The debate on gun control can get heated but despite conflicting positions from different sectors of society, federal statutes have definite stipulations on firearm possession in effect. These, together with other state laws play a key role when it comes to understanding the prohibitions and how it coincides with the second amendment.
To shed light on the federal legislation surrounding firearms possession is one of Justice Clearinghouse’s regular instructors, Rick Hodsdon. Rick has worked in the field of civil and criminal matters concerning corrections, law enforcement and criminal justice for more than 4 decades. He is currently an assistant county attorney in Stillwater, Minnesota representing agencies under the county.
Rick explained in detail the ten clauses under the Gun Control Act that specify prohibitions to firearms possession including ammunition and accessories.
- Gun Control Act Title 18 USC Section 922(g)(1) that prohibits persons actually convicted in any court of a crime punishable by imprisonment with a statutory maximum penalty of a term more than one year or of a state misdemeanor offense punishable by imprisonment of more than two years.
- Conviction defined as a case went to trial via judge or jury, or for military personnel is referred to general court-martial.
- Conviction includes guilty and no contest pleas.
- Restoration of conviction only done through expungement or pardon under state law.
- Gun Control Act Title 18 USC Section 922(g)(2) does not permit fugitives from justice from owning firearms, that is comprised of persons who fled the state to avoid prosecution, appearing before a trial, and testifying in a criminal case.
- Gun Control Act Title 18 USC Section 922(g)(3) disallowing those using or addicted to controlled substance from owning guns, including those using it as a part of medically-assisted treatment or those using substances in a manner other than prescribed, regardless of the quantity.
- Use of controlled substance must documented in a provable record of possession, admission of possession, a positive test result for drug use, or a conviction or arrest related to which within the last 12 months.
- Military personnel are covered under the clause including minor drug cases that might not result in general court-martial.
- Gun Control Act Title 18 USC Section 922(g)(4) prohibiting those found by the court to have mental incapacity or instability that poses a risk to self or others or those involuntarily committed for treatment to a mental institution by a lawful authority.
- Gun Control Act Title 18 USC Section 922(g)(5) which bans unlawful aliens as defined by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) from owning guns.
- Gun Control Act Title 18 USC Section 922(g)(6) prohibiting those who got dishonorably discharged or dismissed via general court-martial from the US Armed Forces.
- Gun Control Act Title 18 USC Section 922(g)(7) that forbids persons who formally and officially renounced US citizenship via a US diplomatic or consular officer in a foreign state from owning guns.
- Gun Control Act Title 18 USC Section 922(g)(8) that temporarily prevents gun ownership in accordance with the stipulations of a Domestic Abuse Court Order that restrains a respondent from any conduct that threatens and inflicts fear, injury or any form of harm.
- Gun Control Act Title 18 USC Section 922(g)(9) that disallows any individual convicted in any court of a Misdemeanor Crime of Domestic Violence committed to a spouse, parent or guardian of a victim that is punishable by a fine or imprisonment for a year or less.
- Gun Control Act Title 18 USC Section 922(n) which does not permit any individual under indictment of any court where there is a formal charge or a case pending.
- Concerns that Thom clarified during the Q&A segment are on:
- Restoration of rights when on probation.
- The ability of local officers to arrest for federal firearms crimes.
- Whether a pardon or an expungement is considered an affirmative defense.
- Other ways of determining the conditions of prohibition.
- The definition of cohabitant for DV-related cases.
- Whether Alford pleas are considered convictions.
- Someone prohibited from gun ownership living with someone who owns firearms.
- Possession of crossbows.
- Whether the attorney is required to advise a defendant of how a plea may impact firearms ownership.
- “I thought the speaker was very good and had interesting content. I also found that the questions and responses at the end were excellent and helpful. Thanks for the great class!” –Britney
- “The presenter explained the laws very clearly and is extremely knowledgeable on the subject.” –Vicky
- “Excellent presentation and delivery.” –Jeff