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Thread: Question about owning handgun

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    ksligh is offline Junior Member
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    Question about owning handgun

    I had a checkered past but when I became a Christian 34 years ago that all changed. I had multiple felonies in SC and with my new life in tow I went to a Parole and Pardons meeting and got a pardon on all crimes committed in SC. Unfortunately there was that one motorcycle I stole in California, well it was actually dropped down to receiving stolen goods...and I never spent any effort trying to get that pardoned. I was in the military at the time, but it was a state offence. And it was in 1973 or 1974.

    If I get processed to see if they are still angry about that what will happen? I talked to a pawn shop owner and he said if I get processed and am found unable to have a gun, then I can't even be in a house with a gun. Is that true.

    Thanks, Kurt

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    ksligh is offline Junior Member
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    And also, if I buy a gun from a private party and sign a bill of sale, will the come after me for not being able to own a gun.

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    GCBHM is offline Senior Member
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    First, if you buy a gun from a private party, no one will come after you. However, if you are caught with the gun you could be arrested if you're illegally in possession of a firearm. My recommendation, if you have been pardoned, would be to go ask local law enforement. If you are a convicted felon, you can't own a gun or possess one in your house; however, that does not mean you cannot visit friends who own firearms. But if you have indeed been pardoned of any felony, then there really should be no problem submitting to a background check.

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    ksligh is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for the reply. I should never be caught with it, as it will stay in the house for home protection. We have a shooting range on our property so we don't need to take it anywhere either. Maybe I should just let me wife buy it.

    I was pardoned in SC, but not California. I guess the fact that it's been over 40 years since my last offense won't matter much huh.

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    ksligh is offline Junior Member
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    Is there a background check that I can do online that would be the same as the ones you get when you buy a gun? And if so, is there any reason not to do one (apart from the cost).

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    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is online now Senior Member
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    Having been pardoned is not enough. I believe that you also need to get the offenses expunged from your record.
    Offenses which show up on your record will complicate your every attempt to legally posses a firearm.

    Getting offenses expunged requires the services of an attorney, and appearances in a court of law.
    You seem to have two separate states to deal with, which probably will require two different attorneys.
    Your SC attorney can advise you in this. He may have a colleague in CA, and thus could possibly handle the entire process.

    Purchasing a firearm from a private party would probably be illegal, if your offenses have not been expunged. Ask your lawyer.
    If it's illegal, it's a federal felony. Do you want to go through that sort of thing again?
    Evading compliance with a law is criminal behavior, isn't it?

    If you attempt to buy a firearm from a gun shop, part of the process is a records check. It's pass-or-fail.
    There is no harm in making the attempt, as long as you answer the questions on the federal form honestly and correctly. (Lying or evading is a felony.)
    Then, you will either pass or you will fail. If you fail, the shop will cancel the sale, but that's the only penalty you'll suffer for having tried.
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    pic is offline Senior Member HGF Gold Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ksligh View Post
    I had a checkered past but when I became a Christian 34 years ago that all changed. I had multiple felonies in SC and with my new life in tow I went to a Parole and Pardons meeting and got a pardon on all crimes committed in SC. Unfortunately there was that one motorcycle I stole in California, well it was actually dropped down to receiving stolen goods...and I never spent any effort trying to get that pardoned. I was in the military at the time, but it was a state offence. And it was in 1973 or 1974.
    If I get processed to see if they are still angry about that what will happen? I talked to a pawn shop owner and he said if I get processed and am found unable to have a gun, then I can't even be in a house with a gun. Is that true.

    Thanks, Kurt
    Felonies will always be on your record .
    But Steve's advice is the way to go.
    Your Age when the felonies were committed and the type of felonies committed are important factors , IMO
    Last edited by pic; 08-08-2014 at 05:25 PM.

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    tony pasley's Avatar
    tony pasley is offline Senior Member
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    Do not try to buy a firearm without being sure you can legally do it. Spend the money on a Lawyer and be sure or you will mess up your life and your family's life and possible the person who sold you the firearms life. That is to much to risk.

