Federal law prohibits people convicted of domestic violence from owning or possessing guns. First, the 1968 Gun Control Act prohibited people convicted of domestic violence felonies from possessing or owning guns. Later, the Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban, also known as the Lautenberg Amendment, extended the gun restrictions to people convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors.
How Federal Gun Laws Apply to Virginia Domestic Violence Misdemeanors
The Lautenberg Amendment applies if you are convicted of a misdemeanor involving either: (1) the use or attempted use of physical force; or (2) the threatened use of a deadly weapon.
Additionally, you must bear a certain familial relation to the alleged victim. Specifically, the Lautenberg Amendment only restricts your gun rights if one of the following is true:
- You are the current or former spouse of the victim
- You are the parent or guardian of the victim
- You share a child with the victim
- You live with (or previously lived with) the victim as a spouse, parent, or guardian
- You are in a situation that is similar to that of a spouse, parent, or guardian of the victim
Possessing a gun in violation of the Lautenberg Amendment is a federal criminal felony.
Protect Your Gun Rights Before a Domestic Violence Conviction
The Gun Control Act and the Lautenberg Amendment do not apply when you are arrested or charged with a crime. Instead, these laws only limit your gun rights if you are convicted of domestic violence. You can stay in control of your future and prevent the impact of a criminal conviction on your gun rights, freedom, finances, and reputation by contacting an experienced Fairfax criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your defense.
Your gun rights may be important to you. You may need a gun to do your job, to hunt, or for protection. Our lawyers will fight hard to protect all of your rights. We will begin with investigating and aggressively fighting the domestic assault charges against you. Call us or complete our online contact form to get started as soon as possible.