Post Content

Legal Review: Gun Laws Can Work For Everybody

Gun laws are a hot-button topic that is not going away any time soon. With the prevalence of mass shootings and armed, pro-gun rallies, the debate over gun ownership is only heating up. However, there is reason to believe a solution that pleases both sides of the debate is reachable.

While gun ownership is in the constitution, governments have a duty to keep their residents safe. The consequences of gun ownership are often overlooked by proponents and not stressed enough in the eyes of gun ownership opponents.

Consequences of Gun Ownership

Gun owners and ownership proponents often focus on their constitutional right to own a gun. Additionally, they often seize opportunities to display their gun ownership in public, exemplified at pro-gun rallies throughout the United States. What is not discussed by proponents are the responsibilities and consequences that come along with gun ownership.

While gun owners focus on their right to defend themselves with their guns, they fail to think about the victims of gunshots. The impact of a shooting goes past the victim and reaches the victim’s family and community.

A Solution that Meets in the Middle

The right to own a gun is a topic with an ocean-sized gap between the two sides, who are firmly entrenched in their positions. However, as Virginia recently demonstrated, it is possible to make communities safer while appeasing gun ownership advocates.

Gun laws do not have to ban the ownership of firearms completely. Instead, stronger gun laws can save lives by limiting who has access to own and purchase guns. Additionally, states may pass laws to strengthen domestic violence protections, limit where people may carry their weapons, and prohibit the sale of gun kits, which allow people to buy parts to build a gun.

Legal Consequences of Gun Ownership

“Despite having the legal right to own a gun, gun owners do not escape legal liability if they shoot somebody,” says Attorney Karin Riley Porter of Price Benowitz LLP. “While people are entitled to self-defense, that argument does not always justify a shooting.” Additionally, a wrongful shooting leaves the shooter with criminal and potential civil liability.

Self-Defense

When attacked by another person, the defendant can respond with violence of their own to protect themselves. However, the severity of the violence may not exceed the potential violence they face. Therefore, the defendant is only able to shoot another person when their own life is in jeopardy.

Criminal Liability

The unjustified shooting of another person will lead to criminal liability, even if the victim does not die. The shooter can face charges ranging from assault with a deadly weapon, unlawful discharge of a firearm, and homicide charges if the victim dies.

Punishments for these penalties vary from state to state, but the defendants will generally face jail time for all of the above crimes. For the most serious murder charges, defendants may face life in prison or the death sentence in some states.

Civil Liability

In addition to criminal penalties, the defendant may face civil liability for a wrongful shooting. The shooter does not have to be convicted of a crime to be held responsible in civil court. If the defendant is found to have wrongfully shot the victim, they are liable for monetary damages.

Finding a Sweet Spot for the Gun Debate

While gun advocates and opponents will likely never agree on gun ownership, states can work towards solutions that reduce the impact of gun violence. As Virginia demonstrated, gun ownership does not have to be all or nothing. However, gun advocates must recognize the responsibilities associated with gun ownership and understand the consequences.

Recent Stories

A 1 BD/1 BA condo at the Jamieson with floor-to-ceiling windows is Today’s Listing of the Day.

Melanie Kay-Wyatt says that she lives by one word — impact. With just a month under her belt as interim superintendent of Alexandria City Public Schools, she’s got a mountain…

Landmark Mall is gone, so what’s next? A representative from developer Foulger-Pratt spoke at the Eisenhower West Landmark Van Dorn Implementation Advisory Group earlier this week to provide a bird’s…

Get your sneakers and sweats ready, because Alexandria nonprofit ALIVE! is hosting its 41st annual StepALIVE! Walkathon in Old Town on Sunday, October 16. There are already 33 walking teams…

Looking for a more convenient way to work out?

On the Go Fitness Pro offers in home personal training. We bring the gym to you, so you can save time and skip the hassle of going to the gym. Plus, our trainers are certified and experienced, so you can be sure you’re getting the best possible workout.

We provide all the equipment needed for a great workout or we can use the equipment that you have.

Read More

Submit your own Community Post here.

Are you tired of going to the gym? It might be the crowds, the locker room, waiting on equipment or the time it takes to commute to the gym.

Having a personal trainer come to your home will keep you accountable, save you time and allow you to workout in the comfort of your own home.

Skip the hassle of the gym and try our in-home personal training service.

Our services are reasonably priced, convenient, effective and are risk free.

Read More

Submit your own Community Post here.

Think BIG! About the Future of Movement

Join the City of Alexandria and Arlington County’s Initiative to Rethink Energy at our first ever electric vehicle (EV) and sustainable technologies showcase! Get inspired by seeing a variety of electric cars, scooters, bikes, motorcycles, police cars, buses, trucks and

Between Home and the Front: Book Talk and Signing

Join the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum on Zoom or in person at the museum for a special book talk with the curators behind Between Home and the Front: Civil War Letters of the Walters Family. A book signing will be

×

Subscribe to our mailing list