Restrictive, Cumbersome Gun Laws Burden Law-Abiding Citizens

Gavel with American flag

Restrictive and cumbersome gun regulations in some states may make non-offenders feel like common criminals. States, such as California, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Illinois, are prime examples of places where strict gun laws put into place by state-elected officials make obtaining guns legally harder than ever. Loose interpretation of the laws that govern firearms has ignited much debate.

Laws are a system of guidelines and rules enforced through social institutions to govern behavior. As to what particular behavior has a need for control often is up for debate. Society enacts most laws to ensure the safety or well-being of its citizens, such as the traffic laws observed every day. Others govern the financial set of standards related to banks and businesses. Then there are those regulating social conduct by imposing penalties on behavior, punishing offenders who endanger or threaten the health and safety of the public or an individual. Some states have laws that make it more difficult than ever for law-abiding citizens to own and carry guns.

California’s Unfriendly to Guns

One of the most restrictive gun-law states is California. That state begins by making a list of “California-approved” firearms. Officials must test and inspect those firearms to ensure they have state-mandated features before adding the guns to the California-friendly list. Additionally, California has a list of banned firearms that the state defines as “assault weapons” and military lookalikes.

And if you actually find a suitable handgun or long rifle, California caps the magazine capacity off at only 10 rounds. To buy a state-compliant firearm in California, you must pass a written test to get a Handgun Safety Certificate. As of Jan. 1, 2014, that also applies to long rifles. Once you obtain the certificate, gone to a licensed dealer and purchased a handgun, there is a 10-day waiting period. Aside from the hoops to jump through to get your firearm, if you finally do, you must register the sale and serial number with the Department of Justice (DOJ). And as of Jan. 1, that includes long guns.

In October 2013, Gov. Gerald Brown signed AB 711, banning the use of lead in hunting ammunition. Officials said this law protects the condors, which feast on carcasses left by hunters. Nothing comes easy for firearms owners in California.

Waiting Game: Illinois Piles on Paperwork

Until recently, Illinois residents had to abide by tougher gun laws. On January 5, 2014, that state began accepting applications for concealed-carry firearms. That makes Illinois the last state in the country to allow residents to have carry permits. But to legally possess a firearm or ammunition, residents must have state police-issued cards. Illinois has issued the Firearms Owners Identification Card (FOID) to residents since 1968. To obtain a FOID, a resident must pass a National Instant Background Check System (NICS) and Illinois Department of Human Services checks to prove he or she has not been mental institution patient within the past five years or been adjudicated as a mental defective. Legally, the state must grant a FOID card within 30 days of the date of receipt of the application, unless the state disqualifies the applicant.

Once an Illinois resident has obtained a FOID card, there is a 72-hour waiting period for handgun purchases and a 24-hour waiting period for long guns. To purchase ammunition, an individual must show a FOID. With purchases, a dealer must check with the Firearms Transfer Inquiry Program (FTIP) to verify that a FOID card is valid and perform an additional background check. Firearms purchased from a licensed dealer must include gun locks of some sort, unless integrated locking systems already are installed. Illinois is not as harsh as California, but there are processes, applications and identification cards that restrict firearms and ammunition and require potential owners to complete much paperwork.

New Jersey Requires Permit to Buy Ammo

In New Jersey, a resident must have a Firearm Purchaser Identification Card (FPID) to buy long guns or handguns. One consolation is that the FPID card is a lifetime card. For handgun purchases only, a resident also must get an additional permit from the Chief of Police. That permit expires after 90 days, and you must have one for each handgun you buy. Background checks through the State Bureau of Identification and New Jersey State Police, along with multiple references and additional application questioning, are mandatory for each handgun purchase permit.

Although some handgun ammunition may be used in select rifles designed to fire the caliber—such as .38 special, .22 LR, .45 Colt, and so on—the purchaser must have an FPID card to buy handgun-caliber ammunition. Hollow-point ammunition is not restricted from purchase, but you cannot carry it outside of your property or house or leave with it from a target range (N.J.S.A 2C:39-3F). You can transport it from a store to a dwelling and from home to a range. There are exceptions for hunters who want to use hollow-point ammunition. They can buy and own hollow point for hunting but not for personal defense use.

