Monday, February 29, 2016

Felons and Firearms

A convicted felon cannot own a firearm.  Likewise, some convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence cannot either.  One quirky issue in this is whether a felon can hunt even using a crossbow or bow and arrow.  The Mississippi Attorney General issued an opinion in 2004 expressly allowing convicted felons to possess bows and crossbows.  See 2004 WL 555121 (Miss.A.G.) Opinion No. 2004-0043, dated February 13, 2004.  The opinion states:
It is the opinion of this office that a muzzle loading rifle or a muzzle loading shotgun is within the meaning of the term “firearm” as used in Mississippi Code Annotated Section 97-37-5. However, the statute does not include weapons such as a traditional bow and arrow or crossbow. Therefore, a convicted felon may possess (and consequently hunt with) a traditional bow and arrow or crossbow.
If you have been convicted of a felony and want to hunt with a firearm rather than a bow or crossbow, check with an attorney in your area to see if your conviction can be expunged.  Some things can be expunged, some cannot.  My office handles these on a pretty regular basis. 

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