It would be hard to deny that gun laws are important in the United States. The right to bear arms—as the Founding Fathers put it—is intrinsic to our legal system. Despite being a right of all Americans, the number of ways you could lose your firearm privileges might surprise you.
Who can lose their gun rights?
In Florida, anyone who is found guilty of a felony loses the right to possess guns. This means that a DUI, drug possession or burglary conviction can all lead to you losing your right to own and use guns.
This law applies even if you don’t have a gun on you when you commit the crime, and even if you don’t already own a gun. Even if you’re a minor, Florida can ban possession and ownership of firearms for the rest of your life. This restriction also applies if you were convicted of certain crimes in other states, or of any federal crime.
Can you get your gun rights back?
The only way to have your firearm rights restored in Florida is through clemency—more commonly known as a pardon. There are many types of clemency, which have different impacts on your gun rights. In some cases, your punishment may be erased and your gun rights restored. In other cases, you may receive a reduced sentence with no restoration of gun rights.
It is important to remember that losing your Second Amendment rights only happens if you are found guilty of a felony, so retaining them is just one more reason to avoid a conviction.