Is Felon In Possession Of A Firearm a federal crime? What is the sentence for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon?
People with felony convictions are prohibited from having a firearm in their possession. The primary purpose of the federal and state laws that ban felons from obtaining or carrying firearms plays a role in public safety.
Government officials believe the law is necessary because felons are at high risk of committing crimes involving firearms. There is no doubt that the public feels safer when firearms are out of the hands of felons.
What Does Conviction Mean?
Conviction is a term utilized in the penal system to declare someone is guilty of a crime. Criminal convictions are broken down into several categories, including a felony and a misdemeanor. There are also federal and capital criminal convictions.
Under state and federal laws, people with felony convictions are banned from obtaining, owning, and carrying a firearm. Whether the felony conviction is a guilty plea or court decision, a felony will eliminate your right to be in the possession of a gun.
It is important to know the laws in the state you reside in before trying to purchase a gun. You definitely do not want to pay a fee for a federal background check to receive a denial in the end.
Armed Career Criminal Act “ACCA”
In 1984, a federal regulation was passed to require convicted felons found guilty of carrying firearms to spend a minimum of 15 years in prison. The law only pertains to felons with at least three prior federal and state convictions for violent felony crimes.
Felons with at least three prior convictions (federal and state) for serious drug crimes are also sentenced to 15 years imprisonment if they violate firearm laws.
What is a violent felony? The federal ACCA defines a violent felony as a felony criminal offense that has elements of attempt, physical force, or threat against another person(s). A violent felony also pertains to felony criminal convictions that involve arson, extortion, and burglary.
The federal ACCA defines a serious drug offense as a crime that involves the distribution, manufacturing, and possession of controlled substances.
The law only pertains to felony drug offenses that are punishable by imprisonment of at least 10 years or more.
Felon In Possession Of A Firearm
Felons Getting Caught With Firearms; Despite the regulations, some felons will try to possess firearms anyway. You may receive a gun from a friend who doesn’t realize you’re a felon. What happens if someone finds out that you own a firearm even though you’re a felon?
Unfortunately, the consequences will be severe. Any felon possessing a firearm will face imprisonment and fines. The maximum penalty is ten years in prison. As for the fine, you may be required to pay as much as $250,000.
You’ll also have to worry about the Armed Career Criminal Act since it can greatly enhance the repercussions. If you have three prior convictions for violent felonies, you don’t want to get caught with a handgun.
If you do, you’ll face a minimum of 15 years in prison. Suffice to say, felons should follow the law and never own firearms. Otherwise, you may spend many years behind bars.
What Is Considered A Firearm?
As a felon, you should learn more about firearms. Most people realize that the majority of handguns are going to be considered firearms under federal law.
However, it is important to know the difference between BB guns, pellet guns, airsoft guns, and conventional firearms. In many areas, felons can own and use BB guns.
Still, it is pertinent to check the rules in your area before trying to purchase one of these weapons. A firearm may also be a starter gun. A firearm is any weapon that is designed to can be easily converted to expel a projectile using an explosive.
As a result, certain guns do not meet the requirements. For instance, muzzleloading rifles are not firearms. If the weapon uses black powder, it likely won’t qualify as a firearm.
Also, you can likely carry a BB gun and airsoft rifle without facing consequences. Just remember that you should follow safe practices to avoid getting into trouble. If you carry a BB haphazardly, you could likely get into trouble.
Restoring Gun Rights
The good news is that felons can begin taking steps to restore their gun rights. While it won’t be easy, you can do it. If you’ve been a good United States citizen and haven’t gotten into trouble in many years, you should be able to clear your name and purchase a gun.
The process will be extensive so it is a good idea to get help from an attorney. With their assistance, you’ll have no trouble breezing through the process.
Just remember that there is no guarantee that your application will be approved. Another thing to remember is that the process is likely going to depend on where you live. In Pennsylvania, residents can apply to a court to try to get their gun rights restored.
The only issue is that this will not impact the federal firearm prohibition. Those living in Florida can also have their gun rights restored. You can start the process by filing a petition with the Office of Executive Clemency.
However, you’ll have to meet certain requirements first. For instance, you must have completed all probation sentences and prison sentences.
Furthermore, it should be at least eight years since your sentences were completed. You should not have any financial liabilities over $1,000 linked to any traffic violation or conviction.
Finally, you cannot have any restitution owed to the victim or civil judgments. Getting your rights restored at the state level is much different than getting them restored federally. Unfortunately, this adds more complexity to the situation.
Interesting Read: Can a Felon Get a Gun Permit?
Getting Federal Gun Rights Restored
You’re likely eager to get your gun rights restored on the federal and state levels. Unfortunately, this likely isn’t going to happen.
While you can get your state gun rights restored, you won’t be able to get your federal gun rights restored in a federal court.
Since 1992, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, & Firearms has stopped reviewing and investigating felony applications to restore gun rights.
Congress prohibited the agency from spending money on this activity. Plus, the Supreme Court later ruled that no action from the ATF did not mean denial.
As a result, you cannot take your case to a federal court. You will not be able to restore your gun rights on the federal level. The only way to possibly do this is by getting a pardon from the President. The likelihood of this happening is low. Regardless, it never hurts to try.
Multiple Stations & Multiple Felony Convictions
Some people have been arrested and convicted in multiple states. If this happens to you, you’re going to face a complex issue.
For instance, you might’ve been convicted of one felony in Ohio and another in Pennsylvania. What would you need to do to get your gun rights restored? It is best to get your gun rights restored in both states.
Although this creates a bigger problem and a longer process, it’ll be worth it. Doing so will ensure that you can travel to both states while owning a firearm.
To restore your federal gun rights, you’ll have to get your gun rights restored in both states.
Individuals who’ve been convicted of felony crimes should be careful about owning a firearm. It is best to avoid doing so since the repercussions will be severe.
In the United States, felons are not allowed to own firearms. Since you’ve committed a serious felony in the past, the government suspects you may do it again. To minimize the risk, you cannot purchase, own, or possess a firearm.
Getting caught with one will lead to jail time and a hefty fine. Don’t try unless you’ve cleared your name with a pardon.
Owning Firearms After A Mental Health Facility Stay
Some people have been committed to a mental health facility. If you’ve been deemed mentally defective, you will not be able to own or possess a firearm.
The good news is that you can likely restore your gun rights. Again, you will not be eligible to own a gun under federal law. As a result, you will not be able to obtain a concealed pistol license.
Plus, you will not be able to pass a federal background check. Nevertheless, you can have your gun rights restored in many states.
Frequent Asked Questions (FAQs)
How To Report A Felon In Possession Of A Firearm?
Are you concerned about your felon neighbor owning a firearm? It might be a good idea to report this individual before they can hurt someone.
If you want to report this individual, you should do by through the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. You can submit a tip using the agency’s official website. You can also try calling the state police.
What Is The Sentence For Possession Of A Firearm By A Convicted Felon?
In general, felons caught with arms can be sentenced to a maximum of ten years in prison. However, the sentence will depend on your criminal record. According to the Armed Career Criminal Act, felons caught with firearms may face lengthier sentences.