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Getting caught with a gun after a domestic abuse conviction

On Behalf of | Jun 10, 2020 | Violent Crimes

The second amendment protects the rights of Americans to own and possess firearms, as well as the right to form a militia outside of the official armed forces sanctioned by the government. Generally speaking, lawmakers at the state and federal levels are reluctant to make any sort of new laws or rules that infringes on the rights of Americans to own firearms.

However, there are certain restrictions that have been put in place in an attempt to curtail certain kinds of violent crime. Anyone with a previous domestic violence conviction on their record could wind up facing weapons charges if they get caught in possession of a firearm after their domestic violence conviction.

Federal law impacts firearm legality for domestic violence offenders

According to the 1968 Gun Control Act, there are reasonable restrictions that the government can place on firearm ownership by people convicted of certain felony offenses and those subject to a protective order related to domestic violence.

Lawmakers later expanded this prohibition to include those convicted of even misdemeanor domestic violence charges or charges stemming from violence against a spouse or intimate partner. People have litigated against this prohibition on many grounds, ranging from the offense in question being nonviolent to the lack of a jury trial for the offense leading to the prohibition on gun ownership.

There are few legal options for those dealing with a protective order or previous domestic violence offenses that want to continue legally owning a gun. Some may simply try to hide their firearms, which can result in later legal trouble. Still, regardless of the situation leading to the charges, you have the right to defend yourself from firearm charges in Pennsylvania.