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Gun Storage Fundamental to Safe Gun Ownership

Safe Firearm Storage As a gun owner, it’s your responsibility to safely store your guns when you are not using them. They should be inaccessible to anyone other than authorized persons. A dresser drawer or top closet shelf are insecure and no place to store a firearm. So what are the best and safest ways to store your firearm?

Keep the gun unloaded. Until you are at the gun range or out hunting, bullets should be stored separately. This safety precaution most importantly prevents mishaps like misfiring in the home or a child accidentally shooting the gun and injuring themselves or others. Storing the gun and bullets separate also prevents a loaded gun ending up in the wrong hands.

In addition to storing your gun this way, you should also keep it in a locked box or gun safe. Well concealed gun boxes can blend right into a closet or room and even if found, cant be opened without a key or passcode. Gun safes are another alternative especially for owners with multiple firearms.

There are also trigger and cable locks that brace the trigger, preventing not only misuse but firing while in storage. A trigger lock is a long cable usually made of steel that gets looped through the action of the gun. A cable lock is placed around the trigger so it can’t be moved at all. It’s important to note that these types of locks should not be used as the only type of safe storage.

In addition to keeping your gun properly stored and locked up, educating your family about gun safety can help prevent firing accidents inside and outside of the home. Explain how dangerous guns can be and that they are not toys. Being a firearm owner is a huge responsibility and safe storage of your guns shows how seriously you take that responsibility. It also can prevent any type of accidental shooting or injury from happening in your home.

Concealed Weapons Permits Vary State-to-State

Gun & HolsterRight now there aren’t any federal laws that specifically cover concealed weapons. The laws and regulations are determined state by state and vary greatly between them all. Each state gives different permits and licenses for shotguns, handguns and even other types of handheld weapons like pepper spray and knives.

 

In the state of New York residents can apply for a concealed to carry permit. They must undergo a background check and take a certification course to qualify. The concealed permit granting process is done county by county. The closer a citizen lives to New York City, generally the harder it is for them to get a permit. Carrying concealed without a permit is considered a felony in New York State.

 

A concealed weapon permit in Texas will allow you to carry your gun essentially anywhere. The only limits include schools, courts, racetracks and airports. Unlike many other states, concealed weapons can be carried in public places including bars. Texas will also issue a permit to non-residents, which is also rare.

 

For example, only residents of California can obtain a concealed weapon permit there. Out west, a good reason is needed to grant this type of permit even after you have completed a training course and passed a background check. California also requires proof of good moral character. Like New York, permits are given by county, but issued by the county sheriff or police chief.

 

Washington D.C. does not allow concealed weapons at all. One of three areas that have this law, they are currently being sued for amendment violation. Every single firearms possessed by a resident must be registered and carrying outside of the home or shooting range is prohibited. To register a gun however, you must go through a ballistics test as well as a background check.

Gun Law & Ownership Basics
Firearm Ownership Transfer

Under federal regulation, unlicensed arms dealers are allowed to transfer firearms to a resident of the same state as long as the seller has no reason to believe the individual is prohibited from possessing or owning a firearm. Certain restrictions apply from state to state, based on attorney general regulation. Unlicensed arms dealers, however, are strictly prohibited from transferring firearm ownership to residents of a state besides their own.

All out of state firearm transaction sales must be conducted through a local Federal Firearms Licensee liaison. Only after the intended recipient has passed a background check and completed an ATF form may they complete the firearm transfer.  Renting or loaning temporarily across state borders for sporting purposes is completely legal.

Reregistering/Deregistering

Only firearms subject to the National Firearms Act (NFA), which is machineguns, short-barrel firearms, silencers, and the like must be registered with ATF. Sporting and hunting firearms, such as shotguns and rifles, need not be registered under federal guidelines. But checking with your state attorney general is always advised, as gun laws do vary from state to state.

Convicts & Firearms

Though the Gun Control Act of 1968 prohibits persons who have been convicted of a “crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year,” from possessing and receiving firearms and ammunition, they are legally allowed to own an antique firearm. Defined as any firearm manufacturing before 1898, what an antique firearm can extend to replicas, so long as there was no modifications allowing for conventional, fixed ammunition. This means a convict can own any muzzle loading rifle, shotgun, or pistol which cannot use fixed ammunition and is designed to use black powder.

As defined by the ATF, convicts cannot possess or receive an “antique firearm” if it “(1) incorporates a firearm frame or receiver; (2) is a firearm which is converted into a muzzle loading weapon; or (3) is a muzzle loading weapon which can be readily converted to fire fixed ammunition by replacing the barrel, bolt, breechblock, or any combination thereof.” Moreover, because an “antique firearm” is not a “firearm,” it is lawful for a prohibited people to receive or possess black powder for use in an “antique firearm.”

Post-Conviction Reinstatement

Felons whose convictions have been expunged, or for which the person has been pardoned, are not considered convicted. Unless that person was expressly prohibited by the law of the jurisdiction from possessing firearms, they are legally allowed to possess and own firearms.

