It may be well-known that felons are prohibited from possessing firearms, but a lesser-known law could make you rethink a plea to a domestic violence charge. If you are convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence, you have just lost your gun rights. Federal law states that “it shall be unlawful for any person… who has been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence, to ship or transport in interstate or foreign commerce, or possess in or affecting commerce, any firearm or ammunition; or to receive any firearm or ammunition which has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce.” 18 USC § 922(g). The part about commerce is interpreted broadly. The Court essentially says that almost everything “affects commerce”, so you won’t be able to hide behind that part. The same ban applies if you are subject to a restraining order against an intimate partner, or child of an intimate partner (domestic violence restraining/protection orders). The ban still applies even if you are only possessing, transporting, or receiving firearms at work. If you have to receive, transport, or possess firearms for your job, you probably just lost your job. Imagine a gun store employee not allowed to touch any of the guns or be behind the counters, or a police officer who cannot legally carry a gun, and you’ll see why some employment becomes impossible. And forget about joining the military.
Moral of the story? If you value your gun rights, stay away from all forms of domestic violence. A simple misdemeanor conviction could keep you from exercising your Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. If you have been arrested, call 772-607-2231 to come speak to me at my office. Your rights are worth fighting for.
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