Firearm purchase applications — actually consent forms for firearm dealers to run police background checks of the purchaser of a handgun or other firearm — ask whether the purchaser has been convicted of a felony offense. Va. Code § 18.2-308.2:2. As a Fairfax criminal lawyer, I know that answering that question incorrectly with a negative response risks a prosecution for making a materially false statement on the firearm purchase consent form, punishable as a Class 5 felony, jailable up to ten years in prison. The same penalty applies to making a materially false statement firearm transaction records as may be required by federal law. Id.
Firearm purchase application lies stem from a thirst to possess handguns, says Fairfax criminal lawyer
Through my many years of defending people charged with handgun offenses, I have seen the tremendous thirst of so many people to possess handguns that they will knowingly risk conviction for unlawfully possessing them. Others will use poor judgment in being around people in unlawful possession of handguns and other contraband.
Lying on a Virginia firearm application about a prior felony conviction makes one a sitting duck for a new felony prosecution
If a Virginia firearm applicant incorrectly states that s/he has no prior felony convictions, that applicant is a sitting duck for an immediate felony prosecution, because the incorrect answer will be immediately revealed. When a firearm purchase applicant is in doubt about whether s/he has a prior felony conviction, s/he should consult with a qualified lawyer, because claims of not understanding the prior felony case proceedings, nor arguments that an out-of-state felony conviction would not be a felony in Virginia will not fly, as confirmed this week by the Virginia Court of Appeals. Cartagena v. Virginia, ___ Va. App. ___ (Nov. 28, 2017).
The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution certainly proclaims of a right to bear arms, including handguns, but the appellate courts are not going to interfere with legislation criminalizing convicted felons from possessing firearms.
Fairfax criminal lawyer Jonathan L. Katz believes in putting teeth into the Second Amendment in order to protect us under the rest of the Bill of Rights. To discuss you weapon or other criminal case with Jon, please call his staff at 703-383-1100 to schedule a confidential consultation.