Handgun Laws Overview
Before using a handgun for any purpose, make sure you know the law.
- Although the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees citizens the right to keep and bear arms, federal laws regulate the interstate sale and transportation of handguns. In addition, every state government and many local governments have laws that govern and define the use of handguns.
- You should know your rights and responsibilities under your state’s laws pertaining to self-defense, the use of force, concealed carry, and open/unconcealed carry.
- If you should face a possible life-threatening situation, you must consider carefully the decision to use a handgun for personal defense. You could be:
- Disarmed and fired upon with your own gun.
- Held legally responsible for every shot you fire, including any that are unintended or miss their target.
- Charged with criminal misuse of a firearm if circumstances do not warrant that level of response.
- Sued in civil court even if you are found not guilty in a criminal court.
- Ignorance of handgun laws is not a valid excuse for violating them.