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Domestic Violence, Firearms Ownership and Concealed Carry…

September 28, 2009 AZ CCW Laws, Federal Firearms Laws, Legal Issues 3 Comments

Question:  What is the least costly way can I find out if I am allowed to carry a gun?  I know I have never been charged with a felony, however in the mid 90′s I did get into a physical altercatiojn with a familiy member and I think, but i’m not sure if I was charged with domestic violence…..

Answer: If you were simply arrested for a domestic violence offense, that is not sufficient cause to prohibit you from owning or carrying a firearm.  You would have had to go to court and be convicted of a crime of domestic violence.  If you did go to court, or your lawyer went for you, you would have received some final determination by the court.

You can determine if you were convicted of a domestic violence charge from the original court paperwork you received.  At the end of your case, you should have gotten some paperwork outlining exactly what charges you were convicted of and what your penalty was.  If you plead guilty or “no contest” to a charge of domestic violence, your right to own a firearm would be revoked and you cannot legally own or possess a firearm, possess ammunition or get an Arizona CCW permit.

The law that makes this prohibition is referred to as the “Lautenberg Amendment”.  The law is more properly referred to as the “Domestic Offender Gun Ban”.  Enacted in 1996, the law bans ownership and use of guns or ammunition by any individual convicted of a misdemeanor or felony domestic violence offense or any person who is under a restraining order for domestic abuse.  The law also makes it illegal to knowingly sell or give a firearm or ammunition to such a person.

If you were never actually convicted of a domestic violence offense and have no felony convictions, you can legally own a firearm and if you meet the requirements, you can obtain an AZ CCW permit as well.

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Currently there are "3 comments" on this Article:

  1. jake says:

    I was charged with a misdemeanor disorderly conduct/domestic violence a little over a year ago. I was ordered to take an anger managment class and alcohol screening. The jail time was suspended upon completion of these classes.
    I just went and talked to an officer at the peoria police department.She ran my name and we discussed the situation. She said that I am ok to own and or posses a firearm. Is this true?

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  2. Brian says:

    Jake,

    Did you get your charges set aside by the sentencing judge? I actually had a stolen firearm returned to me by the Gilbert Police Department AFTER having a prior conviction set aside. They run a background check on all persons retrieving a stolen firearm. I guess it would be a funny situation to explain to a judge how I obtained the said firearm. So that pretty much tells me its OK

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  3. Doug Little says:

    Jake,

    Unfortunately not. You are a Federal prohibited possessor under the terms of the Lautenberg amendment. According to that law, if you have ever been convicted of any sort of domestic violence offense, you cannot legally own or possess a firearm. I’m afraid the officer is incorrect. You can certainly consult an attorney, but I don’t think you’ll pass a NICS check with a domestic violence conviction on your record.

    Regards,

    Doug

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