Can I Own or Possess a Firearm if I’ve Been Convicted of a Felony?

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  2. Felonies
  3. Can I Own or Possess a Firearm if I’ve Been Convicted of a Felony?
Can I Own or Possess a Firearm if I’ve Been Convicted of a Felony?

Can a felon possess a firearm? Generally no, you cannot own or possess a firearm if you have been convicted of a felony. This applies even if you have just been charged with a felony and not yet convicted. A firearm is “any weapon, including a starter gun, which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive, or its frame or receiver, or any firearm muffler or firearm silencer.” If you violate this law, you will be punished with a Class G felony.

North Carolina law specifies that offenses pertaining to antitrust violations, unfair trade practices, or restraints of trade are the exception; therefore, if you have been charged or convicted of one of these crimes you can still own or possess a firearm. Further, a person charged or convicted of a felony can still own or possess antique firearms. Antique firearms are defined as those manufactured on or before 1898, any replica of such, or any muzzle loading rifle, shotgun, or pistol that uses only black powder substitute.

If you were convicted but later pardoned you can own or possess a firearm, so long as this does not violate the conditions of the pardon. You are also able if the crime or conviction has been expunged or set aside or your civil rights have been restored, and you are not otherwise prohibited under the law. See N.C. General Statutes §§ 14-404, 14-415.1, and 14-409.11.

N.C. General Statute § 14-415.4 sets forth a procedure where certain eligible persons convicted of a felony may apply to a district court and restore their firearms rights. Please be aware that The Federal Firearms Statute (18 U.S.C. § 922) is separate from North Carolina’s and should be checked before anyone convicted of a felony possesses a  firearm. For more information on firearms and gun laws, click here to visit the North Carolina DOJ Website.

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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