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Background Check Laws When Purchasing a Gun

While the constitution allows every citizen the right to gun ownership, a citizen must go through rigorous background checks to obtain a firearm. The reason for these background checks is for the protection of the gun owner and society. If a gun owner is found to have a criminal record, especially for a crime committed with a lethal weapon, that person may not be allowed to purchase a gun. Moreover, if someone is determined to be mentally unfit, that person may not be able to own a gun. However, because the ownership of a firearm is constitutionally protected, there are many loopholes in both federal and state background check laws. Here are some of the background check laws that are required when purchasing a gun.

One of the most common background checks is a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) check. The FBI has an extensive database of people with criminal records. Because of the recent rise in handgun deaths, these checks are required by gun sellers before a transaction can go through. It is federally regulated to go through the FBI, because there is a slimmer chance of someone purchasing a gun with a false identity. If the FBI background check comes up with anything, a gun seller is legally prohibited from selling that person a gun.

When it comes to state laws, things get a little hazier. Basically, after a number of laws were passed to protect citizens, blocks were put in place to close loopholes. However, what ended up happening is that loopholes opened up elsewhere. For instance, beside California, New York and a few other states, a private gun dealer at a gun show can sell a firearm without conducting a background check. This means that anyone can purchase a pistol – regardless if they have a dark history.

Speaking of dark history, there are a number of statutes that prohibit individuals from owning a firearm. For instance, records of mental instability. If you have any record of having psychiatric issues in the past - even if a police officer was called to your home for a domestic psychological disturbance or a 51/50 hold - you may not be able to own a weapon. Also, if you have a history of having a felony or some kind of criminal record, you may not be able to own a firearm. Of course, if you are a minor, you are also not allowed to own a firearm.

Lastly, many individual states and even counties have their own laws, so it is important to do your research before you purchase a firearm. Also, you may not be able to purchase certain types of firearms in your state or province. If you want to do research on a specific weapon, or find out if a specific gun is legal in your state, it is recommended to visit You can’t only learn about specific weapons, but also about specific gun laws where you live. When it comes to gun ownership, it is always better to be safe than sorry.

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