In recent months there has been a lot of discussion and numerous debates about the right to own a firearm and gun control laws. This week in the Legal Corner, let’s discuss the rights and laws associated with the right to own a weapon and gun control regulations.
In response to recent massacres, including the killing of 20 first-graders in Newtown, Connecticut, 12 moviegoers in Aurora, Colorado, and most recently the nine church members in Charleston, South Carolina, our legislature is considering placing additional restrictions on our right to possess guns. This issue will be a major topic to debate in the upcoming presidential election.
The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution addresses the right of Americans to bear arms. The Second Amendment states that “a well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
This amendment can be interpreted in two ways. Some believe that the amendment is stating that it is necessary for the states to have an organized military in order to secure and protect, however, this should not affect the right of the people to bear arms without interference. In other words, the State has local and state law enforcement who carry weapons for the security and protection of the people, the people also have the right to personally keep and carry weapons without state interference.
However, the opposing argument is that the right to bear arms comes only when a part of an organized state militia and in order to protect the state. Thus, only law enforcement and state military should be allowed to carry weapons. This argument could be used to support stiffer gun control laws.
The National Rifle Association is one of the leading nonprofit organizations dedicated to preserving and protecting our Second Amendment right to bear arms. Since its inception, the role of the organization has been essential to the ongoing gun control debate.
Supporters of stricter gun control laws stress the importance of more regulations to keep firearms out of the hands of dangerous people. However, this concern is not fully addressed because many firearms are illegally purchased on the streets of many neighborhoods across the country and find their way into the hands of children, people with dangerous intentions, and in some cases, convicted felons.
Convicted felons are prohibited by law from possessing firearms. Next week, we will discuss the proper procedure for obtaining a weapon legally, and some of the legal consequences for violating North Carolina firearm statutes.
Please remember that this information is only meant to inform our readers. This article does not include all of the detailed laws and regulations related to gun control. If you have any additional questions about the Second Amendment and your right to possess a firearm, please consult an attorney. As always: Be informed. Be prepared.
Bellonora McCallum is an attorney at the McCallum Law Firm, PLLC, in Rockingham. Reach her at 910-730-4064 or visit www.mccallumlawfirm.com.