Felony Firearms Act

A felony conviction impacts your life long after you’ve paid your debt to society.  One of the long-term effects of a felony conviction is the right to legally own a firearm. Under the Felony Firearms Act, it’s illegal for anyone convicted of a felony offense to possess a gun or any weapon of “mass death and destruction.”

Owning a firearm is a right many Americans take seriously. The United States Constitution and the North Carolina State Constitution both state, “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” If your right to own a firearm has been abridged, the Coolidge Law Firm understands your frustration. That is why we want to help you legally restore your right to own a firearm.

Every case that comes through our door is treated with diligence, and yours is no exception. Take the first step in restoring your right to bear arms, and contact the Coolidge Law Firm. Call (919) 239-8448 or submit your information in the online contact form to schedule a free case consultation.

The Coolidge Law Firm represents clients in communities across Wake County including Raleigh, Cary, Wake Forest, Garner, Apex, and many others.

What is the Felony Firearms Act?

The right to legally possess a firearm is reserved for law-abiding citizens. No matter how many years have passed since a felony conviction or completed sentence, a convicted felon is barred from owning, controlling, or purchasing a firearm under the Felony Firearms Act.

Before 1995, it was only illegal to possess a firearm within five years of a felony conviction, completed sentence, or whichever came later. But in 1995, the state legislature amended the act and removed the five-year period, indefinitely stripping felons of their right to own a firearm.

It doesn’t matter if you are in your home or place of business; it is illegal to possess a firearm with a felony conviction on your criminal record. Being caught in possession is a class G felony that is punishable by 8 to 31 months of incarceration, depending on your prior criminal record.

There are certain felony convictions the act does not apply to. These convictions include those that pertain to antitrust violations, unfair trade practices, or restraints of trade. A conviction of the mentioned offenses will not strip you of your right to possess a firearm.

Can my Right to Own a Firearm be Restored?

The Felony Firearms Act may deprive felons of legally owning a firearm, but it doesn’t keep you from petitioning to have the right restored. Certain non-violent felony convictions are eligible to have the right resorted.

The act considers a nonviolent felon to be any felony that is not a class A, class B1, or class B2 conviction or any class C through class I convictions in which any of the following were true:

  • Assault was an element of the offense
  • A firearm or deadly weapon was used or in possession during the offense
  • You are a registered sex offender

Along with a single, nonviolent felony conviction, the court will only grant a petition to restore firearm rights if you meet additional requirements. These requirements include the following:

  • You have been a resident of North Carolina for longer than a year
  • It’s been 20 years since citizenship has been restored
  • There are no violent misdemeanors or misdemeanors involving weapons on your criminal record
  • You have submitted fingerprints to the county sheriff for a criminal background check.

If you meet the requirements, you and an attorney can petition the district court for restoration. A petition to restore the right to possess a firearm is not an automatic relief. A hearing will be held where you will be burdened with presenting a substantial amount of evidence for why you should receive the restoration. This may seem intimidating, but an attorney at Coolidge Law Firm can guide you through the process.

Additional Resources for the Felony Firearms Act

The Felony Firearms Act | North Carolina General Statutes– Read the complete text of the act that governs felons and firearms in the state. You can find who is disqualified from having the right restored, what happens if you have the right restored and are convicted of a second felony, and how much it cost to file the petition. The act can be read on the North Carolina General Assembly Website.

Citizenship Restored | North Carolina General Statues– Follow this link to learn about restored citizenship.  You can find out when a convicted criminal’s rights are resorted, what happens when rights are restored by an unconditional pardon, and who is responsible for filing the order of citizenship restoration.

Raleigh Criminal Defense Attorney

You will need the guidance of an attorney if you plan to petition the court to have your firearm rights restored. The Coolidge Law Firm will guide you every step of the way and prove to the court your deserved respiration. The sooner you contact the Coolidge Law Firm, the sooner we can build your case.

The Coolidge Law Firm has been representing Wake County communities for years. Some of the areas we serve include Raleigh, Cary, Wake Forest, Garner, and Apex. Schedule a free consultation. Call (919) 239-8448 or submit your information in the online contact form.


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