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The Impact of a Felony Conviction on Gun Rights in MA

The right to own and carry firearms is subject to various legal constraints imposed by federal and state law. In Massachusetts, the rules are particularly stringent, outlining specific requirements for anyone wishing to obtain a gun license. Among the numerous regulations, one critical aspect is how a felony conviction affects an individual's gun rights.

Understanding Licenses and Convictions

In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, owning firearms is not a mere matter of purchasing and possessing. It requires securing a License to Carry (LTC) or a Firearm Identification (FID) card.

Requirements to obtain an LTC or FID card may include:

  • Residency: Lawful residents or business owners in the city or state.
  • Age: Minimum 21 years old (for an LTC) or 18 years old (for an FID).
  • Citizenship: Must be a U.S. citizen.
  • Criminal Record: No convictions of felonies or serious misdemeanors.
  • Restraining Orders: Cannot have active restraining orders.
  • Military History: No dishonorable discharges from the U.S. military.
  • Legal Status: Must not be wanted or considered a fugitive from justice.

Consequences of Felony Convictions

When a person is convicted of a felony in Massachusetts, they lose several rights, including the privilege to legally purchase, possess, or carry firearms. Additionally, it is not only felony convictions that can bar your right to own and carry a gun. Those convicted of serious misdemeanors or drug crimes are also barred from obtaining an LTC or FID.

The following is a list of charges that, upon conviction, may result in the loss of gun rights in Massachusetts:

  • All felony convictions
  • Violent crimes
  • Drug-related offenses
  • Sexual offenses
  • Crimes involving firearms or explosives
  • Stalking
  • Multiple Operating Under the Influence (OUI) convictions
  • Serious traffic offenses, such as vehicular homicide

Residents of Massachusetts need to be aware of these specific charges, as any conviction could significantly impact one's legal ability to own or carry firearms in the state.

Can You Seek a Restoration of Your Gun Rights?

Despite the firm stance on prohibiting gun ownership for felons, there exists a mechanism for the restoration of gun rights in certain circumstances. Generally, it is non-violent offenses and non-trafficking-related drug offenses that are considered eligible for gun rights restoration. However, a minimum period of five years post-conviction or release from confinement must have passed.

It is important to note that if you have had your records sealed, this does not automatically restore your firearm rights. Additionally, restoring your state rights may not lift a federal bar.

Consulting with an Attorney

The loss of gun rights due to a felony conviction is clear and significant in Massachusetts, and the path to reinstate one's gun privileges post-conviction is fraught with complexities. Comprehending the nuanced stipulations of state and federal laws is essential. This is where the role of a specialized attorney becomes paramount.

A seasoned attorney like ours at Brad Bailey Law can offer insights into your unique situation, which could mean the difference in your case's outcome. Remember, the sooner you consult with an attorney, the greater your chances of protecting your interests.

For more information on gun laws in MA, review some of our previous blog posts:

If you or a loved one is facing felony charges, contact Brad Bailey Law. With our firm, you gain a powerful ally dedicated to protecting your rights, including your right to bear arms. Contact us to understand your legal position and explore your options.

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