Examining State & Federal Firearm Possession Laws
An estimated 35.3% of Florida adults possess guns in their homes, according to CBS News. On a national level, a 2017 Pew Research Center report states that three-in-ten Americans say they currently own a gun, while 11% say they don’t personally own a gun but live with someone who does.
As such, it’s fair to assert that thousands of Americans are utilizing their Second Amendment right to bear arms, but many people don’t know who is prohibited from owning a gun both in Florida and in the US altogether.
Our Seminole County violent crime attorneys lay down the law on gun ownership at a state and federal level. Continue reading for details.
The Gun Control Act (GCA), codified at 18 U.S.C. § 922(g), makes it unlawful for certain categories of persons to ship, transport, receive, or possess firearms or ammunition, to include any person:
- convicted in any court of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year
- who is a fugitive from justice
- who is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act, codified at 21 U.S.C. § 802)
- who has been adjudicated as a mental defective or has been involuntarily committed to any mental institution
- who is an illegal alien
- who has been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions
- who has renounced his or her United States citizenship
- who is subject to a court order restraining the person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner or child of the intimate partner
- who has been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence
The Gun Control Act also makes it unlawful for any person under indictment for a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year to ship, transport, or receive firearms or ammunition. Further, it’s illegal to sell or otherwise dispose of firearms or ammunition to any person who is prohibited from shipping, transporting, receiving, or possessing firearms or ammunition.
Florida State Law
Similar to federal laws, in Florida, it is unlawful for any person to own or to have in their care, custody, possession, or control any firearm, ammunition, or electric weapon or device, or to carry a concealed weapon, including a tear gas gun or chemical weapon or device, if that person has been:
- convicted of a felony in Florida
- found to have committed a delinquent act that would be a felony if committed by an adult and such person is under 24 years of age
- convicted of or found to have committed a crime against the United States which is designated as a felony
- found to have committed a delinquent act in another state, territory, or country that would be a felony if committed by an adult and which was punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding 1 year and such person is under 24 years of age
- found guilty of an offense that is a felony in another state, territory, or country and which was punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding 1 year
- adjudicated mentally defective or who has been committed to a mental institution
It’s no surprise that state and federal firearm laws are strict and quite complex. If you are unsure of whether or not you can lawfully own a firearm in Florida, pick up the phone and contact to get the clarity you need to best avoid a violent crime charge. The Law Office of David A. Webster, P.A. is here for you!