Legal Information: Federal

Federal Gun Laws

February 25, 2016

What is a felony?

Throughout these gun law pages, we will refer to gun laws that make it illegal for someone convicted of a felony to have a gun.  A felony is a crime that is punished more harshly than a misdemeanor.  A felony is defined under federal law as a crime that is punishable by a prison sentence of more than one year.*  However, you cannot always tell if someone was convicted of a felony only by looking at the amount of time s/he actually served in prison since sentences are often reduced or pled down.  If you are unsure if the abuser was convicted of a felony, you might want to talk to the prosecutor who handled the criminal case against the abuser to find out or go to the local criminal courthouse and try to search the records.

* 18 USC § 3559(a)