Can a non-violent felon own a firearm? 72 Answers as of August 31, 2011

When I was much younger I was convicted on embezzlement charges. I served about a three month prison sentence and I have not been in trouble with the law at all since. I know that felons cannot usually own registered firearms, but is there any way that I can because my crime was nonviolent?

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Austin Legal Services, PLC
Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
As long as all your fines and costs have been paid and all other terms have been fulfilled and at least three years have passed since your incarceration, then under MCL 750.224f you are entitled to have a firearm again.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 8/31/2011
Clifford Clendenin & O'Hale, LLP
Clifford Clendenin & O'Hale, LLP | Locke T. Clifford
Generally speaking, no. But you may qualify to have your firearm rights restored by petitioning the courts. You may want to talk to an attorney or to the Clerk of Court to get the petition process started.
Answer Applies to: North Carolina
Replied: 4/26/2011
Eversole Law, LLC
Eversole Law, LLC | Steven Eversole
Short answer no. However, you may be able to have your civil rights restored. I would be happy to help you regain your right to bare arms as an American citizen. Non-violent offenders often can have those rights restored. Please give me a call.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 4/11/2011
Law Office of Richard Williams
Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
A convicted felon is not allowed to own or possess any firearm. To do so would likely violate federal as well as many state laws. To own or possess a firearm, especially when the felony is a non-violent felony, you should petition the state where you were convicted to have your civil rights reinstated. In some states it is referred to as a pardon. There are many states that will allow gun rights to be reinstated at the same time as civil rights are reinstated or the pardon is granted. Otherwise, to reinstate gun rights following a felony you must file a proper petition with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol,Tobacco and Firearms (ATF).
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 4/4/2011
The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
Absent a pardon from the governor, felons, violent or otherwise, may not own or possess a firearm.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/4/2011
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    The answer depends upon what type of crime the conviction was for and how long ago the conviction occurred. Check the statutes in the jurisdiction where the conviction occurred to be sure.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 4/4/2011
    Mercado & Hartung
    Mercado & Hartung | Stephanie Hartung
    You will need to have your firearm rights restored. Contact a lawyer that can help you through the process.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 4/4/2011
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
    No, pursuant to federal law, unless you have your rights restored in the state of conviction, even then I would consult an attorney, first.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 4/1/2011
    The Law Offices of Michael S. Berg
    The Law Offices of Michael S. Berg | Michael Berg
    No felon can own or possess firearms unless the conviction is reduced to a misdemeanor and gun rights are restored. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/1/2011
    Andrew R. Lynch, P.C.
    Andrew R. Lynch, P.C. | Andrew R. Lynch
    No you may not possess a weapon. Your only option is to try and obtain a pardon from the State and have your civil rights restored.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 4/4/2011
    Ferguson & Ferguson
    Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
    The best way to find out is probably to contact your local sheriffs department and ask them. You can also contact your local state probation department. In most instances the answer is no.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 4/1/2011
    Leone, Throwe, Teller, & Nagle
    Leone, Throwe, Teller, & Nagle | Adam J. Teller
    It is illegal under federal and state law for a convicted felon to be in possession of a firearm. There are severe penalties for doing so. Therefore, unless you obtain a pardon or (depending on the state) the state where you were convicted has a procedure to restore your rights to possess a firearm, you should not do so.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 4/4/2011
    The Law Office of Kevin O'Grady
    The Law Office of Kevin O'Grady | Kevin O'Grady
    The constitutional right to keep and bear arms is being examined by the United States Supreme Court. Civil rights attorneys, specifically an attorney that focuses on the second amendment, is the attorney who can best advise you on what you can do to secure your constitutional right to keep and bear arms, despite a felony conviction for a nonviolent offense that occurred a long time ago. You should seek to hire an attorney that focuses on such matters as soon as possible as the fight may be a long one.
