| Opinion/The Review

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Current gun laws

Letters home ...

Traveling abroad for personal, educational or professional reasons?

Why not share your impressions — and those of residents of foreign countries about the United States — with Trib readers in 150 words?

The world's a big place. Bring it home with Letters Home.

Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or

Daily Photo Galleries

Monday, April 22, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

I have not seen much in the media regarding the current laws on firearms purchases.

Federal law requires a background check for any gun purchased through a licensed federal firearms dealer. The buyer must be at least age 18 to purchase a rifle or shotgun; 21 for a handgun.

Anyone with a felony conviction cannot even touch a firearm or round of ammunition, let alone buy or possess any firearm without committing a felony.

Purchasing through the web or in another state requires the gun to be shipped to a local licensed federal firearms dealer. Then that dealer runs a background check before the buyer can take possession of the weapon.

Buy and selling firearms as a business without a federal firearms license is a crime. Private transactions from and to personal collections are legal as long as the sales are not a subterfuge for conducting business. In other words, there is no such thing as a legal “unlicensed gun dealer.”

In Pennsylvania, a resident may buy or sell a shotgun or rifle without any background check. Any transfer of a handgun, however, must be through a federal firearms dealer. The seller and buyer go to the dealer and the buyer must pass the background check and the seller must provide proof of identity.

It seems to me that additional laws are not going to change much, but enforcing existing laws would do a great deal to reduce “gun violence.”

Michael A. McGinnis

Allegheny Township

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.



Show commenting policy

Most-Read Letters

  1. Deer slaughter no solution
  2. Wolf’s tax & shale jobs
  3. Beat ISIS, then what?
  4. Compassionate VND carriers
  5. Bright lines: The president & terror
  6. West Mifflin Area tactics called bullying
  7. All killing is wrong
  8. Alabama justice applauded
  9. Wanted: Jobs for jihadists
  10. Illogical on energy
  11. Obama blame game