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I have heard that anyone with a felony conviction is

prohibited from owning a firearm...
I have heard that anyone with a felony conviction is prohibited from owning a firearm. My question is if that includes non-violent, blue collar felony convictions, specifically a conviction for violation of federal tax law. If the felony prohibition is
all-inclusive, is there a circumstance that would allow the person with the felony conviction to petition the court or appear before a judge to request that their right to own a firearm be reinstated? My brother received a three year sentence for income tax
violations. It was his first conviction for ANY offense and does not have any other blemish on his record.
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Answered in 1 minute by:
11/18/2015
Legal-Kal
Legal-Kal, Criminal Defense Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 600
Experience: Attorney at Law Offices of Khaled Issa
Verified

Hi:

My name is***** would be happy to answer your legal question tonight. When it comes to gun possession laws, there are two that must be addressed. First is the federal law and second is the state law. Usually, state law incorporates or references federal law. May I ask what state your brother is located in?

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
South Carolina.

Ok:

As you are aware, federal law prohibits the possession of a firearm when the individual has been convicted of a felony. This is strictly complied with (without regard to the individual's criminal, or lack thereof, background). It includes non-violent offenses (white collar crimes) including tax related offenses. So your brother is subject to this prohibition.

There are, theoretically, exceptions or exemptions. I say theoretically because, in practice, it is difficult to obtain. I will discuss them below:

1) Expungement

If the offense is later expunged, if allowed under law, then the conviction is as if it never happened. The bad news here is that, because your brother was convicted of a federal offense, expungement is not an option. This is because there is no federal expungement law or process. Therefore, this exception/exemption will not apply.

2) Presidential Pardon

If you apply and receive a pardon from the President (yes, the president), then that will allow you to obtain a firearm. If you are not already aware, presidential pardons are very rare and usually happen decades and decades after a conviction. Furthermore, since your brother was convicted of a tax offense, he must wait until 7 years has passed after his sentence has been completed. While this option is technically available to your brother, the chances of him obtaining a presidential pardon (at least in the foreseeable future) are slim.

3) Civil Rights Restoration

The last option is to have your civil rights restored. 18 U.S. Code § 925 is the federal law pertaining to prohibition of possession of firearms for convicted felons. Subsection (c) creates a "restoration of civil rights." If an individual's civil rights are "restored," they may be able to lawfully possess a weapon. This process is initiated by submitting an "application" to the Secretary of Treasury. I use the phrase "application" because, at the moment, there is no official process to restore one's civil rights under the section. This may be your brother's most effective means in obtaining a firearm again. When it comes to the restoration process, however, the federal government is in total control. There are no rules or laws they must abide by in determining whether or not to "restore" one's civil rights. As an aside, it is important to note that the governmental unit that decides on the application is also the unit that was most affected by your brother's actions/inactions.

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
Thank you for both a thorough and prompt response. My brother's unaware that I am doing this. I thought it would be a pleasant surprise for him if there had been some recourse available to him. Thank you again.

Not a problem. While there is recourse, it is difficult and will require much time to pass.

If you have any other questions, please feel free to let me know. Otherwise, please click ACCEPT and leave positive feedback so I may receive credit for assisting you today. Thanks and good luck.

Legal-Kal
Legal-Kal, Criminal Defense Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 600
Experience: Attorney at Law Offices of Khaled Issa
Verified
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