A mandatory consequence resulting from a DV conviction in Washington state is the loss of your right to possess a firearm. Unlike other sentencing conditions imposed by the court, the prohibition against possession of firearms has no expiration date and is permanent unless or until the individual successfully petitions the court for reinstatement of this right, Additionally, no exceptions are made for those who must carry a firearm for employment purposes (i.e. law enforcement, military personnel). Pursuant to RCW 9.41.047, at the time of conviction for a DV offense, the court must both orally and in writing notify the defendant “that he must immediately surrender any concealed pistol license and that the person may not possess a firearm unless his or her right to do so is restored by a court of record.” This is a very complicated are of domestic violence defense and gun law. Feel free to contact a Washington domestic violence lawyer at Milios Defense for assistance.
Violation of the Uniform Firearms Act (VUFA)
A person is guilty of Unlawful Possession of a Firearm in the Second Degree if he is found in possession of a firearm and has:
- been convicted or found not guilty by reason of insanity in this state or elsewhere of any felony not specifically listed as prohibiting firearm possession under subsection (1) of this section, or any of the following crimes when committed by one family or household member against another, committed on or after July 1, 1993: Assault in the fourth degree, coercion, stalking, reckless endangerment, criminal trespass in the first degree, or violation of the provisions of a protection order or no-contact order restraining the person or excluding the person from a residence (RCW 26.50.060, 26.50.070, 26.50.130, or 10.99.040);
RCW 9.41.040(2)(a)(i). Such a violation is a Class C felony.
Reinstatement of Rights
The reinstatement of ones right to possess firearms after a domestic violence conviction in Washington is a complicated matter. It involves successfully completing probation and then having those rights specifically restored by the sentencing court or other court of record. There may well be federal law implications as well. The short of it is that you should not be in possession of a firearm after a DV conviction until the court specifically authorizes you to. If you have any questions on firearms privileges as they relate to domestic violence cases, contact us for a consultation on the subject.