Connecticut Laws Create Civil Disobedience

One of the most recent disturbing gun laws was Connecticut’s registration of “military-style assault weapons” and high-capacity magazines. Firearms owners have to fill out an Assault Weapon Registration Form (DPS-414-C) and a High Capacity Magazine Declaration Form (DESPP-0788-C); both forms must be completed in the presence of a Notary Public. The state passed the registration law April 2013, following the Sandy Hook school tragedy. The deadline for owners’ registrations was December 31, 2013. Since the bill’s passing through in February 2014, the state has received an estimated 48,000 applications from a total of about 350,000 firearms. Most owners have simply ignored the required registration by exercising civil disobedience. Could Connecticut take the same turn of events as Colorado did in the passing of its strict gun-control efforts and choose to recall its officials? It is very possible, but for now, it is just disobedience.

Restrictions Affect Law-Abiding Citizens, Not Criminals

The Second Amendment is my gun permit
The Second Amendment is in serious danger if rogue lawmakers are allowed to run amok unbridled.

Do these laws really impact criminals or simply hinder law-abiding citizens? Of course they hinder law-abiding citizens. Most of the gun laws are based on the supposition of the elite that I will have mine and you will not. Lest you think we have not been indoctrinated, look at the facts. New York City had the most horrific of the old-time gun laws. The Sullivan Law was widely seen as selectively enforced to keep the poor in line. For decades in New York City and Chicago, the only people who could obtain gun permits were mobsters. Practically every member of the member of Capone’s crew had a permit, and Capone had a reserve police commission for many years. Politicians and judges of the day, and many today, are the crooked timber of the human landscape. When considering the actions of the majority of judges, remember politicians appoint them. One objective of most judges and attorneys is to build up favors with each other. In my opinion, the practice of law is an art all its own that is not connected to the public good. In 1732, an illustrious Scot, General Oglethorpe, settled a wasteland now known as Savannah. He strictly forbade lawyers and slavery. He was later overruled at the cost of the country.

Of course, there are decent men in every profession, but when it comes to gun laws and those who pass them, I think they are painted with a broad stripe. That stripe is well familiar to anyone who has studied the history of our people. By our people, I mean Americans. We came to America on different ships, but we are all in the same boat. My own ancestors are Scots, with Native American and an uncle Patillo thrown in. The English are not models of tolerance. It is arguable that the Jacobite rebellion was the first shot of the American Revolution. Soon after, the English passed Draconian laws that disarmed most of the colonies, and particularly the Irish and Scots. The point is—the fight against gun control is not simply about gun control. It is about an assault on freedom. We sometimes calls the anti-gunners Communist or Socialist, and not without reason. Look to history and the ones who have destroyed entire cultures. The National Socialists destroyed the entire European Jewish Community, a rich heritage. Many people and races of all types led to Berlin after World War II because they saw it as a Mecca of freedom and tolerance. The Nazis crushed that Mecca. In China, the Communists destroyed the art and culture of a millennia. The Irish, at one time, practically ceased to exist under English rule. If they will hang women men and children for the wearing of the green, will they hesitate to execute you for your guns? Of course not. In all creation, there are two powers that have completely destroyed civilizations. The first was the power of God, which decimated Sodom and Gomorrah, Pompeii and Krakatoa, and everyone died. The culture did not rise. The Stalinists in China, North Korea and Russia accomplished much the same, but none were as efficient as the second destructive power—the Nazis. How much of our heritage is being destroyed? Unlike our current regime, I believe that America and Americans are exceptional and that our heritage is a wonderful one, inspired by God and the finest ideas of man. After all, you do not see the refugees going the other way.

