In the State of Colorado and most other states Domestic Violence Convictions, even with Deferred Judgements, can have a significant impact on your right to bear arms. Regardless of whether you possess a gun for protection or for hunting, you may be completely deprived of your second amendment right to bear arms.
Domestic Violence Misdemeanor and Gun Rights
Please refer to our full post on Gun Rights and Domestic Violence Charges for the full text summary. In short, federal law prohibits anyone convicted of a misdemeanor Domestic Violence offense from possessing a firearm. To better understand what a misdemeanor domestic violence offense is, visit our page on Domestic Violence Charges.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, DEFERRED JUDGEMENTS AND GUN RIGHTS
Often times following charges of Misdemeanor Domestic Violence the defendant will be offered or will attempt to receive a Deferred Judgement. This requires the entering of a Plea of Guilty in exchange for a sentence including Domestic Violence Treatment Classes and likely some community service. Upon successful completion of a sentence over a set period of time and in the absence of any further legal incidents other than minor traffic violations, the case will be dismissed. The law on gun rights during this period is vague. It can be assumed that you lose your right to bear arms during a deferred judgement period, but then recapture your rights upon successful completion of your sentence. For more information on Deferred Judgements in Domestic Violence Cases be sure to visit our Domestic Violence and Deferred Judgements page.
ABOUT THE 1968 GUN CONTROL ACT
The 1968 Gun Control Act and subsequent amendments codified at 18 U.S.C. § 921 et seq. prohibit anyone convicted of a felony and anyone subject to a domestic violence protective order from possessing a firearm. The intended effect of this new legislation is to extend the firearms ban to anyone convicted of a “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.” This bill passed with almost unanimous support and represents Congress’s recognition that “anyone who attempts or threatens violence against a loved one has demonstrated that he or she poses an unacceptable risk, and should be prohibited from possessing firearms.” Congressional Record, p. S11878, September 30, 1996. This new provision affects law enforcement in three interrelated ways. First, it will assist in preventing those individuals who have demonstrated a propensity for domestic violence from obtaining a firearm. Second, it will assist law enforcement by providing a tool for the removal of firearms from certain explosive domestic situations thus decreasing the possibility of deadly violence. Finally, it will serve as a federal prosecution tool in certain situations where alternatives have failed.