As we discussed in a recent post, violent crimes involving weapons are on the rise. This has led to increased enforcement all across the nation. Lawmakers at all levels are also taking action in response to this rise in crime.
The president signed a bill regulating firearms into law in June. So, what should you know about these changes?
What could the new federal law mean?
This is the first significant law regulating firearms and safety for nearly three decades. According to NPR, the new federal rules will:
- Urge states to pass red flag laws
- Prevent partners – not just spouses – convicted of domestic abuse from obtaining firearms
- Create stricter background checks for people between the ages of 18 and 21
It is no secret that this matter – and this law – is a point of controversy. However, opinions on gun control aside, the new law could lead to an increased risk of weapons charges, especially at the federal level.
What about the state level?
This new law at the federal level is having a large ripple effect simply because there are not many federal laws regulating firearms. Most laws that do this exist at the state level.
So, what about North Carolina’s laws on firearms? The state is almost completely in the middle ground. While the laws seem extensive and detailed, the state ranks 24th in terms of strict gun laws.
Even so, North Carolina does ban the possession of a weapon for individuals who:
- Are under a domestic violence order
- Have a felony on their criminal record
- Lack mental capacity
There are also several conditions necessary to obtain a permit. Yet, crimes involving weapons continue to rise considerably at the state level.
So, what is the risk?
As we mentioned above, there is already increased enforcement on weapons crimes around the country. Federal agencies are teaming up with state agencies in major operations to arrest individuals. Opinion on gun laws does not matter in these cases – the increased attention on these matters could very well increase the risk of weapons charges.
While North Carolina’s laws may not be as strict as some, it is still critical to be aware of this risk.