How a Domestic Violence Conviction Can Affect Your Gun Rights



The Constitution affords Americans the right to own and possess firearms. While gun rights are deeply embedded in American culture, if you are convicted of certain criminal charges, you may lose your right to bear arms. In Florida, if someone successfully files a domestic violence injunction against you, you may lose your firearm rights.

In many domestic violence cases, there is a legitimate reason to restrict the gun rights of the guilty party involved. Domestic violence statistics paint a clear case for restricting the gun rights of domestic abusers. Domestic violence cases that involve guns are 12 times more likely to result in death, and households with guns are eight times more likely to result in a spouse committing murder against their partner.

However, sometimes there are false allegations of domestic violence in which the defendant loses their firearm rights. If you have been wrongly accused of domestic violence, it is important to seek legal representation to ensure you are not stripped of your firearm rights.

Federal Law on Gun Rights for Domestic Violence Offenders

In 1996, the federal government passed the Lautenberg Act, which restricts any person with a domestic violence conviction from possessing a firearm. If you have a domestic violence misdemeanor and are found in possession of a firearm, you could face up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The Lautenberg Act defines “possession” of a firearm in both actual and constructive categories. Actual possession of a firearm means that a person is in physical possession of a gun, whereas constructive possession refers to people who have the power and intention to exercise control over a gun. For example, a person who has a known firearm in their car—even if it is not their personal gun—is considered to be in constructive possession.

The Lautenberg Amendment has withstood a series of constitutional challenges and has ultimately been upheld against questioning of its violations of the Second Amendment, due process, and equal protection. In short, people with domestic violations who are found in possession of a gun face serious legal consequences.

Domestic Violence Firearm Laws in Florida

Florida law clearly states that residents with a domestic violence felony or misdemeanor offense are prohibited from possessing a gun. When any Florida resident buys a gun, they have to fill out ATF Form 4473, which asks the purchaser to disclose if they have ever been convicted of a domestic violence offense. If you are caught lying on this form, you may face third-degree felony charges, which could result in a five-year jail sentence.

In addition to the form purchasers must fill out, firearm sellers must request a background check from a variety of organizations, including the NCIC, Florida Crime Information Center, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Systems to ensure that purchasers are legally eligible to buy a firearm.

Florida takes violations of its domestic violence firearm laws very seriously. If you have been found violating any of Florida’s domestic violence firearm provisions, you should seek legal counsel.

Contact a Criminal Defense and Injunction Lawyer in Florida

If you have a domestic violence offense and have been found in possession of a firearm or have been wrongly served a domestic violence injunction, it is imperative to consult with a skilled criminal defense or injunction lawyer.

At Fighter Law, our team of skilled attorneys sincerely care about our clients and are passionate about fighting for their rights. With over 20 years of combined experience, we have the skills and expertise to successfully represent your case. We work diligently to ensure a favorable outcome for our clients. To schedule a consultation with one of our experienced lawyers, call today at 407-FIGHTER (344-4837) or fill out our online contact form.

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