State Gun Laws

Indiana Gun Laws

Gun Laws Of Michigan

Mississippi Gun Laws

Mississippi Gun Laws

Like many states in the deep south, gun laws in Mississippi are lenient and often times abused. Per every 100,000 residents of the state there is 12 murders by firearms-third highest ranking for such a statistic. According to the Brady scorecard (which ranks states gun control laws from 1 to 100), Mississippi scored a meager 6. 

Mississippi law on guns does not require a permit to purchase handguns or long guns. Registration and licensing for both forms of firearms is not required as well in the state. The right to carry a handgun is the only complexity within the gun laws in Mississippi. A permit is not required to carry a rifle in the state, but can be disallowed in specified areas such as schools, places of worship, or government buildings. 

Slight intricacies revolve around possession for firearms in the state, but such restrictions pertain only to former convicts. Unless a pardon has been granted, the right to carry a gun will be considered unlawful for any individual convicted of a felony. In addition to a pardon, a former convict can possess a gun through a rehabilitation certificate.

The application process must be completed at the court in which the individual was previously sentenced. If grounds for rehabilitation can be proved following jail time, the right to possess a gun will be permitted in the state.

Gun laws in Mississippi are fairly complicated in regards to carrying a concealed pistol. It is considered legal for any person over 18 years of age to carry a concealed firearm within his home or place of business. The right to carry a gun will also be upheld (concealed or not) during any sporting event that requires the use of a firearm. All other instances where a weapon is concealed will require a license. The application process for concealment is quite lengthy and will be issued 120 days after request.

The applicant must be at least 21 years of age, live in Mississippi for a minimum of 12 months, possess a clean criminal background with no history of drug abuse, and show no signs of mental instability. Once the background check is administered, the applicant must submit fingerprints, a full-face photograph, and a fee of roughly $100. If granted, the license is valid for 4 years, but does not authorize the right to carry a gun in places such as schools or colleges, places of worship, athletic events, parades, or public parks. 

Gun laws in Mississippi are more rigorous for dealers of firearms than buyers. Although a state license is not required to distribute; merchants, dealers, or pawnbrokers must keep a record of all sales. These records must include date of sale, description of firearm, type of caliber, and the name of the purchaser.

To avoid the sale of illegal guns, these documents are susceptible to random police inspection. Although stringent, dealers have freedom in regards to the specifications of each firearm sold. There are no restrictions or limitations on ammunition, caliber, or magazine size.

 

Missouri Gun Laws

Missouri Gun Laws

Missouri gun laws are among the weakest in the country, but such leniency has not reflected in the states violent crime statistics. This contrast can be attributed to the state's prideful history and culture towards the right to carry guns. To elaborate this cavalier attitude towards gun control a quick reference chart towards licenses, registrations, and permits is appropriate. For clarity sake, handguns and rifles will be divided into two groups. 

Rifles and Shotguns

     No permit is required to purchase rifles and shotguns

     Registration of rifles and shotguns is not required under Missouri gun law

     Ownership licenses are not required

     A permit to carry shotguns and rifles is not required

Handguns

     No permit is necessary to purchase a handgun

     Registration of handguns is not required

     Ownership licenses are not required

     The right to carry handguns requires a license

License of ownership and registration of firearms is not mandatory under Missouri gun law. State permits are also not required for the purchase of handguns or long guns in Missouri. Miscellaneous restrictions, which outline the use of such firearms is fairly generic according to the interpretation of Missouri gun legislation.

It is a misdemeanor to possess an unloaded fire arm under the influence of drugs or alcohol (it is a felony if the weapon is loaded). The only other regulation in regards to possession under Missouri gun law is: unlawful for a felon (5 years from imprisonment), fugitive, or habitual drug user to possess a concealable firearm. Like many states in the mid west and deep south, Missouri law gun is very loose and possess very little regulation.

The right to carry guns in Missouri is a little more rigorous. It is illegal to carry a concealed handgun without a concealed carry endorsement, which is labeled on the Missouri driver's license.

To obtain a carry endorsement the applicant must be at least 23 years of age, a citizen of the United States, and reside in Missouri for a minimum of 6 months. Applications to legally carry and conceal a firearm are submitted to the sheriff of the county of residence. The application includes basic information, state and federal background checks, fingerprinting, and proof of weapons training completion.

Once all documentation is filed the sheriff has three days to issue the certificate of qualification for a concealed carry endorsement. In addition to the endorsement, any state concealment permit will be upheld by Missouri gun laws-the right to carry guns will be considered legal if any concealment permit is shown to law enforcement. Once obtained the endorsement, is valid for 3 years.

