Felon with gun behind his back

In 2004 the NC Legislature banned all gun ownership by convicted felons. The North Carolina Felony Firearms Act makes it illegal for a convicted felon to purchase, own, or possess any firearm. This includes gun parts and silencers, but it does not extend to antique firearms which are any firearm created before 1898.  Also, a person who was acquitted of a felony because of incompetence or insanity is not allowed to have a firearm. But a person convicted of a white-collar crime does not lose his or her right to have a gun.

However, a North Carolina resident who was convicted of a nonviolent felony may restore this right. To do this, he or she must first restore his or her citizenship rights. This process involves asking a court to remove the restriction after twenty years following the restoration of citizenship rights. If the felony did not occur in North Carolina a person has to show that he or she has restored his or her right citizenship rights and the right to purchase, own, or possess a firearm in that state.

A judge grants this request based on a few criteria. Mainly, the person must be a resident of North Carolina and only have one felony conviction. Additionally, the person cannot have received any misdemeanor convictions since the conviction of the felony. Filing this request with the court costs $200.00 plus any additional costs, such as hiring an attorney.

Receiving the right to once again own guns also allows a person to once again get both a handgun permit and a concealed handgun permit. However, federal law imposes other bans on gun ownership resulting from a conviction for domestic violence. A person convicted of domestic violence is not able to apply for this process.

The final route a convicted felon can take to restore his or her right to own a gun is riskier. That is through a civil suit. In Britt v. State, the NC Supreme Court held that a conviction for possession of a gun by a convicted felon was unconstitutional as applied to the specific person in that case. There is a case by case way that some individuals who are unable to have their right to have a gun through the previous method can restore this right. But it is unclear what this criterion actually is as only a handful of individuals have restored their right this way.

Essentially a person convicted of a violent felony cannot have a gun while a person convicted of a nonviolent felony has an avenue to once again have a gun. If you have any questions, feel free to contact King Law Offices to review your individual facts.  To schedule a consultation please call 888-748-5464(KING).  Our team located in Western North Carolina and Upstate South Carolina is here to help you fight for your rights.

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