How Can A Felon Defend Himself? People with a felon have the right to protect themselves with a firearm in “extraordinary circumstances.” State and federal prohibit people who have been convicted of a felony to purchase, own, and carry a firearm.
While most US states have similar firearm laws, some believe it is necessary to be able to protect yourself in dangerous situations. This includes people with a felony conviction on their criminal record.
How Can A Felon Defend Himself?
It depends on the state you reside in. Most US states believe people with felony criminal records should be prohibited from possessing firearms.
It is unfortunate to be caught in a situation where your life is under threat. In this case, a felon should have the right to utilize a weapon for protection.
If you are a convicted felon who resides in the State of North Carolina, is legal to utilize a pistol, rifle, or shotgun in self-defense if your life is being threatened. Many North Carolinians are unaware of this regulation, which was passed following a 2020 trial.
State Of North Carolina Versus Sydney Shakur Mercer
In March 2016, Sydney Shakur Mercer, a convicted felon, and two friends were confronted by a group of around 15 people at his home. The confrontation was regarding a so-called attack on a member of the group.
Mercer questioned why the group was at his home. They claimed he attacked a member of the group. Mercer denied the allegations, but this did not deter the group from wanting to get revenge.
The group blocked the entrance of Mercer’s home when his mother emerged to see what all the noise was about.
Mercer’s mother claimed the group refused to leave upon her request. Some or all members of the group were carrying firearms, according to Mercer and his mother.
One of Mercer’s friends was armed but did not know how to properly utilize his weapon. After hearing guns cocking, Mercer took his friend’s weapon and utilized it to back the group up.
When gunshots were heard, Mercer’s mother screamed for him to flee. Mercer fled the scene to safety. Later, he turned himself in at the local police department.
Law enforcement charged Mercer with possession of a firearm by a felon. In 2018, Mercer was indicted on the firearm charge and two additional counts of assault with a deadly weapon.
Not until his case came before the North Carolina Supreme Court in February 2020, Mercer was facing more years behind bars. The North Carolina Supreme Court overturned the charges.
Can Convicted Felons Defend Themselves With A Firearm?
Yes, but only in certain circumstances. A felon must be under an impending threat of serious bodily injury or death. You must be facing imminent danger to utilize a firearm in self-defense situations.
However, this rule only applies to convicted felons who are not responsible for putting themselves in a reckless situation.
One example of this is a convicted felon driving out to a property, with the intent to do great harm to an enemy. In this case, the felony negligently placed himself in a dangerous situation that required the use of a firearm.
It is crucial to know the firearm laws in the state you reside in.
Must Read: What Weapons Can A Felon Own?
Will A Convicted Felon Be Charged With Possession Of A Firearm By A Felony For Self-Defense?
If you are a convicted felon who utilized a gun to protect yourself from imminent danger, you are not off the hook just yet.
Your case will thoroughly be examined by a court of law very critically. You can expect no favor from the court, even though you believe your action was justified.
The court will need to determine if you have another alternative to avoid bodily harm or death. If you could escape without harm but chose to utilize a firearm to get yourself to safety, you may very well be facing possession of a firearm by a felony charge.
What If The Felon Owned The Gun Utilized For Self-Defense?
Once you are convicted of a felony charge, you are no longer by law permitted to own a firearm. You gave up your right to own a firearm when you committed a felony that you were later convicted of.
If a convicted felon utilizes his own firearm to get out of imminent danger, he may be facing another felony charge and a lengthy prison sentence.
Convicted felons lose their privilege to own, possess, or control a firearm. In this case, there would be no reason for you to have a gun in your possession, especially a gun registered in your name.
If law enforcement is called out to investigate the case, one of the first things the responding officer will do is run the serial number on the gun. If the gun is registered in your name, you may be charged at the scene or at a later date.
If I Have A Felony Conviction Do I Have The Right To Utilize A Firearm For Self-Defense?
This is not a simple yes or no answer. There are various factors that must be considered to determine if you are legally permitted to utilize a gun to protect yourself. As mentioned previously, anyone with a felony conviction does not have gun rights.
Unfortunately, you can find yourself in a deadly situation at no fault of your own. When you get caught in a dangerous situation, with no other alternative, you can protect yourself with a firearm. However, it is never this easy because you are a convicted felon.
If A Felon Facing Imminent Danger Utilize His Gun For Protection?
This question is virtually the same as the previous question. The first thing law enforcement will consider is how the gun got into your possession. If the gun is registered in your name, you will most likely be charged for possession of a firearm by a felon.
The minute you are convicted for a felony crime, you will no longer have the right to bear arms. In other words, you will be forced to give up your firearms. So, there would be no reason why you have a firearm in your possession in the above scenario.
If someone in your group gives you their gun to utilize for protection, you may not face additional charges.
Can Convicted Felons Keep A Firearm In Their Home For Protection?
No, convicted felons are not permitted to possess firearms. Now, this does not necessarily mean a convicted felon cannot reside in a home with a firearm. A convicted felony can reside in a house with a gun.
However, the gun must be stored in a safe that requires a key to open. With this said, the convicted felon does not have the legal right to possess the safe key. The same thing goes for gun safes, with a combination or keypad lock.
Why Do Convicted Felons Have To Give Up Their Right To Bear Arms?
Convicted felons are considered high risk, which means they are a potential danger to others and public facilities and resources.
Recommended: Legal Self Defense Weapons for Felons
As soon as you are convicted of a felony, you give up your right to register a firearm in your name. You also give up the right to possess a firearm. It is important to know the firearm laws in your state to avoid further criminal convictions related to firearm violations.
Robert Gomez was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. He currently lives in Northern California with “the wifey,” “the kids,” “the dog,” and “that cat,” 🙁 He is also a former journalist who has interviewed murderers on death row. Felonyfriendlyjobs.org was born to help ex-felons get a second chance in life.