Whether it’s for hunting or personal protection, it’s essential to know whether you can legally have a gun. Federal law prohibits people from acquiring or possessing firearms if convicted of certain crimes. This includes a felony conviction, those convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor, or anyone subject to a domestic violence restraining order.
Below we answer questions you may have relating to federal gun bans like:
- What is considered a domestic violence conviction under federal law?
- Can rights to guns be reinstated following a domestic violence case?
- What is the penalty for a federal gun law violation?
- How long does a federal gun ban last?
What is Considered a Felony Crime?
Felonies are typically straightforward. They are crimes with a sentence of more than a year in prison aside from certain business crimes. Most felonies, whether they occur in federal or state courts, will initiate a federal firearm ban. Anyone convicted of felony domestic violence Is barred from firearms. You will often hear a violation of this ban referred to as a “felon in possession.”
What is a Misdemeanor Offense of Domestic Violence?
This type of crime involves the use or attempted use of force or threat of a weapon. To qualify as a domestic violence crime, the victim and defendant must be in a current or previous domestic relationship as defined by federal law. If the fundamental elements are met, this offense will stand regardless of how the statute defines a domestic violence misdemeanor.
How Does a Domestic Violence Restraining Order Affect a Federal Gun Ban?
People who are the subject of a domestic violence protective order are barred from buying or possessing firearms and ammunition. Depending on the state, there are different names for a restraining order: protective order, injunction for protection, and relief from abuse order.
For someone to receive a gun ban, they must receive a notice and the opportunity to respond to the protective order request. The order must also demonstrate that the restrained person poses a threat of physical harm, or explicitly ban the person from causing or threatening to cause harm to the domestic partner or child.
How Long is Gun Prohibition? What is the Penalty for Violating the Ban?
People convicted of a federal felony or misdemeanor domestic violence usually receive a lifetime ban from possessing firearms. Gun bans in connection with domestic violence restraining orders typically stay in effect for the length of the restraining order.
Gun rights may be restored in some jurisdictions after a domestic violence conviction. This can happen when a conviction is expunged or set aside in addition to an offender receiving a pardon or a restoration of civil rights. The penalty for a federal domestic violence gun ban violation is severe. This can be a fine of $250,000, a prison sentence of up to ten years, or both.
Learn More> Can Convicted Criminals Still Possess Firearms?
Talk to an Experienced Firearms Lawyer
You must talk to an experienced attorney if you’ve been charged with a domestic violence offense or are the subject of a domestic violence restraining order. Contact Stechschulte Nell Attorneys at Law and get your free case review.