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    DJ Niner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve M1911A1 View Post
    (snip)

    If you attempt to buy a firearm from a gun shop, part of the process is a records check. It's pass-or-fail.
    There is no harm in making the attempt, as long as you answer the questions on the federal form honestly and correctly. (Lying or evading is a felony.)
    Then, you will either pass or you will fail. If you fail, the shop will cancel the sale, but that's the only penalty you'll suffer for having tried.
    Steve, I am in full agreement with everything you said in your post, above, UNTIL you got to this point.

    Where you fill out the form 4473, question 11.c. is the problem:

    "11.c. -- Have you ever been convicted in any court of a
    felony, or any other crime, for which the judge could have imprisoned you for more
    than one year, even if you received a shorter sentence including probation?"

    When a person is filling out the form, if they answer "Yes" to this question, every gun shop or sporting goods store I have worked in or seen will stop the transaction; based on my experience, he will never get to the point where they make the call to do the background check. This might be handled differently in states that use their own records check vs the FBI/Federal check, but usually any "Yes" answer where there should be a "No" on the front of the 4473 brings everything to a screeching halt. On page 2, right above where the buyer must sign, there is a statement the buyer is supposed to read and certify with his/her signature. This statement includes the line: "I understand that a person who answers 'yes' to any of the questions 11.b. through 11.k. is prohibited from purchasing or receiving a firearm." On page 4 of the form, the instructions for line 11.c say that if the person has had their civil rights restored, they should answer "no" to that question, and describe the conditions under which this exception is implemented. Here is a link to a .PDF of the 4473 form (April 2012 version; I think that is the most-current form):

    https://www.atf.gov/files/forms/down...f-f-4473-1.pdf

    Store personnel are usually very serious about getting correct info on the form, as these are sampled during compliance inspections and historically have been a major source of inspection write-ups. Heck, one time I made a joke about writing-in "Not Yet" in one of the Yes/No boxes, and I got a several-minute lecture from the store owner.

    For some of these folks, when dealing with the Feds or their paperwork, they have no sense of humor at ALL.
    Last edited by DJ Niner; 08-19-2014 at 04:42 AM. Reason: Added signature block info, rearranged other stuff.
    "Placement is power" -- seen in an article by Stephen A. Camp
    (RIP, Mr. Camp; you will be remembered, and missed)

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    Cait43's Avatar
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    As suggested by others, you need to contact an attorney that is familiar with owning/purchasing firearms for someone with a past criminal record...
    Restoration Of Gun Rights Lawyers, Attorneys, Law Firms |

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    ksligh is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cait43 View Post
    As suggested by others, you need to contact an attorney that is familiar with owning/purchasing firearms for someone with a past criminal record...
    Restoration Of Gun Rights Lawyers, Attorneys, Law Firms |
    Thanks, I located a SC attorney and emailed them describing my situation.
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    GCBHM is offline Senior Member
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    You may have to be paitient b/c a lot of times attys don't always jump on every case. You may want to call as they are usually more apt to talk to you if you can actually get them on the phone rather than giving them the clean option of ignoring an email. Good luck!

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    ksligh is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by GCBHM View Post
    You may have to be paitient b/c a lot of times attys don't always jump on every case. You may want to call as they are usually more apt to talk to you if you can actually get them on the phone rather than giving them the clean option of ignoring an email. Good luck!
    May have seen that my situation was something he couldn't remedy and he's ignoring me. But it's only been a few days.

  14. #14
    GCBHM is offline Senior Member
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    Unfortunately, you may be right. If you can't get a lawyer on the line, you may want to consider going to the local sheriff's office and ask them to just do a background check for you. You may have to complete the application for a CCP, but at least you'd know whether or not they would issue you a CP. You never know, with it being so long ago, they just may. Maybe not, but at least you'd have an answer.

    You could also ask if you are permitted to own and keep a gun at home for home defense as well. Most LEOs really don't mind answering those type questions for you.

