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In North Carolina, it is illegal to be a felon in possession of a firearm, and if you are convicted, you face another felony on your record and time in custody.

If you have a prior felony and were recently charged with illegally possessing a firearm, call Randall & Stump, Criminal Defense Attorneys, at (980) 237-4579 today. You also can reach us online to request a free consultation regarding your case.

The Benefit of a Lawyer When Facing Gun Charges as a Felon

Weapon charges as a felon require help from a defense attorney who knows how to present your situation in the best possible light and secure the best possible outcome. This may include negotiating for a favorable plea, arguing for a reduction or possible dismissal, or fighting to prove your innocence.

North Carolina Felony Weapon Possession Laws

Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon is prohibited under North Carolina General Statutes (NCGS) 14-415.1. This means if you were ever convicted of a felony anywhere in the U.S., you can no longer own or possess a gun in North Carolina.

A few felony convictions do not result in you losing your right to own or possess a firearm, such as those related to unfair trade practices, antitrust violations, and restrains of trade.

Possession of a Firearm by a Felon Penalties

If you are a felon in possession of a firearm (your vehicle, person, or residence), you will be charged with a Class G felony, which carries a sentence of anywhere between eight and 31 months in prison.

With multiple felonies on your record, you may face harsher penalties.

Federal Charges for Firearm Possession as a Felon

If you are a felon found in possession of a firearm, you can also face federal charges. This is more likely when someone is accused of transporting a firearm over state lines, arrested on federal property, or investigated and arrested by federal authorities.

As a federal offense, you face up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 for being a felon in possession of a firearm. Suppose you have three or more prior state or federal convictions for violent felonies or serious drug offenses. In that case, you could be subject to a mandatory minimum sentence under the Armed Career Criminal Act.

According to the U.S. Sentencing Commission, the average sentence for felons in possession of firearm offenders in 2018 was 64 months.

Can You Restore Gun Rights as A Convicted Felon?

The Restoration of Firearm Rights law (NCGS 14-415.4) may allow you to regain your right to buy, possess, and own a firearm in some circumstances.

Your single felony conviction must not have been a class A, B1, B2, or lower-class violent felony. Convictions are considered violent felonies if they involve assault as an essential element of the crime, a firearm or other deadly weapon, or required sex offender registration.

Other eligibility criteria include:

  • Being a resident of North Carolina for at least one year
  • You have not been convicted of certain misdemeanors since the felony conviction
  • You submit your fingerprints to the county sheriff a background check

Refer to this table from the University of North Carolina’s law resource database and ask a lawyer to find out if you may be eligible to restore your gun rights.

Defense Options for Firearm Possession as a Felon

Possible defense strategies that may apply to a felony gun possession case may include:

  • You were unaware of the presence of the gun and did not knowingly possess it
  • The firearm belonged to someone else
  • The gun was found because of an illegal search and seizure

To get started on creating the best defense for your case, contact a lawyer who knows how to fight a felon in possession of a firearm charge.