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In 1977 I was charged with marijuana possession with intent…

Second opinion] In 1977...

Second opinion] In 1977 I was charged with marijuana possession with intent to distribute of 4oz. I was on probation for one year. Currently as of September of this year 2017, I was denied a gun purchase although state of MD approved my "Hand gun qualification" certificate September 18, 2017. They denied me after I tried to purchase a handgun. That was (40) years ago when this incident happened, how long can this be held against me?

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

Maryland

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

I talked to an assistant, gave my info and are waiting to hear from the lawyer.

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

I am 65 years old retired after 42 years of federal service six years Army National Guard and honorably discharged.

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Answered in 1 hour by:
9/27/2017
Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 31,368
Experience: Active member of the NYS bar since 1989
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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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If you have a felony conviction on your criminal history, it doesn't matter how long ago it happened, whether it was violent or non-violent, or whether you were incarcerated or not as part of your sentence. You lose your Federal gun rights. So even if your state is more forgiving and will let you have a permit, you're not going to be able to clear a NICS check unless you get your old felony set aside, expunged or pardoned. At that time the Feds will remove the disability against your rights and you'll be able to purchase and own a firearm again.

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
This was a misdemeanor.

If you were convicted of a crime, misdemeanor or felony, for which the maximum possible sentence is in excess of one year -- not what you served but the worst case scenario that the crime of which you were convicted could possible be under law -- then you lost your Federal gun rights. Possession of marijuana with the intent to sell has a maximum possible felony of 5 years today. If that was also true 40 years ago then the answer I gave you earlier is accurate as to the loss of your gun rights and you need to get your conviction set aside, expunged or pardoned.

If your conviction was for an offense where the maximum possible penalty was a year or less, then your Federal gun rights were never lost. You could then appeal your denial with NICS showing documentation that your charge was a misdemeanor and that the maximum possible sentence was a year or less. You will probably need a law library to find documentation of what the sentences were on possession with intent to sell marijuana 40 years ago, as it is not available on the web.

You can learn more about appealing your denial here.

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Just checking in to see if you need more help or any clarification of my answer. If so, please reply here on this question thread.

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
somewhat. I will seek a lawyer who works in Maryland specific to record clearing for "NICS Searches" Thanks for your advice.

You're very welcome!

I strive for 5-star service. If I have addressed all of your concerns, please take the time to rate my service to you by selecting 3, 4, or (hopefully) 5 stars on the rating scale, as that is the only way that JustAnswer gives us Experts credit for our work. You would still be able to post further follow ups on this question thread about this for no additional cost, even after I've been rated.

Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD, Attorney
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Experience: Active member of the NYS bar since 1989
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