According to Arkansas gun laws, it is illegal for a person who has been convicted of a felony to possess or own a firearm. This includes cases where the sentence is suspended or the defendant is placed on probation, unless the case was dismissed or expunged or the person was subsequently granted a pardon explicitly restoring the ability to possess a firearm. This law applies to all felons, regardless of the severity of their crime.
Restoration of gun rights for convicted felons in Arkansas is a complicated process. Current law allows a person found guilty of a felony to restore their gun rights by expunging their conviction under the First Offender Act, receiving a pardon that expressly restores the right to possess a firearm, or by petitioning the governor for the restoration of gun rights. However, certain situations allow an expunged felon to possess a gun without the petition. It is important to note that this is a complicated issue and anyone seeking to restore their gun rights should seek legal assistance and advice.
- It is illegal for a person who has been convicted of a felony in Arkansas to possess or own a firearm.
- Restoration of gun rights for convicted felons in Arkansas is a complicated process that involves expunging the conviction, receiving a pardon, or petitioning the governor.
- Anyone seeking to restore their gun rights in Arkansas should seek legal assistance and advice.
Arkansas Gun Laws and Felony Convictions
Understanding the Law
In Arkansas, it is illegal for a person who has been convicted of a felony to possess a firearm. Arkansas Code Title 5, Criminal Offenses, Subtitle 6, Offenses Against Public Health, Safety, or Welfare, Chapter 73, Weapons, § 5-73-103 states that “a person who has been convicted of a felony shall not possess or own any firearm in this state.” This law applies not only to Arkansas residents but also to anyone who is passing through the state with a firearm in their possession.
Under federal law, it is also illegal for a person who has been convicted of a felony to possess a firearm. This means that even if a person’s gun rights have been restored under Arkansas law, they may still be prohibited from possessing a firearm under federal law.
Consequences of Violation
If a person is found to be in possession of a firearm in violation of Arkansas law, they may be charged with a Class D felony, which carries a penalty of up to six years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Additionally, law enforcement officers are authorized to seize any firearms in the possession of a person who is prohibited from possessing them.
There is currently a bill being proposed in Arkansas that would allow convicted felons to possess firearms. The bill seeks to restore the right to possess and own a firearm to felons, or to those who have been convicted of certain misdemeanors. However, until this bill is passed into law, it remains illegal for convicted felons to possess firearms in Arkansas.
In conclusion, Arkansas law prohibits convicted felons from possessing firearms, and violation of this law can result in serious consequences. While there is a bill being proposed that could change this law, it has not yet been passed into law, and until it is, convicted felons should not possess firearms in Arkansas.
Restoration of Gun Rights
In Arkansas, felons are generally prohibited from owning firearms. However, there are some circumstances under which a felon’s gun rights can be restored.
Pardons and Expungements
One way for felons to restore their gun rights in Arkansas is through a pardon from the governor. According to Arkansas Online, State Rep. Vivian Flowers filed a bill that would provide a pathway for people previously convicted of felonies to regain their right to possess a firearm after a certain period of time. This bill seeks to restore the right to possess and own a firearm to felons, or ex-felons, of non-violent offenses.
Another way for felons to restore their gun rights is by having their conviction expunged or dismissed under the First Offender Act or through the Arkansas Drug Court. According to Arkansas Law King, there are only three ways to restore gun rights in Arkansas after a felony conviction: expunging the conviction under the First Offender Act, under the Arkansas Drug Court or Veterans Court, or a pardon from the Governor.
First Offender Act and Drug Court
The First Offender Act allows first-time non-violent offenders to have their records sealed or expunged after completing their sentence. According to CC Resource Center, the sealing or expungement of records under the First Offender Act restores all rights and privileges lost as a result of the conviction, including the right to own and possess firearms.
The Arkansas Drug Court is another option for felons looking to restore their gun rights. According to KY3, the proposed bill seeks to restore the right to possess and own a firearm to felons of non-violent offenses and those who have completed the Arkansas Drug Court program.
In summary, felons in Arkansas can restore their gun rights through a pardon from the governor, having their conviction expunged or dismissed under the First Offender Act or through the Arkansas Drug Court. It is important to note that the process of restoring firearm rights is complex and requires a uniform petition to be filed with the court.
Mental Illness and Convictions
In addition to prior felony convictions, individuals who have been adjudicated mentally ill or committed involuntarily to any mental institution may also be prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm in Arkansas. This is because the state considers such individuals to be a danger to themselves or others, and therefore a threat to public safety.
Under House Bill 1013, introduced by Representative Vivian Flowers, individuals who have been adjudicated mentally ill or committed involuntarily to any mental institution may petition the court to have their firearm rights restored. However, the individual must demonstrate that they are no longer a danger to themselves or others and that the restoration of their firearm rights would not be contrary to public safety.
Violent Felonies and Gun Ownership
Individuals who have been convicted of a violent felony in Arkansas are prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm. A violent felony is defined as a Class B or Y felony, or any other felony offense that involves the use of a weapon or the threat of serious physical harm to another person.
If an individual has a prior violent felony conviction, they may be subject to enhanced penalties if they are found to be in possession of a firearm. For example, if an individual is convicted of a Class D felony and has a prior violent felony conviction, the offense will be elevated to a Class B felony.
It is important to note that even if an individual has had their record expunged or has been granted a pardon, they may still be prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm if they have committed another crime or if their current possession of a firearm involves the commission of another crime.
In conclusion, the possession of a firearm by a felon in Arkansas is a complex issue that depends on a variety of factors, including the type of felony conviction, mental health history, and current criminal activity. It is important for individuals to understand their rights and restrictions under Arkansas law before attempting to own or possess a firearm.
Legal Assistance and Advice
Individuals who have been convicted of a felony in Arkansas are prohibited from owning or possessing firearms under state and federal law. However, there are certain circumstances in which a convicted felon may have their gun rights restored.
Navigating the legal system can be a daunting task, especially for those who have been convicted of a crime. Seeking legal assistance and advice is crucial for those who wish to regain their gun rights. There are several law firms and organizations in Arkansas that offer legal assistance to convicted felons seeking to restore their gun rights.
It is important to note that legal advice should only be sought from licensed attorneys. Parole officers, probation officers, and other law enforcement officials are not qualified to provide legal advice.
Those seeking legal assistance should also be aware of the laws and regulations surrounding firearms in Arkansas. For example, Arkansas law prohibits individuals convicted of homicide or offenses against public health and welfare from possessing firearms.
In addition to seeking legal assistance, individuals seeking to restore their gun rights may also wish to contact their local legislators. Legislators may be able to provide guidance and support for those seeking to restore their gun rights.
It is important to note that restoration of gun rights is not a guaranteed process and may require an appeal to the prosecuting attorney. Additionally, veterans who have been convicted of a felony may be subject to additional restrictions under federal law.
Finally, it is important to note that concealed handgun licenses are not available to convicted felons in Arkansas. Those who have been convicted of a felony and wish to carry a concealed weapon should seek legal advice before doing so.
Overall, seeking legal assistance and advice is crucial for those seeking to restore their gun rights in Arkansas. With the help of qualified legal professionals and a thorough understanding of the laws and regulations surrounding firearms, individuals may be able to regain their right to bear arms.