The right to carry guns, whether concealed or not, is always considered unlawful in airports, hospitals, schools, churches, bars or restaurants, and sporting events. Like most states, Missouri gun law is lax in regards to purchase, ownership, and registration, but is strict when it comes to concealment.

According to the Brady Campaign (popular movement to further increase gun control laws), Missouri has some of the weakest gun laws in the country. Although crime isn't an issue, Missouri borders the most states in the country and is susceptible to illegal gun trafficking. Since Missouri gun law has no regulations on dealers, and does not require background checks on all firearms sales, funneling of weapons to felons and convicts has become a substantial problem.  

 

Idaho Gun Laws

Idaho Gun Laws

Idaho gun laws do not require the the registration of firearms. Also, the provisions of law in Idaho do not require that owners of firearms be licensed in order to own them.

Individuals seeking to purchase handguns do not need to acquire a permit to do so, and can readily purchase rifles, shotguns, and handguns at any certified or registered firearms dealer. The main requirement to purchase firearms under Idaho gun laws is that the person be aged at least 18 years, and be subject to passing a FBI-sanctioned background check through the National Instant Check System, also known as NICS.

Minors under the age of 18 are able to purchase firearms only if they can provide written consent signed by a parent or legal guardian. It is considered, under Idaho gun law, illegal to provide minors under the age of 16 with ammunition–shells or gunpowder–for the exception of rounds or shells to be used in shotguns or rifles and only up to a .22 caliber. This transaction of ammunition also requires the written consent of a parent or guardian as well.

There is no permit or license required for the possession of firearms, but Idaho gun laws do require a license to carry concealed weapons.  Though there may not be any permits needed, Idaho law do have possession restrictions. Any person that has a prior conviction to a felony charge is not allowed to possess any firearms. Minors under the age of 18 may have in their possession a rifle or shotgun only with the written permission of a parent or guardian. It is unlawful for a minor to be in possession of a hand gun.

A concealed weapon is defined by Idaho gun law as a weapon being carried on person physically, whether it is on their person or in a container of any kind, where it can be easily accessed by the person for use; it is also considered a concealed weapon if the firearm is not easily visible when being carried. Applicants for a concealed weapons license must be over the age of 21 and a legal resident of the United States. Applicants may be considered as ineligible if they fit any of the following junctures or criteria:

     Conviction in a crime in which a jail sentence of over one year is served.

     Abuse of illegal drugs, controlled substances, and/or alcohol.

     A dishonorable discharged from the military.

     Under an order of restraint.

     Conviction of a misdemeanor crime of a violent nature within the past three years from the date of the application.

The application of the license is submitted to the director of the Idaho State Police, in which a fingerprinting is required for first-time applicants. The director of the state police also has the discretion of issuing a license for concealed weapons to individuals between the ages of 18 to 21, if such applicants provide an undeniable necessity to carry a concealed weapon.

It is important to note that a concealed weapons license is not necessary if a person in possession of a concealed weapon is outside of the border limits of cities and/or towns.

 

