Answers To Common Gun Questions
K. L. Jamison
• I have a felony record. Can I have a gun? No.
• I have a non-violent felony record. Can I have a gun? No
• I have a non-violent felony record and it was a long time ago. Can I have a gun? No
• I have a felony record. Can I get my gun rights back? Missouri has an expungement statute at RSMo 610.140. Violent crimes, sexual crimes and a number of others cannot be expunged at this time. The federal program to restore gun rights has not been funded since the early 1990’s. Without the budget to buy a piece of paper on which to write the restoration, it cannot happen. Persons with old restorations have been denied on the grounds that the restoration statute was not an expungement.
• What are the other options to clear my record? A pardon from the governor or President, 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? 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.
• I have a felony record. When I got out of prison they gave me a certificate that said all of my rights are restored. Does this mean that I get my gun rights back? They lied. You do not get your gun rights back.
• I have a felony record. Can I 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 see www.handgunlaw.us.
• I tried to buy a gun and was rejected by NICS (National Instant Check System). What can I do? Get the control number for the rejection from the gun shop. Contact NICS at FBI.gov/services/cjis/nics 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.
• I keep getting delayed when I buy a gun. What should I 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.
• Can truck drivers crossing state lines carry guns? An urban myth to the contrary has gone around for years. It is not remotely true. The problem is that when state lines are crossed the law may be very different. Consult www.handgunlaw.us.
• Can juveniles possess guns? Generally no. Juveniles under the age of 18 cannot possess. There are a few exceptions. With adult supervision and written permission from parents it is possible. Persons between 18 and 21 cannot purchase handguns or handgun ammunition from a dealer. They can receive them as gifts or private purchases. It is a purchase ban from dealers not a possession ban. Persons between 18 and 21 can buy ammunition from dealers which fits both handguns and rifles if the dealer is convinced it will only be used in rifles.
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 816-396-6382 or email me. I serve the Greater Kansas City area on the Missouri side.