The possession of firearms is legal in the USA according to the Second Amendment of the constitution. Here are some interesting facts about the gun laws in the USA:
- Minimum age requirement
The minimum age according to the Gun Control Act of 1968 ( GCA) requires the citizens, and the legal residents must be 18 years of age to purchase guns such as shotguns, rifles, and ammunition. The other firearms such as handguns sold to people about the age of 21 and above. Local officials will implement higher age restrictions but are not allowed to lower the federal minimum.
- Who can purchase or possess firearms?
Criminals, people who are claimed to be a danger to the society and patients who are committed to mental institutions are the users who may not purchase the firearms. Citizens who have dealt with prison sentence exceeding a year or having prison sentences above two years are prohibited from buying weapons. The law has also blocked the sale of guns to people who have used them illegally or caught using controlled substances within the past year. Substances include marijuana, though legalized in some states but remains illegal under the federal law. The gun shop owners should possess a license from the ATF to operate. Some other restrictions are for people having restraining orders by the court to prevent harassment, threatening, etc.
- Who can have a License?
Like many handgun owners, sellers interested in having a Federal Firearms License ( FFL) should be 21 years of age or above. They must have an enclosure for conduction the business and must be aware of the law enforcement official at the time of submitting the applications to the federal bureau that regulates firearms. Same as the gun owners they should fulfill the criteria stating their history of any prior convictions and mental health. Also selling the guns online has the same regulations. The firearm purchased online but must be shipped to a registered FFL holder to conduct backgrounds checks of the owner.
- States permit to carry firearms
Many states ask for permits to carry the handguns. Taking the gun in a concealed or open manner varies from state to state whereas some states do not require you to possess a permit. The permit is not required by all the states to carry rifles and shotgun. In places like Massachusetts, new jersey, a firearms identification is needed to carry a rifle and a shotgun.
- States permit to purchase firearms
From the 50 states in the US, only a dozen states require purchase permits for handguns. Out of these states, three states; California, Connecticut, and Hawaii requires the permit to purchase of rifles. In California, the applicant is required to pass a written test and also enroll in a gun safety class to get the permit.