What Are Firearms?
In broad terms, what are firearms? This question has been in the minds of Americans since the Second Amendment was adopted into the Constitution of the United States. The question is as old as the Constitution itself, yet we seem to have a lot of confusion when it comes to this topic. Here are some facts.
Firearms generally are any kind of gun created for the purpose of being readily carried and utilized by a person. The word is also defined differently in other nations. In Canada, for example, the gun is always considered to be “firearms” while in Great Britain, it is not. In the United States, the word is used to describe both types of guns. However, technically “firearms” is the legal term under the law while “firearms” is the common term used in public conversations.
What are the differences between firearms and weapons? The primary difference is that firearms can be used in a violent crime whereas weapons are only allowed in certain crimes. However, the distinctions become blurred when you include other types of weapons in the equation. For instance, a crowbar would fall into the category of weapons while a baseball bat or other such object would not. There is also the very distinct difference between what is a firearm and what is a weapon. A rifle is not a firearm but a weapon in the eyes of most jurisdictions.
So what are firearms if they are not allowed in certain crimes? In short, a gun is a gun whether it can fire bullets or not. So long guns and handguns are the same thing. However, there are several distinctions as to what are firearms. For example, a shotgun is a shotgun whether it can shoot BBs or not, a pistol is a handgun and so on.
So what are firearms if they are legal? In most jurisdictions, possessing a firearm without a license is considered unlawful. This includes any objects that are considered to be firearms as well as ammunition. Although some jurisdictions have made some exceptions, generally they define “firearms” as anything that can be used to shoot a gun (with the exception of a paint ball or similar type of shot) including guns found in the drawer of a desk or a handgun that is kept in the person’s place of employment. Also, it includes guns owned by the state and by local municipalities as long as they were used in accordance with local law.
So what are firearms for you? If you are interested in obtaining a firearm for personal use then you should research your options thoroughly. There are a number of good online retailers that sell both antique and newer guns and licensed dealers. Keep in mind that if you are going to take up the responsibility of purchasing a firearm you need to know what you are getting. You do not want to end up with something that is not appropriate for your needs. Also, don’t assume that just because it looks like something that might be a firearm it is one.