5 Facts You May Not Know About U.S. Gun Control
Mar 01 2021
Gun laws in the US are varied and strict compared to many other places around the world. With 50 states, multiple territories, and a federal government contributing to the legislation, it has become relatively complicated. Because of this, there are probably a few things that you didn't know about US gun control laws. Before you buy and sell guns in the US, you should know these 5 facts about US gun control laws.
There are Two Legal Ages to Buy Firearms
You may have heard that the legal age to buy a firearm in the US is 21 years old. However, there are two legal ages to buy firearms, and those restrictions are universal. The distinction that creates the two different age restrictions is based on a firearm’s type or class. The majority of firearms, including handguns, require the owner to be 21 years old. It is possible to buy rifles and shotguns at the age of 18.
The theory behind this likely has to do with hunting. Rifles and shotguns are used, almost exclusively, for hunting purposes. Handguns are generally underpowered for hunting, and other firearm options are generally overpowered for hunting. The law may seem strange, but it is likely a holdover from a time when the majority of people hunted for their main source of food, and it was enshrined in law.
The State Governments Enforce Gun Control
Many people think that the federal government is responsible for regulating firearms, but it is the individual states that have the biggest impact on gun owners. The federal government only has two roles in gun control: they establish the right for specific groups to own firearms and it regulates the process for creating firearms licenses. The state governments set conceal carry laws and other ownership laws. They also issue firearm ownership and conceal carry licenses.
You Need a License, and Maybe a Permit
Depending on where you live, you may need a license and a permit to buy the guns that you want. A license is near universally required in every situation. Several states require you to get a permit on top of that license to buy specific types of firearms. For example, California has a lengthy process for people to get permits so that they can buy rifles. Since these requirements are controlled by states, every state has different requirements.
The Gunshow Problem
The country’s rules for obtaining, selling, and transferring guns are well established and hard to circumvent. However, there is one place where the rules become less effective: gun shows. The problem is with FFLs (federal firearm licenses). To sell firearms as a part of a business, you must have an FFL. However, people that are selling guns that are not part of a business (i.e. not selling as a means to make money regularly) do not have to get an FFL. That means that you can go to a gun show and buy a gun from someone who is a one-time seller or doesn’t have a business, effectively going around the regulations.
There is More to Learn
There is much more to learn about how to buy and sell guns. Lakeshore Guns can help you since we are a firearm appraiser and we sell products from the best handgun manufacturers in Chicago. Call us at (269) 857-2248 to learn more about firearms.