American Citizens and the Right to Bear Arms

Americans were granted the right to bear arms in 1791, which was when the Second Amendment to the Constitution was ratified. It is very difficult for lawmakers to interpret the amendment, but the U.S. Supreme Court has determined that most American citizens have the right to protect themselves and their property when necessary.

Why is It Confusing?

The Second Amendment is confusing because of the first sentence, which includes the phrase “a well-regulated militia.” Some lawmakers interpret this to mean that only the militia should be allowed to carry arms in order to protect and defend the nation’s citizens. In this case, only military personnel and law enforcement officers have the right to carry firearms. However, the same sentence addresses “the right of the people to bear arms.” For this reason, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Congress ratified the Second Amendment so that the militia could defend the country, but that the right to bear arms is not limited to law enforcement officials and military personnel.

Federal Restrictions

The Second Amendment grants most (but not all) citizens the right to carry firearms. Citizens who have been convicted of felonies cannot own guns, and there are a few types of firearms that are exempt. Federal laws prohibit guns that exceed what a typical citizen may need in order to defend himself, and they regulate how firearms can be sold and carried. These laws also prohibit citizens from carrying firearms into schools and government buildings.

State Laws

The federal government allows individual states to form their own gun laws, but these state laws must not overrule constitutional rights. Gun owners may use their firearms to hunt, but they must follow all hunting laws and restrictions. This includes hunting during the specified seasons and in specific areas, as well as buying the appropriate hunting licenses. States have gun control laws that require citizens to wait a certain period of time before receiving the guns that they purchase. Gun owners must also register their firearms according to their states’ gun control laws.

The Second Amendment and Criminal Lawyers

The laws surrounding gun ownership are confusing, and each case is taken into consideration. Criminal defense lawyers are knowledgeable about state and federal gun laws, and they can assist clients who are facing weapons- or gun-related charges.

If you would like more information about your right to bear arms, talk to the attorneys at the Miller Law Group, PLLC at 713-866-6233.

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