Guns, gun laws, gun rights, and the Second Amendment are in the national news nearly every day. But how do the current gun laws and regulations affect the everyday citizen?

Currently, to purchase ammunition all you need is to be 21 years old. The problem is that ammunition is at short supply. Some area businesses have empty shelves and others only sell ammunition when a gun is purchased.

People can still purchase guns and rifles. Doing so, however, requires a certain amount of paperwork — specifically a “Firearms Transaction Record Part I - Over the Counter.” This form is required by the U.S. Department of Justice and enforced by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

The form must be printed in ink and asks for the complete name, address, birthplace, Social Security number (Optional), height, weight, gender, ethnicity, and race.

Then a series of personal questions follow: Are you the actual buyer? Are you under indictment for a felony? Have you been convicted of a felony? Are you a fugitive from justice?

Are you an unlawful user of controlled substances? Have you been adjudicated mentally defective? Did you receive a dishonorable discharge from the Armed Services?

Are you the subject of a court order restraint? Have you been convicted of domestic violence? Have you ever renounced your United States citizenship? Are you an alien illegally in the United States? Are you here on a nonimmigrant visa?

 Answering “yes” to any of these questions will probably prohibit a person from purchasing a firearm.
If the questions are all “no,” your application is checked with the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). Normally, the response is quick, but can take several days.

If the application is approved, the seller fills in the next section, which basically registers the gun. The seller then records all the information in a logbook. The forms and logbook must be kept by the seller, who is occasionally audited by ATF agents.

Tim Lewis, Oak Ridge Pawn Shop, said an ATF audit can last three days. The auditors compare the forms with the log, and any discrepancies can mean the loss of seller’s license.

“If we enforce the laws we have, we wouldn’t need new laws,” Lewis said.

Breaking national gun control acts can result in 10 years in prison and/or a $250,000 fine.

You can buy a gun, but when doing so, expect some hassle.