Domestic assault, a deeply troubling issue that plagues many societies, has serious consequences not only for the individuals involved but also for their firearm rights. When it comes to domestic violence cases, one question that often arises is, “Does domestic assault affect my firearm rights?”
In this article, we will delve into this question and explore the impact of domestic assault on an individual’s ability to possess and own firearms under the relevant laws.
Understanding Domestic Assault and its Legal Implications
Domestic assault, commonly referred to as domestic violence, is a distressing pattern of abuse that occurs within intimate relationships. This form of violence can encompass physical, emotional, sexual, or psychological harm and leaves victims traumatized and vulnerable.
As a criminal offense in many jurisdictions, domestic assault can lead to arrests, restraining orders, and significant penalties for the offender.
The Lautenberg Amendment: A Barrier to Firearm Rights
In the United States, the Lautenberg Amendment, also known as the Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban, came into effect in 1996. This federal law prohibits individuals convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence offenses from purchasing, owning, or possessing firearms and ammunition.
The amendment extends its reach to cover not only current and former spouses but also individuals who cohabitate or have a child in common with the victim.
The inclusion of the Lautenberg Amendment in the Gun Control Act of 1968 has substantially tightened restrictions on firearm ownership for those convicted of domestic assault. Therefore, individuals falling under the purview of the amendment may face limitations on their Second Amendment rights. However, under Lautenberg, the misdemeanor crime of domestic violence conviction must meet the specific elements in order for an individual to be prohibited from possessing a firearm.
Impact on Individuals Facing Domestic Assault Charges
The repercussions of domestic assault extend beyond convictions. Even individuals facing pending domestic violence charges may encounter difficulties with their firearm rights.
Many jurisdictions impose temporary restraining orders or protective orders during the course of a domestic violence case, effectively restricting the accused from accessing firearms until the legal process concludes. In Minnesota, the temporary order for protection that is issued by the criminal court judge is called a Domestic Abuse No Contact Order (DANCO).
The Role of Background Checks
Background checks serve as an essential tool in determining an individual’s eligibility to purchase firearms.
As part of the process, authorities review the applicant’s criminal record, including any history of domestic violence. The presence of such an offense is likely to lead to a denial of the application, further curtailing the individual’s access to firearms.
Restoring Firearm Rights After a Domestic Assault Conviction
For those who have lost their firearm rights due to a domestic violence conviction, the possibility of restoring those rights may be a question of concern. The process of regaining firearm rights varies from one jurisdiction to another.
Some states offer a pathway for offenders to restore their rights, but it generally requires demonstrating rehabilitation and fulfilling specific legal requirements. In such cases, seeking legal counsel from an attorney experienced in firearm rights restoration is crucial for navigating the complexities of the process. In Minnesota, the only way to restore one’s firearm rights after a domestic assault-harm conviction, in conformity with the Lautenberg Amendment, is to receive a Governor’s Pardon.
Domestic assault is a grave issue with far-reaching consequences, not only for the victim but also for the assailant.
The question, “Does domestic assault affect my firearm rights?” has been addressed through the implementation of the Lautenberg Amendment and other relevant laws, aiming to protect potential victims from further harm.
Understanding the legal implications of domestic assault on firearm rights is essential for those involved in such cases. Preventing domestic violence is paramount in safeguarding both victims and the rights of individuals entangled in these distressing situations. Contact the experienced and knowledgeable attorney’s at Leverson Budke today for more information about how a domestic assault conviction affects firearm rights both state and federally.