View Full Version : Felons and Guns


Cara1947
03-31-2012, 11:02 PM
I have a friend who was recently convicted for a felony. He's a big-time deer hunter etc.

He asked and I didn't know: Once he's off paper, does his right to bear arms return to him? I know that as long as he's on paper the answer is NO!

I thought the right was lost forever, but have heard some say it isn't.

Do we have a Texas lawyer out there who can give a quick answer?

Thanks!

yourself
03-31-2012, 11:31 PM
The quick answer is he can't own, possess, or be around guns or ammo as a felon. That's on or off paper - NO GUNS. He'll need to have his rights under the second amendment restored. That usually means waiting for a certain number of years after he's off paper and then making application. Look up your jurisdiction and "restoration of rights" and you'll get a more complete answer.

Restoration of rights is also necessary should he ever desire to vote again.

HesMyForever
03-31-2012, 11:57 PM
The quick answer is he can't own, possess, or be around guns or ammo as a felon. That's on or off paper - NO GUNS. He'll need to have his rights under the second amendment restored. That usually means waiting for a certain number of years after he's off paper and then making application. Look up your jurisdiction and "restoration of rights" and you'll get a more complete answer.

Restoration of rights is also necessary should he ever desire to vote again.

The voting is dependent on the state. I have had no problems voting in PA and never had to apply for my right to vote to be restored.

alwaysfree
04-01-2012, 12:59 AM
I have a friend who was recently convicted for a felony. He's a big-time deer hunter etc.

He asked and I didn't know: Once he's off paper, does his right to bear arms return to him? I know that as long as he's on paper the answer is NO!

I thought the right was lost forever, but have heard some say it isn't.

Do we have a Texas lawyer out there who can give a quick answer?

Thanks!

He can still have guns and hunt.:D I'm a felon with guns and I hunt. I never tried to get any of my rights back because I have some serious felonies with a gun so they just would have denied me. Here's the thing: they can only be blackpowder muzzleloaders. That's all. They make them in all different calibers and many people hunt with them and most states have special blackpowder hunting seasons on deer. You can also use them during the regular hunting season. You can only load one bullet at a time in them so I guess they think we are too slow to be of any danger:D This is the Feds that allow this. I don't know if your state has any laws on it, mine doesn't. Most felon with gun charges get picked up by the Feds anyway. I didn't buy any guns while on probation but as soon as I was off I did. I found out about this in prison and have talked to my lawyer about it also. I've also had Fed Park Rangers, DEA, State and local police check out my guns during their uninvited visits both and home and on a hunt. They called in to get my record so they know I am a felon. They don't say anything as soon as they see it's a blackpowder rifle. So tell him to start checking out blackpowder laws in that state.

yourself
04-01-2012, 01:44 AM
He can still have guns and hunt.:D I'm a felon with guns and I hunt. I never tried to get any of my rights back because I have some serious felonies with a gun so they just would have denied me. Here's the thing: they can only be blackpowder muzzleloaders. That's all. They make them in all different calibers and many people hunt with them and most states have special blackpowder hunting seasons on deer. You can also use them during the regular hunting season. You can only load one bullet at a time in them so I guess they think we are too slow to be of any danger:D This is the Feds that allow this. I don't know if your state has any laws on it, mine doesn't. Most felon with gun charges get picked up by the Feds anyway. I didn't buy any guns while on probation but as soon as I was off I did. I found out about this in prison and have talked to my lawyer about it also. I've also had Fed Park Rangers, DEA, State and local police check out my guns during their uninvited visits both and home and on a hunt. They called in to get my record so they know I am a felon. They don't say anything as soon as they see it's a blackpowder rifle. So tell him to start checking out blackpowder laws in that state.

Note, the rules regarding felons change from state to state. Alaska has one of the most liberal gun laws. Illinois and Massachusetts have some of the most restrictive. New Hampshire, Alaska, and a few others - extremely liberal. So, you'll want to check on whether black powder is allowable in your state. Also note that a good portion of the states will not allow those who've been in mental institutions to own or possess. Best to check with local counsel before you invest in something that will get you thrown back in prison.

alwaysfree
04-01-2012, 01:54 AM
She wants to know about Texas law and here it is. He looks like he can hunt with Blackpowder, Get a lawyer to confirm.:thumbsup:
Title 18 USC, Section 921 (a)(3) establishes the definition of a "firearm" as follows:

"(3) The term "firearm" means
(A) any weapon (including a starter gun) which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive;
(B) the frame or receiver of any such weapon;
(C) any firearm muffler or firearm silencer; or
(D) any destructive device. Such term does not include an antique firearm."

