Information Everyone Should Know About Gun Safety Laws

It is becoming more common to hear the tragic news of school shootings and other violent shootings occurring across the country. As a college student, it is important to start to become involved in current events. Knowing the current gun control laws is one way to stay educated and informed about the violence that occurs across the nation.


The debate about gun control has been ongoing for many years. The Second Amendment grants the right for a person to bear arms, but the laws are much more complicated than this simple fact. In order to pick a side, people need to understand what the current laws are; however, laws vary state by state.


According to DW, The Gun Control Act of 1968 deemed 18-years-old the federal minimum age to purchase shotguns, rifles and ammunition and 21-years-old the age to purchase all other kinds of firearms. The federal restrictions to these laws include fugitives, people with prior felony convictions of a year or more, people arrested with unlawful possession of any illegal substance including marijuana, people who have issued restraining orders, people who renounced their citizenship, military personnel who were dishonorably discharged, unauthorized migrants and people visiting the United States on a visa.


An amendment to The Gun Control Act requires sellers with FFLs—Federal Firearms License—to perform a background check; however, states decide the sources that these sellers have to check such as the FBI or a local agency. Some states require a permit test in order to purchase a weapon, while most states require a carry permit of some sort—either open, concealed or both.


One major issue is that anyone can sell a gun without an FFL as long as it is not a business transaction. This is known as the “gunshow loophole,” according to the DW. Also, guns may be purchased as a gift for someone else as long as the recipient does not violate laws to the person’s knowledge.


According to New York Magazine, Trump issued a law in February 2017 that redefined who was considered a fugitive. There is another law on the table about making it easier to get a gun silencer. It was also reported that Speaker Paul Ryan ignored ideas to form a select committee on gun violence. The House passed a law allowing a concealed weapon with a proper permit to cross state lines. There is also a proposal to cut back on funding for background check systems.


Although some of these laws are still being debated and the issue as a whole is a very heated topic, people should be cognizant of what is going on with this debate. The changing laws could make it easier or harder to obtain a gun, but it appears that many laws are in favor of less restrictive gun control laws. Awareness of this controversial issue is one step to take towards helping to educate people and possibly prevent mass shootings.


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