Across America, the police are now employed as yard police and will ticket you for an untidy lawn. In my opinion, the worthies do not fare well when facing real criminals. It is much easier for them to enforce repressive ordinances than to fight real crime and formidable criminals, which is another reason I believe we must be armed. Our government servants are no longer servants but an elite that seeks to see us serve them. How many freedoms have we lost in the previous decades? The only bright spot in some regard is the gun-rights front, with the growth of shall-issue states and the grass-rights movement. It is not about guns at all; it is about control. The aristocrats’ line is: “I have mine, the hell with you.” Remember the work of our founding fathers. When they founded American and wrote the Constitution, there had been nothing like this country for a thousand years. There was no freedom in the world, only monarchy and despotism. The founding fathers looked back to the golden age of Greek democracy. The world said it would not work. The next step, in a world sense, was the French revolution. Today the French are citizens, the Brits are subjects and Americans are citizens. A Greek with a sword was a citizen, otherwise a slave. Always remember that.


About the Author:

Bob Campbell

Bob Campbell’s primary qualification is a lifelong love of firearms, writing, and scholarship. He holds a degree in Criminal Justice but is an autodidact in matters important to his readers. Campbell considers unarmed skills the first line of defense and the handgun the last resort. (He gets it honest- his uncle Jerry Campbell is in the Boxer’s Hall of Fame.)

Campbell has authored well over 6,000 articles columns and reviews and fourteen books for major publishers including Gun Digest, Skyhorse and Paladin Press. Campbell served as a peace officer and security professional and has made hundreds of arrests and been injured on the job more than once.

He has written curriculum on the university level, served as a lead missionary, and is desperately in love with Joyce. He is training his grandchildren not to be snowflakes. At an age when many are thinking of retirement, Bob is working a 60-hour week and awaits being taken up in a whirlwind many years in the future.

Published in
Black Belt Magazine
Combat Handguns
Rifle Magazine
Gun Digest
Gun World
Tactical World
SWAT Magazine
American Gunsmith
Gun Tests Magazine
Women and Guns
The Journal Voice of American Law Enforcement
Police Magazine
Law Enforcement Technology
The Firearms Instructor
Tactical World
Concealed Carry Magazine
Concealed Carry Handguns

Books published

Holsters for Combat and Concealed Carry
The 1911 Automatic Pistol
The Handgun in Personal Defense
The Illustrated Guide to Handgun Skills
The Hunter and the Hunted
The Gun Digest Book of Personal Defense
The Gun Digest Book of the 1911
The Gun Digest Book of the 1911 second edition
Dealing with the Great Ammunition Shortage
Commando Gunsmithing
The Ultimate Book of Gunfighting
Preppers Guide to Rifles
Preppers Guide to Shotguns
The Accurate Handgun
The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (7)

  1. I sometimes think that Congress and States and other ‘law makers’ never read the Constitution, especially the second amendment. It says “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.” It does not say that the militia has the right to keep and bear arms; but infers that the militia is made up of those of whom the rest of the sentence is speaking and that those are the ones who have this right. It says THE PEOPLE have a right to keep and bear arms. It does not say only those people who form a militia have the right. It also says the this right SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED. That means a State cannot make laws that infringe on this right. It means that Congress cannot make laws that infringe on this right. The people of the US need to start waking up and actually read what they say they stand by and then act on what it says, not on what gun haters or hunt haters want it to say.

  2. Virtually all the gun laws that have been made are unconstitutional and it is time to start getting rid of them and set the people free to enjoy the 2nd amendment.

  3. Illinois also requires you to show your foid card before you can hold the firearm at the store. Just to hold the firearm at the store to look at it you have to show the foid card.

    recently I had to renew my foid card. When I received my new foid card someone else picture was on it. That took some time to fix, and while that was being fixed I was breaking the law because I didn’t have a valid foid card due to Illinois screw-up.

