Revised Spring 2008: Shennum
Buying A Firearm
Everyone knows that it is a huge responsibility to own a firearm, but aside from personal responsibility there comes with it a laundry list of laws and regulations. In this short paper I will discuss some of the laws and issues that come along with owning a firearm in my home state, Colorado.
Area of Life
Hunting enthusiasts are usually the first to oppose strict gun laws. Many sports involve firearms. Trap shooting, cowboy action shooting, and hunting are just a few of the sports that many Americans enjoy. Firearms have many practical uses as well. Personal protection is another purpose for firearms. It may seem weird to some, but that is only because of the way our society works today. The second amendment was formed at a time where it was not only acceptable to have a firearm for personal protection, but in some cases it was a necessity.
Buying a firearm consists of many steps. First you must be present somewhere selling firearms, and then you spend tie looking for the gun that meets our needs and wants. Next you start the purchasing process. If you are at a gun show, the consigner will take your personal information down, and then, most likely, you will be allowed to walk out with your gun and registration that same day. If you are at a store or gunsmith shop, the event in purchasing a gun is much different. After you choose the firearm of choice, you will be required to give personal information that will be used to see if you meet the state or national qualifications for owning a gun. Then there is usually a waiting period, like five days, you must wait for everything to go through. Finally, if you meet all the criteria for owning the firearm, you will be contacted to come pick up and register your gun. Now you have reached the point of being able to take your gun home, and you may se it according to the juridic controls that encompass your intended use and actions.
The number of laws governing the possession and use of firearms are innumerable, but they are for the protection of the general public. Many believe that the juridic controls of firearms are not enough. No amount of juridic controls will ever stop weapons from getting into the hands of those who really want them, whether for a hobby or not.
Although some laws about firearms are national, the laws really vary from state to state. In Colorado there is a five day waiting period for the purchase of handguns and high powered rifles. This time is used to run a background check. In Colorado you may not own a firearm under the following circumstances; if you have a felony, a misdemeanour conviction involving domestic violence, a history of drug or alcohol abuse, a restraining order against you, or if you have been dishonourably discharged from any military branch.
It is illegal to purchase, sell, own, or be in possession of an automatic weapon. There are of course ways around this. Some states offer special permits that are very difficult to obtain. Also anyone who knows anything about firearms probably knows where to get an automatic weapon. It’s a scary thought, but most firearm enthusiasts simply love to shoot. It is when these weapons fall into the wrong hands that the situation gets complicated. People with bad intentions are the reason that gun control laws are needed.
Burden of Load
The laws for buying a firearm are burdensome to those who really want them. However, because of events like Columbine and the recent University of Illinois shootings, the burden of load is there to protect the safety of others, as well as the owner of the firearm. You are required by law to go through waiting periods, maybe a credit and background check, and you must obey age limit rules too depending on the states regulations.
There are ways to avoid these juridic controls. The obvious would be to simply not own a firearm. Another way is to purchase the weapon illegally, but if you like life outside of prison I would not suggest it. If you are someone who loves to shoot, there are a number of events around the country that provide the opportunity to shoot firearms, even restricted ones, in a completely safe and legal environment without actually purchasing them.
One such event takes place twice a year in a pasture near the home where I grew up. People come from across the country to share a love of shooting. Booths are set up to showcase each owner’s firearms and for a fee you can shoot them. They have everything from .50 caliber rifles, and assault rifles, to actual chain fed machine guns. Many people view these people as dangerous or crazy. They are definitely fanatical and maybe a little obsessed but they do it because they enjoy the sport. To own and operate a firearm is a matter of responsibility and common sense. Unfortunately, not all Americans posses these qualities, and juridic controls are set in place for the protection of the masses. The greater good is being served.