Felon Firearm Possession Attorney Raleigh
If you have been convicted of a felony in North Carolina, it is illegal to possess a firearm. According to North Carolina’s Felony Firearms Act, Statute § 14-415.1, it is unlawful for a convicted felon to “purchase, own, possess, or have in his custody, care, or control any firearm or any weapon of mass death and destruction.”
Although it seems like a cut-and-dried case (police find a felon in possession of a firearm), this law is quite broad and involves several elements that the prosecution needs to prove for a guilty conviction. If you’ve been charged with possession of a firearm by a felon, you need to contact a competent and skilled Raleigh defense attorney immediately.
What Constitutes a Firearm in North Carolina?
At first glance, the obvious answer seems like it would be a pistol, shotgun, or hunting rifle. Although this is true, North Carolina also prohibits “any weapon of mass death and destruction,” which is defined further under G.S. 14-288.8(c) and may include:
- Rocket having a propellant charge of more than four ounces
- Missile having an explosive or incendiary charge of more than one-quarter ounce
- Any device similar to the ones above
As such, many types of explosives are prohibited, and the law may include explosives used for festivities, such as some fireworks. On the other hand, the felon in possession (FIP) law under statute § 14-415.1 does not apply to an antique firearm, as defined in G.S. 14-409.11.
Felons who have been found in possession of a firearm may be charged with a Class G felony, which may be punishable by 8 to 31 months imprisonment.
If you are a felony or have been convicted of a felony, North Carolina law states that you cannot own a firearm. This includes felons who have been convicted in any state or in any court in the United States (other than offenses related to anti-trust violations, unfair trade practices, or restraints of trade).
If you were a felon and were later pardoned, however, you may obtain a permit to own a firearm, as long as the purchase or receipt of the firearm does not violate any conditions of the pardon.
Restoration of Firearms Rights
Even if you have been convicted of a felony (and not pardoned), you may be able to own a firearm. Nonetheless, it is important to note that your right to own a gun could be restored only under certain circumstances. In general, there are three possible ways to restore gun rights, including:
- Expungement of a nonviolent felony conviction that happened 15 or more years ago
- A conviction that is 20 years old (and there are no other convictions in this time period)
- Filing a lawsuit to restore gun rights (may be worth pursuing if you have an old, nonviolent felony conviction with a general history of law-abiding conduct since the felony conviction)
Contact the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley Today
One of the most useful assets you can have for a felon in possession charge is an experienced, passionate, and competent criminal defense lawyer. Our defense attorneys at Dewey Brinkley Law have extensive, successful experience defending individuals of this charge, and we will devote substantial resources to proving your innocence and protecting your rights. We are also prepared to undergo the complex process of restoring your firearms rights in North Carolina. For a free consultation with our Raleigh law office, contact us as soon as possible at (919) 832-0307.