Title 18 USC, Section 921 (a)(16) further defines an "antique firearm" as follows:
"(16) The term "antique firearm" means -
(A) any firearm (including any firearm with a matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap, or similar type of ignition system) manufactured in or before 1898; or
(B) any replica of any firearm described in subparagraph (A) if such replica -
(i) is not designed or redesigned for using rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition, or
(ii) uses rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition which is no longer manufactured in the United States and which is not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade; or
(C) any muzzle loading rifle, muzzle loading shotgun, or muzzle loading pistol, which is designed to use black powder, or a black powder substitute, and which cannot use fixed ammunition. For purposes of this subparagraph, the term "antique firearm" shall
not include any weapon which incorporates a firearm frame or receiver, any firearm which is converted into a muzzle loading weapon, or any muzzle loading weapon which can be readily converted to fire fixed ammunition by replacing the barrel, bolt, breechblock, or any combination thereof."

Now, let me address Texas law. The legal definition of a "firearm" in Texas statutes is provided by Title 10, Section 46.01 (3) of the Texas Penal Code, as shown below:
"(3) "Firearm" means any device designed, made, or adapted to expel a projectile through a barrel by using the energy generated by an explosion or burning substance or any device readily convertible to that use. Firearm does not include a firearm that may have, as an integral part, a folding knife blade or other characteristics of weapons made illegal by this chapter and that is:
(A) an antique or curio firearm manufactured before 1899; or
(B) a replica of an antique or curio firearm manufactured before 1899, but only if the replica does not use rim fire or center fire ammunition."

Granted, this definition is not as broad and straight-forward as the Federal definition, but it clearly appears to encompass black powder weapons.

Additionally, if you would care to check the container packaging of all commercial black powder (and black powder substitutes such as Triple 7 and Pyrodex), you will find a statement that these propellants are not legally classified as explosives. Therefore, they are legal for anyone to possess and use for any legal purpose.

In short, an ex-felon has an absolute right to own, use and possess any black powder muzzleloading weapon under Federal law; this may be open for interpretation in the State of Texas, but I believe that it is legal under Texas statute also.

alwaysfree
04-01-2012, 02:06 AM
No doubt have your lawyer check the laws of the state you are in, EVEN TEXAS. Most cops, lawyers and people don't know about this blackpowder exemption. It's mostly felons that know about it. Also you probably don't even have to wait till you are off probation to own one because they are not a firearm by definition. I would have bought BP guns on probation had I felt like hunting for those 3 years. Check with a lawyer first and then talk with your PO. I'll bet that goes over real well with a PO if they are ignorant of the law:D

LeBeau
04-01-2012, 08:14 AM
If I were going to rely on a relatively obscure exception, I think I'd make sure I had a copy of the statute and maybe a couple of relevant court rulings with me anytime I was hunting and stored with the equipment at all other times.

fbopnomore
04-01-2012, 09:51 AM
This has nothing to do with the black powder gun discussion. The only way to have your gun rights restored for a federal felony is by receiving a presidential pardon, regardless of the state laws where you live..

I agree that voting rights are determined by state law. In WA I could register and vote while still on federal probation, but if it was WA state parole/probation, I would have had to wait until I was no longer under WA DOC supervision.

alwaysfree
04-01-2012, 12:18 PM
Actually there are tens of millions of citizens who have had their (modern) gun rights taken away, not just felons: it is a federal crime for the following nine categories of persons to possess firearms: persons who have been convicted of a crime potentially punishable by more than a year (a bad check conviction 40 years ago can suffice), fugitives, mental defectives, illegal aliens, dishonorable dischargees, renouncers of citizenship, those subject to domestic restraining orders, and those convicted of misdemeanor domestic crimes of violence.
Be aware that you can also use replica pre 1898 handguns for protection in your home or for target shooting if your states laws line up with Federal laws. These blackpowder handguns , rifles and shotguns can be shipped through the mail unlike modern guns.
The most practical handgun to own for self-defense are the so-called cap and ball revolvers (and replicas) originally made between 1840 and 1870 and used by Wyatt Earp and other gunslingers of the West. These fire 6 shots as fast as you can pull the trigger.
Check with an attorney to see if your states gun laws line up with Federal laws. Here's a good article on black powder firearms : Legal Firearms for Prohibited Persons
http://www.loompanics.com/Articles/LegalFirearms.htm

LeBeau
04-01-2012, 09:07 PM
Before relying on any statement that this, that or the other form of firearm is exempt, please do your own legwork and find out what the applicable standards and laws are for your situation and your jurisdiction.

There are too many variables to make it a wise choice to accept as true and accurate anything found on the internet when your freedom is what's at stake.

