One of the biggest and most divisive issues in American politics right now is gun control. With each new, mass shooting (defined as four or more victims), antagonism continues to build between both sides of the gun control argument.
The Different Sides of the Gun Control Argument
Those who call for stricter gun regulations fear for safety in the country. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence revealed that around 114,994 people are shot each year in the U.S.; this includes murders, assaults, accidents, suicide attempts, suicide and police intervention. Opponents of stricter gun control, on the other hand, are more afraid of the loss of safety. They are adamant that the right to bear arms ensures citizens are able to protect themselves day-to-day, and – in a worse-case scenario – from a government that turns against its people.
What You Need to Know about Current Guns Laws
A recent Pew Research Center Survey estimated that 42 percent of U.S. adults in 2017 lived in a household with a gun, and around 30 percent owned a gun themselves. This number has most likely increased, due to “panic buying” brought on by fears of more gun control. While gun regulations vary from state to state, there are few key conditions for obtaining guns in the U.S. that are important to know about.
- Minimum age – The Gun Control Act of 1986 (regulates firearms at the federal level) requires that citizens and legal residents must be 18 years of age to purchase shotguns, rifles or ammunition.
- Individuals restricted from purchasing/possessing firearms – Fugitives, patients involuntarily committed to mental institutions and people deemed a danger to society are not allowed to purchase firearms.
- Federal and state regulations – State and local governments regulate whether its residents may carry guns in public. The laws regulating who may receive/possess guns are established at the federal level.
- Restrictions on firearm dealers – Dealers interested in obtaining a Federal Firearms License (FFL) must be 21 years of age.
- Background checks – The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993 requires holders of FFLs to conduct background checks. Those looking to purchase a firearm must fill out a federal form known as the ATF 4473.
- Permit requirements for purchase – At the moment only 12 of the 50 states require purchase permits for handguns. Just three of those states (California, Connecticut and Hawaii) require permits to purchase rifles and shotguns.
- Permits to carry firearms – Most states require permits to carry handguns. Although, concealed carry and open carry vary by state.
What Does this Mean for Your Business?
Recent Gallup polling indicates that there is an ever-growing desire for more gun control. In fact, 60 percent feel that gun laws should be stricter. So, what does this mean for your firearm business? If gun control does become stricter (and as the issue becomes more heated) it will become harder for you to find the merchant services it needs to operate smoothly. The solution? Seek help and services from a high-risk provider that has industry experience and that offers a firearm merchant account; an account specifically tailored to meet your business’ needs.
Author Bio: Electronic payments expert Blair Thomas co-founded eMerchantBroker, serving both traditional and high-risk merchants. His passions include producing music and traveling.