Tips & Advice
What is a hunting permit?
Hunting permits are used to regulate the hunting of wildlife in all states. In each state there are a wide variety of hunting permits, including resident and non-resident. Permits are also specific to the type of game you are hunting, including bird and mammals; deer; antelope; bear; elk; bighorn sheep; pigs; and bobcats Each state is home to a different variety of legal and illegal game, so be sure to educate yourself. The killing of illegal game is poaching and is a criminal offense. There are a variety of types of permits, so before doing any kind of hunting, (or fishing) check with the Department of Fish and Wildlife in your state to ensure you have the correct permits, and where to get them. Many are printable off the state website.
What is the minimum age for buying a gun?
The minimum age for buying a handgun is 18 and has been set by the Federal government. Many states have set higher standards and set the legal limit at 21. “Long guns” like rifles and shotguns are set at 18. Some states laws are more relaxed on the long gun laws. For instance, in Minnesota, if you live outside the city, you can acquire a long gun, with parental consent, at 14. States with a large contingent of hunters may have more relaxed laws, but only regarding long guns, not handguns. Check your state websites, local law enforcement, gunsmiths, or Federal Firearms Licensed dealer for specifics in your area.
A concealed carry is carrying a concealed firearm on your person, usually a handgun. Most states have laws governing concealed weapons and require permits, however there are 12 states that do not require any permits for carrying and/or concealed weapons: Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming. All other states have concealed carry laws requiring permits. If you are planning on carrying a concealed weapon, check with your local law enforcement to confirm the laws in your area, as they can change.
Open carry refers to carrying a gun in public, out in the open. This is not to be confused with a concealed weapon, which is hidden on your person. Open carries are legal in approximately 31 states. However, some do prohibit the open carrying of a loaded weapon. Understand the difference. There are obvious exceptions such as law enforcement officers, etc. The laws in your city and state can easily be checked on the state website or even by calling your local gunsmith or law enforcement office.
Is a permit required for buying a gun?
The federal government does not require permits to purchase firearms. All states set their own requirements, but only 10 have laws requiring a permit-to-purchase on (some) firearms. Usually these are aimed at handguns, not long guns (shotguns and rifles). Illinois, Massachusetts, and New York (handguns only) require a license or permit to own firearms, for the duration of ownership. California requires a certificate showing completion of firearm safety training.
Is a permit required for carrying a gun?
The federal government does not legislate or restrict the carrying of a gun in public. Only six states generally prohibit an open carry; California, District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, New York, and South Carolina. Generally, with some exceptions and mitigating factors. 31 states allow the carrying of a handgun in public without a permit, although some require that the gun be unloaded. There are 15 states that require a permit of some kind to open-carry. As always, consult an expert in your area, like a state website, a local gunsmith or Federal Firearms Licensed dealer, or your local law enforcement for clarity.
Can you buy a gun across state lines?
State laws will vary, so check with your state’s laws to verify, but most states do not allow non-residents to purchase firearms in their state. Only those that possess a Federal Firearms license are authorized to handle gun sales across state lines legally. If you buy a gun across state line, you can have it shipped to a licensed dealer and you can take possession from them. Also be aware of transporting guns across state lines. Guns must be unloaded, in trucks or in locked carrying cases. Stashing it under the seat, in the glove box, or the console is illegal.
Do all guns have to be registered?
No, all guns do not have to be registered. Only six states require firearm registration, and the federal government does not have any kind of registration legislation. Hawaii and the District of Columbia require all firearms be registered. California requires all handguns and assault rifles be registered. There were also registration requirements for all assault weapons purchased prior to the ban on them in California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, New Jersey and New York. New York requires all handguns to be registered. un laws are subject to change, so consult your state’s government websites, gun dealers, or firearm attorneys to get the most accurate information.
What is a waiting period for buying guns?
A waiting period is the time between purchasing a gun and taking receipt of it. In the United States, only 10 states and the District of Columbia have waiting periods before you can take possession of your firearm. The federal government does not legislate waiting period, that is at the states’ discretion. At the minimum, the dealer cannot turn the firearm over until the purchaser has passed a background check. States set their own waiting periods. In most states, as soon as a background check is complete, the dealer may turn the firearm over to the buyer.
A gunsmith is someone who makes, sells, and repairs firearms. Gunsmiths must have a working knowledge of science and mathematics and have a mechanical expertise. Building and repairing guns is a precise science, which requires legitimate metalworking and woodworking skills. Gun safety knowledge is also a very useful tool. Most gunsmiths have formal training and all must have a federal firearms license. Most states will require background checks as part of licensing.