Domestic Violence and the Right to Possess a Firearm in Florida
In the United States, the right to own and carry a firearm is a fundamental right provided for in the U.S. Constitution. However, if you are charged with domestic violence in Florida, and/or are facing the prospects of being the subject of a domestic violence injunction, you could lose this invaluable right.
The Florida Domestic Violence Defense Attorneys at Musca Law fully understand that the government has legitimate reasons for limiting one’s access to firearms in certain cases involving domestic violence. This is due to the fact that domestic violence matters are more likely to result in a fatality when a gun is involved. Moreover, households with firearms are eight times more likely to result in a homicide by a family member or intimate partner, and approximately two-thirds of all homicides involving domestic violence in the United States are committed using firearms.
On the other hand, accusations of domestic violence are often false or highly exaggerated. As such, without effective legal counsel, a person can lose their fundamental right to bear arms. Accordingly, if you are facing domestic violence charges, it is critical that you contact the skilled Florida Domestic Violence Defense Attorneys at Musca Law in order to learn more about your legal rights and options. Call us toll-free today at (888) 484-5057 to schedule your initial consultation with one of our experienced legal advocates. Don’t wait, as your freedom and livelihood are at stake.
Domestic Violence Offenders and the Federal Law on Gun Rights
Pursuant to what is known as the Lautenberg Act, an individual who has previously been convicted of committing domestic violence is prohibited by law from possessing a firearm. Under 18 U.S.C. Section 922(g)(9), a law enacted by Congress back in 1996, an individual who is convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence could be faced with a maximum ten-year prison term and be forced to pay a $250,000 fine for possessing a firearm.
Possession under this law can either be actual or constructive. Actual possession refers to a situation where a person physically possesses a firearm. On the other hand, constructive possession means that a person knowingly has the intention and power at a given time at exercising control and dominion over a firearm or over the area in which the firearm is located. To illustrate, if a person has a gun in his or her car and has the ability to gain access to it and exercise dominion over it, either through a third party or personally, then he or she may be considered to have constructive possession over that gun.
If a person violates this statute, this could result in the revocation of one’s supervised release. This means that if you are on probation at the time when this statute is violated, you could be forced to return to prison or jail.
Firearm Prohibition and Civil Domestic Violence Injunctions
Under Florida Statutes Section 741.30, it is unlawful for a person who has had a domestic violence injunction issued against him or her to have either ammunition or a firearm in his or her custody, control, or care. This law only applies in the event that a final judgment for a domestic violence injunction has been rendered.
Pursuant to Florida Statutes Section 790.06(2)(I), if an individual who is subject to the terms of a domestic violence or repeat violence injunction, his or her application for a concealed carry license or his or her concealed carry license will be suspended.
In some places, final and temporary orders of protection may include the directive for a person subject to these orders (known as the respondent) to surrender ammunition and firearms to law enforcement within 24 hours. Respondents must file a receipt with the court indicating that they have been served with notice of this obligation. Failing to do so can cause a respondent to be held in contempt of court.
Florida Domestic Violence Convictions and Firearms
It is clear under Florida law that a person will lose his or her right to possess a firearm should he or she have been convicted of misdemeanor or felony domestic violence. Any person who seeks to purchase a firearm in Florida must fill out ATF Form 4473, which asks the applicant whether he or she has ever been convicted of misdemeanor or felony domestic violence. This includes matters in which adjudication had been withheld. If a person falsifies this application, it constitutes a third-degree felony, which is associated with a five-year prison term.
Moreover, those who sell firearms must request a background check on an individual from the National Crime Information Center, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and the Florida Crime Information Center to ensure there are no disqualifiers.
Contact the Florida Domestic Violence Defense Lawyers of Musca Law Today!
If you are facing domestic violence charges and/or have been served with a domestic violence injunction in Florida, you need to hire a qualified Florida Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer as soon as possible. At Musca Law, our team of knowledgeable and experienced Florida Criminal Defense Lawyers will provide you with the skilled representation you need to obtain the most favorable result possible in your case. To learn more about your legal rights and options, call Musca Law now toll-free at (888) 484-5057.