Posts Tagged ‘felon in possession firearm’
In 2012, Louisiana voters approved a state constitutional amendment that makes gun ownership a fundamental right. This places gun ownership on the same level as freedom of speech or freedom of religion. This law also requires that any challenges should be held to strict scrutiny which is the most stringent standard of judicial review. In other words, the law should favor the constitutional right or principle more than the government’s interest.
Since this amendment passed, many defense attorneys have challenged prosecutions for Felon in Possession of a Firearm La. R.S. 14:95.1 in state courts. The issue is whether the amendment applies to convicted felons who are barred from having firearms. District Judges in state courts seem to be divided on their interpretation of the law. A couple weeks ago, the Louisiana Supreme Court heard arguments addressing this question.
I am on the edge of my seat waiting for the justices to release their decision. Last year, I had a case where I challenged the prosecution of my client for being a convicted felon with a firearm. Unfortunately, the state court judge ruled against me. I think that he just did not feel comfortable making that call. One problem that I see with Louisiana’s statute restricting firearm possession with respect to felons is that the law is too broad. I also think that the sentencing range is too harsh — 10 to 20 years. As written, the law does not even permit someone who has been convicted of a small felony, such as theft of $500.00, to possess a rifle to go hunting.
I know that I will revisit this topic when the justices release their decision.
If you or a loved one has been arrested for a violation of a Louisiana gun law, it is imperative that you hire an attorney who defends firearm offenses. Contact attorney Elizabeth B Carpenter for a consultation.
If you are being criminally charged with Possession of Firearm or Carrying Concealed Weapon by a Person Convicted of Certain Felonies, contact Elizabeth B. Carpenter Law for a consultation. We are ready to defend you and protect your rights!
Possession of Firearm or Carrying Concealed Weapon by a Person
Convicted of Certain Felonies — La R.S. 14:95.1
It is unlawful for any person who has been convicted of a crime of violence which is a felony or simple burglary, burglary of a pharmacy, burglary of an inhabited dwelling, unauthorized entry of an inhabited dwelling, felony illegal use of weapons or dangerous instrumentalities, manufacture or possession of a delayed action incendiary device, manufacture or possession of a bomb, or possession of a firearm while in the possession of or during the sale or distribution of a controlled dangerous substance, or any violation of the Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances Law which is a felony, or any crime which is defined as a sex offense, to possess a firearm or carry a concealed weapon unless to felony conviction has been set aside.
Whoever is found guilty of violating the provisions of this Section shall be imprisoned at hard labor for not less than 10 nor more than 20 years without the benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence and be fined not less than $1,000.00 nor more than $5,000.00.
Whoever is found guilty of attempting to violate the provisions of this Section shall be imprisoned at hard labor for not more than 71/2years and fined not less than $500.00 nor more than $2,500.00
This crime is a felony.
The provisions of this Section prohibiting the possession of firearms and carrying concealed weapons by persons who have been convicted of certain felonies shall not apply to any person who has not been convicted of any felony for a period of 10 years or more from the time of arrest.