Understanding Firearm Laws and Regulations: Five Things to Know

Following on from the 1994 assault weapons ban of 1994, which had an expiry date of ten years, June 2022 saw President Biden signing the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. These are the biggest firearm laws implemented in America in three decades.Below we look at some of the most important regulations that were (and are currently) in place prior to the 2022 Bipartisan Safer Communities Act.

A Nation Divided

America is divided cleanly over its support of, or opposition to, firearm control. As 88% of every 100 US citizens has a firearm, many people are afraid of becoming the victim of a shooting. Approximately 45,222 firearm-related deaths occurred in 2020 in America, the highest number of annual shooting deaths on record.

The people on the other side of the argument are equally afraid, but for different reasons. They feel the need to own a firearm for self-protection from crime or a state that ignores the constitution. Each group has clear concerns.

Firearm Owner’s Age

Eighteen-year-olds can purchase ammunition, rifles, and shotguns legally. But all other firearms can only be bought by someone who is 21 years or older. This is legislated by the Firearm Control Act of 1968. These minimums can be increased by state officials for a particular state.

People Who May Not Own Firearms

There are numerous groups of people in America who are barred from owning a firearm. Someone who has had a restraining order against them for stalking, harassing, or threatening others has restricted rights. Other groups on this list are ex-citizens who have relinquished their status, those without immigrant visas, illegal migrants, and ex-military personnel who were dishonorably discharged.

Incongruously, people who have been found guilty of using or possessing marijuana within the preceding year are also prohibited from buying firearms. This regulation disregards a state’s legalization of the substance. However, according to the Federal Government, it is still illegal. Other illegal substances follow the same rules when it comes to who is permitted to own a firearm.

A person with a misdemeanor conviction greater than two years, or one with a felony sentence of more than one year may not own a firearm. An involuntary commission to a mental health facility bars a person from buying a firearm. Any person who is considered a danger to society, including fugitives, is also banned.

Who Regulates Firearm Control?

An American citizen’s right to bear and keep arms is upheld by the Second Amendment. The Federal Government determines who has the right to own a firearm. Local Governments and States provide additional regulations. For example, they may ban public bearing of firearms.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), manages the Gun Control Act. They also decide the conditions for vendors being granted permission and licenses to sell firearms.The ATF reports to the DOJ.

Dealers Licenses

A Federal Firearms License (FFL) can only be provided to an individual who has attained his/her majority, i.e., 21 years of age. Additional requirements are to have a suitable operating shop and to inform their local police station of having applied for a license. Dealers must comply with the same restrictions as firearm owners regarding who is not permitted to own a firearm or sell them.

Looking for a dealer near you? You can buy bulk AR-15 ammo (223 Rem or 5.56) at cheap prices online. When purchasing online, the firearmcannot be shipped directly to the customer. They must undergo abackground check by a registered FFL holder before being given the firearm.

The regulations are simple and easy to grasp for prospective firearm owners.

by Abdullah Sam
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