The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution allows any citizen the right to bear arms. If you own a firearm, you are undoubtedly proud to be able to exercise this right. Owning a firearm makes you feel safe and protected from possible home intruders or other threats. However, firearm ownership endows all the responsibility and weight of carrying or owning a potentially deadly weapon. Because of this, if you face criminal charges, you may not be able to retain control over your firearm and you may need to surrender it to the authorities.
Normally you are permitted by right of national and state law to purchase, own, maintain and otherwise possess a firearm. This is guaranteed under Section 24 of the Washington State Constitution. Unfortunately, things can get a little bit complicated when criminal charges are thrown into the mix. The first thing to keep in mind is that if you have ever been found "not guilty" by reason of insanity, you will not be able to possess a firearm, even though you were not convicted of a crime. This is because of the defense used. Even though you cannot be held accountable for the crime, you are deemed not of sound enough mind to possess a firearm.
Right away, felony convictions revoke your right to own a firearm in the State of Washington. If you are found in possession of a firearm, you will be subject to charges of "unlawful possession of a firearm" which can be a class B felony. There is no real way around this, because as a convicted felon, the right to own a firearm is no longer extended to you.
The right to own firearms is not typically lost if you are only convicted of a misdemeanor level crime. However, for misdemeanor level domestic violence crimes, your right to own firearms will also be lost. Domestic violence crimes can include:
- Reckless endangerment
- Criminal trespass
- Violating a protection or no-contact order
A conviction on any one of those crimes can result in the loss of your right to own a firearm. On top of this, if there is any pending or active protection, no-contact, or otherwise restraining order against you, you may also lose your rights to owning firearms. This can be difficult to come to terms with, after all, even if you had no intent to use the firearm in any sort of dispute, because you are convicted or you are deemed to present a danger of violence against someone, you may see your firearms taken from you.
If you are currently facing domestic violence or other criminal charges, the best way to hold on to your firearms is to avoid a conviction. Don't go into the courtroom without an experienced and ready attorney at your side. Contact Steve Karimi today.