03.14.2018

Many of your personal freedoms become restored once you have served out your sentence and paid your debt to society.

Still, you know that having a felony on your criminal record does have certain implications for your life. Such as, legally owning and possessing a firearm. Both North Carolina and federal law prohibit possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Therefore, there are harsh penalties for violating these provisions.

Understanding the two sets of complex statutes is important if arrested for possession of a firearm. You should always discuss your specific circumstances with an experienced criminal defense attorney.  However, a general overview of the penalties for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon may be useful.

North Carolina Law on Possession of a Firearm as a Convicted Felon

North Carolina’s Felony Firearms Act bans a person who has been convicted of a felony from possessing, purchasing, owning or controlling any weapon of mass death and destruction. The definition of weapon includes a gun and accessories, such as silencers or mufflers.

No matter how many years have passed since the conviction or completed sentence, the ban still applies. A felony conviction in North Carolina, another state, or under federal law prohibits you from possessing a gun. The only exceptions are for offenses commonly termed “white collar” crimes, such as antitrust violations and unfair trade practices.

If convicted of felony firearm possession, the crime is a Class G felony. At a minimum, your sentence could be 12 to 26 months in prison, because the conviction is a second offense; the first offense would be the underlying conviction. Additional convictions found in your criminal record can get you up to 39 months in jail. Depending on the type of crime this may be a factor that may affect your sentence. Where the offense involved firearms, other weapons, or general violence, these may be aggravating circumstances that increase a sentence.

Federal Law Also Prohibits Firearm Possession After a Felony Conviction

It is also a crime for a convicted felon to possess a gun under federal law, which applies to any prior offense punishable by imprisonment for one year or longer. In addition, the ban includes a conviction for a domestic violence offense, even if it is a misdemeanor. If convicted of possession of a firearm as a convicted felon you could face up to 10 years in prison.

Request a Free Consultation to Discuss Your Case

If you are facing charges for felony possession of a firearm, please contact the legal team at Tarlton | Polk in Raleigh, NC to schedule a confidential consultation regarding your legal options.

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