Category Archives: Criminal Law

Can those with a misdemeanor domestic violence conviction own muzzle loaders?

This question involves the intersection of two complex areas of firearms law: The federal prohibition triggered by a misdemeanor conviction of a crime of domestic violence; and Whether black powder firearms are considered ‘firearms’ under state and federal law. Let’s … Continue reading

Posted in Black Powder Firearms, Criminal Law, Domestic Violence, Federal Law, Hunting, MCDV, Muzzle Loading Firearms, Purchasing Firearms, Virginia Law | Comments Off on Can those with a misdemeanor domestic violence conviction own muzzle loaders?

Green card holders and firearms

“May I purchase a firearm if I have a green card?” Some version of this question shows up in my email almost every week. It is hardly surprising since there is a great deal of confusion concerning green card holders and … Continue reading

Posted in 4473, ATF, Background Checks, BATFE, Criminal Law, Federal Law, Green Card Holders, Prohibited Persons, Purchasing Firearms | Comments Off on Green card holders and firearms

Avoiding AOW status with a permanently attached muzzle device on a pistol with a vertical foregrip

In my latest article I discussed how permanently attached muzzle devices become part of the barrel length and overall length of a firearm. With that understanding, a client asked me to revisit my earlier article about vertical foregrips.   As I … Continue reading

Posted in AOW, AR Pistols, ATF, ATF Ruling, Barrel Length, BATFE, CHP, Concealed Handgun Permit, Criminal Law, Federal Law, Firearms Technology Branch, Overall Length (OAL), SBR, Short Barreled Rifles, Short Barreled Shotguns | Comments Off on Avoiding AOW status with a permanently attached muzzle device on a pistol with a vertical foregrip

May those prohibited from owning firearms due to a mental health issue hunt with black powder rifles?

I received a call from a potential client last week who was confused about the recent change to Virginia law regarding black powder firearms. The conversation went something like this: Client: “I heard that even if you can’t legally own … Continue reading

Posted in Black Powder Firearms, Criminal Law, Gun Rights Restoration, Hunting, Mental Health, Prohibited Persons, Purchasing Firearms, Virginia Law | Comments Off on May those prohibited from owning firearms due to a mental health issue hunt with black powder rifles?

Virginia convictions which meet the federal definition of ‘misdemeanor crime of domestic violence’

Perhaps the least-understood federal firearms prohibitions are those codified at 18 U.S.C. 922(d)(9) and (g)(9). These two sub-sections generally prohibit the acquisition, possession, and transportation of firearms by any person “who has been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor … Continue reading

Posted in ATF, Background Checks, BATFE, Criminal Law, Domestic Violence, Federal Law, Prohibited Persons, Purchasing Firearms, SCOTUS, US Supreme Court, Virginia Law, Virginia State Police | Comments Off on Virginia convictions which meet the federal definition of ‘misdemeanor crime of domestic violence’

Non-violent felons in Virginia may now own certain black powder firearms

Last year I wrote an article admonishing those with felony convictions to not believe the oft-repeated rumor that felons can still possess, and hunt with, black powder firearms. In that article I noted that, while ‘antique firearms’ are not prohibited … Continue reading

Posted in Black Powder Firearms, C&R, Criminal Law, Curio and Relic, Federal Law, Felons, Gun Rights Restoration, Prohibited Persons, Virginia Law | Comments Off on Non-violent felons in Virginia may now own certain black powder firearms

Can I purchase a firearm from a dealer if I have a misdemeanor drug possession arrest or conviction?

Occasionally I will receive a call from a thoroughly confused potential client who has been denied a firearms purchase and doesn’t understand why. They were able to honestly answer all of the questions on the ATF Form 4473 in the … Continue reading

Posted in 4473, Administrative Law, ATF, Background Checks, BATFE, Criminal Law, Federal Law, Prohibited Persons, Purchasing Firearms, Regulatory Rulemaking | Comments Off on Can I purchase a firearm from a dealer if I have a misdemeanor drug possession arrest or conviction?

Is a charge eligible for expungement if it was dismissed following a deferred disposition?

Virginia offers the possibility of a ‘deferred disposition’ for first time offenders of a number of crimes, including most misdemeanor ‘property’ crimes. In a deferred disposition case, the judge will: a)  Hold that the facts are sufficient for a finding … Continue reading

Posted in Criminal Law, Deferred Disposition, Expungement, First Offender, Virginia Law, Virginia Supreme Court | Comments Off on Is a charge eligible for expungement if it was dismissed following a deferred disposition?

Do I lose my right to possess firearms if I live with a prohibited person?

This is a question that arises quite frequently.  “If my (husband / wife / boyfriend / girlfriend / parent / roommate) is a prohibited person does that mean I can’t have my legally owned firearms in my own home?” The … Continue reading

Posted in Criminal Law, Domestic Violence, Federal Law, Felons, Gun Rights Restoration, Mental Health, Prohibited Persons | Comments Off on Do I lose my right to possess firearms if I live with a prohibited person?

Do I lose my gun rights if I voluntarily seek mental health treatment?

The criteria for which types of mental health issues might give rise to a gun rights prohibition under either state or federal law is staggeringly complex. For the average citizen, unfamiliar with researching and parsing legal language, the task of understanding this … Continue reading

Posted in 4473, ATF, ATF Guidance Letters, BATFE, Criminal Law, Federal Law, Mental Health, Purchasing Firearms, Virginia Law | Comments Off on Do I lose my gun rights if I voluntarily seek mental health treatment?