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“With great power comes great responsibility.” – Uncle Ben, Spiderman (2002).
The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution protects your right to keep and bear arms. As with all rights, it comes with responsibilities – some legislative, some moral.
Just as with most areas of law in the United States, an American gun owner’s behavior is governed by both Federal and state (and sometimes local) law. The main Federal law that actually affects an individual gun owner, as opposed to a business, is the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990. The straightforward rule is in the name – don’t carry a gun in a school zone.
You should definitely consult and abide by the laws of your state and locality when you purchase or otherwise acquire a firearm. If you send or receive a firearm from or to an out of state location, you need to consult the requirements of the destination jurisdiction, as well as the laws of any jurisdictions through which your parcel will travel. There may be additional Federal implications due to the use of interstate commerce.
Wielding a gun requires thinking. This includes thinking about your feelings. Does your life feel truly threatened? Is there any less violent alternative such as leaving the location at hand? Obviously, in a life-threatening situation, you may have to make split second decisions. The saying “I’d rather be tried by twelve than carried by six” is well-taken. However, your gut can often tell you if there is no other alternative than to discharge a lethal weapon. After all, your senses are heightened in an emergency. You should consult your state and local laws regarding the “stand-your-ground” and “castle doctrine” principles. You should probably consult these laws before you are ever in an emergency situation. The last thing you want to have to do in an emergency situation is legal research.
Responsible gun ownership is as American as Apple Pie. Know your rights and responsibilities.
Author: H. Gera Meyman, Esq.
Meyman Law, PLLC