November 16, 2022 | Kentucky Law
Being convicted of a felony in Kentucky has serious consequences. In addition to jail time and fines, a convicted felon cannot legally own a firearm except in a few circumstances. Possession of a firearm by a felony is a felony offense in Kentucky.
A felon convicted of possessing a firearm without their firearm rights being restored faces another felony conviction. The penalties for firearm crimes depend on whether you are convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor. In either case, you could be incarcerated and pay a substantial fine.
Under What Circumstances Can a Felon Legally Own a Gun in Kentucky?
A felony offense generally is any offense that carries a punishment of more than one-year of imprisonment. If you are convicted of a felony offense in Kentucky or another state, you cannot own a gun in Kentucky unless:
- You receive relief from the United States Secretary of Treasury, according to the Federal Gun Control Act of 1968;
- The felony conviction was vacated or expunged under Kentucky Revised Statute §431.073; OR,
- You receive a full pardon from the President of the United States or the Governor of Kentucky.
Felons do not possess the same rights as other individuals. They lose those rights when they are convicted of a felony and may never regain those rights. You could face harsh penalties for violating Kentucky gun laws if your gun rights have not been restored.
Possession of a Gun by a Convicted Felon in Kentucky
Kentucky Revised Statute §527.040 states that you are guilty of a crime when you possess, transport, or manufacture a firearm after being convicted of a felony offense. Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon is a Class D felony charge. The offense is a Class C felony if the firearm is a handgun.
The law applies whether you were convicted of a felony in Kentucky or another state. It also applies to youthful offenders convicted of felony charges.
The penalty for possessing a firearm as a convicted felony depends on the felony class and any aggravating factors. You could face up to 10 years in state prison and a fine of $10,000 for a conviction.
Selling or Transferring a Gun to a Felon Is a Crime in Kentucky
Even though you are not a felon, you can be arrested for a crime if you sell or transfer a gun to a felon. Kentucky Revised Statute §237.070 makes it a crime to knowingly transfer or sell a firearm to a convicted felon.
The offense is a Class A misdemeanor. The penalty for violating the law is a fine of $500 and up to 90 days in county jail. Additionally, the firearm transferred to the felony is subject to forfeiture.
Fighting Firearm and Weapons Charges in Lexington, KY
There are numerous weapons charges that you could face in Kentucky. Common criminal charges related to firearms and weapons include, but are not limited to:
- Possession of a firearm by a felony
- Transferring or selling a firearm to a felony
- Defacing a firearm
- Possession of a weapon in a government building
- Providing a firearm to a minor
- Selling or manufacturing armor-piercing ammunition
- Having firearms on school property
- Possession of a destructive weapon with the intent to use it for harm
Many weapons charges are felony charges. Therefore, you could face substantial time in prison for a conviction. Furthermore, you also face losing some of your rights as a convicted felon.
However, an arrest for a firearms crime is different from a conviction. You have the right to legal counsel and the right to fight criminal charges.
A Lexington criminal defense lawyer can help you build a defense against the charges. Potential defenses to firearm charges include:
- Your right to possess a firearm was restored
- The possession of the firearm did not violate state or federal laws
- You complied with all open carry and concealed carry laws and regulations
- You did not have a firearm
- You did not knowingly transfer or sell a firearm to a minor or a felon
In addition to a specific defense related to firearms, your criminal defense attorney might also argue that law enforcement violated your civil rights. For example, the police officers did not have probable cause for an arrest or search. Without probable cause, the evidence might be admissible, or the criminal charges might be dismissed.
The important thing to remember is not to panic if you are arrested for firearm crimes in Lexington. Instead, try to remain calm and do not talk to the police without an attorney present.
Contact the Lexington Criminal Defense Attorneys at Suhre & Associates, LLC For Help Today
Suhre & Associates, LLC – Lexington
333 West Vine Street #212
Lexington, KY 40507