Top 3 Things You May Not Know About Gun Ownership

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When I first bought a gun, I wasn’t really sure what I was getting into. I knew I was looking for protection while I was out by myself and traveling for work. Still, there were a lot of details I didn’t know or didn’t realize. 

If you’re thinking about buying your first firearm, keep the following details in mind. It may not be everything you need to know, but it can give you a better idea of what you need before you head out to the gun and ammo store. 

Permit Laws

First, keep in mind that not every state has the same laws on carrying a gun. While you may have an open carry license in one state, other states may have outlawed open carry, which means you’ll need to know the laws in the states you’re passing through. 

A lot of times, it’s easy to forget about the gun in your car or bag. Keeping in mind that you have a weapon on your person is important if you plan to keep it near. 

Getting a Gun Can Take Time 

Most of us are aware that there are some exceptions and loopholes to this law. In some cases, you may be able to get a gun from a gun show, where a background check and other precautions may be loosened. However, I also believe in getting firearms the right way, so I’m always careful. 

Gun laws are strict and getting stricter about who gets to have a deadly firearm. However, the rules are pretty simple. 

When you go in to buy a gun, you may not expect a background check before buying anything. Because you’re purchasing a deadly weapon, you may be checked for any suspicious activity. For example, if you’ve been charged with domestic violence, you may be unable to buy a gun. 

Also, while in some states you can walk in to the store and leave with a gun that same day, other states have waiting periods of up to a week or more.

You’re Taking a Big Responsibility

While most of us are aware that guns are dangerous, it can be easier to forget just how dangerous these weapons can be. You’re facing a big responsibility, and while a gun is a tool, it’s one that could hurt people around you. 

It’s vital to be careful when handling or purchasing a gun. The lives of those around you are potentially at risk, and even hurting someone who’s attacking you can be risky and frightening. Because of that, you need to consider that responsibility before you decide whether to buy your first gun. 

You may want to consider having a lawyer in your pocket depending on the state in which you live. As odd as it may seem, you don’t always have the right to shoot someone, even in self defense (depending on the state you live in). At least consider a hefty umbrella policy if you choose to carry.

Curious about How Gun Ownership Affects You? Read On

I’ll admit, owning a gun has made me, as a woman traveling on her own, feel a lot safer on the road. It’s hard to feel confident when you’re alone and concerned about your safety. However, that doesn’t mean I was totally prepared for everything I needed to know when I bought my first gun. In fact, I didn’t realize how much practice I needed before I felt comfortable carrying it. 

That’s not to mention the laws I found myself dealing with as I traveled from state to state. It became a sore point, especially in the few times I was pulled over and had to disclose the fact that I had a gun to the officer. If you’re considering a gun for your safety while traveling, check out my other pages on the site, where I go into some detail about state laws and what you need to know about gun laws. 

Gun Laws for Illinois Residents

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In my years as a traveling salesperson, I’ve met many other people who struggle every day with the laws surrounding guns in their state. That’s especially true of those who carry their weapons where they go. For example, I don’t feel so safe traveling alone as a woman in unfamiliar places, so I always keep my weapon on hand. 

I was reminded how important that is just a few days ago, as I was traveling through Illinois. I was stopped, and eventually, I was let go. Not everyone, however, is so lucky. Weapon permit laws are serious, so if you’re an Illinois resident and own or have considered owning a gun, consider these gun laws before you head down to the local guns and ammo shop. 

Concealed Carry Permits 

I was about an hour past the Illinois state line when a trooper pulled out behind me and flipped his lights on. I slowed down, came to a spot in a safe place, and followed all the right protocols. When the officer came to my window, though, I made a point to tell the truth. 

“Officer, I just want to let you know that I do have a concealed weapon in this vehicle, and I have my permit to do so.”

He asked to see it, of course, so I passed the permit through with my license and registration. It turned out that I just had a headlight out, so I went on with a warning and a promise to fix it in the morning.

However, it could have been serious if he had suspected or seen that I had a weapon in my car without my notifying him. Illinois requires a concealed carry license issued by the state of Illinois AND a gun-owner identification card (Illinois is the only state to require this) for gun-owners like me, so if I hadn’t had that with me, I could have been in big trouble. 

A friend of mine, unfortunately, did have that trouble. 

Gun Law Violations Are Serious 

A friend of mine has lived in Illinois all her life, and she’s a careful woman. She borders on superstitious even, and she’s never been one to wave her gun around. Most times after renewing her license, she goes ahead and puts the next due date on her calendar. This time, though, she made a mistake. 

She happened to be out for drinks with a few friends, and she forgot to leave her gun at home before she left. She wasn’t driving, and she wasn’t severely intoxicated—but it was enough that a local police officer decided that she was breaking the law. 

If she didn’t have lawyers like the ones at Chicago Trusted Attorneys on her side, she could have been convicted of a Class A misdemeanor. That could have affected her future, but as it is, she’s now just focused on expunging the arrest. 

Taking Concealed Carry Permits Seriously

Do I understand the reason for my concealed carry permit? Of course. I’ve proven that I’m responsible enough to carry my handgun, but not everyone is so careful. Sadly, though, it feels that the laws, at times, can be a little unfair at times. 

For example, a misdemeanor may not be as serious as a felony, sure, but you could still go to jail for a misdemeanor. That’s a major issue for anyone, not just travelers like me. While I’m the careful type, too, I’m also aware of just how costly a mistake could be. 

That’s why, if you’re a gun owner, it’s important to stay aware of your rights and the laws affecting you—in every state you go. Chances are good that, if you have a run-in with the police and you’re not prepared, it could go a whole lot worse than my busted headlight and warning. So, stay informed and stay up-to-date on your paperwork.