Many gun owners find themselves facing unexpected restrictions when convicted of a domestic violence charge. These restrictions stem from the Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban—also known as the Lautenberg Amendment-which is a federal law that keeps firearms out of the hands of those deemed a domestic violence risk, even if their only conviction is a misdemeanor.
While well-meaning, the Lautenberg Amendment often has greater effects in regions and communities where gun crimes are not prevalent, but gun ownership is. Nebraska is one of these areas. Countless citizens keep firearms to protect their homes and families and use guns within the culture of hunting and recreational shooting. If you have been charged with a crime of domestic violence and are not sure how this law affects your right to gun ownership, call Berry Law today. We have knowledgeable Lincoln domestic violence attorneys available to answer your questions.
What is the Lautenberg Amendment
The Lautenberg Amendment is an Amendment to the Gun Control Act of 1968, sometimes referred to as the domestic violence offender gun ban. The amendment primarily serves as federal law that prohibits the possession of firearms by individuals who have been convicted of a domestic violence offense, including misdemeanor domestic violence. In fact, the amendment can even impact individuals who have not been convicted of domestic violence. The Lautenberg Amendment is the only misdemeanor crime that gives a lifetime prohibition to the ownership, possession, and transfer of firearms. The amendment doesn’t only impact your ability to own a firearm, it can also have a detrimental effect on your job and your career.
Lautenberg Amendment Restrictions
The Lautenberg Amendment outlines extensive restrictions on firearm possession for those convicted of domestic violence, even in misdemeanor cases. Not only does the law prevent ownership, but restricts any close contact or involvement with firearms.
Restrictions of the Lautenberg Amendment include:
- Firearm ownership
- The purchase or sale of firearms
- The purchase or ownership of ammunition
- The transport or shipment of firearms or ammunition
- Knowingly giving or selling someone restricted firearms or ammunition
- Possessing a firearm
What Options Do I Have?
The Lautenberg Amendment has been controversial since its inception, but as it stands, there is little to be done if a gun owner has been convicted of domestic violence or been subject of a restraining order. The best way to fight to avoid these restrictions is to build a strong defense with a Nebraska criminal lawyer before the case goes to trial.
At Berry Law, our team has more than 80 years of combined criminal experience. We know how important gun rights are to our clients and exhaust every possible avenue to help them retain these rights in the face of even the most complex charges.
If you are facing a domestic violence charge, your gun rights are likely in jeopardy. Call our firm in Omaha or Lincoln to schedule a confidential consultation today.