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Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Criminal Law
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Does the law say then that a convicted felon could own and

Customer Question

Does the law say then that a convicted felon could own and shoot an antique pistol?
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  TexCrimLawyer, J.D. replied 7 months ago.
Hello. I'll be happy to assist you. Could you explain the antique pistol a little further? Under federal law, it is not illegal for a felon to possess certain firearms, but the definition of what's an antique firearm is very specific.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
790.001 excludes antique firearms
Expert:  TexCrimLawyer, J.D. replied 7 months ago.
I understand that. I just wanted to make sure that your firearm was indeed antique.
Expert:  TexCrimLawyer, J.D. replied 7 months ago.
There is no question that a felon can own and shoot an antique firearm.
Expert:  TexCrimLawyer, J.D. replied 7 months ago.
The real issue in a situation like this is the ammunition, since felons cannot possess ammunition. Bullets are "ammunition" if they are "designed for use in any firearm." 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(17)([A]) (emphasis added). If these bullets had been designed exclusively for use in [defendant's antique] revolver, they would not be "ammunition" because by definition this antique revolver is not a "firearm." On the other hand, if the bullets were designed for use, not just in this antique revolver, but in other guns manufactured after 1898, then it would appear, given the literal language of the definition, that they are "ammunition" because they would be designed for any firearm.

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