State Gun Laws

Protection Act

Citizens of the United States requested the right to bear arms through the addition of the Bill of Rights to the Constitution. However to protect citizens from themselves and to ensure safety for all other citizens, the federal government has created many addition acts and requirements according to gun safety and protection.

Each act and requirement passed by the federal government is legally required of all US citizens, regardless of their state or other firearm laws in their states. The Firearm Owners Protection Act, also called the McClure-Volkmer Act, was added by Congress in 1986. This act opened interstate sales for long guns, allowed the transportation of certain firearms from state to state, made it illegal to transfer any kind of firearm to prohibited individuals, and disallows the government from creating gun owner lists through dealer records.

The McClure-Volkmer Act also limits the inspections of dealers through the BATF without first acquiring a search warrant, allowed FFL holders to carry out business away from business locations, allowed the US Postal Service to ship and carry ammunition, stopped the recordkeeping of ammunition sales, prohibited civilians from full-auto firearm possession if manufactured after May 1986, redefined the term machine gun, increased the penalties for machine gun use, eliminated the requirement for FFL when purchasing dealer ammunition, and increased penalties for drug offenses associated with firearms.

Licensure

The United States’ government requires that individuals engaging in the business of firearms to first obtain a Federal Firearms License. The business of firearms can include the sale or manufacture of ammunition of firearms. FFL holders may then engage in interstate sales legally. Such licensure became a requirement for all citizens in 1968 when Congress passed the Gun Control Act.

Self-defense

The Second Amendment states that American citizens have the right to possess firearms for the reason of self-defense. This is also called the right-to-carry. However only forty-four state constitutions respect this right-to-carry to its full effect.

Some states have “shall issue” laws that require individuals to carry permits in order to possess and carry a firearm. Shall issue states state that any individual who meets the necessary requirements for obtaining a permit be issued a permit, as a standard. Certain kinds of firearms are also illegal in some states, while not in others though no federal law prohibits such firearms, like sawed-off long guns.

However all states, under federal requirement, disallow previously convicted individuals from possessing firearms legally without first regaining this right. The federal government allows each state to include more provisions, though most states have similar right-to-carry laws to the Bill of Rights. Such laws must be in accordance with all federal firearm laws and may not contradict federal requirements.

Other Acts

The federal government has also instituted further Acts of protection. The Brady Handgun Prevention Act followed the attempted assassination of President Reagan. The Brady Act requires criminal background checks for handgun permits through the Attorney General. The National Firearms Act places taxes on rifles, long guns, and handguns, while the Gun Control Act defined the term firearm and who has the right to own one.


Gun Laws by State

Alabama Gun Laws

In the state of Alabama the sale, giving, lending, or delivering of a handgun to any person under the age of eighteen, any person who has been convicted of a…

Alaska Gun Laws

Gun Laws in Alaska The laws on purchasing and carrying firearms vary heavily from state to state. Analysis of Alaska’s firearms laws starts with their State Constitutional Firearms Provision: “A…

Arizona Gun Laws

Arizona Gun Laws Purchasing firearms in the state of Arizona is not unlike purchasing firearms in any other state. Certain rules apply in order to do so and only certain…

Arkansas Gun Laws

Gun Law in Arkansas As widely interpreted, the second amendment of the U.S. Constitution allows citizens to “keep arms.” Even with that type of protection for gun owners, individual states…

California Gun Laws

Gun Laws in California According to California law, all firearm sales, gun show sales, loans, and transfers must go through a licensed California firearms dealer. This also includes the private…

firearm Transportation state lines

Can you carry a gun across state lines?

Interstate Transportation of firearms In most cases, unless you only travel by personal transportation through reciprocal states, the state-to-state right of reciprocity cannot be exercised without engaging federal rights to…

Colorado Gun Laws

Gun Laws in Colorado The state of Colorado does not require that state citizens register for firearms. Actually Colorado prohibits, according to state law, the registration of firearms through state…

Connecticut Gun Laws

Gun Laws in Connecticut Ownership of firearms in Connecticut is governed by the Department of Public Safety’s Special Licensing and Firearms Unit. There are two different sets of regulations for…

Delaware Gun Laws

Gun Laws in Delaware Permits are only necessary to carry handguns in the state of Delaware and not necessary to carry rifles or shotguns. Permits to purchase, the registration of,…

Florida Gun Laws

Gun Laws in Florida The state of Florida does not require that individuals purchasing rifles, handguns, or shotguns acquire permits. Registration of rifles, shotguns, and handguns is also unnecessary. The…

Georgia Gun Laws

Gun Laws in Georgia Georgia is described as a “shall issue” state when it comes to carrying a firearm. This means that carrying a concealed weapon requires a permit, but…

Hawaii Gun Laws

In the state of Hawaii the gun laws and state statutes regarding sell, possess, or carry firearms are strict and specific. Violating these gun laws will result in criminal offense…

Idaho Gun Laws

Idaho gun laws are specific on who is allowed to own a gun and whether or not you need a permit. These laws cover every one from adults to minors….

