The Second Amendment is a Constitutional provision that allows every American citizen the right to own firearms. How the Second Amendment is applied differs from state to state, with every U.S. jurisdiction regulated by separate state gun laws that spell out the details and restrictions in each area. It's important to understand the gun laws that apply to you before purchasing a firearm, especially if you live in Alabama, California, Texas, New York, Florida or Tennessee.
Alabama Gun Laws
Alabama is a state that has few restrictions in its gun laws. Citizens do not have to be licensed, registered or have a permit to purchase firearms of any type. Those who can lawfully own a gun can carry a handgun openly in most cases, but the state does issue concealed carry permits for handguns. Citizens who have been convicted of a violent crime, are mentally unstable or have drug and alcohol problems cannot purchase firearms under Alabama gun laws.
California Gun Laws
California gun laws are more restrictive than some other jurisdictions. Buyers must always have a permit to purchase a firearm, and all guns have to be registered. Also, open carry is prohibited even if the gun is unloaded, and concealed carriers are required to have a permit unless the gun is in their business or home. A licensed dealer must broker every firearm sale, and guns may not be sold to anyone with a history of violence or mental health issues.
Florida Gun Laws
Florida does not require permits or registration to purchase a firearm. There is, however, a mandatory three-day waiting period between the purchase of a gun and delivery. Open carry is not allowed, and all concealed carriers must have a permit under Florida gun laws. Felons are prohibited from owning or possessing firearms until their record is cleared.
New York Gun Laws
Except in New York City, rifles and shotgun purchases are not regulated under New York gun laws, but owners of handguns in all areas must have a permit, license and registration papers, as well as a concealed carry permit to have the firearm with them. In addition, New York's concealed carry laws are more restrictive, and you may receive a permit to carry at your business, for example, but not in public.
Tennessee Gun Laws
This state has few regulations on the purchase and use of firearms, except for the requirement to have a concealed carry permit for handguns. However, selling guns to someone who is impaired is illegal, and nobody may carry with the intent to harm. Tennessee gun laws also prohibit certain groups of people from owning a gun, such as citizens with a mental health condition or a history of violent behavior.
Texas Gun Laws
Texas is also a state with few restrictions on gun ownership, with only a concealed carry permit for handguns required under the Texas gun laws. Citizens may not own a machine gun or carry any firearm recklessly. Breaking any of the state gun laws in a 300-feet vicinity of a school has increased penalties. Also, felons and people with certain violent misdemeanors may not have a firearm.
General Firearm Laws
If your state isn't listed here, the National Rifle Association publishes a full listing of each state's statutes where you can easily find the regulations that apply in your area. However, most states at least require a concealed carry permit to transport a handgun. Also, keep in mind that requirements for gun ownership and use can change when you cross state lines. Some states, for example, recognize the permits and registration of their neighbors while others, like New York, require visitors to have a permit from their jurisdiction.
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