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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 26826
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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An FBI agent came to our home this morning and took our hand

Customer Question

an FBI agent came to our home this morning and took our hand gun. It was based on a case 21 years ago. My partner Steve was charged with 4th degree assault in 1995. It was not a DV case. We thought this was past us. Steve has had no contact with the law since 95 and the only cases he had was in 94 , 95 and both were pertaining to my out of control kids. Can the ATF take his rights away to own a gun 21 years later when the case was a assault 4th degree. He didn't hurt my kids , no makes on them etc.
JA: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Alaska
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: I filed an appeal and the answer we got was a knock on our door this morning asking for the gun.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: do we have any rights to fight this? I picked up the court cases and police record
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 9 months ago.


I'm Zoey and I'll be assisting you. I'm reviewing your question now. Please be patient while I research and compose a reply for you.

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 9 months ago.

Yes, ATF can remove your guns, even after all this time if they believe you've been guilty of a crime of domestic violence.

A domestic violence conviction will cost you your Federal gun rights. What's even worse is that under the Violence Against Women Act and the Lautenberg Amendment, the loss of your Federal rights is for life.

I know that you have said that your case was not labeled as a domestic violence matter. That is not relevant if the elements of your case conform to the Federal definition of a domestic violence case.

The Federal government defines a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence in 18 USC 1921:

"(A) Except as provided in subparagraph (C),[2] the term misdemeanor crime of domestic violence means an offense that:

(i)is a misdemeanor under Federal, State, or Tribal law; and

(ii)has, as an element, the use or attempted use of physical force, or the threatened use of a deadly weapon, committed by a current or former spouse, parent, or guardian of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabiting with or has cohabited with the victim as a spouse, parent, or guardian, or by a person similarly situated to a spouse, parent, or guardian of the victim.

If your conviction conforms to the Federal definition of a crime of domestic violence, you have no Federal gun rights and, unfortunately, unless/until Federal law changes, you will not be able to acquire them again. However, if the facts of your convictio do not have the elements for a crime of domestic violence, then you can appeal this matter to the FBI.

Here's the form. There is a tremendous backlog on appeals thanks to recent toughening of gun laws. However, this is the only process available to those in your situation.

Good luck.