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Firearm Possession by Felon

Convicted felons in the United States are stripped of their constitutional right to keep and bear arms, both at the federal level and under Iowa state law. The restriction applies even to those convicted of non-violent felonies such as financial or drug related crimes.

It is a nightmare situation to have resolved your felony conviction just to have the criminal justice system flood back into your life. It is imperative you hire a competent defense team that can appeal to the prosecutors, judge and jury in your defense. This crime alone could add another felony conviction to your record and expose you to as much as five years in prison.

Des Moines Firearm Possession by a Felon Defense Attorney

If you are a convicted accused of having a firearm, contact a Des Moines firearm possession by a felon defense attorney at McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C.. The attorneys will fight hard to keep the justice system from tacking on another felony conviction to your record and sending you to prison. We will question each portion of your case and submit the necessary motions to get you a fair hearing.

Call us at (515) 279-9700 to get started with a free consultation. We can answer your questions and will probe you for the relevant details to build out your case. We are licensed to practice in federal and state courts across Iowa and commonly represent clients in Polk County, Dallas County, Warren County, Madison County and Guthrie County.

Information About Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon in Iowa

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Restricted Weapons for Convicted Felons in Iowa

Iowa Code 724.26 restricts the possession of a firearm or an offensive weapon by a felon. The definition of an offensive weapon is laid out in Iowa Code Section 724.1 to include:

  • A machine gun
  • A short-barreled rifle or short-barreled shotgun – with a barrel less than 16” for rifles and less than 18” for shotguns or overall length (for both types) less than 26”
  • Any weapon other than a shotgun or muzzle loading rifle, cannon, pistol, revolver or musket, which fires or can be made to fire a projectile by the explosion of a propellant charge, which has a barrel or tube with the bore of more than six-tenths of an inch in diameter, or the ammunition or projectile therefor, but not including antique weapons kept for display or lawful shooting
  • A bomb, grenade or mine, whether explosive, incendiary or poison gas
  • Any rocket having a propellant charge of more than four ounces
  • Any missile having an explosive charge of more than one-quarter ounce
  • A ballistic knife with a detachable blade which is propelled by a spring-operated mechanism, elastic material or compressed gas
  • Any part or combination of parts either designed or intended to be used to convert any device into an offensive weapon as, except magazines or other parts, ammunition or ammunition components used in common with lawful sporting firearms
  • Any bullet or projectile containing any explosive mixture or chemical compound capable of exploding or detonating prior to or upon impact
  • Any shotshell or cartridge containing exothermic pyrophoric misch metal as a projectile which is designed to throw or project a flame or fireball to simulate a flamethrower
  • Any mechanical device specifically constructed and designed so that when attached to a firearm silences, muffles, or suppresses the sound when fired (with certain exceptions for deer hunting with a special permit)

The exceptions to an offensive weapon include:

  • Any antique firearm manufactured before 1898 or a replica of such that does not use conventional ammunition
  • A collector’s item which is not likely to be used as a weapon due to its design or age
  • Any device designed to be used for signaling and not a firearm (flare gun)

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Possession of a Firearm as a Felon Under Iowa Law

Iowa Code 724.26 stipulates:

      A person who is convicted of a felony in a state or federal court,
or who is adjudicated delinquent on the basis of conduct that would
constitute a felony if committed by an adult, and who knowingly has
under the person’s dominion and control or possession, receives, or
transports or causes to be transported a firearm or offensive weapon
is guilty of a Class D felony.

A Class D felony in Iowa is punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of $750 to $7,500.

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Possession of a Firearm as a Felon Under Federal Law

According to 18 U.S.C. § 922(g), any person who has been convicted of a crime in any court that is punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year is not eligible to possess and firearm or ammunition that has at any point crossed state lines.

The penalty in federal court is up to 10 years imprisonment for a first offense.

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Defenses to Possession of a Firearm as a Felon

There are a number of ways we may be able to argue your case. The best solution is to call McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. at (515) 279-9700 to discuss the events leading to your stop, search, and arrest.

The government must have a legitimate and reasonable suspicion that you are committing a crime before they are allowed to stop you for identification or questioning. After a stop, which may occur while you are walking down the street or driving down the road, the officer must have reasonable suspicion that you are armed and dangerous before being allowed to frisk you or a passenger in your car for a weapon.

The police may search the passenger compartment of your vehicle if they have a reasonable suspicion that you are armed and dangerous or if the firearm is in plain view. This type of detainment is called a “Terry stop” derived from the federal case Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968).

The prosecutors, in addition to defending the legitimacy of the stop and search, must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you knowingly possessed the weapon. If a convicted felon borrowed a car with no knowledge of a firearm being in the vehicle, that person did not knowingly possess the firearm.

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Finding the Best Possession of a Firearm as a Felon Defense Attorney in Polk County

The attorneys at McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. are passionate about keeping our clients out of jail, especially those who have previously wrangled with the criminal justice system and wish to live their lives out of trouble.

Possession of a firearm is not a surefire case, and we will work every angle to make the job difficult for prosecutors. The government does not hold all the cards, and in fact has a difficult bar to prove your guilt. Attorneys at McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. will pursue all available measures to make their job harder and your chance at freedom greater. Call (515) 279-9700 today to discuss the details of your case.