Although most Americans assume owning a gun is a universal right, this is not always the case. Additionally, there may be restrictions as to where you can take it and when you can use it. What are some restrictions to your right to own or use a gun that you should be aware of?
Felons Generally Can’t Own Guns
If you have been convicted of a felony, you are not legally able to own a gun much less use one. However, an attorney may be able to help you get a charge reduced or thrown out by arguing that you were simply protecting yourself or another person. While you may not be able to own a gun, you are allowed to protect yourself, your loved ones or your property. Therefore, a judge or jury may take pity on you and decide not to levy any penalties for your actions.
Concealed Carry Requires a Permit
You may be allowed to carry a concealed weapon while you are in public. This means that you keep the weapon in your waistband or in a holster where it can’t be seen by others. If you are found to be in possession of a concealed weapon without a permit, that may be punishable by a fine or jail time. An attorney may argue that you have a permit or that you otherwise never intended to break the law.
Gun Ownership Requires a Permit
In general, you must have a permit to own a firearm whether you use it for hunting, protecting your home or carrying it in public. In addition, you must register your gun before you can buy and use it. If a crime is committed with a gun registered in your name, you may be held responsible for that crime. An attorney may be able to argue that the gun was taken without your permission and that it was taken from a locked safe or other secured area. This will show that you are a responsible gun owner and were not intending to use it in a reckless or criminal manner.
Your Ability to Hunt Is Limited
Your ability to hunt may be limited by state law. For instance, it may not be legal to hunt at night or to kill more animals that you are given permission to kill. If you go over your limit, you could be fined and lose your ability to hunt in the future. Legal counsel may be able to help establish that a kill was made by accident or that you deserve to be given a lighter sentence because you didn’t have any previous offenses. It is important to note that you may lose any animal that you kill illegally even if you don’t receive any additional punishment.
Your right to own a gun may be limited by state and federal statutes. If you are charged with a firearm offense, your first move should be to contact an attorney. It may be possible to create one or more defenses that could lead to a plea bargain or complete acquittal. In addition to your freedom, an acquittal could keep your right to own a gun intact today and in the future.