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    shaolin's Avatar
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    A pardon is not enough. The pardon must say you are entitled to own a gun. Even then the federal system may cause you problems so an expungement would remove the data from NCIC. The felony in CA would bar you from owning a gun or ammo. Certain states have different rules on if you can be in a house with the gun. The gun must be owned by someone legally entitled to own a gun.
    The person cannot be:

    under indictment for or have been convicted of a felony. (see note 1)
    a fugitive from justice
    an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance
    adjudicated as a mental defective or has been committed to a mental institution
    an alien who is illegally or unlawfully in the United States (see note 2)
    discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions;
    someone who has renounced his or her U.S. citizenship;
    subject to a court order that restrains the person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner of the person or child of such intimate partner or person, or engaging in other conduct that would place an intimate partner in reasonable fear of bodily injury to the partner or child
    convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence,
    Note 1: Felony conviction does not include any conviction which has been expunged or set aside, or for which a person has been pardoned, or has had civil rights restored, unless the pardon, expungement, or restoration of civil rights expressly provides that the person may not ship, transport, possess, or receive firearms.
    Felonies don’t include non-violent business related crimes.
    Civil rights are generally restored after the sentence is completed for felonies that are not crimes against persons.
    Note 2: Legal immigrant aliens (“green card” or approved and pending green card) are not prohibited.

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    TAPnRACK's Avatar
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    Just try to get approved at your FFL... worst thing that can happen is you get denied. I costs you nothing to try. At least if they run your CCH you'll know. If you are not approved due to a background issue, do NOT try to buy one privately... it's a felony... if you've been convicted of a felony, you will go to jail.

    If you think guys who own guns illegally, but keep them only in their residence are safe... think again, i've encountered a few and taken them in for being a prior felon in possession of a firearm (not going into detail on circumstances). Not worth it...

    Things don't look good for you, sorry.
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    omahaoutdoors is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ksligh View Post
    I had a checkered past but when I became a Christian 34 years ago that all changed. I had multiple felonies in SC and with my new life in tow I went to a Parole and Pardons meeting and got a pardon on all crimes committed in SC. Unfortunately there was that one motorcycle I stole in California, well it was actually dropped down to receiving stolen goods...and I never spent any effort trying to get that pardoned. I was in the military at the time, but it was a state offence. And it was in 1973 or 1974.

    If I get processed to see if they are still angry about that what will happen? I talked to a pawn shop owner and he said if I get processed and am found unable to have a gun, then I can't even be in a house with a gun. Is that true.
    Thanks, Kurt
    Hi Kurt,

    If you are still a felon, you can't have a gun on premise. I have a friend that was pardoned from the state of Nebraska and was able to pass the FBI NICS check. Once you get your pardon, you'll get a "Delay" response most of the time when you fill out an ATF form 4473 to acquire a firearm. Usually, you'll make two trips to the FFL, because you'lll get the green light to "Proceed" within a few days, most times within the next business day. Your best way around this problem (after your pardon) is to get a concealed handgun license, depending if the state you reside in, issues conceal carry permits. If your state does, apply for a conceal carry permit and include your pardon paperwork with your application. A pardon on a state level, will get you cleared in the FBI NICS database. Good luck.

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    ksligh is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by omahaoutdoors View Post
    Hi Kurt,

    If you are still a felon, you can't have a gun on premise. I have a friend that was pardoned from the state of Nebraska and was able to pass the FBI NICS check. Once you get your pardon, you'll get a "Delay" response most of the time when you fill out an ATF form 4473 to acquire a firearm. Usually, you'll make two trips to the FFL, because you'lll get the green light to "Proceed" within a few days, most times within the next business day. Your best way around this problem (after your pardon) is to get a concealed handgun license, depending if the state you reside in, issues conceal carry permits. If your state does, apply for a conceal carry permit and include your pardon paperwork with your application. A pardon on a state level, will get you cleared in the FBI NICS database. Good luck.
    You're right, I went in and had the pawn shop run me just to see and there was the delay thing. Then he called me back and said I was denied. So I contacted the SC Parole and Pardons office and told them about the pardon in 1985. She was able to pull up my records and let me know that the pardon was never applied to me. So she contacted sled with the pardon info and got back to me the next day and said it was done.

    So I went back to the pawn shop and had him run me through again, although I was delayed for a day this time, I was eventually accepted. I guess that minor issue of the motorcycle when I was 18 in California doesn't matter anymore. Halleluya

    Thanks for all of the advice
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    ksligh is offline Junior Member
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    And I did some research on CA and SC. In both states if you are pardoned your right to own a firearm is restored. No expungment necessary. Sorry lawyers, but that's what the law said

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    Quote Originally Posted by ksligh View Post
    <Major snip>

    Halleluya
    Good to hear.

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