Otherwise, those convicted of a federal offense can only regain the ability to lawfully receive, possess, or transport firearms from an expressed Presidential pardon.  Meanwhile, for those convicted of a state crime, Congressional appropriation has prohibited ATF from spending any funds to investigate or act upon applications for relief from Federal firearms disabilities submitted by individuals. Therefore ATF cannot relieve those convicted of a state crime of the firearms restriction.

Deer Hunting Fundamental to Population Control
An estimated 500,000 deer roamed throughout America in the early 1900’s. Due to fear of extinction, strict hunting laws and regulations were put into place so the population could naturally grow. This effort did increase the deer population, but now it’s too large. Today, there are more than 20 million deer in the US and this number is increasing each year.

 

While you might think that having a growing deer population isn’t cause for concern, you might be surprised at the negative impact. Human safety, economy and quality of life are all affected. Hunting deer serves as a counterweight to negative implications.

 

Each day our safety is at risk when we drive along highways. Some accidents cause minor damage to the car, but others can cause the death to the driver and passengers in the vehicle. Deer, buck in particular, can even show signs of aggressive toward humans if they feel threatened. And with an estimated 40 deer per every square mile of some states, confrontation is more frequent than most realize.

 

How is the increasing deer population affecting our quality of life? More car/deer motor vehicles accidents and damaging property both cause financial and emotional stress. Deer can also carry diseases that can be transferred to pets and have been associated with the spread of Lyme disease. Hunting effectively compensates for the diminished wolf population, especially in the northeast.  

 

Hunting keeps the deer population in check as well as decreasing the amount of reproductions each season. Without hunting deer, the population will only continue to increase and cause more problems for residents and their homes.

Shooting Protection Shouldn’t Impact your Hunt
Wearing ear protection while hunting is imperative to hearing loss prevention. Whether its earplugs or noise cancelling headphones, these help protect against loud noises like gunshots and help you focus. But they can also disadvantage a hunter in more ways than one.

 

One of the keys to hunting is being aware of your surroundings. Using sight and smell, you can be more aware of your animal behavior and presence. But what about your hearing ability? Animals make noise just by walking through foliage or when they try to hide from you by quickly running away.

 

Being able to hear the slightest rustling of leaves or the snap of a branch can grab your attention and give you enough time to prepare the perfect shot. These quiet sounds go unheard when using ear protection, which means missed opportunities to get that duck, deer or bear.

 

Losing your hearing to traditional hearing protection can be detrimental to your hunting. If you go through the greatest of lengths for a good hunt, don’t let missing out on animals noises get in the way, or more importantly, even put your safety at risk.

 

Each hunting season, hundreds of hunters will get accidently shot because other hunters don’t hear them. For your own personal safety, especially when hunting large, dangerous animals, it’s imperative to be able to hear where the animals are or if another hunter sees them and tries to let you know.

 

Fortunately there are advanced, electronic sound-deadening ear protections from firearms which simultaneously amplify noise beyond a certain distance. These options allow you to protect your hearing while actually hearing distant noises- say from that of a deer or fellow hunter- better. Being able to hear clearly can keep yourself and other hunters safe while keeping you more aware of your surroundings.

You Only Have One Pair of Ears
If you have ever shot a 12 gauge shotgun, .50 caliber revolver, or even a .38 revolver, you notice a few things with the first trigger pull. Aside from the recoil, the sound without protection can be detrimental without ear protection.

Revolvers, with an exterior hammer and a wider cylinder gap than pistols, tend to be much louder. Shotguns, meanwhile, have a much different action and ammunition than rifles. Though shotgun velocity isn’t near that of a rifle, because of the different mechanics and shot explosion, they are much louder. Still, because of the farther distance a shotgun muzzle explosion is from your ear than handguns- especially revolvers- revolvers can be much more detrimental to your hearing.  

You are over 2 feet closer to the muzzle of any handgun- revolver or pistol- than to any long gun- shotgun or rifle. With this in mind, when firing handguns you have to pay special attention to protecting your ears for the longevity of your hearing. Gunshots are on more the extreme end of the spectrum as far as ear-damaging noises go. If you have ever waited for a subway without ear protection, 30dBs less than the 130dBs average gunfire emits, you have experienced some hearing damage.

Even a small .22-caliber rifle can make noise of around 140 dB while big-bore rifles and pistols can easily break the 175dB barrier. With some revolvers and shotguns emitting an explosive 175dBs, magnified at indoor shooting ranges, you can do some permanent damage in a single shot. Protecting your ears from this kind of explosions will require more than the traditional noise-deadening headset.

Electronic noise protection is some of the best you could get. Yes these options are a little more expensive than traditional deadening sets, but this difference will come through when you aren’t deaf by the time you’re 40. Many of the electronic protection solutions also include custom fitting and smart technology to maintain natural sounds detection, especially important for hunters and soldiers or security in combat.

The only exposures with a higher decibel velocity humans face conventionally are the sound of jet plane engines. Because it is your hearing, taking the best means possible to protect your hearing when shooting is always advised. You were born with it, it has to last you the rest of your life, and should be protected as such.

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