If you’ve been charged with assault or domestic violence, you are likely to be stripped of your right to own firearms.
That’s bad news for those in Texas, one of the most gun-loving states in America.
However, a conviction isn’t always the end of the story. If you’re asking yourself ‘can I get my gun rights back following a domestic violence conviction?’, we’ve got the answers for you. It is possible, but only under specific circumstances.
Can I Get My Gun Rights Back Following a Domestic Violence Conviction?
Read on to find out how it works.
How Long Do You Have to Wait?
Under Texas law, anyone who is convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor is prohibited from possessing firearms for a period of five years.
This period doesn’t begin at the point of conviction. Instead, it begins once an offender has been released from incarceration or community supervision.
Sometimes, the time of restriction for gun under domestic violence laws is shorter than that.
Those who are only subject to domestic violence or harassment restraining orders may not need to wait as long as other offenders. This is because in some cases, the prohibition may only apply while the order is in effect.
In Texas, domestic violence offenders are prohibited from possessing firearms. However, this only stops them from purchasing new guns or ammunition. It doesn’t technically apply to any that they already own.
This is because Texas law does not explicitly state that those who have been convicted of domestic violence are required to turned in their firearms.
Overturning a Domestic Violence Conviction
Being convicted of a domestic violence offense isn’t always the end of the story.
You may be able to have your conviction overturned, effectively reversing the court’s decision. If you’re extremely lucky, you may be pardoned. This won’t absolve you of the conviction, but it will free you of any further punishments or restrictions. This is given in cases where offenders are considered to have paid their dues.
If this isn’t possible, your attorney can attempt to have the conviction removed from your record. This would reinstate your gun ownership rights.
Getting a Firearm Ban Lifted
If you have previously been charged with a felony, you may be able to regain your gun ownership rights by having your firearm ban lifted. However, this can only be achieved with the expert assistance of an attorney.
This isn’t always possible, but with a lawyer who’s an expert in domestic violence and gun laws, you’ll be well-equipped to try.
If you’re unsuccessful, it’s important that you refrain from attempting to own or use firearms through other means. If you’re later caught in possession of a gun, you will be charged with a third-degree felony. This conviction will carry a prison sentence of up to ten years, as well as a maximum fine of $10,000.
Know Your Gun Laws
The above information should answer your question of ‘can I get my gun rights back following a domestic violence conviction?’
If you’re still not sure, it’s worth educating yourself on the ins and outs of the gun laws in your state. That way, you’ll always know where you stand.
Read our post on gun laws in Texas to find out the details.