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Can Convicted Felons Have Guns?

Although the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides the right to bear arms, regulations can be put on this protection. This means that in certain situations, specific people can be banned from owning or purchasing firearms. As such, Connecticut has a law on the books that prohibits convicted felons from having guns.

Unlawful Possession of Firearms

Under Connecticut law, if you are banned from having a gun but you have one in your possession, you could be charged with a class C felony. However, being convicted of a felony isn't the only time you, or anyone else in this state, could have their firearm rights regulated.

According to the criminal possession of a firearm law, there are 7 classes of people that can be prohibited from having guns. These include:

  1. Those convicted of felonies
  2. Those convicted as delinquent for serious juvenile offenses
  3. Individuals who were incarcerated, but released because they were found not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect
  4. People subject to restraining or protective orders
  5. Individuals confined to psychiatric hospitals
  6. Those subject to a firearms seizure
  7. In accordance with federal law, people who were "adjudicated as a mental defective" or "committed to a mental institution"

Additionally, individuals convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence offenses that involved physical force or a deadly weapon are banned from owning firearms.

As mentioned earlier, unlawfully possessing a firearm is a felony. If you are convicted, you could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison. Two of those years cannot be suspended or reduced. Additionally, you could face a maximum fine of $10,000, $5,000 of which cannot be reduced.

Providing a Firearm to a Convicted Felon

Let's say that you were never charged with or convicted of a felony, but you know someone who has been. Further, suppose that this friend really likes guns and had theirs seized. Being the good friend that you are, and because your criminal history is clean, you decide to purchase a firearm for your friend and give it to them. Unfortunately, this is also an offense. In this case, you could also be charged with a class C felony, and be facing a maximum of 10 years of imprisonment, with 2 of them being mandatory.

Now, let's approach the above scenario from a different angle. You know that your friend cannot have a gun, and you know it would be illegal to provide them with one, so you don't offer to do so. However, your friend knows you have a clean background and will be able to buy one. They ask you to apply under your name and give them the firearm. Simply by asking you to buy them a gun, your friend could be accused of violating the law. They face a class D felony charge, which carries a prison term of up to 5 years, 1 year of which cannot be reduced or suspended.

If your friend actually obtains a gun, the charge increases to a class C felony, and they could be looking at up to 10 years in prison, with a mandatory 2-year sentence.

Have you been accused of a weapons crime in Hartford? Call Tomeo Sills, LLC at (844) 913-7747 or contact us online to get focused legal representation on your side.