Whether you buy a gun for self protection or for sport, it is important that you are aware of all the laws. Although firearm regulations differ from state to state, there are some standard regulations regarding the usae and ownership of guns. Here are some essential things to know about the ownership of firearms:
Minimum Ownership Age
The legal age of buying ammunition, shotgun or rifle is 18 years. This is according to federal law provided in the Gun control Act of 1968 (CGA). You should be at least 21 years or above to acquire any other type of firearm, such as a handgun. However, age restrictions at the state and federal levels may be higher.
People Restricted From Purchasing and Owning Guns
There are certain people restricted by the law from owning guns. For instance, you can’t be a firearm holder if you are a tourist visiting the US on a non-immigrant visa. The restriction also applies to people who may be considered a threat to the masses such as those involuntarily placed in mental institutions, fugitives and stalkers. If you have a previous conviction of drug possession, then you will be blocked from owning a firearm.
Recognized Gun Sellers
Firearm sellers must also meet specific standards just as it is for firearm owners. First, you must be 21 years or above to be eligible for the Federal Firearms License (FFL). Secondly, you must be in the right state of mind and have a clean bill when it comes to your criminal record. For instance, anyone with an account of being in possession or selling illegal substances will not qualify for FFL.
To begin a firearm business, you’ll be required to submit an application to the federal bureau. But, before the applications, you should alert the state or local officials of your ambitions. They will inspect the premises thoroughly and make the appropriate recommendations to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
Background Checks When Buying Firearms
When buying a firearm, you must undergo a background check. This is according to the Brandy Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993, which is an amendment of the 1968 Gun Control Act. According to this law, anyone intending to purchase a gun should first fill the ATF4473 form. FFLs issue these documents. Once it is filled, the FFL sends it to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). The agency will verify your criminal history and send it back to the FFL. With this information, the seller may deny, delay or accept the purchase.
Many states do not demand permits to buy pistols. And, only a handful of them will ask for permits when buying shotguns and rifles. In such cases, you will only receive the buying permit after going through gun safety lessons.
On the contrary, a firearm carrying permit is mandatory for most states. However, this law only applies to handguns and not shotguns and rifles. There are many types of carrying permits, including carrying guard, special carry, premise permit, carry business and limited carry. A permit is usually in the form of an identification card.
Who Regulates Gun Ownership?
The federal government is the leading policy maker and regulator of firearms. This is done by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). They formulate rules and regulations regarding who can possess guns, who can sell them and how to carry and use guns. State and local agencies may also come up with gun laws. However, these laws should not fall below the federal minimums. If you want to own or enter into the gun selling business, you will need to make applications at the state and national levels.