The Second Amendment enshrines the right to bear arms, both for the defense of oneself and for the defense of the country by permitting the creation of well-organized militias. There are certain rules that limit Second Amendment rights.
Typically, people need to be an adult to have full rights under the Constitution. They also need to be of sound mind. Those diagnosed with certain mental health conditions or involuntarily admitted for long-term psychiatric care may no longer be able to legally possess firearms.
Beyond that, most adults have the right to bear arms, provided that they comply with the laws enacted at the federal, state and local levels for the protection of the general public. However, there are two different personal scenarios in which seemingly legal firearm ownership could lead to criminal charges.
A conviction with a domestic violence charge
There are several felony offenses, including violent felony offenses, that can affect someone’s legal right to own a firearm. When it comes to domestic violence allegations related to a spouse, even a misdemeanor offense will be sufficient to trigger limitations on someone’s firearm ownership rights.
If an individual with a domestic violence conviction in their background gets caught in possession of firearms, the state may charge them with a crime even though their only offense is owning a seemingly legal firearm.
A substance abuse issue
The individuals filling out the paperwork to purchase a firearm have to answer questions about whether they have substance abuse issues. Those addicted to prohibited drugs cannot legally own or carry a firearm. It is also illegal at the state level to discharge a firearm while under the influence of alcohol.
Individuals caught in possession of prohibited substances in addition to firearms could face charges as a result. Whether the firearm charge is the only criminal allegation you face or a secondary charge in addition to another offense, you need to recognize that a weapons charge could have a major impact on your future opportunities. You don’t need to use the firearm or even take it out of your home for the state to potentially charge you with a crime for owning it.
Defending yourself against allegations of criminal misconduct may require careful review of the evidence and a well-planned legal strategy.