    Answer Applies to: Hawaii
    Replied: 4/1/2011
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law | Thomas J. Tomko
    There is a procedure to file a Motion to allow a convicted felon to purchase/own a firearm. Some convictions will not allow the grant of the motion. It requires a filing fee, motion, and hearing with the Court. If interested in assistance with this, and you are in the Detroit metro Area, you may contact my office to arrange an appointment to further discuss my representing you.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 4/1/2011
    Edward A. Kroll, Attorney at Law
    Edward A. Kroll, Attorney at Law | Edward A. Kroll
    Depending on what "degree" (C or B) your felony was, you could apply to have it expunged from your record. Then you can own firearms outright, instead of looking for a loophole. The process is relatively simple. Call around to some lawyers in your area. If you can't have the conviction expunged, there is no exception for non-violent felons.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 4/1/2011
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    Good question! Under Federal Law, the 1968 Crime Bill prohibits all felons from owning, buying or possessing firearms. The good news is one can have the right to keep and bear arms restored under limited circumstances. If your alleged crime happened in Washington, I can help you get the felony vacated and dismissed and your gun rights restored. I've been doing that for several years and I can definitely help you as long as your fines are paid and you have had five years after finishing probation and no new criminal convictions. Please call me and we can discuss your next step.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 4/1/2011
    Law Office of Evan E. Zelig
    Law Office of Evan E. Zelig | Evan E. Zelig
    The prohibition on owning firearms generally applies to ALL felonies, and not just those that are considered "violent" offenses. If you were convicted of a felony you may not own or possess any firearms or ammunition, regardless of the felony you were convicted of.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/1/2011
    Law Offices of Michael J. Engle
    Law Offices of Michael J. Engle | Michael J. Engle
    No. You would be committing a felony offense under both federal and state law. The law does not distinguish between violent and nonviolent felonies in this type of situation.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 4/1/2011
    Berlin Law Firm, PLLC
    Berlin Law Firm, PLLC | Lee F. Berlin
    Not in Oklahoma. The only exception is if you receive a pardon on the non-violent felony. 21 O.S. 1283
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 4/1/2011
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law | Jules Fiani
    I would have to know the specific legal record information to give you the most accurate response. Feel free to discuss with me furher or if I can help you at all regarding your past charges or the firearm situation.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 4/1/2011
    Law Office of Joseph A. Katz
    Law Office of Joseph A. Katz | Joseph A. Katz
    Your question does not specify, so assume that you mean California. You will need a personal consultation with an attorney. You can definitely not own a concealable firearm (a sidearm), unless you obtain a Certificate of Rehabilitation and a Pardon from the Governor. You cannot receive those until seven years after you were out of custody. You will need to have a personal consultation with a qualified attorney regarding rifles and hunting.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/18/2010
    Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
    Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
    First, by way of disclaimer this reply does not establish an attorney client relationship and is general answer only. A more specific answer could be provided if you contact me and retain me. However in general convicted felons in NY cannot possess firearms but could be exception if not for hand gun but perhaps a hunting rifle, but I would need more information from you to answer better. Looking forward to hearing from you.n
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 12/16/2010
    Karmali Law Office, PLLC
    Karmali Law Office, PLLC | Hussein Karmali
    As far as my experience, the law is very clear cut. Felony convictions mean lifetime firearms bans, regardless of the type of felony.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 12/15/2010
    Law Offices of Scott G. Hilderman
    Law Offices of Scott G. Hilderman | Scott G. Hilderman
    No, a convicted felon may not own a firearm. There is a federal law, known as the Brady law which makes it a crime for a convicted felon to own a firearm unless the person's civil rights have been restored.
    Answer Applies to: Montana
    Replied: 12/15/2010
    William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law
    William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law | William C. Gosnell
    No, you cannot own a firearm.
    Answer Applies to: Tennessee
    Replied: 12/15/2010
    Avioli Law, P.C.
    Avioli Law, P.C. | Michael Avioli
    No. Call me to schedule formal meeting to retain me to defend your rights.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 12/15/2010
    Giannini Law Office, PC
    Giannini Law Office, PC | Robert Giannini
    The short answer is "no," you can not own a firearm if you have a felony conviction. However, you may be eligible to apply for a pardon or restoration of your civil rights. You will need a lawyer in your state to help you with this. It can be very difficult to accomplish. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 12/14/2010
    Kielsky Rike, PLLC
    Kielsky Rike, PLLC | Michael Kielsky
    If the civil rights of someone convicted of a felony have not been restored, it is a violation of federal and state laws to possess a firearm or ammunition. This is a very serious crime. If the case was adjudicated in Arizona, the process of having civil rights restored maybe fairly straight forward. One should seek the services of a competent professional, although forms to obtain the desired relief may be available from the court but, as the possession of a firearm or ammunition is a serious crime, the better course of action is to obtain assistance from a competent professional.

