Can a DUI felon own a gun?
Are there exceptions for DUI Felons to own guns?
The United States Government is very specific about whether felons are allowed to possess a firearm or not. To completely understand what this looks like, let's go back to 1934, when the government passed a law, banning anyone who had been convicted of a violent felony from owning a gun. Specifically, this was to be added to a pre-existing ban prohibiting violent felons from owning machine guns, therefore making it equally illegal for any felon to own any type of gun. Now let's go to 1968, where the restriction was expanded to include all felonies, not just the violent ones. Today, these restrictions are in place and fully expected to be followed with only a few rare exceptions where your civil rights are "restored" (this is only permissible within a handful of states), or until your felony is expunged, you are not elegible under federal law to legally own a gun.
Can I own ammunition?
It is important to note, that this federal law not only includes all guns but also applies to any type of ammunition. If you were simply caught with just a bullet, you are in complete violation of this ban and subject to another felony, this one being a federal felony and includes a lot more jail time and the final chance of a pardon. There has been significant question as to this law applying to your Second Ammendment Rights to own and use a concealed gun. However, due to being a convicted felon, whether violent or a DUI felony, you are not permitted to own a gun concealed or otherwise. In the United States, felons are not legally allowed to bear arms. This is a strong point of controversy, because it requires that you are not allowed to defend yourself if someone breaks into your home. The moment you were convicted and charged as a felon, that was the moment you forfeited your Second Ammendment Rights.
How can I get my rights back, and are there any further exceptions?
The most simple way to seek to obtain your right to bear arms would be to have your felony expunged. There are some States, however, that offer felons the opportunity to own a handgun again after a specified time that defines successful completion of probation as determined by the State. This is a rare, and detailed, process and one that is not recognized by all the States, including North Carolina where a felon can never again own a gun of any kind for any reason. Remember the exceptions mentioned above where the slight possibility may exist for a felon to own a gun at a future time? The only additional exceptions are a few types of felonies: any Federal or State offenses pertaining to antitrust violations, unfair trade practices, restraints of trade, or other similar offenses relating to the regulation of business practices.
The wisest decision you could make would be to hire an experienced attorney who is able to help you understand your particular case, the circumstances surrounding your felony charge, as well as be available to assist you in seeking to get your DUI felony expunged. Their experience would be envaluable in helping you determin whether you specifically qualify to own a gun again, and exactly the best way to go about that process.
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