While I do believe in private gun ownership, nobody actually *needs* a gun. There are other hobbies, other sports and other avenues for protecting yourself and your home and, assuming that you're charged in error, even if eventually vindicated, you still have to take into account the time, hassle and expense involved in proving that you did not violate any prohibition or condition of release.
Do your research and take no chances without due consideration for the risks.

thatwiz
04-02-2012, 08:51 AM
I agree with Lebeau-its a very risky situation and if you don't have stacks of money to waste on a lawyer, if you get convicted, its not really worth it. Just have a gun here in NYC and you're looking at 4 years off the bat-my hubby loved guns but he had to give them up.

montanablonde
04-09-2012, 07:10 PM
Even if you get your state gun rights restored- it doesn't necessarily mean that your federal rights have been restored.

funbag
04-10-2012, 07:45 AM
Was just sentenced to 57 months for felon in posession of a firearm. I have done a very exstensive study on this 18usc922 and will tell you right now a felon can not have or be around (in home,in car,etc) any type of firearm in any state in the U.S.. Federally it is illegal regardless to what any state law says and it means for the rest of your life.That goes for h-guns,long guns,flare guns,black powder,anything that uses gunpowder to expell a projectile of any kind.I also read that you can ask the atf to give you your gun rights back but it said that congress doesnt allow them the funds to do the investigation needed.sSome guy took it all the way to the supreme court and loss.so they said you can ask the atf but they will send you a letter back saying they unable to process. So please understand that as a felon you can never own a gun ever again in your life.I hear bow hunting is fun,try that,LOL......peace:thumbsup:

Cara1947
04-11-2012, 05:10 PM
Thanks for the info.

He's not going to be doing ANYTHING for at least 10 years!

prodri73
04-11-2012, 05:26 PM
Was just sentenced to 57 months for felon in posession of a firearm. I have done a very exstensive study on this 18usc922 and will tell you right now a felon can not have or be around (in home,in car,etc) any type of firearm in any state in the U.S.. Federally it is illegal regardless to what any state law says and it means for the rest of your life.That goes for h-guns,long guns,flare guns,black powder,anything that uses gunpowder to expell a projectile of any kind.I also read that you can ask the atf to give you your gun rights back but it said that congress doesnt allow them the funds to do the investigation needed.sSome guy took it all the way to the supreme court and loss.so they said you can ask the atf but they will send you a letter back saying they unable to process. So please understand that as a felon you can never own a gun ever again in your life.I hear bow hunting is fun,try that,LOL......peace:thumbsup:

Funbag..
My husband is also a felon who was charged with possession of a firearm and sentenced to a yr and a day...
He was told the exact thing you stated he can NEVER own or be around(knowingly or not) a firearm..
No matter the state law the Federal law over rides it...he had an antique black powder rifle and had to remove it from the house also an antique rifle that had no firing pin..any ammo...his lawyer told him he can't even have any gun parts..firing pins..grips..anything and hes in violation...

*Missing my love*

ky12
04-12-2012, 10:46 AM
It should be noted that if your state restores your rights in part or full (through gubernatorial pardon or partial pardon), then yes you are allowed to be in possession of firearms under federal statute.

MrsCetina
04-12-2012, 05:36 PM
Does anyone know if these restrictions are only for guns, or do they apply to other weapons like knives?
One of the terms of my husbands probation is no weapons, but can he carry a knife for work purposes and/or self defense when hes off probation? Does anyone know? Im in CA so i dont mean to hijack this thread, im just wondering.

moondoggie1
04-13-2012, 06:41 PM
I'm in Missouri, and know a guy who had a marijuana felony years ago. He had called the Attorney General's office, and was assured that he could own a black powder gun. His wife bought him one for Christmas, but just as an added precaution checked with the county prosecuting attorneys office before giving it to him. She was told that if he was caught with it, it would be up to the 'discretion of the police' to decide whether to arrest him or not, but that if they did, he would prosecute. I do not understand how the prosecutor can charge someone for something they're legally allowed to do according to the state statute, but his wife returned the gun and bought him a fishing pole instead. :(

jpkjpk2000
04-13-2012, 07:15 PM
It seems to me that if a person has already experienced being on the wrong side of the law one would bend over backwards to not do something that "might" be construed as getting you in trouble.

There are so many wonderful things you can do when not in prison. Why push your luck.

robinbanks
06-29-2012, 12:05 AM
Here's a good video dealing with firearms and also getting stopped, in general, by the police.

This cop was actually professional and polite when dealing with this guy, except for the fact that the cop didn't know the law. You'll notice when the cop's supervisor arrives, he immediately gives the guy his pistol back and lets him go.

