The 2nd Amendment of the Constitution protects individuals' rights to bear arms, meaning they have the right to have and use certain guns. The federal government, however, has set laws that individuals must follow if they want to avoid being penalized. Federal law who can own firearms, which types of firearms individuals are allowed to own, how firearms are allowed to be commercially traded and transported, and many other aspects of gun possession and ownership.
Guns are considered types of firearms. According to 18 U.S. Code §921(a)(3), a firearm is defined as any weapon that is designed to use an explosive in shooting out a projectile. The term includes the weapon's frame or receiver, as well as its muffler or silencer. A firearm is also be defined as any destructive device.
Individuals Who Cannot Own Guns
There are many different types of individuals who are barred from owning or using guns. They include the following:
- Individuals under indictment, or who have been convicted of crimes that are punishable by imprisonment of more than one year
- Unlawful users and addicts of controlled substances
- Individuals adjudicated as mental defectives or individuals committed to mental institutions
- Illegal aliens and those admitted to the U.S. using nonimmigrant visas
- Individuals who have been dishonorably discharged from the U.S. Armed Forces
- Individuals who have renounced their U.S. citizenship
- Individuals with restraining orders in connection to their intimate partners or children of those partners
- Individuals who have been convicted of misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence
It is against the law for minors to possess guns, unless they meet certain exceptions, such as if the minor is a member of the U.S. Armed Forces. It is legal to sell shotguns and rifles to individuals age 18 or older. When selling other types of guns, however, the individuals receiving the weapons must be at age 21 or older.
Other Types of Restrictions Under Federal Law
There are many other gun requirements for individuals must also consider. These individuals must have the proper licensing and must comply with the laws of their own states. There are many federal restrictions dictating when individuals are allowed to sell or purchase guns from individuals or companies that are located outside their own states. The transportation and shipment of firearms in interstate or foreign commerce are activities that are generally reserved for licensed manufacturers, importers, dealers and collectors of firearms.
The sale and transport of certain types of firearms are prohibited under federal law unless the action is authorized by the Attorney General, such as for military or research purposes. Those firearms include:
- Destructive devices
- Machine guns
- Short-barreled guns
- Short-barreled rifles
These are only a few of the many aspects of §922 that could arise when individuals are dealing with gun-related legal matters.
Consult with a Johnson County Federal Gun Charge Defense Lawyer
The rights to own and use a gun have been a topic of great debate over the years. While the Supreme Court has upheld individuals' rights to own guns, there are still many parts about the law that are continually contested in how they should apply in individual states.
In order to properly protect your rights in gun ownership and use, you will need a Johnson County criminal defense lawyer who has an in-depth understanding of what the federal and local gun laws entail. At Martin & Wallentine, we can inform you about how these laws apply to your case and what can be done to help you protect yourself.
Contact our firm today for a consultation. After evaluating the details of your case, we can advise you about the options that will best meet your needs.
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