Possession of Firearm by Convicted Felon

Possession of Firearm by Convicted Felon

In Georgia, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon is a felony crime punishable by a sentence of 1-10 years in prision.

What is Possession of a Firearm?

In Georgia, possession of a firearm can be viewed as actual possession or constructive possession. Obviously, actual possession includes circumstances where a person has direct control such as on their person, in their vehicle, etc. Constructive possession is effectively having knowledge of the existence and location of a firearm with the realistic ability to control it.

Sentence for Possession of a Firearm by a Felon

A first-time conviction for possession of a firearm by a felon is punishable by a sentence of five years in prison.

A subsequent conviction for possession of a firearm by a felon is punishable by a sentence of ten years in prison.

Exceptions For Convicted Felons to Possess a Firearm

The state of Georgia has provisions that restore the legal rights for a felon to possess a firearm. These provisions are:

  • Any person who has been pardoned for the felony. O.C.G.A. § 16-11-131(c)
  • A person who has been convicted of a felony pertaining to antitrust violations, unfair trade practices, or restraint of trade, and submits an application showing that their record and reputation are such that the possession of firearms would not present a threat to the safety of Georgia citizens. O.C.G.A. § 16-11-131(d)

Additionally, a person who is discharged from probation as a first offender without a court adjudication of guilty is permitted to possess a firearm. Firearms possession charges generally do not apply if a felon is in a home, building or area where a firearm may be present but is not under control of the felon..

Georgia Code § 16-11-131

Possession of firearms by convicted felons and first offender probationers

  • (a) As used in this Code section, the term:
  • (1) "Felony" means any offense punishable by imprisonment for a term of one year or more and includes conviction by a court-martial under the Uniform Code of Military Justice for an offense which would constitute a felony under the laws of the United States.
  • (2) "Firearm" includes any handgun, rifle, shotgun, or other weapon which will or can be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive or electrical charge.
  • (b) Any person who is on probation as a felony first offender pursuant to Article 3 of Chapter 8 of Title 42 or who has been convicted of a felony by a court of this state or any other state; by a court of the United States including its territories, possessions, and dominions; or by a court of any foreign nation and who receives, possesses, or transports any firearm commits a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be imprisoned for not less than one nor more than five years; provided, however, that if the felony as to which the person is on probation or has been previously convicted is a forcible felony, then upon conviction of receiving, possessing, or transporting a firearm, such person shall be imprisoned for a period of five years.
  • (b.1) Any person who is prohibited by this Code section from possessing a firearm because of conviction of a forcible felony or because of being on probation as a first offender for a forcible felony pursuant to this Code section and who attempts to purchase or obtain transfer of a firearm shall be guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than five years.
  • (c) This Code section shall not apply to any person who has been pardoned for the felony by the President of the United States, the State Board of Pardons and Paroles, or the person or agency empowered to grant pardons under the constitutions or laws of the several states or of a foreign nation and, by the terms of the pardon, has expressly been authorized to receive, possess, or transport a firearm.
  • (d) A person who has been convicted of a felony, but who has been granted relief from the disabilities imposed by the laws of the United States with respect to the acquisition, receipt, transfer, shipment, or possession of firearms by the secretary of the United States Department of the Treasury pursuant to 18 U.S.C. Section 925, shall, upon presenting to the Board of Public Safety proof that the relief has been granted and it being established from proof submitted by the applicant to the satisfaction of the Board of Public Safety that the circumstances regarding the conviction and the applicant's record and reputation are such that the acquisition, receipt, transfer, shipment, or possession of firearms by the person would not present a threat to the safety of the citizens of Georgia and that the granting of the relief sought would not be contrary to the public interest, be granted relief from the disabilities imposed by this Code section. A person who has been convicted under federal or state law of a felony pertaining to antitrust violations, unfair trade practices, or restraint of trade shall, upon presenting to the Board of Public Safety proof, and it being established from said proof, submitted by the applicant to the satisfaction of the Board of Public Safety that the circumstances regarding the conviction and the applicant's record and reputation are such that the acquisition, receipt, transfer, shipment, or possession of firearms by the person would not present a threat to the safety of the citizens of Georgia and that the granting of the relief sought would not be contrary to the public interest, be granted relief from the disabilities imposed by this Code section. A record that the relief has been granted by the board shall be entered upon the criminal history of the person maintained by the Georgia Crime Information Center and the board shall maintain a list of the names of such persons which shall be open for public inspection.
  • (e) As used in this Code section, the term "forcible felony" means any felony which involves the use or threat of physical force or violence against any person and further includes, without limitation, murder; felony murder; burglary; robbery; armed robbery; kidnapping; hijacking of an aircraft or motor vehicle; aggravated stalking; rape; aggravated child molestation; aggravated sexual battery; arson in the first degree; the manufacturing, transporting, distribution, or possession of explosives with intent to kill, injure, or intimidate individuals or destroy a public building; terroristic threats; or acts of treason or insurrection.
  • (f) Any person placed on probation as a first offender pursuant to Article 3 of Chapter 8 of Title 42 and subsequently discharged without court adjudication of guilt pursuant to Code Section 42-8-62 shall, upon such discharge, be relieved from the disabilities imposed by this Code section.

Weapons Charges Lawyer in Cherokee County GA

If you need help with weapons charges in Georgia you need to consult with a lawyer as soon as possible. Any criminal charges can be devastating to your finances, personal relationships, and ability to get a job. Contact a TOPIC lawyer online or call 770-956-1400.