Charlotte Possession of a Firearm by a Felon

Two North Carolina men are wanted after a deadly shooting in Asheville. After this deadly shooting, one of the suspects is facing charges for first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, robbery with a dangerous weapon, and possession of a firearm by a felon. In many cases, defendants charged with possession of a firearm by a felon are charged with other crimes at the same time. Possession of a firearm by a felon is an extremely serious charge in North Carolina.

Contact Our Charlotte Defense Lawyers

If you are facing charges for possession of a firearm by a felon, our legal team can help. At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, we have successfully helped many individuals facing serious criminal charges. We understand how difficult it is to worry about your future as a criminal defendant. The sooner you contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer, the better. Contact our Charlotte criminal defense law firm as soon as possible to schedule your case evaluation.

What Constitutes the Crime of Possession of a Firearm by a Felon?

Convicted felons in North Carolina are prohibited from possessing a firearm pursuant to the Felony Firearms Act. Convicted felons are prohibited from owning a firearm, possessing a firearm, having a firearm in their care or custody, and controlling a firearm or any weapon capable of inflicting mass destruction and death. Those who fail to follow these restrictions and violate the law can face felony criminal charges punishable by a lengthy prison sentence.

What is Considered a Firearm Under the Statute?

The statutory language under the Act, defines a firearm to be any weapon, including a starter gun, which will, is designed to, or can readily be converted to, expel a projectile by the action of an explosive, or its frame or receiver, or any firearm muffler or firearm silencer. Antique firearms are an exception to the statute, and include any of the following:

  • Any firearm manufactured during or before 1898.
  • Any replica of a firearm manufactured during or before 1898, so long as the replica is not designed or redesigned
  • Any muzzle loading rifle, muzzle loading shotgun, or muzzle loading pistol, which is designed to use black powder substitute, and which cannot use fixed ammunition.
Which Crimes are Felonies Under North Carolina Law?

North Carolina law prohibits someone from possessing a firearm when that person has a felony conviction in North Carolina. A suspect with a felony conviction in a state other than North Carolina or under federal law can also face charges for possession of a firearm under North Carolina law. However, there is an exception: those convicted of a felony offense pertaining to antitrust violations, unfair trade practices, or restraints of trade are permitted to possess a firearm and may hence apply for a gun permit or license.

Actual Possession of a Firearm as a Felon

Possession of a firearm may be either constructive or actual. Actual possession requires an individual to have physical or personal custody of the firearm and may be proven by circumstantial evidence. An individual has constructive possession when he or she does not have the firearm in their physical presence, but nonetheless has the power and intent to maintain control and dominion over it.

The Penalties for Possession of a Firearm as a Felon

In North Carolina, a person convicted of possession of a firearm by a felon shall be punished as a Class G felon. Those convicted of a Class G felony face prison sentences between 9 and 47 months. The more criminal convictions a person has in their background, the more this potential prison sentence increases under North Carolina’s Structured Sentencing regime.

Is it Ever Possible to Regain Your Right to Possess a Firearm as a Felon?

North Carolina residents that have been convicted of a single nonviolent crime and have regained their citizenship rights may petition the court to remove their disentitlement to possess a firearm and restore their firearms rights in the state. If approved, restoration of an individual’s firearm possession rights in North Carolina allows that person to legally purchase, own, possess, or have in their custody, care, or control a firearm.

The petition process for restoration of firearm possession rights is complex and can vary depending on the circumstances of your case. If you wish to regain your firearms rights, contact our Charlotte criminal defense attorneys today to let us walk you through the legal process.

Contact Our Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyers as Soon as Possible

If you are facing a criminal charge for possession of a firearm by a felon, our legal team can help. Contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC as soon as possible to schedule your case evaluation and learn how we can fight for your rights. Call us at 704.370.2828 or fill out our contact form online.