Purchasing a gun can be easy as long as the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act does not affect you. If you have a clean record and the conditions under the said act does not apply to you, then you can legally purchase a gun easily.

These are the steps to purchasing your own gun:

  • Study laws and regulations of gun ownership. Review the laws about gun ownership. The most basic regulations are the buyer must be 18 years old to buy shotguns or rifles. Buyers who are above the age of 21 must meet the regulations set by their country or state.
  • Determine the kind of gun you need. Do your research and find out what kind of gun you need and which one is ideal for you. This way you only have to purchase once.
  • Purchase the firearm from a licensed gun shop. Lastly, purchase your gun from a legitimate gun dealer. Be sure to check the gun’s bill of sale as well as the registered serial numbers.

Never buy from illegal gun dealers; the penalty for illegal possession of firearms varies from state to state and you should do adequate research before purchasing a weapon/firearm. If you do own one, be sure to have it secured and only use it in a legal manner.

Anne McGee


Anne McGee has over 20 years of experience writing about law subjects where she hopes her knowledge can help the common reader understand law topics that may be of relevance to their daily lives. If she’s not reading a good book, then chances are Anne is jogging during her free time.

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