Gun ownership is an important part of the afforded to citizens of the United States. However, owning a firearm is also a great responsibility that should be carefully researched and understood to not only comply with current laws but also to prevent risk to the community from gun violence. Here are five legal issues to keep in mind after you purchase a firearm for personal use.
1- You Are Subject to a Background Check in Most Instances
If your background check is delayed more than 3 days, you may still be able to take possession of the firearm. The law states that the federal government has 3 days to complete a background check. If they cannot provide a decision within that time, the seller can transfer the firearm into your possession. Sometimes, issues around a background check may cause a “delay.” This can occur because of misspellings or other incorrect information. A delay does not necessarily mean you will be denied the ability to have the weapon.
2- You Must Comply With State and Local Safe Storage Laws for Firearms
Keeping children and unauthorized people from getting possession of your firearm is one of the responsibilities of a gun owner. Various states and local communities have implemented different gun storage requirements, regarding storing it in a safe, storing ammunition separately, and using gunlocks. There are also legal requirements regarding “personalized’ guns” that will only fire if the owner uses them. Some states have passed laws that impose a fine or prison sentence if a young person uses a gun to hurt themselves or another person. You should always check with requirements in your community regarding proper storage of your firearm.
Federal Law Prohibits the Private Sale of a Firearm to Someone in Another State
State and local laws regarding firearms may be different than federal requirements for owning a firearm. As a result, you are not permitted to sell a gun to someone in another state.
Individual States Have Their Own Requirements for Reporting Lost or Stolen Guns
In some states, if your gun has been stolen, you are legally required to report to a local law enforcement agency. In this way, police can be aware of where guns used in crimes are coming from and can return a gun to you if it is recovered. However, there may be no legal requirement to report a missing gun if it is simply lost.
3- If You Transport a Firearm, It Must Be Unloaded and Secure
In addition, you must comply with local gun laws at all times. Under federal law, it is illegal to bring a firearm, either loaded or unloaded, onto the cabin of an airplane. Any firearm you bring to an airport security point will be confiscated, and you may be charged with a crime that imposes either a prison sentence or a fine.
Understanding your rights and responsibilities as a gun owner can help to ensure that firearms in our society are safely used and stored, to prevent mishaps and crimes from unauthorized use of the weapon. If you have trouble after the purchase of your firearm, consult with experienced legal representation for help.