Illinois Gun Laws

Illinois Gun Laws

Illinois statutes regarding firearms have proven to be among the more restrictive in the United States. The possession, purchase, and carrying of firearms are contingent upon an individual obtaining a Firearms Owner’s Identification Card, or FOID. The requisition of the FOID is an application that is not implemented by most of the states, and proves to be one of the key features regarding Illinois firearm laws. The registration of firearms is not required by Illinois statutes, the only exception being the city of Chicago, in which any type of firearm must be registered.
The purchase of any kind of firearm, be it rifles, shotguns, or handguns, require that an individual have a permit, which is known as the FOID. Rifles and handguns are subject to a holding period of twenty-four hours, while handguns have waiting period of seventy-two hours for actual delivery. The exception to the waiting period provision is that it does not apply for law enforcement officers, an authorized dealer, or a non-resident at a gun show that has been approved by the Illinois Department of State Police. 
Records of a sale are to be obtain by a dealer for a period of ten years, which will include the firearm’s description and serial number, and the buyer’s identification information, as well as the FOID number. All purchases are contingent to a background check, including firearm transfers conducted at gun shows. The minimum age requirement to purchase a firearm in the state of Illinois is eighteen.
As mentioned before, a permit must be obtained before a purchase can be carried out. The Firearms Owner’s Identification Card also acts as a firearm license for the owners, which is required under Illinois statutes. The application for the FOID is made to the Illinois State Police and the application can be obtained via the internet or by calling the Firearm Owners Identification Program directly. Certain requirements must be met in order to be considered eligible for a FOID:
Be over the age of 21
For those under the age of 21, and least 18 years of age, a written letter of consent signed by the parent or guardian is to be furnished at the time the application is submitted.
The parent or guardian must also be considered eligible to acquire a FOID in this circumstance
No records of convictions of felony crimes
Not a deemed as an addict to narcotics
Not have been admitted as a patient to a mental facility in the past five years
Is mentally and physically capable to properly handle a firearm
Not an illegal alien in the United States
Has no current restraining orders issued or pending
No convictions of crimes including battery, assault, or other similar crimes, in which a firearm was used or found in possession, within the past five years
No convictions of domestic batter or similar crimes committed after January 1st, 1998
No convictions within the past five years dating from January 1st, 1998
The FOID application must be presented with the proper identification materials, such as a driver’s license or state ID card. The FOID will have a fee of ten dollars and is valid for five years from date it was issued.
The Possession of a firearm also requires to for an individual to have obtained a FOID. This also extends to ammunition as well. For those under the age of 18, it is considered illegal under Illinois firearm law for such an individual to be in the possession of firearm.
Under Illinois statues, it is unlawful to possess a firearm in any public forum or establishment, as well as schools. Students who are exempt may be in possession of firearm if they can provide for proof that they are engaged in firearm training classes, target shooting on school grounds, or other activities approved by the school.
In such a case, firearms are to be transported unloaded and in an appropriate case. Possession of firearms in the city of Chicago is illegal unless it is appropriately registered with the authorities. A certificate will be issued that must be carried at all times the firearm is in possession or being carried, and must be readily presentable to any law enforcement official if requested. Handguns that have not been registered before 1982 are not allowed, and thus any handgun in Chicago after said date is illegal by Illinois law.
The carrying of firearms is restricted only to rifles and shotguns, and individuals must also have a valid FOID. There is no permit to carry issued for handguns, and such practice is illegal under Illinois statutes. Guns can only be carried in one’s personal property or place of business.
The exception would apply for those engaged in activities such as hunting and other recreational purposes, and must provide for the valid licenses for such activities. The transportation of firearms to and from such practices must be disassembled or rendered as non-functioning, and not easily accessible in the vehicle. The firearm can also be transported unloaded and in a suitable case, as long the individual has a valid FOID on their person.

Alabama Gun Laws

Alabama Gun Laws

Alabama gun laws seem to have fairly more  

liberal regulations regarding the acquisition, possession, and registration of firearms. Alabama gun laws do not require individuals to procure a gun permit for the purchase of rifles, shotguns, and/or handguns. Generally speaking, anyone can buy a firearm at a local sporting goods store or hunting store without having to produce a permit. 

However, even though the state of Alabama may have its own regulations and laws regarding firearms, it still must adhere to certain federal laws and guidelines. Alabama residents that are over the age of 18 are allowed to purchase rifles and shotguns from any licensed dealer in any given state. However, the sale and purchasing of handguns is restricted only to residents that are at least 21 years of age.

Any gun that does not have a shoulder stock is not considered as a rifle or shotgun, and therefore, is not available for purchase by individuals that are under the 21 year age limit. Furthermore, Alabama law also restricts the sale of any firearm to individuals that may have a history of violence, disorderly conduct, or alcohol-related problems. Also, any individual that can be legally declared as mentally unstable may not purchase any kind of firearm. 

The Alabama gun laws state that the possession of any kind of firearm is not unlawful without a permit. No permit is necessary to posses a firearm, as long as the individual is over the age of 18, has no criminal record, does not have a documented history involving drugs or alcohol in relation to disorderly conduct, and is not legally declared as having mental-stability problems.

The only exceptions to this rule is that a person can not posses a firearm while being in a public place, or within the immediate proximity of a demonstration; secondly, the possession of short-barreled or sawed-off shotguns and rifles is also prohibited. 

Carrying firearms openly is also allowed by Alabama gun laws, however; there are key exceptions to the rule. The most notable being that it is against the law to carry a concealed firearm without a permit.

The only necessary Alabama gun permit required in the state is to carry concealed firearms. Unless otherwise allowed by local law enforcement officials, it is illegal to carry a pistol, either on his person or concealed in a vehicle, unless the individual is within his/her own private property.

The only situation where this may be reconsidered is under specific circumstances, where an individual can provide for a valid reason to carry a handgun. Only under special mandate of the proper official, and under his/her own discretion, may the concealed firearm law in Alabama be overturned.

