Felons who have served their sentences and are looking to regain their rights often wonder about the circumstances under which they can legally possess firearms. The laws regarding felons owning guns vary from state to state in the United States. In this article, we will explore the regulations surrounding felons’ gun ownership in different states and the conditions under which they may be able to possess firearms.
Felon Gun Ownership Laws: An Overview
When it comes to felons owning guns, the laws can be complex and vary widely from state to state. In some states, felons are permanently barred from possessing firearms, while in others, they may have a path to restoration of their gun ownership rights under certain conditions. Let’s delve into the specifics of some states that allow felons to possess guns under particular circumstances.
Felon Gun Ownership in Kentucky
In Kentucky, a person with a felony conviction may be eligible to possess firearms if they have been granted a full pardon by the governor or the President. Additionally, they can regain their gun ownership rights if they have received full relief from the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury pursuant to the 1968 Federal Gun Control Act (Ky. Rev. Stat. § 527.040).
Felon Gun Ownership in Louisiana
Louisiana has a provision that allows felons to possess firearms after a specific period of time. After 10 years from the date of completion of their sentence, probation, parole, or suspension of sentence, felons in Louisiana may regain their right to own guns (La. Rev. Stat. § 14:95.1 (c)(1)).
Felon Gun Ownership in Minnesota
In Minnesota, felons can potentially have their gun ownership rights restored if they meet specific criteria. After 10 years have elapsed since the person was restored to civil rights, and during that time, they were not convicted of any other crime of violence, they may be able to possess firearms (Minn. Stat. § 609.165 subd. 1a).
Felon Gun Ownership in South Dakota
South Dakota has a waiting period for felons to regain their gun ownership rights. After 15 years have elapsed since the person was last discharged from prison, jail, probation, or parole, they may become eligible to possess firearms (S.D. Codified Laws § 22-14-15).
Felon Gun Ownership in Wyoming
In Wyoming, felons can regain their right to possess firearms if they have been granted a pardon (Wyo. Stat. § 6-8-102). This means that through the official pardon process, they may be able to restore their gun ownership rights.
Factors Influencing Felon Gun Ownership Laws
The regulations regarding felons owning guns can be influenced by several factors. These factors may include the severity of the crime committed, the length of time since the completion of the sentence, the absence of any subsequent violent offenses, and the granting of pardons or other forms of relief. It is crucial for felons seeking to regain their gun ownership rights to understand and comply with the specific laws of their respective states.
Understanding the circumstances under which felons can legally possess firearms is essential for those who have served their sentences and wish to reintegrate into society. While the laws surrounding felon gun ownership vary among states, some states provide opportunities for felons to regain their gun ownership rights after meeting certain conditions. It is crucial for felons to educate themselves about the laws in their particular states and follow the appropriate legal processes to ensure compliance and avoid any unintended legal consequences.