States That Impose a Waiting Period for Purchases of All Guns and Firearms
With gun laws being an extremely controversial topic, states are starting to impose a mandatory waiting period between the purchase of a firearm and its issuance. Hawaii has the largest waiting time for all firearm purchases, as a permit and an application must be submitted before obtaining a firearm. California and Washington D.C impose a 10-day waiting limit before being able to purchase and acquire your firearm. Other waiting periods include
-Illinois - 72 Hours
-Rhode Island - 7 days
-Florida - 3 days, or the period it takes to conduct a comprehensive background check on the individual requesting the firearm and permit, whichever is greater.
Rhode Island specifically states that the seller must deliver the firearm to the purchaser after the 7-day waiting period. The period is shorter if the person is a police officer or a qualified member of law enforcement. If the seller does not receive any background information that may disqualify the purchaser from obtaining a firearm, that seller is obligated to complete delivery within the period.
States That Impose a Waiting Period for Certain Classes of Guns and Firearms
Minnesota has a waiting period in effect for handguns and assault weapons only. The waiting period is defined as 7 days but is more akin to 5 business days. The timer starts from the day that the weapons dealers deliver a report of a firearm transfer to the respective sheriff, chief, or designated law enforcement officer. It is up to the discretion of the police chief or sheriff to waive the waiting period if they believe that the transfer of weapons must be done immediately. This is usually in the case of a threat to human life or if the person must use the firearm to stave off any danger.
It is important to note that this waiting period does not apply to private sellers, causing some shops to attempt to circumvent this rule altogether. Washington is another state that imposes a waiting period on certain gun classes. Semiautomatic rifle purchases have a required waiting period of 10 calendar days before transferring ownership of the firearm over to the purchaser. Of course, if the member is part of law enforcement and requires it for the job, the waiting period can be assessed by the police chief.
Maryland and New Jersey both have waiting periods of 7 calendar days for the purchase of handguns. The timer starts in Maryland when the purchaser completes an application for purchase and is forwarded to the secretary of the Maryland State Police. New Jersey is unique to this respect, as all are required to wait seven days after a handgun purchase and valid permit issuance. The permit is individually granted for each handgun, meaning that the 7-day waiting period is mandatory for all handgun sales.
Why Waiting Periods are in Effect
States are imposing mandatory waiting periods to help stave off "heat-of-the-moment" issues such as suicides and reckless assault. It is believed that many of these problems can be resolved with proper background checks and waiting periods, as it will discourage those who wish to purchase firearms to inflict harm on themselves or the public.