Any individual who is not a resident of the state of Alabama may carry a handgun, as long as they can provide the necessary documentation as being qualified and licensed to carry a handgun in their state of residency. Lastly, police and law enforcement officials are the outstanding exemption to this law as well. 

 

Alaska Gun Laws

Alaska Gun Laws

Currently, Alaska gun laws do not require registration

or permit to purchase or carry rifles, shotguns, and/or handguns.
Although Alaska gun laws are still subject to federal gun laws, they also maintain their own unique provisions and guidelines.

In order to purchase a firearm in the state of Alaska, the main requirement is that the individual be at least 18 years of age. However, it is considered illegal to sell or transfer any firearm to people who have been found guilty of committing a felony. This statute also includes any individual who was tried as a minor, but if tried as an adult, the rendering would have resulted in a felony.

The only conditional circumstance is that if such an individual found was guilty of a felony, they may eventually become eligible to purchase a firearm, but only after ten years or more have passed since the date of sentencing. It is also considered illegal to sell a firearm to any person who may be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or has a mental condition that would prohibit the use of a firearm.

Possession of firearms in the state closely resembles the regulations and guidelines of Alaska law for the purchase of shotguns, rifles, and handguns. There is no proper registration or permit required to possess a firearm. However, individuals who have been found guilty on felony charges are also prohibited from possessing firearms, unless such charges have occurred in over ten years time and been dismissed.

Other regulations seem a little more unique to the state of Alaska. Under law, it is illegal to posses a firearm on school grounds–either public or private–unless given strict permission to do so by the proper officials of the school or pertaining district. The only exception to this, is that an individual that is at least 21 years of age my possess a firearm in a vehicle.

Possession of firearms is also prohibited on other public and private grounds, such as government buildings–courthouse or courtroom–day care centers, and domestic violence and sexual abuse shelters.

It is also prohibited for any place that sells any kind of liquor to possess a loaded firearm on the premises. The only people that are held in exception are the owner or lessee, and the immediate employees while being on the site of the business.

Alaska gun laws allow for the carrying of a concealed handgun, as long as the person is over the age of 21 and meets the requirements to be considered eligible to possess a firearm.

A permit is not necessary; however, permits are available for those who want to be considered eligible to carry a concealed firearm in other states. The permit is available to those who have been residents of the state for over 90 days prior to the application, has not been convicted of two or more misdemeanors in the past six years, and has not been ordered to enter an alcohol treatment or drug abuse program currently or in within the past three years.

 

West Virginia Gun Laws

West Virginia Gun Laws

Gun laws in West Virginia seem to fall under the category that can be deemed as the least restrictive in the United States. The State Constitutional Provision states under Article 3, Section 22: “A person has the right to keep and bear arms for the defense of self, family, home and state, and for lawful hunting and recreational use.” The state’s intention is to uphold the people’s Second Amendment rights.
There is no necessary permit to sell or purchase a firearm; this also includes renting, lending, or gifting firearms, as long as the person receiving the weapon is considered lawfully allowed to be in possession of a firearm. Possession of handguns, shotguns, or rifles is not restricted to permit holders either, but individuals must be qualified by state and federal law. Individuals that meet one or more of the following are denied possession of a firearm under legal statute:
     Individuals convicted of a crime punishable by over one year in prison
     Individuals with felony convictions
     Any person dishonorable discharged from the military
     Illegal residents of the United States
     People who may deemed as addicts of drugs, controlled substances, and alcohol
     Any person involuntarily committed to a mental institution
     Any person with a restraining order against them
Gun laws in West Virginia state the legal age requirement to possess or purchase a rifle, shotgun, or handgun is 18 years of age. However, in order to be considered eligible to carry a concealed weapon or handgun, the person must be at least 21 years of age and be licensed by the state. Qualified applicants must also be a legal resident of the United States.
Any person with a criminal background containing felony convictions, restraining orders due to domestic violence, or have a physical or mental incapability rendering them unable to handle a handgun are immediately disqualified for a license to carry. Gun laws in the state also require that the applicant complete a training and safety course that will prove them competent in the handling and discharging of a handgun.
The course must be completed prior to applying for the license, and must be administered by a qualified agency or instructor such as the National Rifle Association, military or law enforcement agencies, or certified institution. The application is to be submitted to the local sheriff’s office pertaining to the applicants county of residence. Background checks are conducted in order to insure that the applicant is fully qualified under the states gun laws. If approved, the applicant is responsible for a fee of $15, and license is valid for five years from the date of issuance.
The open carry of a firearm is also allowed by the state. It is key to note that certain restrictions concerning open carrying of firearms are imposed by local or town legislature that must be followed as law. Some of these junctures are “grandfathered” in to the local legislature because they existed before the state’s gun laws. Currently, these restrictions are review and may be subject to removal or amendment in the future.
Minors under the age of 18 may be in possession of firearm under certain circumstances, as allowed by gun laws in West Virginia. A minor under the age of 18 is permitted to carry or possess a firearm by the given permission of a parent or lawful guardian. Minors are also allowed to possess a firearm if the minor is engaged in hunting or sporting activities that require the use of a firearm.
In terms of transporting a firearm, gun laws state that the weapons being transported be unloaded and secured in a case. Those exempt are individuals with a license to carry a concealed weapon and those with a special license issued due to disability.

