Many people do not know this, but it is unlawful for any person who has been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence (in Arkansas the most common misdemeanor domestic violence crime is domestic battery in the third degree), to possess a firearm. This is a federal statute, which means that it supersedes any relevant state statute to the contrary. What the statute means is that if a person has been found guilty or have plead guilty/no contest to a crime of domestic violence (even a misdemeanor) that person has lost the right to possess a fire arm for life. Also if a person is currently subject to an order of protection, it is unlawful for that person to possess a firearm. Finally there is no legal duty for a prosecutor to reveal this consequence to a person during or after any investigation/plea/trial. The relevant statutes are below:
18 U.S.C. § 922
(g) It shall be unlawful for any person -
(8) who is subject to a court order that -
(A) was issued after a hearing of which such person received actual notice, and at which such person had an opportunity to participate;
(B) restrains such person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner of such person or child of such intimate partner or person, or engaging in other conduct that would place an intimate partner in reasonable fear of bodily injury to the partner or child; and
(C)(i) includes a finding that such person represents a credible threat to the physical safety of such intimate partner or child; or
(ii) by its terms explicitly prohibits the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against such intimate partner or child that would reasonably be expected to cause bodily injury; or
(9) has been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence,
to ship or transport in interstate or foreign commerce, or possess in or affecting commerce, any firearm or ammunition; or to receive any firearm or ammunition which has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce.
This blog is not legal advice, but a general explanation of the law that is not specific to your case, if you have one. If you have questions concerning your rights, a recent police interaction or any other legal issue please contact either General Practice Law Firm or another attorney for a proper application of the law to your case.