Federal Gun Laws

The debate on gun control includes many issues such as whether restrictions are permissible under the Constitution, and whether gun control laws actually help to control crime. State laws restricting firearms vary and are independent of federal firearms laws, which are surprisingly few compared to the estimated 300 major state gun laws. In addition, it has been widely estimated that the number of local gun laws could be as high as 20,000.

A list of the major Federal Law restricting gun control in the U.S. is strikingly short:

• 1934 – National Firearms Act was a response to prohibition and the rise of gangsters, with the goal of curbing the use of automatic-fire weapons.

• 1938 – Federal Firearms Act regulated and monitored the selling and shipping of firearms through both interstate and foreign commerce channels.

• 1968 – Gun Control Act implemented license requirements and regulation, as well as restricting the sale of firearms to convicted felons, the mentally incompetent, and drug users. The Act also outlawed mail order sales of rifles and shotguns.

• 1986 – Law Enforcement Officers Protection Act banned the sale of armor piercing ammunition that was capable of penetrating bullet proof clothing.

• 1990 – Crime Control Act created criminal penalties for possessing firearms within school zones; and restricted the assembly of illegal semiautomatic rifles and shotguns.

• 1994 – Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act enacted stricter rules for background checks.

• 1994 – Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act banned assault weapons and enhanced laws for the possession of guns by juveniles.

• 1999 – Gun Bill is passed that requires all new hand guns to have a trigger lock.

Proponents of gun control argue that stronger Federal laws are necessary to restrict firearms because state laws cannot curb the flow of guns from less restrictive states to more restrictive states. These advocates seek to ban specific firearms that are believed to be primarily used for criminal purposes or pose unusually high risks to the public. They also seek stricter regulations and restrictions on who may possess a firearm. Unfortunately, the actual impact of gun laws on crime is difficult to determine because there simply is not enough comprehensive, current, or accurate data to definitively assess whether there is a causal connection between guns and violence.

Various organizations collect data from the FBI and U.S. Census Bureau to provide some insight into the correlation between firearms and violence in the U.S. Four studies provide the following statistics:

1. In 2010, there were 14,748 murders reported by the FBI, and 9, 958 of those crimes involved a firearm;

2. There were 31,347 gun-related fatalities which include homicides, legal intervention, suicides, and accidents, in 2009;

3. Approximately 4.3 million victims reported non-lethal crimes including rape or sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, and simple assault in 2009. An estimated 22% of those crimes involved the use of weapons; and 8% of weapons used were firearms; and

4. In the five year period beginning in 1987, approximately 62,200 victims of violent crimes (1% of all violent crimes) used a gun to defend themselves. An additional 20,000 per year used a gun to protect property. These figures may also include persons who work as police officers and armed security guards.

Opponents of gun laws cite recent U.S. Supreme Court cases that hold the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects an individual’s right to possess a firearm for lawful purposes, such as self-defense, within the home and in federal enclaves. The Court has also affirmed lower court decisions that determined handguns are “arms” for the purposes of the Second Amendment. Critics of these decisions argue that the Constitution does not contain an express right of an individual to use firearms for personal self-defense, and that an individual’s need to protect themselves with weapons has been greatly diminished in modern society.

When Your Small Business Should Call In a Debt Collection Lawyer

It’s a sad reality, but sometimes customers just have no intention of paying you. There might come a time when you have exhausted all possible resources-when you have sent numerous letters, called countless times and maybe even met in person-but all to no avail. The account continues to be delinquent and each and every day it seems more and more likely that your money will be lost forever. If this is the case, it might be time to bring in the big guns, to enlist those infamous suited figures in the back room-it might be time to hire a debt collection lawyer.

When Your Small Business Should Call In a Debt Collection Lawyer

Simply by their presence, lawyers can be pretty effective in getting people to pay. Just the threat of going to court has the potential to incite people into action. Thus, before you hire a lawyer, it is a great idea to enlist his or her counsel and services in writing a demand letter for you (if, of course, the one you wrote before didn’t do the trick). As Justin Tenuto from Rocket Lawyer points out, “Sometimes, a professional correspondence from a practicing attorney will motivate your debtor to pay up. After all, debtors don’t want to end up before a judge, explaining their motives for not paying you.” You can sometimes even find a lawyer to do this for quite cheap (such as from Rocket Lawyer), but it is also a good idea to go with someone that you can develop a relationship with, just in case you want to pursue the matter further.

To Hire or Not to Hire?

