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What Happens to My Gun Rights After a Conviction?

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Criminal Convictions & Your Gun Rights

In 2017, 30% of Americans owned a gun while 42% lived in a household with a gun, according to a Pew Research Center report. Thus, it’s fair to say that gun rights are a key aspect of many people’s livelihoods and play a significant role in their peace of mind.

However, your gun rights can change if you get into certain trouble with the law.

Wisconsin Firearm Laws

Federal law, specifically the 1968 Gun Control Act, prohibits convicted felons and anyone subject to a domestic violence restraining order as a result of a misdemeanor domestic violence conviction from possessing a firearm. In Wisconsin, certain criminal convictions and charges can impact your Second Amendment right to bear arms. As such, it’s important to learn about what factors may cause you to lose your gun rights.

Wisconsin’s firearm laws prohibit the following people from having a gun:

  • People who are convicted of a felony
  • People who are convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence crime
  • People who are convicted of a crime in another state that would qualify as a felony in Wisconsin
  • People who are found not guilty of a felony in Wisconsin due to a mental defect or disease
  • People who are convicted of a crime due to a mental defect or disease in another state that would qualify as a felony in Wisconsin
  • People who are required to complete substance abuse treatment
  • People who are subject to an order prohibiting them from possessing a firearm

If you wish to receive a Governor’s Pardon, which is not the same as an expungement, to restore your gun rights, Wisconsin’s Pardon Advisory Board (PAB) allows people who completed their sentence five years ago, have no intervening convictions and no pending charges apply to restore their gun rights. According to Governor Tony Evers, to be eligible, you must also:

  1. Have been convicted of a felony in Wisconsin. Misdemeanors do not qualify for a pardon at this time.
  2. Have completed your sentence at least five years ago, including jail, prison, Huber, probation, community service, parole or supervision.
  3. Have not been convicted of another crime since you completed your sentence. This does not include minor traffic charges (including a misdemeanor conviction for driving with a revoked or suspending license) or crimes prior to finishing your sentence.
  4. Not currently be required to register as a sex offender.​

Facing a criminal charge in Wisconsin? Our criminal defense lawyer can work to protect your firearm rights and mitigate your potential criminal penalties by providing strategic legal counsel and aggressive defense on your behalf.

To learn more, please contact us at (414) 882-8382 today!

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