Assault rifle sales up on anti-gun law fears - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Assault rifle sales up on anti-gun law fears


Following the tragedy in Connecticut, there has been extra discussion about the purchase and possession of firearms. 

Some people are concerned that new legislation will be enacted to make gun buying more difficult.

With every state writing their own separate laws, sometimes it can be confusing to keep them straight.  We wanted to know, what does it take to buy a high powered weapon, such as an assault rifle?

It turns out the laws in Georgia and Alabama are very similar; you only need to show a state ID that proves you're eighteen years old.  You also don't need any special permit, but one thing that is the same in every state, you are required to pass a federal background check. 

"When we call that in, they tell us if it's okay to release the firearm at the time of purchase, if not, you could possibly be delayed, and they never tell us why, and if a firearm's delayed, it could take up to three days in order for it to process," said Tim Parker of Money Mizer in Phenix City.

If an application is delayed, it means the buyer has matched one or more categories on a long list of potentially disqualifying circumstances, such as a felony conviction, a person with active warrants, or a history of domestic violence.  Following three business days, a background check examiner will notify the dealer to either proceed with or deny the transaction. 

If they pass immediately, the gun buyer can walk out of the store with an assault rifle in as few as fifteen minutes after walking in the door.

Handguns have a few more restrictions than rifles.  Purchasers must be at least 21-years-old and they have to be bought in the state where the customer lives.  All licensed dealers, including pawn shops, are held to the same requirements.

List of disqualifying criteria for firearms background checks.  (Source: FBI)

  • A person who has been convicted in any court of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year or any state offense classified by the state as a misdemeanor and is punishable by a term of imprisonment of more than two years.
  • Persons who are fugitives of justice—for example, the subject of an active felony or misdemeanor warrant.
  • An unlawful user and/or an addict of any controlled substance; for example, a person convicted for the use or possession of a controlled substance within the past year; or a person with multiple arrests for the use or possession of a controlled substance within the past five years with the most recent arrest occurring within the past year; or a person found through a drug test to use a controlled substance unlawfully, provided the test was administered within the past year.
  • A person adjudicated mental defective or involuntarily committed to a mental institution or incompetent to handle own affairs, including dispositions to criminal charges of found not guilty by reason of insanity or found incompetent to stand trial.
  • A person who, being an alien, is illegally or unlawfully in the United States.
  • A person who, being an alien except as provided in subsection (y) (2), has been admitted to the United States under a non-immigrant visa.
  • A person dishonorably discharged from the United States Armed Forces.
  • A person who has renounced his/her United States citizenship.
  • The subject of a protective order issued after a hearing in which the respondent had notice that restrains them from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner or child of such partner. This does not include ex parte orders.
  • A person convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime which includes the use or attempted use of physical force or threatened use of a deadly weapon and the defendant was the spouse, former spouse, parent, guardian of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabiting with or has cohabited in the past with the victim as a spouse, parent, guardian or similar situation to a spouse, parent or guardian of the victim.
  • A person who is under indictment or information for a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year.

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