Protecting and Restoring Your Gun Rights
The Second Amendment and the Wisconsin Constitution protects the right of citizens to keep and bear arms. However, if you are charged with a felony or a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence, or if you are facing a restraining order, your gun rights are in serious jeopardy.
A felony conviction will prohibit you from possessing a firearm for life, as will a conviction for a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence. Similarly, if a restraining order is issued against you, you will be prohibited from possessing a firearm for the length of time the restraining order is in effect. For many, losing one’s gun rights is a life-changing consequence that must be treated accordingly by an attorney experienced in handling such matters. Hart Powell, S.C. is an experienced criminal defense firm with all the knowledge and skill to help you understand why your gun rights were compromised and how to get them back. To learn more about how our gun rights attorneys can help you, contact us today at (414) 271-9595.
What Are the Laws?
In the United States, federal and state laws govern the right to own and carry guns. The Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states that “the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” Wisconsin state law also provides residents with the right to buy guns and register to carry a concealed firearm. Possession of firearms is less strictly regulated in Wisconsin in comparison to other parts of the country. You can purchase certain firearms without a permit. There are not any firearm registration requirements or any laws requiring background checks on the private sale of guns. Further, it is legal for any individual over 18 years of age to openly carry a firearm. Under the Castle Doctrine, a homeowner is under no duty to retreat into their dwelling or place of business.
In order to buy a handgun, you must be 21 years of age or older, provide a valid state identification card, and undergo a background check performed by a licensed firearms dealer. These things are not required, however, when you are purchasing a firearm from a private seller. In order to get a concealed carry permit in Wisconsin, you have to apply to the Wisconsin Department of Justice, complete an in-person handgun training course, fill out an application online, and wait for approval from the state department.
Regardless of having a permit, it is unlawful to carry a handgun in federal buildings, courthouses, government buildings, federal prisons, jails, police stations, Indian reservations, post offices, military bases, school property, security checkpoints at airports, and anywhere you decide to consume alcohol. Even though possession of firearms are less strictly regulated in Wisconsin, gun-related offenses and other felonies are still heavily prosecuted by aggressive lawyers employed by the state. In order to ensure your rights are protected, you need an attorney that is experienced in handling similar claims.
Losing Your Gun Rights
Even though you do have the right to keep and bear arms, this right is not absolute. If you are convicted of a felony, domestic violence misdemeanor, or have a restraining order against you, you may have to give up the guns you possess and forfeit your second amendment rights. Your gun rights are also at risk if you are convicted of a crime in another state that constitutes a felony offense in Wisconsin, or if you are found not guilty of a felony offense by reason of mental disease or disability.
If you are charged with a crime that could affect your ability to own or carry a gun, it can affect you for the rest of your life. Even if you are just being investigated for a crime, or were arrested for a completely unrelated crime, your gun rights could be in jeopardy. You may not be able to purchase a firearm or obtain a concealed carry license. You could also be restricted from going hunting with your family, because after losing the right to own or possess a gun, you are also not allowed to be in “constructive” possession of a gun, meaning at your residence or in your vicinity.
The only way to get your gun rights back is to go through stringent legal procedures such as a gubernatorial pardon, or getting the prosecutor to reopen the case and amend the charge to something other than a felony. It is a Class G felony, in Wisconsin, to be a felon in possession of a firearm. This is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Having an attorney represent you and help you avoid a felony conviction to begin with eliminates the chance of ever being faced with such potentially severe penalties or consequences.
If you are concerned that your charges or restraining order might cause you to lose your gun rights, you think that you have lost your gun rights because of a conviction or restraining order, or you are having trouble getting your CCW permit, call Geoff Misfeldt at Hart Powell, S.C.. He is a gun owner, a lifelong hunter, and has the experience and knowledge needed to craft creative solutions to achieve the best possible outcome if you are facing the loss of your gun rights. Geoff has also helped numerous clients who thought that they had already lost their gun rights (including one who was told that by his attorney, the prosecutor, and the Judge). Geoff has consulted with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the ATF, the Wisconsin DOJ, and the FBI to ensure that his clients’ firearm rights are protected. He has the experience and knowledge to put you on the right side of the law. Give him a call today at (414) 271-9595.