Does a Domestic Assault Conviction Lead to Loss of Gun Rights?

Domestic assault can have serious repercussions, including losing your gun rights under state and federal law. Anyone accused of the crime must take immediate action and hire a criminal defense lawyer right away. They can provide legal advice and skilled guidance throughout the case, applying their knowledge and insights to pursue a favorable outcome that could protect firearm rights.

To discuss your case with a member of the Brockton D. Hunter P.A. team, contact us at (612) 979-1112. We provide counsel in Minneapolis.

What Is Domestic Assault in Minnesota?

Domestic assault in Minnesota is a severe offense that can have far-reaching consequences. Enumerated in Minnesota Revised Statutes § 609.2242, a violation occurs when someone makes another person fear they are at risk of bodily harm or death or when they actually injure or attempt to injure another person. For the crime to be classified as domestic assault, it must be committed against a family or household member.

Family or household members include:

  • Spouses or former spouses
  • Children and parents
  • Blood relatives
  • Persons who currently or formerly lived together
  • Persons with a child in common
  • A man and a pregnant woman, if the man is alleged to be the father
  • Persons in a sexual or romantic relationship

Depending on whether the alleged actor has prior domestic assault convictions, the crime can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. A conviction can result in fines or incarceration. It can also lead to the loss of gun rights.

Minnesota Law Prohibits Firearm Possession After a Domestic Assault Conviction

Possession of a firearm is not allowed for those convicted of domestic assault. During the case, a judge will decide whether the defendant has one or more guns and whether a weapon was used to commit the crime.

If the judge determines that the defendant used and carried a firearm at the time of the offense, they will order the defendant to forfeit their guns. The person must surrender their firearm to a federally licensed dealer or local law enforcement agency within three days of the order.

The judge may also prohibit the defendant from possessing a firearm for anywhere from 3 years to life.

If a person owns a gun when they are not legally allowed to do so, they could be charged with a gross misdemeanor.

Federal Law Also Bans Gun Ownership

Under federal law, persons convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence offense are also prohibited from having guns.

More specifically, 18 U.S.C. § 922(g) provides that none of the following is allowed with firearms or ammunition affecting interstate or foreign commerce:

  • Shipping,
  • Transporting,
  • Possessing, or
  • Receiving.

The law applies to qualifying domestic violence crimes. These include offenses containing an element of the use or attempted use of force upon an intimate partner.

Also, it’s not just convictions in federal court that trigger the firearm ban. Even if a person is found guilty in state court, they are subject to Section 922(g) provisions.

And while it was mentioned above that those convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence cannot possess firearms, that doesn’t mean only misdemeanor-level crimes are covered. Section 922(g) applies to felony convictions for any crimes, including domestic violence.

Seeking to Protect Gun Rights If Accused of Domestic Assault

If you have been charged with domestic assault, you can seek to avoid or minimize the potential conviction penalties by aggressively challenging the accusations against you. Hiring a criminal defense lawyer can help you do this. Your attorney can review the details of your case, identify weaknesses in proof, and create a legal strategy tailored for you. Working diligently on your behalf, they can pursue a favorable outcome.

Schedule a consultation with one of our Minneapolis attorneys at Brockton D. Hunter P.A. by contacting us at (612) 979-1112.