Answers To Common Gun Questions
K. L. Jamison
• We have a felony record. Can we have a gun? No
• We have a non-violent felony record. Can we have a gun? No
• We have a non-violent felony record and it was a long time ago. Can we have a gun? No
• We have a felony record. Can we get our gun rights back? Very unlikely. The only Missouri felony that can be expunged is a felony bad check. The federal program to restore gun rights has not been funded for over 20 years. Without the budget to buy a piece of paper on which to write the restoration, it cannot happen.
• What are the options to clear our record? A pardon from the governor or post-conviction relief. Both rare. Post-conviction relief requires proof that you did not get a fair trial, ineffective assistance of counsel or the DNA finally came back and it was not you.
• Have the laws about felons with guns changed? No. Not state law, not federal law.
• What about amendment 5? Amendment 5 to Article I section 23 of the Missouri Constitution did NOT allow felons of any kind to have guns. The Missouri Supreme Court said so.
• We have a felony record. When we got out of prison they gave us a certificate that said all of our rights are restored. Does this mean that we get our gun rights back? They lied. You do not get your gun rights back.
• We have a felony record. Can we have black powder guns? Yes, but the statute says antiques or replicas of antiques. There are some modern muzzle-loading designs which do not appear to be covered. It would have to be something Jesse James would recognize. There are some muzzle-loading guns which are easily converted to cartridge firearms. The ATF considers them to be modern guns even if not converted. Some states consider muzzle-loading guns under the same rule as modern guns. Check local laws before crossing state lines.
• We tried to buy a gun and were rejected by NICS (National Instant Check System). What can we do? Get the control number for the rejection from the gun shop. Contact NICS on the web or the physical address. The addresses will be on a flier the shop gives you. Provide the control number and ask why you were denied. They will respond with the reason for the denial. You will then know if this is mistaken identity, a forgotten felony or a mistake in the records. You will then be able to appeal the issue.
• We keep getting delayed when we buy a gun. What should we do? A delay could be for multiple reasons; usually a criminal with a similar name. Go to the NICS web site and request an application for the Voluntary Appeal Program (VAP). You will provide a fingerprint card proving who you are and the VAP will be referenced during the NICS check.
Read more: Updates in Weapons And Self-Defense Law
If you need legal representation for gun-related criminal charges, restoration of gun rights or other matters, call Jamison Associates at 816-455-2669 or email me. I serve the Greater Kansas City area on the Missouri side.