Law Offices of Jess C. Bedore III - Certified Specialist in Criminal Law
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Are gun rights ever restricted?

If you've previously been convicted for a violent crime or were in prison for over a year, then you may already know that you can't own a gun. If you are caught with a weapon when you are not legally allowed to own one, you could face serious penalties including fines and potential jail time.

The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act was enacted to take guns out of the hands of the dangerous and violent. It restricts gun ownership including ownership for personal or business use if a person was convicted of a crime that could be punished with prison for a year or longer, discharged dishonorably from the U.S. Armed Forces, renounced U.S. citizenship or is subject to a restraining order that involves his or her children or intimate partner.

It's also unlawful to own a gun if you are an illegal alien living in the United States, are a fugitive, have been ruled as mentally defective or are living in a mental institution or are using or addicted to a controlled substance. If you were convicted of domestic violence, you also lose your right to own a gun. The Brady Act has been in place since 1994.

Also recognize that even if you have the right to own and carry a gun, you may not have that right in every state. Many states require a license to carry a gun, while others do not allow them to be carried openly. Some require no permissions to carry a gun, while others have differing laws based on local governments. If you violate one of these laws, then you could face a charge for doing so.

Your attorney can help you understand if you have a right to own and use a gun and the laws that apply in your state. If you face a criminal charge, you should defend yourself from the moment you're accused.

Source: FindLaw, "Gun Laws," accessed March 10, 2017

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