Oklahoma Gun Laws

Oklahoma Gun Laws

Not surprisingly, the gun control laws in Oklahoma are essentially non-existent. As is common with other “cowboy” states, Oklahoma’s chart for licenses, permits, and registration is as follows:

Requirements for Rifles and Shotguns
  No permit is required for purchase
  Registration for rifles and shotguns is not necessary
  License of ownership is not required
  A permit is not required to carry rifles or shotguns

Requirements for handguns
  No permit is required for purchase
  Registration is not necessary
  License of ownership is not required
  Under Oklahoma gun control laws a permit is required to carry or conceal
The few restrictions that exist in regards to possession and ownership are common across all states. According to Oklahoma gun control laws it is considered illegal to sell any firearm to an individual under the age of 18. The only instance where an 18 year old could legally use a firearm, is if the minor was given a rifle or shotgun from a guardian for hunting or educational purposes. It is also considered unlawful for a felon to possess or carry any form of firearm.
Oklahoma gun control laws are more complex in regards to carrying and concealment. Open carrying (unloaded) is legal and does not require a Concealed Carrying License (CCL) under the following circumstances: When going to or from the person’s private residence or vehicle, to a gun shop, gun show, or for any form of hunting/sport activities. According to Oklahoma’s gun control laws, it is also legal to transport an unloaded weapon in a motor vehicle at any time. All other forms of carrying or concealment require a CCL.
The application process to obtain a CCL is surprisingly rigid and extensive. According to Oklahoma gun control, laws the basic requirements to apply are: Must be 21 years of age, a US citizen, an Oklahoma resident, and must have completed a firearm’s safety and training course.
Most common disqualifications will include criminal history, mental illness, or addiction to drugs and alcohol. The application process begins at the sherriff’s office and must be made under oath in the county where the individual resides. The lengthy process will begin with fingerprinting and a basic background check performed by the sherriff’s office.
This procedure will take 14 days, and if passed, the application will then be sent to the state’s bureau of investigation. Under Oklahoma gun control laws, the OSBI is permitted to have the application for 90 days. During this time frame the OSBI will conduct state and federal criminal background checks, run fingerprints, and administer any additional checks at their discretion before issuing or denying a state CCL. If granted, the CCL is valid for 5 years. Although a complicated process, this is the extent of Oklahoma’s gun control.
Dealers and distributors have literally no state regulation under Oklahoma gun control laws. There is no state licenses, record keeping, nor is contact with the state required for dealers. Sellers in accordance with Oklahoma gun control also will not have their shops inspected by police. In addition to such laxity, there are no background checks performed at gun shows, nor are there limitations on bulk purchases, ammunition, or magazine size. Machine guns fall under the umbrella of the federal government. 
Some states are in need of firmer stances on gun control than others. Considering Oklahoma’s violent crime statistics have stayed in a particular range over the last two decades, most would agree that their necessity to alter laws is much smaller than others. With a maverick culture and steady crime rates present, Oklahoma’s gun control laws will undoubtedly remain loose and nonrestrictive.

