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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Posts
    3

    Question Can You Own a Firearm With an Animal Cruelty Conviction

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: Washington.

    Back in 2015 a cat was attacking my (at the time) 2 year old son, I kicked the cat to create separation and grab my son. Ended up injuring the cat, shortly after animal control was call by the owner. fast forward to june of 2017, i was summoned to court for animal cruelty. i ended up getting a gross misdemeanor/ animal cruelty in the 2nd. Now ive had my CPL for 9 years now, and still have all my fire arms, since they never mentioned anything about it and i didnt have to surrender them or anything. but now im having issues with my background checks for buying a new gun, at the time of the court dates i kept asking my lawyer if it would mess with my firearms and he always told me no. any idea why i would be having issues? ive ran my own background check and the only thing i have and have ever had is the recent charge of animal cruelty.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    1,121

    Default Re: Can You Own a Firearm With an Animal Cruelty Conviction

    Quote Quoting Zemaj
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    ...but now im having issues with my background checks for buying a new gun...
    What does that mean? Either you pass the NICS check or you don't.

    Why haven't you contacted your attorney about this?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Can You Own a Firearm With an Animal Cruelty Conviction

    i did a background check shortly after everything was settled and was delayed then denied. i honestly thought it was due to it just happening and maybe it was something in the system. i havent contacted my lawyer yet, only cuz i just applied today and was delayed again. considering i have never been delayed before all of this happening. i thought id do some research on the matter before i found out if i was denied or not. i was planning on calling my lawyer, but that doesnt mean ill get a answer right away. cuz we usually end up playing phone tag.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Can You Own a Firearm With an Animal Cruelty Conviction

    i did my own background check recently, it is a gross misdemeanor. it could be the name thing or possibly having the new charge that is delaying it. i own multiple pistols and a few rifles. this is the first time i attempted to purchase a pistol since everything as happened. and yes i know delayed isnt denied. this is the first time ive ever been delayed, just wanted to do some research since i have the charge now.
    thanks for the input though.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    7,710

    Default Re: Can You Own a Firearm With an Animal Cruelty Conviction

    Quote Quoting Zemaj
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    i did my own background check recently, it is a gross misdemeanor.
    Second degree animal cruelty is a gross misdemeanor offense, so that may indeed be what you were convicted of committing. The maximum penalty for that is 364 days in county jail. As a result, your conviction would not trigger the federal firearm ban under 18 U.S.C. 922(g) since the conviction would need to be a felony offense (which includes a state designated misdemeanor if the offense is punishable by 2 or more years imprisonment) or a conviction on a crime of domestic violence and this offense is neither of those. Similarly Washington only prohibits possession of a firearm by persons convicted of specified felonies listed in the statute. So if it was a gross misdemeanor you should fine.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    19,482

    Default Re: Can You Own a Firearm With an Animal Cruelty Conviction

    Even (Washington State) gross misdemeanors don't bar you. You haven't explained your "difficulties" but if it is because your NICS checks don't come back quickly, you're probably not going to get relief. There's something in your record that comes up when NICS is run that kicks it out for human review. Alas, there doesn't seem to be a way for the reviewer to "clear" the confused item after they review it so while they can approve the check, it means that another one done the next day will fall into the same rathole. If you record is sufficiently confused with another, you can get a UPIN, but frankly UPIN records are about as problematic as they cause almost every check to be delayed. So unless you're getting actual NICS denials, there's not much you can do about it. The systems a bit hokey and nobody in either party of congress thinks there's any point in spending more money on it.

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