Are You Violating Federal Or State Gun Laws?

Guns and specifically gun ownership and gun control laws are controversial topics in the United States. Regardless of one's stance on the issue of guns, the right of U.S. citizens to bear arms is protected under the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. That's not to say, however, that everyone is able to purchase and legally carry a weapon.

When it comes to gun access and control, there are federal laws as well as specific state laws. In Michigan, certain types of firearms are banned including automatic weapons, short-barreled shot guns and rifles and machine guns. Individuals who are found to be in possession of a banned weapon will face felony charges related to possession of an illegal firearm and, if convicted, could spend up to five years in prison and be forced to pay hefty fines.

In addition to the types of weapons that are banned in the state, certain individuals are also banned from owning or possessing a firearm. For example, any individual who has previously been convicted of a felony is not allowed to own or possess weapons. Additionally, minors under the age of 18 cannot legally obtain a gun nor can individuals who have been civilly committed or who have been legally declared insane.

In order to purchase a gun in Michigan, an individual is also required to obtain a score of at least 70 on a gun safety test. Provided all screening requirements are met, there is no wait period and an individual can purchase and walk out of a store with a gun.

Owning a gun is a big responsibility and individuals who fail to comply with either federal or state gun laws may face serious felony or misdemeanor gun charges. For individuals who are facing charges related to weapons violations or crimes, it's important to seek legal advice and assistance from a criminal defense attorney.

Source: FindLaw.com, "Michigan Gun Control Laws," March 18, 2015

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