Illinois Gun Laws

Gun Laws in Illinois The state of Illinois has a child access prevention law for all firearms as well as a juvenile possession law and a juvenile sale and transfer…

Indiana Gun Laws

Gun Laws in Indiana The firearm laws of Indiana are the least restrictive laws however, don’t assume that you can possess, buy, or carry an unlimited number of rifles, handguns,…

Iowa Gun Laws

Gun Laws in Iowa In the state of Iowa the amount of gun laws are far less than most states. These laws are not as extensive and/or as strict as…

Kansas Gun Laws

Like most other states no permit is needed to purchase handguns, rifles, or shotguns in the state of Kansas. There is also no registration necessary for handguns, shotguns, or rifles….

Kentucky Gun Laws

Gun Laws in Kentucky In the state of Kentucky, gun laws do not require an individual to have a permit before purchasing rifles, shotguns, or handguns. The law also states…

Louisiana Gun Laws

Gun Laws in Louisiana Louisiana does not require that individuals first obtain a permit before purchasing a handgun, shotgun, or a rifle. However it is illegal in the state of…

Maine Gun Laws

Gun Laws in Maine In the state of Maine gun laws there exist specific laws regarding different forms of firearms. Within these laws are stipulations for minors. The following are…

Maryland Gun Laws

Gun Laws in Maryland Although there are federal gun laws that apply to everyone across the country, each state has their own set of firearm regulations and restrictions. Maryland gun…

Massachusetts Gun Laws

Massachusetts Gun Law Details Every state has the right to pass their own gun laws. Within every state, each separate town or city can also enact specific firearm restrictions. Several…

Michigan Gun Laws

Gun Laws in Michigan Unlike other states, Michigan does not require a permit to purchase shotguns or rifles but does require a permit to purchase handguns. No registration is necessary…

Minnesota Gun Laws

Gun Laws in Minnesota The state of Minnesota has a juvenile possession laws and juvenile sale or transfer laws in place along with a Child Access Prevention law. Minnesota does…

Mississippi Gun Laws

Mississippi Gun Law Details To a certain degree, the level of gun restrictions depends on a particular state’s history and culture with regard to gun ownership. States where hunting has…

Missouri Gun Laws

Missouri Gun Law Details Although there are many common elements regarding gun laws throughout the country, particular states have specific firearm restrictions which originated from their state legislatures. Typically these…

Montana Gun Laws

Guns Laws in Montana Permits are not required by the state of Montana to purchase a handgun, rifle, or a shotgun. Montana also does not require that shotguns, handguns, and…

Nebraska Gun Laws

Gun Laws in Nebraska Purchasing firearms in the state of Nebraska does not require a permit. As long as shotguns, handguns, and rifles are purchased from a licensed dealer, no…

Nevada Gun Laws

Gun Laws in Nevada The state of Nevada has gun laws unlike other states, despite having child access prevention laws, juvenile possession laws, juvenile transfer laws, and juvenile sale laws….

New Hampshire Gun Laws

Gun Laws in New Hampshire Some state laws state that carrying any weapon requires a special permit, but the state of New Hampshire only issues licenses to carry revolvers or…

New Jersey Gun Laws

Gun Laws in New Jersey New Jersey law stipulates that those who own firearms are required to have Firearm Purchaser cards before any kind of shotgun, rifle, or handgun can…

New Mexico Gun Laws

Gun Laws in New Mexico The state of New Mexico has many laws in regards to firearms and how they are to be legally used. This includes those outlines in…

New York Gun Laws

Gun Laws in New York New York is often named as the most difficult state for acquiring firearm permits of all the United States, though Maryland and New Jersey are…

North Carolina Gun Laws

Gun Laws in North Carolina Obtaining a handgun in North Carolina is more difficult than it seems. A permit is required for all handguns, including obtaining a handgun through inheritance,…

