Gun laws control who is eligible to purchase, own, and carry guns in a given state or city. Every state has different gun laws, and gun laws can sometimes be different from city to city. For instance, the gun laws in California may be drastically different from New York gun laws.
Most gun laws govern issues such as:
- Who can buy or possess a gun
- How long a person must wait in between buying a gun and actually receiving it (i.e. "waiting times")
- Whether a gun can be carried in public
- Whether the gun needs to be concealed or not
- Storage of guns in transit
A violation of gun laws can lead to various legal consequences. Also, being convicted of certain crimes can lead to a loss of the right to own a firearm.
Common violations of gun laws include:
- Unauthorized purchase of a firearm
- Illegal carrying of a gun (especially in public places)
- Minor in possession of a gun
- Discharging a gun in public or in prohibited areas
- Possessing a gun without authorization or a proper permit (for instance, a person who has been convicted of a felony and is no longer allowed to own a gun)
These types of violations are separate from crimes involving guns as weapons (such as assault, homicide, or armed robbery).
Violations of gun laws can lead to legal penalties such as a fine, jail time, and a loss or suspension of one’s gun license. Such violations can often be complex, especially if the person has a criminal history involving violent felonies. A gun law violation generally requires the assistance of a lawyer.
You may wish to hire a criminal lawyer if you have been involved in a gun law violation. An attorney can provide you with advice and can notify you if any possible defenses may be available. Also, your lawyer can represent you during any court hearings or meetings.