Guns & Weapons Laws

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Serial numbers are located in various places on guns, depending on the manufacturer and type of weapon. The most common location for serial numbers is on the bottom of the gun butt or on the inside of the frame. Before looking for the serial number, first ensure that the gun is not loaded, and then follow proper gun safety regulations.

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  • Can a convicted felon own a crossbow?

    Q: Can a convicted felon own a crossbow?

    A: While the laws regarding convicted felons owning a crossbow vary by state, the statutes generally allow these individuals to use the weapon provided the state allows hunting with it. The felon must purchase the appropriate license and tags and follow other hunting regulations.
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  • How are used gun sales regulated?

    Q: How are used gun sales regulated?

    A: Used-firearms sales aren't regulated at the federal level if neither party is a federally-licensed firearms dealer, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). The seller of the firearm should still produce a bill of sale, including a serial number and weapon description to document the transaction.
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  • How do I search for the serial numbers on guns?

    Q: How do I search for the serial numbers on guns?

    A: Serial numbers are located in various places on guns, depending on the manufacturer and type of weapon. The most common location for serial numbers is on the bottom of the gun butt or on the inside of the frame. Before looking for the serial number, first ensure that the gun is not loaded, and then follow proper gun safety regulations.
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  • What is a class three firearm?

    Q: What is a class three firearm?

    A: Class 3 is a designation that is applied to firearms dealers under the National Firearms Act. It covers the sale of weapons that are designated as "Title II" for individual possession.
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  • Why shouldn't guns be banned?

    Q: Why shouldn't guns be banned?

    A: There are many arguments against banning guns, including claims that there are already too many guns in the U.S., that reducing gun ownership would not reduce violence and that criminals and mass shooters may still acquire guns if they are illegal. Many proponents, such as The Clause, argue that banning guns would actually create a less safe society.
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  • What is a 12-gauge shotgun?

    Q: What is a 12-gauge shotgun?

    A: A 12-gauge shotgun is one whose barrel is the diameter of a ball of lead weighing one-twelfth of a pound. The diameter of a 12-gauge barrel is approximately .729 inches.
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  • How many volts does a taser have?

    Q: How many volts does a taser have?

    A: According to USA Today, a taser emits 50,000 volts. The voltage impairs the muscles and renders a person immobile. Taser guns can be fired from a distance of 35 feet.
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  • What states allow open carry of firearms?

    Q: What states allow open carry of firearms?

    A: As of November 2014, most states allow the open carry of some type of firearm except for California, Florida, Illinois and Washington, D.C., according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Texas, South Carolina and New York let citizens carry long guns openly but not handguns.
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  • How do I tell if my Colt Rifle is a pre-ban?

    Q: How do I tell if my Colt Rifle is a pre-ban?

    A: The easiest way to determine whether a Colt rifle was manufactured prior to the September 1994 federal assault weapons ban is to check its serial numbers. According to Geremy Chubbuck, writing for AR15, Colt rifles are stamped with serial numbers that indicate whether the weapon was assembled prior to the date the ban went into effect. These stampings should always be verified with the manufacturer.
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  • Q: What are some good weapons for self-defense?

    A: Pepper spray, stun guns, knives, kubotans and specialized key chains are all effective, non-lethal weapons for self-defense, according to Self Defense Ninja. When choosing a weapon, it is imperative to factor in local laws and regulations, effectiveness and power, ease of use, portability and cost.
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  • How do the conceal and carry laws differ between certain states?

    Q: How do the conceal and carry laws differ between certain states?

    A: Special permits are required to carry concealed weapons in 46 states that include Massachusetts, California, Florida, Utah and Oklahoma, explains the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. In contrast, no permits are needed to bear concealed weapons in Wyoming, Alaska, Vermont and Arizona.
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  • Q: Why are butterfly knives illegal?

    A: Butterfly knives, also called "Balisong knives," are considered to have a dangerous nature and speedy deployment features, and in consequence they are illegal in many countries. Certain Balisong knife trainers feature blunt blades and are sometimes deemed legal in countries where regular butterfly knives are outlawed.
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  • Q: How do you obtain an Illinois gun license?

    A: To get a gun license Illinois, the applicant must be at least 21 years old, have a firearm owner’s identification card, and not have any misdemeanor or felony convictions, according to the Illinois State Police Firearms Services Bureau. These requirements exist in addition to other eligibility requirements for a concealed carry license. Illinois has required the concealed carry license since 2013.
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  • Q: What are the laws for carrying a handgun in Kansas?

    A: As of 2015, Kansas does not forbid individuals from carrying handguns openly without documentation, but only qualified individuals with a license may use concealed carry, according to About.com. Non-residents of Kansas may carry a concealed handgun if they have a license issued by another state or the federal government.
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  • Q: How do you apply for a FOID card in Illinois?

    A: As of 2016, apply for a firearm owner's identification card in Illinois on the public FOID page of ISPFSB.com, according to the Illinois State Police Firearms Services Bureau. If you are without Internet access, call 217-782-7980, the Illinois State Police, make application by phone, and pay for it with an electronic check, debit card or credit card. The ISP mails you the application upon payment. Complete, sign and attach your photograph to the application, then return it to the ISPFSB.
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  • Q: What types of gun ownership are allowed under Illinois gun laws?

    A: Restrictions on gun ownership in Illinois vary depending on licensing, residency, location, age and several other factors. However, licensed residents over the age of 21 are allowed to own handguns, shotguns, semi-automatic rifles or any antique gun that the State determines is primarily a collector's item, according to the NRA.
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  • Q: Which states allow the open carry of a firearm?

    A: As of January 2015, 11 states allow for open carry of firearms without applying for a permit, according to International Business Times. These states are Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Vermont, South Dakota, Virginia and Kentucky.
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  • Q: What kinds of pistols are good for concealed carry?

    A: Firearms employed for concealed carry have small frames and are chambered for handgun rounds from .22LR to .45 ACP. Some of the most popular handguns for this purpose are chambered in .380 ACP, including the Kel-Tec P3AT, the Ruger LCP and the Bersa Thunder, reports Personal Defense World.
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  • Q: What are the open carry laws in Missouri?

    A: The open carry ban in Missouri was overturned in late 2014 by Amendment 5, which made it legal for residents to carry firearms openly without the need for a concealed carry permit. Prior to the new statute being passed, individual cities and municipal entities in the state were able to enact open carry bans within their own jurisdictions. Amendment 5 also lowered the minimum age requirement for obtaining a concealed carry permit to 19, as reported by Inquisitr.
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  • Q: What is the function of the NRA-ILA?

    A: The function of the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action is to advocate for the enactment of pro-gun reform legislation and ensure that restrictive gun control legislation does not pass, explains the National Rifle Association's official website. The NRA-ILA also aims to educate the public about gun ownership.
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  • Q: Where can you find replica guns in the United Kingdom?

    A: As of September 2014, the sale of replica guns to the general public in the United Kingdom has been banned by the Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006 or VCRA which came into force on October 1, 2007. The importation and sale of replica guns are only allowed under specific situations.
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