Oregon Gun Laws

Oregon Gun Laws

At first glance Oregon looks like many other states in regards to its gun control policy. The chart below will support this statement:

State requirements for rifles and shotguns
     Permit to purchase rifles and shotguns? No
     Registration of rifles and shotguns? No
     Licensing of owners of rifles and shotguns? No
     Permit to carry rifles and shotguns? No


State requirements for handguns
     Permit to purchase handgun? No
     Registration of handguns? No
     Licensing of owners of handguns? No
     Permit to carry handguns? Yes
The common factor among states with lenient laws towards firearms is the above chart. No permit is necessary for purchase, registration of handguns is nonexistent, and licensing for owners is not necessary for all firearms. Although this stance is regarded as loose, Oregon should be excluded from this group for one determining factor. Most states with lenient laws towards firearms fail in two distinct areas-the buying side and selling side. These two sides are obviously linked and this is why Oregon’s laws towards firearms should be differentiated.
The purchasing of firearms in Oregon is widely considered to be legal and safe. Dealers and distributors must record all transactions and report their records to the state. In addition with state communication, dealers also must comply with annual police inspections. Although licenses aren’t required to deal firearms, a clean model is present to avoid the distribution of handguns to dangerous civilians. 
The most commendable provision in Oregon gun laws is in regards to gun shows. Commonly unregulated, these markets breed swarms of illegal handgun transactions. Most states do not comply with the Brady laws, and do not require background checks for potential buyers; Oregon has instituted such a policy. In order to purchase a handgun, or any firearm at a gun show, a comprehensive Brady background check will be administered. This simple procedure greatly curbs gun trafficking, and the illegal sale of firearms to convicts, addicts, or those who are mentally unstable.
The institution of background checks at time of purchase is admirable, but other Oregon gun laws are incredibly fragile. The application process to conceal a handgun is among the easiest in the nation. The basic requirements are: Individual must be 21 years of age, a principal resident in the country which the application is processed, mentally stable, can demonstrate safety with a handgun, has not been found guilty of a felony in the past 4 years and possess no warrants for arrest. After the candidate passes this stage, fingerprints and a photograph will be taken and the applicant will hear back within 45 days.
Oregon does not possess the most stringent of gun laws but in reality nothing more is essential. The state’s violent crime statistics have been low for decades and there is no strong necessity to adopt a firm stance on firearms. If all the states with casual gun laws were to be ranked from 1 to say 40 in regards for necessity to change (One being a state such as Nevada that greatly needs a new stance on firearms), Oregon would most likely be ranked towards the bottom.   

Rhode Island Gun Laws

Rhode Island Gun Laws

Rhode Island and its legislature intends to uphold its residents’ Second Amendment Rights. The State Constitutional Provision states, “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed,” as written in Article 1, Section 22. Though at first glance, Rhode Island’s firearm laws seem to coincide with some of the country’s less stringent state policies. However, they do include provisions that other states with similar legislature do not impose.
Though the state does not require a gun permit for the purchase of rifles, shotguns, or handguns, it does require for a proper application form. The seller must then conduct a background check of the intended buyer through the local law enforcement officials or the State Police superintendent. Various copies are made to be sent to the Attorney General, the law enforcement agency conducting the background check, and one is kept by the seller.
The person or licensed firearms dealer must keep the copy for a period of six years. Furthermore, a seven-day waiting period is also instituted by law, and the physical transaction of the weapon from the seller to the buyer may not occur until the wait-period has lapsed. The purchaser must also be at least 18 years old and compliant to the federal regulations detailing the qualifications of possession of a firearm.
The purchasing of a handgun is slightly different than that of shotguns or rifles, but no gun permit is required. The age requirement is raised to 21, and the prospective buyer must be eligible to possess a handgun by law, and be a legal citizen of the United States. Along with the necessary waiting period, a prospective purchaser of a handgun must also complete a handgun instruction and safety course. This requirement may be met by completing one of the following:
     Completion of the state-issued hunter safety course.
     Completion of the pistol safety course administered by the Department of Environmental Management, as well as the administered test.
     Passing the DEM handgun safety test.
An application must also be submitted to the seller and conduct the necessary steps, as described with the process of purchasing a rifle or shotgun. Lastly, no licensed firearms dealer can deliver a handgun without providing for a trigger lock or similar device, which may be at the expense of the buyer.
A gun license or gun permit is not necessary for possession for adults of any kind of firearm. Minors under the age of 18 require to get a gun permit and the completion of a weapons training course, as long as he/she is given the written consent of a parent or legal guardian.
Those prohibited from possessing a firearm include people convicted of a crime that is of a violent nature, illegal aliens, any person that is regarded as mentally incompetent, and any person that has been subjected to treatment in the previous five years for illegal drugs, controlled substances, or alcohol.
The concealed carrying of handguns also requires a special gun license or gun permit. A qualified applicant must be 21 years of age and meet the criteria to possess a firearm under state and federal law. Furthermore, the applicant must also successfully complete a shooting test and showing a valid need to carry a concealed weapon.