This video is not about this law student being a prick, it's about the fact that the cop had no right to stop and detain him on the street when he wasn't breaking any laws.

Even if you're not carrying a gun, this standard still applies to every US citizen. The court cases that this law student cites are in fact real cases which prove the officer was wrong.

To stop you on the street and detain you, the police have to have reasonable suspicion that you are or have been committing a crime. This guy was obviously not breaking the law. As you can see, he was released from custody as soon as the police sergeant arrived at the scene.

If the police stop you on the street and you have done nothing wrong, then you do NOT have to tell them your name or show them your ID. Stand your ground. BTW, this does not apply to traffic stops. If you are driving then you DO have to show your drivers license. If you are in the passenger seat, then you do not owe them anything.

http://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/114535.html

LeBeau
06-29-2012, 08:09 AM
The problem with this, Robin, is that states and municipalities have the right to prohibit the public possession of firearms,so Federal standards notwithstanding, it's still a terrible idea to carry a firearm even if you're perfectly legal to own one unless you know the law in the relevant jurisdiction..... and most people here have a felon to consider.
I'm certainly not going to stand on my 2nd Amendment rights if doing so carries the risk of someone I love being violated or arrested for constructive possession.

yourself
06-29-2012, 09:09 AM
I'm in agreement with LeBeau. I'll also state that federal law aside, IL and MA require a person to obtain a Firearms Owner ID and keep it up to date. Further, neither state allows a person to carry concealed. So carrying concealed would be a felony offense in both states, and if you don't have a FOID or your FOID is out of date, you can tack on charges.

Guns have very distinctive outlines, and even concealed, tend to "flash" unless it's an ankle holster and your pants are very long.

Add on top of that that the DC Supreme Court case aside, not all municipalities that bar the possession of handguns inside the municipality have amended their ordinances, and your advice is downright silly.

Also, you need to remember, they can also detain material witnesses and stop and question people in an area who match the description of an offender, whether the person's actively acting strange, committing a crime or whatever.

You can even throw in mental health law and the obligation of police to detain and even transport (called sectioning in MA) those who they believe to be a danger to themselves or others, and you're hoping that the cops don't know anything and can be bullied into believing they are liable should they stop somebody who knows how to cite a case or two.

Different jurisdictions, different requirements. You should also note that licensing requirements for driving are different state to state. And, if you're a passenger, you can be required to show a license since in some states, even the most minor traffic offense can result in having the driver taken to jail (in Iowa, 1-5 mph over the speed limit is a simple misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail, and they can transport to jail). If the passenger has any intention of assuming control of the car, s/he must show license, registration, and proof of insurance. Further, if a roach from a joint is found in the ash tray, control can be imputed to all in the car - driver and passengers, subjecting all to arrest.

The bottom line is known your law in your jurisdiction - that's federal, state and municipality. Don't carry a gun if you don't want to wind up spending all day in jail dealing with the issue. Don't think you can sue if you do get erroneously detained since governmental immunity will likely result in summary judgement before the case gets off the ground.

And, one more caveat since I used to work in a federal court - federal law is fine and dandy, but it can be usurped, even on federal land. Vet hospitals and the like have regulations backed up by statute prohibiting the possession of firearms on the premises. You can cite whatever case you want, and you'll still find yourself in front of a federal judge on sentencing day, so even in a federal jurisdiction, you have to know the law really well to be sure that you can actually legally carry.

BTW, that's all without considering that your traveling companion (in a car, walking, in a federal preserve, in a vet hospital) is a felon, and the restrictions he may have if he's on paper, or the problems of constructive possession if he hasn't had his civil rights restored.

Nice video, but it's an example of a very narrowly tailored piece of law that's not relevant in far and away too many jurisdictions to generalize its applicability to everyone.

fbopnomore
06-29-2012, 09:14 AM
One other thought, if you are doing it solely to make a point, you still run a legitimate risk of ending up in an expensive court battle that you might, or might not win regardless of the righteousness of your legal position. Most courts give great leeway to the police in determining probable cause for a stop (see NY City's "police state stop and frisk" as an example) and, surprise, surprise, the police have sometimes been known to make up their own.

It's great to do something because of principal, but there is always the chance that you could become a martyr to the cause while doing it.

robinbanks
07-01-2012, 12:54 AM
Nice video, but it's an example of a very narrowly tailored piece of law that's not relevant in far and away too many jurisdictions to generalize its applicability to everyone.
The point of the video was that in Maine, it is not against the law to carry an unconcealed firearm. In many states, it is not illegal to carry an unconcealed firearm. The policeman will NEVER admit to this law student that he is breaking the law. The officer had no reason whatsoever to stop this kid and seize his firearm. It was NOT a Terry stop. Terry vs. Ohio states that an officer HAS to have reasonable suspicion that someone is or has committed a crime to lawfully detain them. The officer in this video did not, and I wish that agency would have been sued for whatever it was worth, which of course was not much since the damages were not much. But it would have made a point.

