Guns & Weapons Laws

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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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  • 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 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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 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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  • Q: Can you take a CCW practice test online?

    A: As of June 2015, practice tests for concealed handgun permits are available at Gunthorp.com and Concealed-Carry.net, according to the company websites. The Gunthorp handgun safety course is approved for Minnesota, Wisconsin, Utah and Florida permits. Concealed Carry Institute's course complies with Virginia law and is accepted in many other states.
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  • Q: Where is my concealed carry permit valid?

    A: A concealed carry weapon permit is valid anywhere in the state that issued the permit, with some exceptions depending on the state, notes the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Most states have at least some restrictions on where the concealed weapon can be carried, with the majority of states prohibiting concealed weapons in schools, prisons, jails, courthouses and government buildings.
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  • Q: Which states offer multistate CCW reciprocity gun licensing?

    A: As of January 2016, states that have concealed carry reciprocity agreements with multiple jurisdictions include Pennsylvania, Utah and Arizona, states Inpax. Other states with similar licensing covenants are Florida and Virginia, according to Guns-n-Gear LLC.
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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 are the states with open carry?

    A: As of October 2014, six states and the District of Columbia prohibit open-carry handguns, including California, Texas, Illinois, New York, Florida and South Carolina, according to the Wall Street Journal. Thirteen states require a permit to openly carry guns, and 31 states have no prohibitions on handguns carried in plain view. All 50 states allow concealed weapons with a permit.
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  • Q: What is a class three weapon?

    A: Class three weapons include short-barreled rifles and shotguns, suppressors, destructive devices and machine guns according to Guns and Ammo. They require, by law, a NFA registry transfer of registration for legal possession.
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  • Q: How do I disassemble a Winchester model 100?

    A: Disassemble a Winchester model 100 by removing the gun's magazine and emptying out the gun. Then, remove several screws and bolts in the gun, followed by the inner and outer recoil springs and the guide rod. Finally, unscrew the gas piston nut, along with the bolt from the carrier rails and the firing pin.
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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: How do you apply for a gun permit?

    A: The application process for a gun permit often includes a background check, assurance that the applicant has knowledge of relevant firearm laws, and written and performance-based tests that verify that the applicant can safely handle and store a gun, according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. However, the application process for a gun permit, or license, in the United States varies by region
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  • Q: Who invented Winchester rifles?

    A: According to the National Rifle Association National Firearms Museums, the first Winchester rifle was the Winchester Model 1866; it was heavily based on the Henry rifle. The Henry rifle was a .44 rimfire rifle with a 16-shot tubular magazine invented by B. Tyler Henry in 1860.
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  • Q: How far from the highway do you have to be to shoot a rifle in Alaska?

    A: Alaska state law says that a person may not shoot a rifle from any part of a road that has been built for public use. The law does not limit a specified distance from the road for allowed shooting and/or hunting.
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  • Q: How do you appeal an FBI NICS denial?

    A: Individuals appeal an FBI National Instant Criminal Background Check System denial through the agency's website, by mail or by fax, the FBI explains. An applicant fills out a form with name, address, phone number and NICS transaction number, attaching court documents and other pertinent information. The FBI recommends including a completed fingerprint card. As part of the form, individuals are permitted to request the reason for their denial.
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