North Dakota Gun Laws

Gun Laws in North Dakota Like many other states, North Dakota has been deemed a “shall issue” state in regards to concealed carrying. Permits are to be issued to applicants…

Ohio Gun Laws

Gun Laws in Ohio The statute for concealed weapons changed in Ohio and became effective as of April 2004. The new law states that individuals of twenty-one years of age…

Oklahoma Gun Laws

Oklahoma Gun Law Details The United States Constitution only mentions the right to “keep and bear arms” in one amendment. However, the Constitution also says that any law that isn’t…

Oregon Gun Laws

Oregon Gun Law Details The rural landscape of Oregon provides for an ideal hunting ground. The hunting traditions and firearms have been passed down through the generations. The result is…

Pennsylvania Gun Laws

Gun Laws in Pennsylvania Certain states are known for their hunting preserves and have what are considered by many to be “friendly gun laws.” Other states have residents who trade…

Rhode Island Gun Laws

Gun Laws in Rhode Island Local licensing authorities have named Rhode Island as a “shall issue” state, and many licensing issues in regards to MAY issuing are handle by the…

Gun Laws South Carolina

South Carolina Gun Laws

Gun Laws in South Carolina Like many other states South Carolina is considered a “shall issue” state in regards to concealed weapons permits. Handguns, rifles, and shotguns do not require…

South Dakota Gun Laws

Gun Laws in South Dakota South Dakota is classified as a “shall issue” state in regards to carrying concealed weapons. Permits are to be issued to those who qualify through…

Tennessee Gun Laws

Gun Laws in Tennessee The state of Tennessee does not necessitate that handguns or long guns have a state permit before a purchase is made. Long guns and handguns are…

Texas Gun Laws

Who can carry? Texas is one of the few states in the United States that allows it’s residents to carry firearms. Any resident of Texas can carry a firearm, they…

Utah Gun Laws

Gun Laws in Utah In opposition to other states, Utah has several restrictions that not many others do. However, there are no state permit requirements for purchasing handguns and shotguns….

Vermont Gun Laws

Of all the United States, Vermont has one of the lowest restrictions on firearms. No state permit is necessary to purchase rifles, handguns, or shotguns. Rifles, shotguns, and handguns do…

Virginia Gun Laws

Virginia has preempted firearms laws that govern the entire state. Local law enforcement has the right to regulate any firearm discharge, the transporting of loaded shotguns and rifles, the fingerprinting…

Washington Gun Laws

Gun Laws in Washington State Many states in the United States are considered to be “shall issue” states, but Washington is one of the first to have this decree. Through…

West Virginia Gun Laws

Gun Laws in West Virginia Residents of West Virginia are not required to have a permit before purchasing any kind of long gun or handgun. Registration is also not required…

Wisconsin Gun Laws

Gun Laws in Wisconsin A majority of the United States allows state residents to carry concealed weapons on their persons. However the state of Wisconsin does not allow its residence…

Wyoming Gun Laws

Gun Laws in Wyoming As part of American history, some states have the unique distinction to be deemed a “frontier state.” This meant that they were part of the massive…

Federal Concealed Carry Permit

Is there a National Carry Permit or federal authority to carry a handgun throughout the United States?

A common question for attorneys who handle firearms cases is about obtaining a national license to carry a handgun.

Except for qualified active duty or retired law enforcement officers, there is no such license. A national civilian carry license is introduced almost every session of Congress. Such bills, however, have never had a statistical chance of passing.

Furthermore, it is critical to remember that if a national license were to pass Congress and become law, it would almost certainly be riddled with exceptions. These would logically include local, state, and federal property and buildings.

The exception for qualified and retired law enforcement officers was made shortly after the September 11, 2001 attacks. The discernible difference between these bodies is that law enforcement officers receive some consistency in their training in constitutional law, deadly force, and firearm qualification.

Furthermore, while an FFL may be able to transport and ship firearms across the United States, this does not imply a national license to carry. In other words, an FFL is not a last-ditch effort to carry across the country.

The current method of carrying a handgun in another state is through reciprocity. This is a state-to-state agreement known as a compact. This allows one state to recognize the license of another. It is important to note, however, that when engaging in reciprocal carry in another state, one must follow the laws of the reciprocal state, as well as any local rules and regulations if there is no preemption.

Federal laws apply in all states to federal property, lands, and areas/fields chosen by Congress to regulate, which typically overlap with concurrent state regulation. Guns in school zones, airports, and on aircraft are two common examples.