    This answer is a general statement of law, did not and could not consider all details of your situation, should not be relied upon as legal advice, does not create an attorney/client relationship.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 12/14/2010
    Law Office of Jonathan T. Sarre
    Law Office of Jonathan T. Sarre | Jonathan T. Sarre
    As far as I know, it is against Federal Law for a felon to own a firearm. In Oregon where I practice, it is also against the law for ANY felon to own a firearm no matter what the felony conviction was for. You may want to explore expunging your conviction. That will remove the felony conviction, if it can be expunged (not all felony convictions are eligible). A caveat: even after a state conviction is expunged, you may still be considered a convicted felon under federal law.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 12/14/2010
    Miller & Harrison, LLC
    Miller & Harrison, LLC | David Harrison
    In Colorado the law is that anyone with a felony conviction - regardless of what it was for - cannot possess, use or carry a firearm.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 11/18/2010
    Hedges & Tumposky
    Hedges & Tumposky | Michael Tumposky
    That is very unlikely.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 11/18/2010
    Jackson White, PC
    Jackson White, PC | Jeremy Geigle
    After being convicted of a felony, a person must file a written request with the court to receive their right to possess a firearm back. Some of the factors that the court will consider in determining whether or not to return gun rights are: criminal history, performance on probation, past violence, victims' injuries, current status, length of time with clean record, etc.. On a first time non-violent offense, the court would likely return the right to possess a firearm after probation has been successfully completed. When a considerable amount of time has passed and no other charges have been raised, the court would also entertain a motion to set aside the past conviction and allow the person to move forward having the felony conviction set aside.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 11/18/2010
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
    Federal law forbids felon's from possession of weapon and it would be a crime that you could be prosecuted for. It makes no distinction between a registered vs. non-registered weapon. Does not matter if the conviction is for a non-violent offense. Prohibition extends for misdemeanors for domestic violence.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 11/18/2010
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    You should consult with an experienced criminal defense lawyer in your jurisdiction concerning this question. Each state is different. Generally, a convicted felon in this state (Georgia) cannot possess a firearm, no matter what type of felon y it may be
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 11/18/2010
    The Connelly Firm P.C.
    The Connelly Firm P.C. | Thomas Connelly
    Probably not. The best way to find out is to apply for a carry permit with your local Sheriff (in Pennsylvania). If you are a New Jersey resident, forget about it.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 11/18/2010
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C.
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C. | Dennis Roberts
    No, and even if you can own a long gun in CA it is still a federal crime. If you want a gun have it registered in a friend's name and do not keep it at your house.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/17/2010
    Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson
    Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson | Michael E. Hendrickson
    No, the felon in possession of a firearm statute which prohibits you from owning such a weapon make no distinction with respect to whether the felony involved violence or not. M.E.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 11/17/2010
    Lawrence Lewis
    Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
    Unless there is some special exception in your state (there is none in GA) you cannot possess a firearm if you have a felony conviction. Possession is not ownership. GA cares not who the owner might be,you cannot possess a gun if you have a felony conviction.Possession is actual (physically in your hand) and constructive (in your house, in your brother's room). If you can get to the firearm in the house, then you constructively possess it and will be prosecuted if caught (possible 5 year sentence)
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 11/17/2010
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    In order to obtain and lawfully possess a firearm here in Illinois, you would need a valid FOID card, and because you have this felony conviction on your record, you cannot get the FOID card. My suggestion is to try and get a pardon from the governor's office, ad your conviction occurred so long ago, and was a non-violent matter.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 11/17/2010
    The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen
    The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen | Robert L. Driessen
    No, if you were convicted of a felony and sent to prison you can not own a firm arm.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/7/2010
    Law Office of Cotter C. Conway
    Law Office of Cotter C. Conway | Cotter C. Conway
    If you are convicted of any felony, then you are not allowed to possess a firearm. It does not matter that the felony was a non-violent property offense. The best advice would be to have your felony expunged if enough time has passed. It can take about 5 months but the result will be a sealed record and you would be allowed to possess firearms as any non-felon would. Contact me for a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 10/7/2010
    The Law Offices of Robert A. Levine
    The Law Offices of Robert A. Levine | Michael G. Levine
    There are exceptions to the statute that would make the statute not applicable. For example if you received a pardon with respect to the crime or felony and were expressly authorized to possess a firearm under 18 USC app. 1203. Without more information I cannot give you an opinion as to whether or not any of the exceptions would apply to your circumstances. This is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 10/7/2010
    The English Law Firm
    The English Law Firm | Robert English
    As to California, no, a felon cannot own a firearm. The only possible way is to get a full and unconditional pardon from the Governor.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/6/2010
    Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan
    Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan | Geoffrey M. Yaryan
    No, it makes no differences whether it was violent or not.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/6/2010
    Law Offices of Ramona Hallam
    Law Offices of Ramona Hallam | Ramona Hallam
    Under Federal law (1968 Gun Control Act) a convicted felon may not possess a firearm. There is no distinction in what type of felony. Federal law overreaches state law.A person "convicted in any court of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year" cannot possess any firearm in any location. See 18 U.S.C. 922(g). This includes some misdemeanors as well.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/6/2010
    Law Offices of Juan Dotson
    Law Offices of Juan Dotson | Juan Dotson
    No, a convicted felon cannot own or possess a firearm, even if your case is later expunged. If you were a minor at the time, then your proceeding was not a criminal "conviction." You should consult with an attorney so they can review your documents.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/16/2010
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    You may be able to register, call me to discuss the possibilities.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/14/2010
    Smith & John
    Smith & John | Kenneth Craig Smith, Jr.
