Can You Restore Your Gun Rights In Louisiana?
If you have been convicted of a felony, and the offense was of a certain nature, you may have your rights to own a firearm stripped from you for some time. Fortunately, you may be able to have your gun rights restored, but getting them back is tricky. While you may be able to restore your gun rights under state law, you may not be able to under federal law. Below, our Monroe felony defense lawyer explains further.
Restoring Your Gun Rights Under State Law
Under state law, you are prohibited from possessing a firearm if you were:
- Convicted of a violent crime classified as a felony
- Convicted of any violation of the Controlled Dangerous Substances Act that was classified as a felony, or
- Convicted of any Domestic Abuse crime
- Convicted of any Violation of a Protective Order crime
- Any crime classified as a sex offense
State law clearly defines crimes of violence, as well as offenses defined as sex crimes. Violations of the Controlled Dangerous Substances Act include possessing and distributing illegal narcotics such as heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and marijuana. If you are convicted of any of these crimes, you are prohibited from owning a firearm in Louisiana for at least ten years.
Once you have served your sentence, you must wait ten years before you can legally possess a gun. Your sentence includes any parole or probation requirements so even if you are not in jail but serving either of these, you still need to complete your sentence. Still, once you have completed all the requirements of your sentence, you cannot legally possess a gun for ten years.
Restoring Your Gun Rights Under Federal Law
Under the federal Gun Control Act, you are prohibited from owning a firearm if you are convicted of any crime punishable by a prison sentence over one year. Unlike the law in Louisiana, if you are convicted of a felony, federal law does not place a time period after which your rights are automatically restored. Federal law also states that you do not have to be sentenced to more than one year in prison, but the law applies even if you could have been sentenced to more than one year.
Although federal law strictly limits your right to own a firearm after a felony conviction, there are still ways to restore your gun rights. If your conviction has been expunged or set aside, or you have been pardoned or have had your civil rights restored, the conviction cannot work against you. The only exception to this is when the expungement or restoration specifically states that you are prohibited from owning a firearm.
Our Felony Defense Lawyer in Monroe Can Help You Beat Your Charges
If you have been accused of a felony offense, there is a lot on the line. At Whiddon Criminal Defense, our Monroe felony defense lawyer can help you beat the charges so you do not feel the consequences of a conviction now, or in the years to come. Call us today at 318-387-2776 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and to learn more about how we can help.