Federal Gun Ban for Domestic Violence Offenders Upheld

 Posted on January 26,2017 in Domestic Violence & Orders of Protection

Arlington Heights criminal defense attorneyDomestic violence charges are not something to ignore. Able to affect your job, housing, and upend your life in numerous ways, such charges can be used in custody and other family law cases, which could keep you from your family. Conviction can also impact your right to own or use a firearm. The following explains more about this prohibition, and provides details on how to ensure your rights are protected, right from the very start.

Federal Gun Ban Extended

Originally the law only barred those convicted of violent felonies from owning a gun, but Congress extended the ban in 1996 to also cover misdemeanor convictions of domestic violence. Such offenses are the most common charge of physical assault occurring in homes across the United States. 

Once issued, the ban is permanent unless a state court agrees to erase the conviction from their record. In California, those convicted of a misdemeanor offense can have their conviction erased after completing their sentence and convincing a court they have lived within the law for a sufficient period of time. Chovan challenged the ban on the grounds that California law only imposes a 10-year gun possession ban for those convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence; however the appeals court ruled that even a one-time perpetrator may not be considered a “law-abiding, responsible citizen.” The ruling was based on evidence showing domestic violence offenders have a high rate of reoffending.

Appeals Court Upholds the Ban

In November 2013, a federal appeals court issued a ruling that upheld a law prohibiting anyone who has been convicted of domestic violence from possessing a firearm. According to the court, the law is a legitimate and constitutional measure to keep guns from people who might harm others.

According to SFGate, the federal firearm ban was being challenged by Daniel Chovan, a San Diego man who was convicted of domestic violence in 1996 for beating his girlfriend in their home. He served 120 days in jail for the offense. In 2009, Chovan attempted to buy a gun from a dealer but was turned down after the dealer completed a background check. In 2010, police confiscated four guns from his home after a new domestic violence complaint was filed by his estranged wife.

Contact Our Arlington Heights Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you have been accused of domestic violence or any other crime, it is important that you receive quality representation. Contact an experience Arlington Heights criminal defense lawyer today. We can ensure that you receive fair representation in court and can tell your side of the story.


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