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Felon in Possession

In response to what she described in a recent press release as an extraordinary spike in gun violence and violent crime across the Twin Cities, United States Attorney for the District of Minnesota, Erica MacDonald, is forming a multi-agency Violent Crime Task Force. The task force will consist of agents from the FBI, Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Secret Service, U.S. Marshals Service, Minnesota BCA and local police forces and Sheriff’s Offices. When the feds decide to concentrate on certain types of criminal activity, in this case gun violence, Mankey Law Office sees a significant increase in gun related prosecutions. In light of the recent violence surrounding the murder of George Floyd, Mankey Law Office has fielded many inquiries regarding eligibility to purchase guns particularly from people who have been denied because of a prior felony conviction.

Unfortunately, even if a conviction is expunged under State Law, Federal Law forever bars individuals with felony convictions from ever possessing a firearm of any kind, pistol, rifle or shotgun. The conflict between the state and ederal law can lead to confusion. For example, a person convicted of domestic assault or even disorderly conduct amended from a domestic violence charge is often told at sentencing that they can not possess a gun during their probationary period. What most defendants are not told however, is that under federal law, a domestic violence conviction serves as a lifetime bar to gun possession.

Both the state and the federal government can prosecute a felon for possession of a firearm. The state statute carries a statutory maximum of 15 years. A federal conviction, depending on an individual’s criminal history, number of firearms possessed and many other factors, can lead to a significantly longer sentence including life imprisonment. If you have questions about your eligibility to purchase or possess a firearm or if you have been charged in either State of Federal Court with a crime involving a firearm, Mankey Law Office can help.