There is no question that the topic of gun ownership and gun control has never been at a higher fever than it is today…it’s a topic of conversation and discussion everywhere. But regardless of which side you sit on (in support of or against gun control) it doesn’t really matter when it comes to understanding, abiding by, and enforcing the gun laws we have today…which according to one article totals over 23,000!
According to a recent article in Ammoland, “Gun Laws We Follow…and Gun Laws We Ignore,” there are far more gun laws being ignored than followed. This is an interesting read about some of the different gun laws that exist in our country and how they are being followed (or not followed). While I can’t attest to the accuracy of the numbers, the impact is something every gun owner should at least be aware of and how they choose to react to local and federal laws.
It’s always a choice with everyone who takes on the responsibility of owning a firearm…do you choose to follow or ignore the law. As an attorney, my role is to help you better understand the law and how it applies to you and your life…but it is always your choice (and responsibility) to whether or not you follow the law. And if you choose to not follow the law, I usually get a call then as well. Which is why ignorance is no excuse for breaking the law…the responsibility is always on you, the gun owner.
You can read the article and decide what you want to believe or not…that’s not the point. The point is how complicated gun ownership is when it comes to the law. It isn’t as simple as most people think…especially if there are even close to 23,000 gun laws…that’s a lot to absorb. While there may in fact be that many gun laws, there are certainly some that are much higher priority to obey than others and there are those that are federal and those that are state specific to us.
So when someone asks if you “understand the gun laws” this is a difficult question. No one could understand all 23,000 gun laws, but as a responsible gun owner, you should know the ones that have the most impact on your situation. Owning a firearm is a responsibility and with any responsibility, it requires commitment to understanding what it means and how it affects you. I can honestly say I don’t know all 23,000 gun laws…but I do know the ones that are the most critical in my life.
The trend is to add even more gun laws as we see the political environment heat up over this very volatile topic…the number won’t be going down anytime soon. There was a great quote in one of the comments that speaks to this back when the constitution of the United States was being written that I thought was appropriate as well…
“It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is to-day, can guess what it will be to-morrow.” –James Madison
So the next time someone asks you if you know the gun laws, you might want to ask if they mean all 23,000 or just the more popular and relevant ones…that should get the conversation started!