Deep Dive: The 2nd Amendment
June 21, 2021
The Second Amendment: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
This is a constitutional right which, in theory, belongs to everyone. However, it might not belong to you. There are both state and federal laws which instill fear with this right and which can lead to the loss of your right to possess a firearm.
In Louisiana, the law outlines specific crimes which you cannot be convicted of if you want to maintain your right to bear arms. The list of felonies is long and includes everything from crimes of violence to violations of controlled dangerous substance laws. Should you be found guilty of a felony, you also forfeit your right to possess a gun. The penalty for violation of this firearm law is a sentence of no less than five years and no more than twenty years of hard labor, without benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence, and up to a five thousand dollar fine. There is a minimum sentence of five years hard labor, and the cannot be suspended. A hard labor sentence is required.
Additionally, when you expunge a felony, your firearm rights are not necessarily restored. Under Louisiana law there is a 10-year cleansing penalty for some felonies which would allow you to restore your right to bear arms. That is not necessarily the case under federal law. Federal law is more narrowly construed to limit the restoration of gun rights, including a prohibition of gun rights to individuals engaging in crimes involving controlled dangerous substances, domestic violence, or crimes against an intimate partner. This often comes into play when people come to me having pled guilty to a misdemeanor domestic abuse batter, or a crime derived therefrom, and have lost their gun rights without even realizing the consequences of their plea. Unfortunately, know realizing the consequences of your actions at the time of the plea is not an excuse and does not fix the situation.
From a practical standpoint when you are convicted of a felony in Louisiana you are no longer entitled to possess a firearm. The consequences of possessing a firearm after a conviction are severe. Remember, every situation is fact specific. A charge does not necessarily mean a conviction. I welcome the opportunity to review your case and represent you. I always tell my clients the goal is to exonerate when possible, litigate when necessary, and mitigate when required. The end goal is always a positive resolution for my client.
If you or someone you love has experienced a run-in with the law, do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Larrion L. Hillman at
Keep Calm and Call Hillman.