The right to bear arms comes up often in American politics, but it's important to note that this is not a universal right for all citizens. It can be taken away, and possessing a firearm afterward could lead to serious legal charges.
Some restrictions are laid out in the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act. You may be barred from owning a gun if:
- You are currently a fugitive from the law.
- You were arrested and convicted of a crime that led to over a year in jail.
- You illegally use, or have gotten addicted to, any controlled substances.
- You have mental defects as ruled by a court, or you were put in a mental institution.
- You were in the U.S. Armed Forces, in any branch, and you were dishonorably discharged.
- It's illegal for you to be in the United States and you technically qualify as an illegal immigrant.
- You were a U.S. citizen, but you decided to renounce it intentionally.
- You were charged with domestic violence and then convicted of at least a misdemeanor.
- There is a court order against you regarding a spouse, child or 'intimate partner.'
There are cases where people simply do not realize they are not allowed to buy, possess or use firearms. Maybe you enjoyed hunting and sport shooting in the past, and you thought you were free to keep doing it, despite meeting the qualifications listed above. If caught, you could face significant weapons charges.
Has this already happened to you? If so, it's very important for you to know all of your rights and legal defense options.
Source: FindLaw, "Gun Laws," accessed Dec. 22, 2017