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“Felon in Possession” / Unlawful Possession of a Firearm

Experienced Birmingham Gun Crimes Lawyer Dedicated to Protecting the Rights of Clients Facing Felony Weapons Charges

While Alabama is generally known as one of the best states for gun owners, this assumes that you’re legally eligible to own or possess a firearm. If you have a disqualifying conviction, you could be charged with unlawful possession of a firearm. Unlawful possession of a firearm is a felony offense, and a conviction will not only subject you to the very real possibility of a jail sentence but can also make it much harder to get a job.

 The Stoves Law Firm, P.C., proudly defends the rights of Alabama gun owners in the face of criminal charges. We have hands-on experience successfully resolving all types of gun cases through motions to suppress, negotiation and, when necessary, taking our clients’ cases in front of the jury.

Who Is Prohibited from Possessing a Firearm in Alabama?

Under Alabama Code § 13A-11-72, certain groups of people are prohibited from possessing pistols. This includes minors, those who are subject to a valid protection order for domestic abuse, “drug addicts” and “habitual drunkards,” as well as anyone who was previously convicted of a violent crime or a domestic violence link to Domestic Violence page] misdemeanor.

In this context, the term “violent crime” is defined by Alabama Code § 12-25-32(15) and includes:

  • Homicide
  • Assault
  • Kidnapping
  • Sex crimes
  • Stalking
  • Robbery
  • Burglary
  • Child abuse
  • Elder abuse
  • Discharging a weapon into an occupied building

In addition, violent crimes include any offense that meets one or more of the following criteria:

  • The offense involves the use, attempted use, or threatened use of a deadly weapon;
  • The offense involved the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force;
  • The offense created a substantial risk of serious bodily injury;
  • The offense was a nonconsensual sex offense; or
  • The offense was “particularly reprehensible.”

What is the Punishment for Unlawfully Possession of a Firearm?

The unlawful possession of a firearm under § 13A-11-72 is considered a Class C felony, which carries a sentence between one year and one day to ten years in jail, as well as a fine of up to $15,000.

Are Those with Felony Convictions Prohibited from Possessing Rifles and Shotguns?

No, Alabama’s “felon in possession” law only applies to pistols and handguns. There is no similar law restricting the lawful ownership of other types of firearms, such as rifles and shotguns, under Alabama law.

However, Alabama residents are subject to not only state law but also federal law. And, under federal law, the rules are much stricter. For example, anyone with a conviction for a crime that carried a possible sentence of more than one year is prohibited from owning or possessing any firearm—including pistols, rifles, and shotguns. Thus, it is possible—and even common—for someone to be legally permitted to possess a firearm in Alabama but not under federal law. In these cases, the fact that you are allowed to possess a gun under state law is not a defense in a federal prosecution. 

Have You Been Arrested for Being a Felon in Possession?

If you were recently arrested and charged with a state or federal gun crime, it is imperative that you act quickly to protect your rights. At the Stoves Law Firm, P.C., we are dedicated to advocating on behalf of gun owners and will fight hard to preserve your rights as well as your presumption of innocence. Attorney Jason Stoves has extensive experience handling cases involving charges of unlawful possession of a firearm in state and federal court and knows what it takes to secure the best possible result in even the toughest cases. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation today, call the Stoves Law Firm, P.C. at (205) 823-7233, or you can connect with us through our secure online contact form.

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"Jason was very sweet and informative he made sure I kept up with my case and also help get me off a very serious charge and he is very affordable I would definitely recommend him to everyone."

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"The Stoves Law Firm worked hard to get the best results I was looking for. Providing excellent advice and direction throughout the entire process. I would highly recommend The Stoves Law Firm!"

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"Was looking for a good real estate closing attorney and found one here with the stoves firm . Quick and efficient. Looking forward to the next deal! Thanks Jay."

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