The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the rights of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
Few issues dealing with the first 10 Amendments to the Constitution (the Bill of Rights) are as contentious as the Second Amendment concerning gun control.
The Second Amendment has been interpreted by courts, politicians, and the public to mean different things at different times, but the 2008 case of District of Columbia v. Heller established by the U.S. Supreme Court that the Second Amendment does protect your right to bear arms.
However, the public should also understand that some exceptions can cause you to lose your Second Amendment rights.
Losing Your 2nd Amendment Rights
Commit a Felony – If you commit a felony and are convicted, you will permanently lose the ability to possess firearms. It doesn’t matter what type of felony you commit. Convicted of a felony and you forever lose your ability to possess firearms. Different states have different laws, but this federal law will be enforced nationally under the Gun Control Act of 1968.
Transport Weapons Across State Lines – According to the Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986 (FOPA), it’s not illegal to transport a gun across state lines unless the state you are entering has restrictive gun laws. Also, how you transport the firearm across state lines is important. It must be unloaded, stored, and inaccessible by the driver crossing state lines.
There are exceptions. In New York, for example, which has strict gun laws, you could lose your Second Amendment right if you violate its restrictive gun laws. So, a gun owner who owns guns for sport, security, hunting, or out of tradition could receive a felony weapons possession charge.
Drug Use – Any individual who does drugs or has an addiction to a controlled substance may be prevented from owning a gun under the Federal Gun Control Act (GCA).
If you are found to possess a weapon, you can end up in prison for a decade. You cannot legally own a gun if you are a drug addict. You cannot legally possess a firearm if you’ve obtained a gun under false pretenses. The GCA was the first piece of legislation to address gun control in 1968.
Dishonorable Discharge – If you have been dishonorably discharged from the military, you can no longer claim the Second Amendment protections to bear arms. Individuals who have been adjudicated with a mental disorder also fall under the GCA jurisdiction, as are illegal aliens or someone who has been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.
Also, if you have had a restraining order issued against you, you fall under this restriction to gun possession.
Your Alabama Criminal Defense Attorney
The gun possession laws in Alabama are not as restrictive as in some states, however, some individuals are still prohibited from owning guns. In some cases, the statutory protection of FOPA can be a defense if you are arrested.
Also, consider that the number of firearms transported across state lines can impact the charges and penalties in that each weapon can become an additional charge.
As a Mobile criminal defense lawyer with firearm possession offense experience, Mr. Darley has negotiated many plea agreements with the other side to reduce your weapons possession charge and possibly time behind bars.
To restore your right to own a firearm, applying for a pardon might be a viable strategy based on the specific circumstances of your case.
And with gun laws changing at the federal and state level, we can advise you on when Alabama does not enforce federal laws on gun control for its citizens. You can contact Mr. Darley at his Mobile office at (251) 732-7058 to begin the conversation and get your criminal defense help.
Gun Control Act