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What does the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act say?

The federal government has established laws that control what guns you can own and how you can use them. For example, the National Firearms Act (NFA), restricts the ownership of sawed-off shotguns, silencers and machine guns. Although people can still own these NFA weapons, there's a lot of red tape that needs to be taken care of in order to legally do so. The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act also regulates firearms.

The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act was passed in 1994. This federal act offers nine primary disqualifiers for gun ownership. If any of the following is true for you, you're not permitted to own a handgun under federal law:

-- You have a misdemeanor domestic violence conviction on your record.

-- A court restraining order is in place against you regarding a child or your intimate partner.

-- You renounced your U.S. citizenship.

-- You were dishonorably discharged from one of the United States Armed Forces.

-- You're an undocumented or illegal immigrant.

-- A court has deemed you to be mentally disabled, or you are currently living in a mental institution.

-- You have an illegal substance abuse problem.

-- There's an active warrant for your arrest, and you're escaping the law.

If any of the above applies to you, it's important to speak with a lawyer who handles weapons laws before you attempt to purchase a gun. Also, if you've been accused of a Brady Act violation, you may want to discuss criminal defense options with a lawyer who has experience defending individuals against weapons crimes charges.

Source: FindLaw, "Gun Laws," accessed April 10, 2017

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