Some people don’t realize that they lose the right to own a gun after they’ve been convicted of a felony. It doesn’t matter what type of felony you were convicted of, once that is on your record you’re not allowed to own a gun, not ever again. This doesn’t just apply to California. It’s a federal law so no matter where you decide to move to if you’re still in the United States, a gun isn’t a legal option for you.
The issue of gun ownership following a felony conviction is addressed in 18 U.S.C. 922(g). The law specifically states that anyone who has been, “convicted in any court of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year.”
According to the law, not only aren’t you allowed to own a gun, but you can also be in serious trouble if the police catch you with ammunition. The law is written in such a way that the fact you have ammunition on you indicates that you also have access to a gun, even if the police are unable to find one when they search your property.
It’s also worth noting that the weapon doesn’t have to be a deadly weapon. The law is written in such a way that simply having a pellet gun on you can result in a felony firearm possession. When a law states no guns, they mean no guns of any type.
If you’re found guilty of felony firearm possession after you’ve been convicted of a felony, you can be sentenced to another ten-year prison sentence.
If you take the time to read through 18 U.S.C. 922(g), you’ll notice that there are some solid defenses you can use while fighting a felony firearms charge. To be charged with felony firearm possession, the prosecution must prove that you knew you weren’t allowed to own that particular firearm/ammunition.
It’s worth noting that there are some incidents when a felon is allowed to own a firearm. The catch is that you must:
✽ Expunged the felony from your record
✽ Been issued a formal pardon
✽ Had the felony conviction overturned.