If one looks at the U.S. Constitution, then it shouldn't be illegal to carry a firearm in ANY state of the union. Do we allow states to deny black people from drinking from "white" water fountains? No, because that is a violation of the 14th Amendment. How is it that the federal government can choose to ignore certain state laws that violate the Constitution yet enforce others?

I just looked again at the 2nd Amendment and it STILL says, "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Walking down the street with a sidearm constitutes bearing a firearm. If the states can't violate one's 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th, or 14th Amendment Rights, then how can they decide to violate your 2nd Amendment rights? The US courts only seem to care about certain rights, not others.

Anyhow, here's my own personal story regarding this same issue:

I had this same conversation with a Pelham, AL police officer when I was carrying a gun at the county tag office. I didn't identify myself as a law enforcement officer and I wasn't wearing my badge, but I did explain to him that carrying an unconcealed firearm in Alabama was legal under Alabama law. He threatened to arrest me, so I asked him how often criminals carried unconcealed weapons on their hips into the county tag office. I then called his supervisor, who I happened to know, on my cellphone who proceeded to explain to me that the officer was assigned to work at the tag office because he was, in fact, an idiot. If I had been a regular joe citizen minding my own business that day, then he would have taken me to jail for exercising my 2nd Amendment right as guaranteed by the US Constitution to carry a firearm.

I'm not telling any felon here to ever carry a firearm. Even if their state decides to clear them for possessing a gun, the federal government WILL still prosecute them for possessing one. Whether that's right or moral upon the fed government's part, I don't know. But no one in here should be telling felons that they're clear to carry a firearm because their state said it was okay.

robinbanks
07-01-2012, 01:12 AM
The problem with this, Robin, is that states and municipalities have the right to prohibit the public possession of firearms,so Federal standards notwithstanding,.
How is it that the US courts will let states violate some provisions of the US Constitution but not others?

Why can a city deny you your 2nd amendment rights, yet if you have a restaurant then you can't deny American Indians from eating there in violation of the 14th Amendment?

Why does the U.S. government get to pick and choose which federal laws a state can violate?

Why is it okay that states can violate federal laws yet, if a citizen does, the citizen has to go to prison?

yourself
07-01-2012, 05:32 AM
The states are not violating federal law. Each state has its own constitution and can manage its licensure and other assets accordingly. Gun control law is one of those areas that states have free reign to regulate. They aren't prohibiting, they are regulating. Felons can be discriminated against - that's case law that goes back about 200 years. Public good, public safety, is a legitimate governmental need, and the regulations are narrowly tailored (as far as the Supreme Court and law makers) are concerned.

Listen, the FAA controls the skies, right? They ban all but sky Martians from carrying weapons, and for the most part, we don't complain about the fact that not even law enforcement can carry concealed on airplanes.

Our first Ammendment rights are protected, but the public good, public safety, allows us to abridge those rights when it come to unprotected speech, OR speech designed to cause immediate physical injury or death. As a result, you can't claim first Ammendment protection if you yell, "fire" in a crowded movie theater.

When you join the US military, you agree to give up many of your constitutional rights. You can't tweet your location, troop movements, and unit strength and then fall back on first amendment protection when the military presses treason charges against you - you agreed to give up the right to certain speech in order to join the military.

The states have a right to enhance regulations. They cannot diminish regulation of constitutionally protected rights, not can they get rid of them all together. But they've been repeatedly upheld when they tighten regulations if the tightened regulations pertain to public safety and the regulations are narrowly tailored to address those public safety concerns.

As a result, the second amendment regulations from state to state vary, but all have been upheld so far. If you've been committed to a mental hospital, some states won't allow you to have a gun. If you're a felon, you can't have a gun until your civil rights are restored. Even if your rights are restored, you still have to obey the law, so you can't waltz into a prison packing a side arm, and you can't go to court with a side arm.

The DC case from a few years ago says that most ordinances banning guns from inside the city lines was overstepping. Some cities have read the writing on the wall and have modified or revoked ordinances that are an outright ban, others haven't.

Personally, I feel safer knowing that my neighbors probably don't have a bazooka in their house. I feel better knowing that if I go to a crowded movie theater, the yell of "fire" will be because of a real fire.

If you don't like a particular Regulation, feel free to either vote it out of state or federal law, or get busted and take it through the appeals process.