Sometimes, possessing a firearm is against the law

Gun violence is a topic that many people don't bring up due to the conflict it can cause. Some believe that guns reduce violence. Others believe they cause it.

Regardless, the fact is that 467,321 people were victims of firearm crimes in 2011. Firearms were used in approximately 68 percent of murders, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and they were also involved in 21 percent of aggravated assaults and 41 percent of robberies.

Gun crimes may take place with weapons that were legally purchased, but they may also occur when weapons are purchased secondhand and without background checks. The National Firearms Act restricts the sale or possession of machine guns, silencers and short-barrel shotguns, though these still may appear on the streets. Those who wish to have them have to go through an extensive background check and register the weapon. They must also purchase a tax stamp for the weapon. Certain states, primarily New York and California, prohibit certain firearms and weapons, like those mentioned above.

When is it illegal to own a gun?

It is illegal to own a gun in a few instances. For example, if you are subject to a court restraining order that involves your child, partner's child or partner, you may not be able to possess or purchase a weapon. If you received a dishonorable discharge from the United States Armed Forces, you may also not be able to possess a weapon.

There are many times when gun ownership is illegal. If you're accused of owning a gun illegally, your attorney can help you understand what steps to take next.

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