A brief guide to gun lawyers
Though the Second Amendment gives Americans the right to bear arms, who specifically gets to use guns, where and in what situations can be a tricky question. Firearms are subject to both federal and state legislation, and every state has its own peculiarities. Sometimes you may need a gun lawyer to help you figure out what your legal rights are. Here is a brief guide to some of the many issues surrounding firearms use.
Legally owning a gun
As a private individual, in most cases you should not need the help of a gun lawyer to purchase a firearm. In most states, those 18 years of age can buy a rifle or shotgun, while those 21 and up are free to acquire a handgun. Those who cannot own a firearm include:
• The mentally ill and incompetent
• Fugitives from the law
• Illegal aliens
Depending on your state’s laws, certain misdemeanor convictions can prevent you from owning a gun. If you are barred from purchasing a firearm, you can petition the Attorney General. In this case you will probably need a gun lawyer to help you assemble your case.
How to buy a firearm
You can buy a gun from either a federally licensed dealer or a private individual. Some states have stricter restrictions than others about what kinds of handguns you may purchase.
If you are buying from a dealer or at a gun show, you will need a valid form of photo ID and to fill out a background check form. After it’s been established that you do not have any criminal offenses or other handicaps that would prevent you from purchasing a firearm, all you have to do is pay for your weapon.
You also have the option of buying a gun from a private individual, which does not require a background check. In some states, you may also purchase firearms at a gun show without undergoing a background check. If you are unsure as to what laws are applicable in your state, consult a gun lawyer. Regardless of how you purchased the weapon, once you purchase it you become legally accountable for its use and legality.
Generally speaking, most weapons produced before 1898 don’t hold either the seller or purchaser to the same standards as buying a contemporary gun. Laws on what constitutes an antique weapon vary considerably from state to state. Gun lawyers can be helpful to collectors trying to make sure they’re staying within their legal rights.
Federally licensed gun dealers must register with the bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, which will approve your application assuming you do not have any criminal offenses that would prevent you from handling guns. Each sale you make must be recorded on federal form 4473. It is also your responsibility to make sure any gun you purchase or sell is a weapon in legal circulation. Ignorance of the weapons’ origin is no excuse.
As with any business, maintaining proper paperwork is essential. Gun dealers are even more at risk, since improper record maintenance can result in jail time. Gun lawyers can help you make sure all of your papers are in order.
Legal gun uses
Purchasing a gun is not a decision to be made lightly. Before buying any weapon, you should think carefully about how you to intend to use it. There are many lawful uses for firearms, from hunting to self-defense. Use of a gun to conduct a violent crime or while trafficking drugs is illegal.
Many people concerned about the security of their home choose to buy weapons. However, the standard of lawful self-defense varies from state to state. If you find yourself compelled to use your weapon for protection, a gun lawyer will be helpful to determine if you’ve stayed within your legal rights.
Each state has different rules about carrying concealed weapons: some require no permit at all, while others issue permits to carry guns in some public areas but not others. Many states restrict the possession of firearms on school campuses or in government buildings. Some also require that anyone carrying a concealed weapon must immediately tell any law enforcement officer. Depending on where you live, gun lawyers may be helpful when completing the paperwork for such permits.
If you have a gun you intend to use or carry anywhere out of your home, it’s vital that you make sure you’re in compliance with all federal, state and local laws. Find out if where you live requires you to apply for a concealed firearm permit. If you’re confused as to what your legal rights are, it’s better to consult a gun lawyer who can answer any questions rather than risk getting in trouble with the law.
Depending on their strength, armor-piercing shells which can penetrate bulletproof vests and other defense systems are available to some citizens in some states. As always, regulation varies. Both dealers and purchases are responsible for making sure every transaction is in compliance in all laws.
Once you have received a federal license to own a firearm, you’re free to mail it elsewhere for repair or customization as long as whoever’s receiving it is also licensed to possess and deal with guns. If you are taking the gun with you from one state to another, make sure you’re familiar with the laws of every location you’ll be passing through. Whether as a visitor or new resident, weapons or ammunition that are legal in one part of the country may not be legal in another. Gun lawyers can help you plan for any trip you take. Failing that, check each state’s regulations before traveling.
There are many reasons your gun could be confiscated, most commonly as evidence in a criminal case or as the result of a criminal conviction unrelated to your firearm. Getting your weapon back can be a complicated process. Gun lawyers can make sure all of your documentation proving you can legally possess a firearm is in order.