Different Types of Guns
Firearms are generally classified into three broad types: (1) handguns, (2) rifles, and (3) shotguns. Rifles and shotguns are both considered "long guns." A semi-automatic firearm fires one bullet each time the trigger is pulled and automatically loads another bullet for the next pull of the trigger. A fully automatic firearm (sometimes called a "machine gun") continuously fires bullets as long as the trigger is pulled.
Federal and State Gun Laws
Federal Gun LawsFederal law restricts who can own, possess, or sell a gun. The National Firearms Act makes it unlawful for a person to have a firearm that is not specifically registered to them.Under the Brady Act, you cannot have a gun for personal or business if you: 1. Were convicted of a crime punishable by being in prison for more than one year; 2. Are a fugitive from justice; 3. Are addicted to, or illegally use, any controlled substance; 4. Have been ruled mentally defective by a court, or are committed to a mental institution; 5. Are an illegal alien living in the United States unlawfully; 6. Received a dishonorable discharge from the U.S. Armed Forces. 7. Renounced your U.S. citizenship, if you are a U.S. citizen; State Gun Laws State gun laws vary considerably. Some states have many more firearms restrictions than others. Some gun owners who visit other states will be granted reciprocity and recognition for any "right to carry" gun laws they had in their home state. Not all states grant such rights. "Right to carry" laws are federal and state constitution provisions that recognize a gun owner's right to use her or his gun for defensive purposes. Some states give gun owners more rights than others do. For example, twelve states currently prohibit employers from firing employees who leave guns locked in their personal vehicles on company property. That means 38 other states do allow companies to restrict employees from having weapons in their cars or trucks on company property.States also have laws that either allow or prohibit you from openly carrying a gun in public. These are called "open carry" laws. Generally, states fall into one of four categories:Permissive Open Carry States - Allow you to carry a gun without a permit or license. Licensed Open Carry States - Allow gun owners to carry firearms openly only after they are issued a permit or license. Anomalous Open Carry States - Carrying a gun openly may be generally lawful under state law, but local governments may pass their own gun laws that are more restrictive than the state's laws. Non-Permissive Open Carry States - Carrying a gun openly is against state law, or is legal only in limited circumstances (e.g., while hunting) or when legally used for self-defense.If you just moved to a state with an open carry law, there is often a waiting period before you can apply for an open carry permit. Open carry restrictions are often the subject of lawsuits filed by gun owners against states where they reside.