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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27749
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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I want to purchase a firearm, but 26 years ago I had a

Customer Question

I want to purchase a firearm, but 26 years ago I had a felony for possession of a controlled substance. I finished deferred adjudication on that case. Also about 15 years ago I had two misdemeanor assaults which I was convicted on. Am I or will I ever be able to purchase a gun in Texas?
JA: What state is this in? And can you tell me a little more about the charge?
Customer: I'm in Texas and it was against a family member and an officer.
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: I'm unsure of what you mean I was convicted and served 90 days.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: That's all .
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 4 months ago.


I'm Zoey.

I'm reviewing your post. Please be patient as I may need to research for you, and it also takes time to compose and type a reply.

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 4 months ago.

Were either of the assaults domestic? What was your relationship to the complainant?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 4 months ago.

Thank you. Please give me some minutes to type up an answer for you.

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 4 months ago.

If your former girlfriend was someone that you at any point had lived with and/or had a child in common, then assaulting her would make out the elements of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence under Federal law. Here's how the definition reads in part from 18 USC 1921:

A “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence” is an offense that:

(1) is a misdemeanor under Federal, State, or Tribal law;
(2) has, as an element, the use or attempted use of physical force, or the threatened use of a deadly weapon; and
(3) was 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.


Under the Violence Against Women's Act and the Lautenberg Amendment, a domestic violence conviction takes away your Federal Second Amendment rights for life. There is no way to restore the loss of these rights at this time, which means that even if Texas were to grant you gun rights, you would be unable to pass a NICs check and could be subject to a Federal prosecution if found by the Feds to be in possession of a firearm.

As to the felony, under both Texas and Federal law, a deferred adjudication would be considered a conviction for purposes of firearm rights, but at least that could be rectified on a state level. If you can get the case expunged -- which would first require a pardon from your governor -- you could get your state rights back. Lautenberg, however, would still bar restoration of your Federal rights IF your crime conformed to the Federal definition I gave you above.

So in brief, presently you have no gun rights. If you assault did not involve someone you lived or had a child with, a pardon from your governor would get you your state and Federal rights back. Otherwise, you have lost your Federal rights for life until such time as the law changes.