While I don’t get like get into a debate on the political aspects of gun law on my blog, I do like to talk about how some of these laws can impact the law-abiding gun owner and their families. What happens in many states, including our own, is that when a gun law passes, not all gun owners either comply or possibly even know about it. That is an issue for any gun owner and something I want to make sure all of you, my readers, are aware of as well.
What happens is that an initiative or law is passed at the state level and then gun owners are supposed to understand how to comply with the law when it goes into effect. This seems relatively simple on the surface but is actually quite complex in the actual execution. There are many examples where a law was created and passed for one primary reason but there are many underlying issues associated with the law that most don’t either realize nor are not sure how to comply. It isn’t an issue of whether or not they will or won’t comply…they may just not understand it.
A good example of this is the recent buzz about I-594 in Washington State. While many believe on the surface it is about instituting a law where all gun owners need to have a background check before owning firearms, there are many other components of the law that are in upheaval and constant debate as to what they really mean. For example, the big issue with this measure is the “possession and transfer” implications of the law. Confusing and difficult for many citizens to understand and comply with.
Many may be in violation of the law simply because of the way it was written. Take for example the situation in Maryland where they enacted the Firearms Safety Act of 2013 in response to the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings. This was sweeping law changes that impacted many law-abiding gun owners almost immediately. There is a great discussion of this in the SunHerald, “Appeals court hears arguments on Maryland gun-control law.” Here they talk about the potential appeals to some parts of the law that are very difficult to enforce and may be impacting thousands of gun owners.
In the Maryland situation, they limited magazine cartridges to 10 rounds and put a ban on 45 assault weapons. In this situation, if you are a gun owner that is impacted by this, say you have magazines with more than 10 rounds, what do you do at this point. You are immediately in violation of the law unless you dispose of these magazines. And of the 45 weapons banned, how many do you lawfully own? What do you do with these at this point after a law is passed? This is where the average gun owner can get into some sticky situations if they aren’t aware of the depth and breadth of the laws being passed.
I recommend everyone who owns a gun take on this additional responsibility to know what the laws are in the state for “every gun and accessory” you own. And make sure they are in a personalized Gun Trust so they are handled in your estate and your family/friends know what their responsibility is in handling these firearms should anything happen to you. If you haven’t done these things, I would move them toward the top of your “to-do list” and talk to a qualified gun law attorney so you know if you are in any violation of the current laws and you have protection for your family with regard to transfer and ownership of these firearms. Even if it is just one gun…it can have significant impact depending on the specific firearm. Be proactive…the law can be a very unforgiving foe if not understood.