Weapons and Firearms Law

What Are the Laws Affecting Guns and Other Weapons?

Gun Control and Weapons Laws deal with local, state, federal, and even international laws, regulations, and treaties regarding the sale, ownership, and use of firearms, explosives, knives, swords, and other weapons.

Gun Control Laws

Probably the biggest part of this field of law in America is gun control. While the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right to bear arms, what this means, exactly remains a hotly debated issue. On the one hand, pro-gun supporters argue that this provision is clear and that the government should not be able to limit weapons owned by civilians in any way (or only in very limited ways). Primarily, they argue this protects the citizenry from a repressive government taking power and allows individuals to defend themselves against crime.

Anti-gun activists, on the other hand, argue that this provision, when read in context, referred to maintaining an orderly militia. As such, they suggest that guns are not an absolute right for Americans and, in fact, that crime related to the use of firearms would greatly diminish if guns were even more heavily regulated.

This has led to a "middle ground" of laws that are neither overly restrictive nor permissive. While Americans are able to own most kinds of guns, many require special licenses. Others cannot be legally bought or sold, such as fully automatic assault rifles (though certain loopholes have allowed for the sale and ownership of parts to modify rifles to make them fully automatic). Laws also regulate where one can carry a gun and how it can be carried (i.e., openly, in a concealed fashion, or not on the person at all). These laws also affect who can legally sell guns, background checks for buyers, and restrictions on those who may have had their rights impaired by virtue of a criminal conviction or diagnoses of mental disorder.

Other Types of Weapons

Although gun laws are by far the biggest area of weapons law, other types of weapons are also regulated in the United States. For example, most explosives are not allowed to citizens without special permits. Similarly, laws affect other kinds of weapons like how long of a blade one can openly carry in public, importation of antique swords, and prohibiting certain types of knives (like switchblades or those that fire the blade as a projectile).

If you have questions about gun control or weapons laws, please visit the resources below for more information. You can also find an attorney in your area who may be able to answer your specific questions and aid you with any legal issues you may have by visiting our Law Firms page.

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