If you do in fact have your sights set on fully enlisting a debt collection lawyer, you first have to run a cost benefit analysis to make sure this move makes financial sense. Debt collection lawyers are expensive and you don’t want to end up paying more for their services than you actually are trying to recover in the first place. The last thing you want to do is lose more money on this whole situation. Therefore, when deciding whether to go the legal route, access the financial viability of each option. If the account is very large and you can get a good chunk of it back even on top of the lawyer’s fees, then it might be a good idea to go ahead with the decision. Alternatively though, to hire a debt collection lawyer, you have to be willing to take your customer to court. If not, getting a debt collection lawyer might not be the best path.

Choosing the Debt Collection Lawyer for You

You should always do your research before committing to anything, and choosing a debt collection lawyer is no exception. It’s hard to imagine, but there are many different types of debt collection lawyers, specializing in a variety of areas. So, just like in choosing the right small business bank, you should also hire a lawyer that has experience with the specific situation you are struggling with. Dive a little deeper to figure out exactly what the qualifications are of a specific lawyer. Speak to references, examine track records and ask about strategies. Do what it takes to determine whether this lawyer is the one for you and the type of debt you are trying to recover. Remember that you have to balance the cost of the lawyer with the actual money you are trying to recover, so choosing the right lawyer definitely involves finding one with the right payment structure. After all, the whole point is to get paid.

Debt Collection Lawyer vs. Debt Collection Agency

You might ask yourself, why get a debt collection lawyer when I can just get a debt collector? While debt collectors are indeed an option, and often times less expensive than a lawyer, sometimes a lawyer is need for more difficult clients. Lawyers, as Attorney Jeffrey Curl explains, have a lot more flexibility and options of what they can actually do and how they can go about getting you your money.

The Last Resort

Debt collection lawyers are in fact the ultimate last resort. While there might be such a thing as a free lunch, there is no such thing as a free lawyer. Lawyers, as mentioned, are expensive and come at a hefty cost, a cost that will consequently cut into the money that you are trying to recover in the first place. Furthermore, getting lawyers involved definitely hurts the relationship you have with your clients, regardless of whether you want to do business with them in the future. For these reasons, lawyers should be the very last call, when everything you have done has failed to produce actual results.

Can You Own a Gun If You Have a DUI?

First and foremost, what is a DUI and can you own a gun if you have a DUI? DUI means driving under the influence. Normally, anyone convicted of a felony can’t own a handgun. However, it’s essential that you acquaint yourself with both federal and state DUI laws so that you can have a better understanding of the matter.

State laws regarding DUI and possession of a gun differ from one state to another. One reason why it is pretty hard to give a direct answer on whether one can own a gun with a DUI is the fact that a DUI can be classified as either a felony or a misdemeanor.

The difference between a misdemeanor and a felony depend on factors such as prior convictions, injuries that occurred as the result of your drunk driving and the presence of other passengers. In the case your drunk driving charge is a first offense and no one sustained injuries, most states will classify it as a misdemeanor. In some cases, with a first offense, a person can plea to a lesser charge like reckless driving. This however may require the help of a DUI lawyer.

In case it is the second or third time or manslaughter was involved, it will most likely be classified as a felony offense. This has more serious as well as long-term consequences.

In Wyoming and New York, two DUI charges within a span of ten years will earn you a felony, while other states including Texas and Georgia move DUI charges into felony status when you have been convicted more than twice.

Under Federal Law, anyone convicted of felony is not allowed to possess or buy any firearm. Although it is quite rare, there are some states that allow convicted felons to buy handguns but only after a certain duration has passed since the completion of their probation. Additionally, most states do not allow convicted felons to own or buy handguns without a governor’s pardon.

Although it is quite straightforward to conclude that felons are not allowed to buy or possess guns, it is trickier to determine the fate of someone who is facing a misdemeanor charge because state laws vary from one state to another. Furthermore, different states give misdemeanor cases different classes and guns laws apply to different misdemeanor groups differently.

For instance, in Texas, the term DUI is used to refer to minors driving under the influence while DWI is used to refer to adults. The first DWI charge in Texas is a Class B misdemeanor followed by a Class A misdemeanor and the third is a felony. Additionally, driving under the influence with a child passenger is also considered a felony in Texas. Anyone living in Texas that has been convicted of a Class A or B misdemeanor in the past five years isn’t allowed to buy a handgun. Furthermore, if the person has been convicted twice of the same offense within the past ten years, then he or she won’t be allowed to buy a gun.

The fact is that it is tricky to determine whether or not you can own a gun if you have a DUI, especially if the offense is a misdemeanor. You might find that one state is slightly lenient while another is very strict. However, the bottom line is that there are states that allow you to own a gun if you have a DUI provided the offense must not have occurred less than five years ago or twice in the past ten years. Additionally, in some states it is possible to own a gun if you have a DUI provided you get your governor’s pardon.