    1. I sincerely feel for gun owners in the communistic states. All gun owners, as well as people need to be fighting to get peoples inalienable rights back in these messed up states. Everyone needs to get involved, regardless if they reside in another state. Reason for this, is if we allow certain politicians to get away with invalid laws pertaining to the 2nd. It’s only a matter of time, till the politicians begin to trample on the 1st, 4th, 5th and even the 10th amendment. The fed will continue to over-reach with our rights. The gun control laws, are all about “People Control.” And once the government has total control of the people. Our democratic republic is no longer. And we’ve taken a path of tyrannical rule. This is why, it’s so important for ALL the people to get involved. Because, soon enough, the government will attempt to regulate a right(s) that’s true and dear to you…like the 4th or the sovereignty of the States remaining independent. This is EVERYONES FIGHT. Not just the people residing in States with restrictions on the 2nd. The picture of the woman holding a poster, saying…”The 2nd Amendment…my Gun Permit.” Couldn’t have been conveyed any better or be so true.

      I reside in Tennessee, I suppose you can call it a “Free State.” The internet is a great place to get our message out to these politicians. We need to write our representative/senators at the State and Federal Level, voicing our concerns. And if they continue to make poor decisions. Then we the people will be forced to “FIRE” these politicians. And replace them with true patriots. This is an excellent starting point. As well as, we need to be organized. There are organized groups out there. And people need to join and be active and let our collective voices be heard as ONE.

      In no way am I advocating any type of physical force. That is always reserved as the very last resort. Absolutely ALL options have had to fail multiple times. However, I’m quite optimistic and truly believe, that in the end. We will be victorious. This is going to be a tough and long fight. So we must remain focused, diligent and relentless in all our endeavors. Remember when writing or however you contact your representatives/senators, to please be POLITE and level headed. And don’t make up statistics or false comments. I write them several times. What I do, is, made a master and simply fill in the blanks…i.e., names. dates etc. And then send those letters out once a month. I’ve also, joined our local organized gun advocacy group. In which we hold rallies, notifying people and attempting to get them more actively involved and other activities. If you don’t have an organized group in your vicinity. Then this is a good time to form one. I cannot tell enough people, how important this is. And by sitting on the side lines. We will see our rights be eroded and reduced slowly and in incremental stages. Until those rights become negated. Due to, the lack of not getting actively involved.

      America is EXCEPTIONAL and such a beautiful nation. And I am not willing to see our great nation become like Europe et. al. If that happens, at least, we can say we put up a fight. Sorry if my comment comes across as a lecture. However, our Fore-Fathers had to go thru something like this. And now it’s our turn.

      Frantz & Modernminuteman……, in NO WAY am I Addressing you or pointing you out as individuals. If my comment came across like that. Then I sincerely apologize to you BOTH. I know you and others truly care. And doing whatever you can to help.

      To anyone who reads this. please join the NRA. I know some people aren’t thrilled with the NRA or other orgs like them. But, they do hold a lot of political power and sway with politicians. Therefore, we do need them now more than ever. If you can only do one thing. Then join the NRA and become a member.

      As you might be aware. Ex-Mayor Bloomberg has started a new anti-gun organization and merged it with Moms against guns…or something like that. The Ex-Mayor is also contributing $50 million of his own money to get these groups off and running. Also, Obama, request roughly $350 million in his Budget to go towards Gun Control. Essentially, to use for ads and get people on their side to bring back the previous gun ban bill. That was subsequently voted on back in April 2013. Apparently, it didn’t pass that time. But with that sort of money and tax payer money. And with a more friendlier congress, it’s quite possible it could be Passed in the near future.

      Therefore, it’s more important to go out and vote in Nov. 2014. To ensure, we get pro gun people in office and get rid of the anti-gunners (politicians). This is probably one of the most important elections coming up. And we need to make sure our voices are heard loud and clear. My very Best to ALL gun people out there. I have the utter most respect for our community. We cannot let Obama or afford for him to be so sneaky. BTW, his Budget request was subsequently REJECTED….This Time. Pisses me off that Obama wants to use tax payer money. And is attempting to accomplish this behind closed doors per se.

      Respectfully submitted,
      Dr. Rick

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