    I felon cannot own a firearm. If your sentence was deferred pursuant to Code of Criminal procedure 893, then you may be able to convert the conviction to an acquittal and have it expunged from your record.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 9/9/2010
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    No, not in California.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/9/2010
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    As a general rule, under Minnesota's Gun Control Act, Minn. Stat. 624, a person who has been convicted of a crime of violence as defined under the act (and the list is long), a domesti8c abuse criminal charge of any sort, or who has been convicted of a felony drug offense may not possess a firearm unless ten (10) years have elapsed since the sentence discharge (meaning off probation), or restoration of civil rights, whichever occurs first AND the person has no other offenses of the same categories.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 9/9/2010
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    A felon cannot own or posses a firearm. They cannot serve on a jury or vote. Whether there is a way for you to obtain the status that you my own a firearm depends on the facts of your case. Contact me for a free consultation to discuss your options.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/26/2010
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    No. Any felony conviction bars you from owning or possessing firearms or ammo. You can seek expungement, to help you in employment, but it would not change your prohibited person status under state and federal law.

    Many felony and misdemeanor convictions [not infractions] can sometimes be expunged by proper application and Petition to the court, but only if there was no prison time served or even sentenced, if it was not for certain sex and Domestic Violence crimes, if all terms of sentencing and probation [and at least one year of probation] are completed and finished, and if there are no new charges pending. If successful, the conviction would be retroactively withdrawn and the charges dismissed. That does not remove the conviction, but merely changes the record to show conviction reversed and dismissed by expungement. If expunged, you would be able to say no to conviction on most private employment applications. However, the conviction is still a prior for purposes of repeat offense, and must be disclosed on any application for government and professional licensing, bonding, security clearance, etc. The agency and employer then can decide whether you are barred from employment because of your conviction. If you are serious about doing so, and you think you qualify, feel free to contact me for the legal help you will need.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/25/2010
    Law Office of John Stanko
    Law Office of John Stanko | John Stanko
    A convicted felon cannot possess a firearm. However, it may be possible to reduce you charge to a misdemeanor and then in CA you can possess a firearm.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/25/2010
    Robert P. Jarvis, PC
    Robert P. Jarvis, PC | David Anderson
    There is a process of restoring civil rights for someone who was previously convicted of a felony. Among the rights that MAY be restored is the right to bear arms.

    We actually assist many individuals with the restoration of their rights. Legal matters such as restoring your civil rights are complicated. We recommend that you seek immediate legal representation. A competent attorney can explain small differences in the law or the facts that
    could dramatically affect your case. Feel free to contact us for assistance.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 8/25/2010
    The Stein Law Firm
    The Stein Law Firm | Joshua Stein
    Even for a single non-violent felony, you are barred for life from possessing a firearm by federal law and laws in most states. (The federal law is found at Title 18, United States Code, Section 922(g)(1)). Currently, the only way around the federal prohibition is to have your civil rights fully restored, such as from a presidential pardon, a state-level pardon, finding of factual innocence, or similar process. Many common after the fact dismissals, such as an expungement in California, does not restore your right to possess a firearm.

    This may change. With the recent Supreme Court decision declaring that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess firearms, there has been much legal speculation that the felony prohibition might be unconstitutional in the case of someone convicted of a non-violent felony. A good lawyer could file a serious and credible constitutional challenge seeking to the law and seek to have your right to possess a firearm restored. Feel free to give me a call to discuss it.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/25/2010
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