For individuals who receive a misdemeanor DUI charge gun ownership is still a possibility. However, anyone convicted of a felony is automatically barred from owning a gun. Normally, a felony DUI only occurs if the accident resulted in the death/injury of another individual or if the defendant has had multiple DUI offenses. Anyone interested in purchasing a handgun in California must be at least 21 years old (18 years old for purchase of a rifle/shotgun) with proof of US citizenship. Non-US citizens most provide their Alien Registration number to be eligible for gun ownership.
Can DUI Prevent Gun Ownership?
As stated above, a misdemeanor DUI conviction does not automatically disqualify an individual from owning a gun. Only those with a felony arrest are not allowed to own a gun under any circumstances. However, a person with a misdemeanor DUI offense must still go through the normal background check. A gun can only be purchased from a licensed firearms retailer in California. Once the gun has been purchased, the buyer must wait mandatory 10-days before the gun can be considered officially owned and used. During that 10-day period a background check is performed by the Department of Justice.
Individuals seeking a gun permit must complete a Personal Firearms Eligibility Check. The PFEC application costs $20 and is a background check performed by the Department of Justice. The DOJ will check all state and federal criminal databases to determine if the applicant is permitted to own a gun. The process can take anywhere from 30-90 days.
While a misdemeanor DUI offense will not prevent gun ownership it will more than likely prevent the applicant from applying for and being granted a concealed weapons license in California.
What Crimes Preclude an Individual From Owning a Gun?
In addition to a felony arrest, an individual can be barred from owning a gun in California due to mental illness, a dishonorable discharge from military service and/or drug addiction. For an individual to be prevented from gun ownership due to mental illness the California court system must prove that the person represents a danger to himself and/or otherwise. Simply, having a mental illness is not cause for not being allowed to own a gun. In addition to the aforementioned crimes, certain misdemeanor offenses can result in not being able to purchase a gun. Misdemeanor offenses for sex crimes, drugs, domestic violence and robbery can lead to automatic gun ownership disqualification.
In closing, the answer to can DUI prevent gun ownership is both yes and no. Any felony offense automatically disqualifies a person from owning a weapon; however, a misdemeanor DUI conviction does not. Anyone with a misdemeanor DUI conviction can be granted gun ownership; however, they will not be allowed to have a concealed weapon on their person in a public space. Questions regarding DUI gun ownership should be directed to a qualified criminal attorney. If located in Orange County, California and in need of a well-respected lawyer who offers a free consultation with every prospective client.
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Photo Credit: Charles Knowles
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