When it comes to gun laws, the term "common sense" is often used to describe regulations that aim to strike a balance between protecting public safety and respecting the rights of responsible gun owners. While the specifics may vary from state to state, there are several common sense gun laws that are widely implemented across the United States.

One of the most fundamental common sense gun laws is the requirement for background checks. Background checks help ensure that firearms are not sold to individuals who are prohibited by law from owning them, such as convicted felons or individuals with a history of domestic violence. These checks are typically conducted by licensed firearms dealers, both in-store and online, to verify the eligibility of the buyer.

Background Check Requirements by State

StateBackground Check Required?ExceptionsPenalties for Non-Compliance
AlabamaYesPrivate salesMisdemeanor
ArizonaYesPrivate sales, transfers between family membersFelony
FloridaYesPrivate salesMisdemeanor
MichiganYesPrivate salesMisdemeanor
NevadaYesPrivate salesMisdemeanor
New HampshireNoN/AN/A
New JerseyYesNoneFelony
New MexicoNoN/AN/A
New YorkYesNoneFelony
North CarolinaNoN/AN/A
North DakotaNoN/AN/A
OregonYesPrivate salesMisdemeanor
PennsylvaniaYesPrivate salesMisdemeanor
Rhode IslandYesNoneFelony
South CarolinaNoN/AN/A
South DakotaNoN/AN/A
VirginiaYesPrivate salesMisdemeanor
West VirginiaNoN/AN/A

Another common sense regulation is the implementation of waiting periods. Waiting periods require a certain amount of time to pass between the purchase of a firearm and its actual transfer to the buyer. This allows for a cooling-off period and provides an opportunity for further background checks to be conducted. Waiting periods can vary in length, ranging from a few days to several weeks, depending on the state.

Safe storage laws are also considered common sense regulations. These laws require gun owners to securely store their firearms to prevent unauthorized access, particularly by children or individuals who may pose a risk to themselves or others. Safe storage can include using a lockbox, gun safe, or trigger lock to ensure that firearms are not easily accessible to those who should not have access to them.

Another important common sense gun law is the prohibition of firearms in certain locations, such as schools, government buildings, and private property where firearms are not allowed. These restrictions help maintain public safety in areas where the presence of firearms may pose a heightened risk.

Prohibited Locations for Firearms Across the United States

StateSchoolsGovernment BuildingsPrivate Property
AlabamaProhibitedProhibitedAllowed with Consent
AlaskaProhibitedProhibitedAllowed with Consent
ArizonaProhibitedProhibitedAllowed with Consent
ArkansasProhibitedProhibitedAllowed with Consent
CaliforniaProhibitedProhibitedAllowed with Consent
ColoradoProhibitedProhibitedAllowed with Consent
ConnecticutProhibitedProhibitedAllowed with Consent
DelawareProhibitedProhibitedAllowed with Consent
FloridaProhibitedProhibitedAllowed with Consent
GeorgiaProhibitedProhibitedAllowed with Consent
HawaiiProhibitedProhibitedAllowed with Consent
IdahoProhibitedProhibitedAllowed with Consent
IllinoisProhibitedProhibitedAllowed with Consent
IndianaProhibitedProhibitedAllowed with Consent
IowaProhibitedProhibitedAllowed with Consent
KansasProhibitedProhibitedAllowed with Consent
KentuckyProhibitedProhibitedAllowed with Consent
LouisianaProhibitedProhibitedAllowed with Consent
MaineProhibitedProhibitedAllowed with Consent
MarylandProhibitedProhibitedAllowed with Consent
MassachusettsProhibitedProhibitedAllowed with Consent
MichiganProhibitedProhibitedAllowed with Consent
MinnesotaProhibitedProhibitedAllowed with Consent
MississippiProhibitedProhibitedAllowed with Consent
MissouriProhibitedProhibitedAllowed with Consent
MontanaProhibitedProhibitedAllowed with Consent
NebraskaProhibitedProhibitedAllowed with Consent
NevadaProhibitedProhibitedAllowed with Consent
New HampshireProhibitedProhibitedAllowed with Consent
New JerseyProhibitedProhibitedAllowed with Consent
New MexicoProhibitedProhibitedAllowed with Consent
New YorkProhibitedProhibitedAllowed with Consent
North CarolinaProhibitedProhibitedAllowed with Consent
North DakotaProhibitedProhibitedAllowed with Consent
OhioProhibitedProhibitedAllowed with Consent
OklahomaProhibitedProhibitedAllowed with Consent
OregonProhibitedProhibitedAllowed with Consent
PennsylvaniaProhibitedProhibitedAllowed with Consent
Rhode IslandProhibitedProhibitedAllowed with Consent
South CarolinaProhibitedProhibitedAllowed with Consent
South DakotaProhibitedProhibitedAllowed with Consent
TennesseeProhibitedProhibitedAllowed with Consent
TexasProhibitedProhibitedAllowed with Consent
UtahProhibitedProhibitedAllowed with Consent
VermontProhibitedProhibitedAllowed with Consent
VirginiaProhibitedProhibitedAllowed with Consent
WashingtonProhibitedProhibitedAllowed with Consent
West VirginiaProhibitedProhibitedAllowed with Consent
WisconsinProhibitedProhibitedAllowed with Consent
WyomingProhibitedProhibitedAllowed with Consent

Additionally, many states have implemented red flag laws, also known as extreme risk protection orders. These laws allow family members, law enforcement, or other concerned individuals to petition a court to temporarily remove firearms from individuals who may be at risk of harming themselves or others. Red flag laws provide a mechanism to intervene before a potential tragedy occurs.

It is important to note that while these common sense gun laws aim to promote public safety, they also respect the rights of responsible gun owners. It is crucial for individuals to understand and comply with the specific gun laws in their state to ensure they are practicing safe and informed gun ownership.

Remember, gun laws can vary significantly from state to state, so it's essential to consult your state's specific regulations and consult legal professionals or law enforcement if you have any questions or concerns. Stay informed, stay safe, and exercise responsible gun ownership.

Johnathan 'J.D.' Davis
Law enforcement, Gun laws, Education, Public speaking, Hunting

Johnathan 'J.D.' Davis is a retired law enforcement officer with over 25 years of experience in the field. He has a deep understanding of the legal system, particularly when it comes to gun laws. He has a degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. J.D. is passionate about educating the public on the importance of understanding gun laws and their implications.