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I was convicted of domestic violence in WA state in 2010.

I was convicted of...

I was convicted of domestic violence in WA state in 2010. Since then, I have moved to Virginia, and wish to purchase a muzzleloader/black powder rifle to hunt with. It is my understanding that Virginia has no law preventing residents convicted of domestic violence from owning any type of firearm. It is also my understanding that while federal law does preclude people with convictions from owning firearms, federal laws do not designate antique muzzleloading rifles (or replicas thereof) as firearms, and so it would seem to me that I am clear at both the state and federal level to hunt with a muzzleloader. Is my understanding of the applicable laws and their effects on my circumstance logical and defendable? There is no NCIS or other background check required to purchase this type of hunting instrument, am I able to own and hunt with one? I also want to add that I am not subject to any type of protection or restraining order or any sanction or other type of court order at this time, nor have I been so, for the last 7 years.

Lawyer's Assistant: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

I am a resident if Virginia for the last 4 years.

Lawyer's Assistant: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?

Not yet!

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

I don't think so

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12/10/2017
Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 30,538
Experience: Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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Hi,

I'm Zoey.

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

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
No problem, and thank you!

Yes. Your understanding is correct. You just need to be sure that the antique firearm conforms to the definition under both state and Federal law.

Virginia defines an antique firearm in Section 18.2-308.2:2(G)(1):

Antique firearm" means:

1. Any firearm (including any firearm with a matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap, or similar type of ignition system) manufactured in or before 1898;

2. Any replica of any firearm described in subdivision 1 of this definition if such replica (i) is not designed or redesigned for using rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition or (ii) uses rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition that is no longer manufactured in the United States and that is not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade;

3. Any muzzle-loading rifle, muzzle-loading shotgun, or muzzle-loading pistol that is designed to use black powder, or a black powder substitute, and that cannot use fixed ammunition. For purposes of this subdivision, the term "antique firearm" shall not include any weapon that incorporates a firearm frame or receiver, any firearm that is converted into a muzzle-loading weapon, or any muzzle-loading weapon that can be readily converted to fire fixed ammunition by replacing the barrel, bolt, breech-block, or any combination thereof; or

4. Any curio or relic as defined in this subsection.

The Federal government defines an antique firearm thusly in 18 USC 921:

(16)The term “antique firearm” means—

(A)

any firearm (including any firearm with a matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap, or similar type of ignition system) manufactured in or before 1898; or

(B)any replica of any firearm described in subparagraph (A) if such replica—(i)

is not designed or redesigned for using rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition, or

(ii)

uses rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition which is no longer manufactured in the United States and which is not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade; or

(C)

any muzzle loading rifle, muzzle loading shotgun, or muzzle loading pistol, which is designed to use black powder, or a black powder substitute, and which cannot use fixed ammunition. For purposes of this subparagraph, the term “antique firearm” shall not include any weapon which incorporates a firearm frame or receiver, any firearm which is converted into a muzzle loading weapon, or any muzzle loading weapon which can be readily converted to fire fixed ammunition by replacing the barrel, bolt, breechblock, or any combination thereof

Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience: Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Ok, this makes sense.
1) Am I correct that the Commonwealth of Virginia has no law preventing residents convicted of domestic assault from owning any type of firearms?
2) Do you have any idea of any type of resource that I could use to determine if muzzleloading rifes fulfill the the requirements to be federally considered an antique firearm?

1) Am I correct that the Commonwealth of Virginia has no law preventing residents convicted of domestic assault from owning any type of firearms?

Yes. There is no law preventing residents convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence from owning a firearm in Virginia. But that won't prevent you from a Federal arrest should you be found with a firearm by a Federal officer, and you will not be able to clear a background check to buy a firearm. You have no Federal rights.

2) Do you have any idea of any type of resource that I could use to determine if muzzleloading rifes fulfill the the requirements to be federally considered an antique firearm?

A black powder rifle manufactured before 1898 or its replica is not considered a firearm for purposes of Federal law. You'd be okay with that in Virginia.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Okay, your answers match my current understanding. Thank you very much for the quick and informative replies! This service was so much easier to use, to obtain counsel on a single legal question. I will highly recommend!

You're very welcome!

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