Five Common Gun Law Mistakes
Five Common Gun Law Mistakes:
I want to share some of the most common issues we see in our office so you can avoid making any mistakes.
- I passed my NICS background check so I can own a firearm.
We often have clients that tell us they are legally allowed to possess firearms because they passed the NICS background check. Unfortunately this is not always true. The NICS system is often incorrect and people who should be denied are approved and those who should be approved are often denied. The fact that you may have passed a NICS check is not a defense if you are later found to be illegally possessing guns. We assist clients everyday who have been wrongfully denied a firearm purchase or who have questions about the status of their firearm rights.
- I have a felony on my record so I can’t own guns
While it is true that most people with felony convictions cannot own guns, there are ways for people in this position to get their rights back. The process for felons to regain their rights is called “Relief from Disability.” The Relief from Disability process allows those convicted of felony offenses to demonstrate to a judge that they should have their rights restored. A person who receives Relief from Disability is fully restored to all firearm rights including eligibility for a concealed handgun license.
Certain felony convictions also do not result in firearms bans. Our office can analyze your conviction and advise you regarding the status of your gun rights.
- I don’t need a federal firearm license to sell just a couple guns.
The Attorney General Loretta Lynch has recently released new guidelines that make it clear that even the sale of one firearm could potentially violate federal laws that require gun sellers to be licensed. Anyone selling a firearm without a license in todays political climate should be very careful as the ATF is cracking down on sellers who do not possess a license. If you have any questions regarding the necessity of a license or wish to obtain an FFL we can assist you.
- My domestic violence conviction happened before 1996 so I can still possess guns.
In 1996 the Lautenberg Amendment was passed by Congress, and it banned firearm possession for anyone convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence. The law applied to anyone convicted of such a crime regardless of whether the crime occurred before or after the law was passed. There have been multiple court challenges to this provision and so far none have succeeded in having the law declared unconstitutional.
- I was convicted of assault not domestic violence so I can own firearms.
This is one of the most confusing and common issues we see in our office. A person will take a plea deal to assault or a similar crime after originally being charged with domestic violence and assume that their firearm rights are in tact. However the U.S. Supreme Court has held that crimes that are not titled “domestic violence” under state law qualify as “domestic violence” for purposes of federal law if the crime involved the use or attempted use of force against a person in a specified domestic relationship. So a person charged with domestic violence against a spouse who took a plea deal to assault would be banned from owning firearms. If you have any questions about the status of your firearm rights we can provide clarification and potentially restore your rights.