State Laws

State Gun Laws

Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming

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.