We are routinely asked questions regarding gun ownership and Possession of a Weapon by Previous Offender in the Denver metro area. As an experienced gun rights attorney in Arapahoe, Douglas and Denver County and knowing how the law plays into unique situations, the answer can sometimes be convoluted. The crux of the question is “am I able to legally possess guns when I have a certain conviction or after I pled to this specific crime.” The answer is based on the how the case concluded.
Federal Law on Firearm Possession Following a Conviction
Federal law (18 U.S.C. §§ 921 and 922) controls the answer for most of the routine questions. The law states that anyone convicted of a felony, or anyone convicted of a misdemeanor with an underlying factual basis of domestic violence, is not allowed to possess a firearm. Federal law defines “felony” as a crime where more than one year in the Department of Corrections is a possible penalty. While situations arise in Jefferson, Boulder, and Adams County where someone is convicted of Third Degree Assault (C.R.S. 18-3-204), Criminal Mischief (C.R.S. 18-4-501) or Trespass (C.R.S. 18-4-503) where you may be punished by a sentence in county jail for over one year, Federal law does not treat these crimes as felonies. Therefore, if you are convicted of a misdemeanor in Colorado and a factual basis for Domestic Violence does not exist, your right to possess firearms is generally unaffected. Read more on Previous Offender Firearm Laws.
Colorado State Law on Gun Possession Following a Conviction
Broomfield, Clear Creek, and El Paso County rely upon the law of Possession of a Weapon by Previous Offender, C.R.S. 18-12-108, to decide who can have firearms. That law provides for your arrest and prosecution for a new crime if you have a felony conviction or certain misdemeanor convictions involving domestic violence, and are in possession of a firearm. Although the law does not necessarily mention it, you could be charged with a crime if you have a Permanent or Temporary Civil Restraining Order, C.R.S. 13-14-102, against you or you have been committed because of mental issues and are in possession of a weapon.
Many specific legal details affect whether a person can possess or use a firearm when they have been charged with or convicted of a crime, including the crime of Possession of a Weapon by Previous Offender. If you have questions about your right to possess a firearm when you have a conviction on your record, you will need to speak with an attorney committed to your gun rights. So, if you or a loved one has been charged with or convicted of a crime and your gun rights are in hanging in the balance, be smart and contact us at 303-731-0719. Together, we can protect your future.