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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009

    Can I LEGALLY Buy a Gun?

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Florida

    I was arrested for felony theft in Florida in 1980 and served probation until 1985 with adjudication withheld.

    Sometime around 1992 I tried to purchase a rifle but the instant check refused the purchase.

    I have not tried again since, but would now like to purchase a gun for home protection.

    As I understand it (from dozens of hours of research) my civil rights should have been AUTOMATICALLY restored after I completed my probation. My gun owner rights should have followed three years later, since adjudication was withheld.

    When I tried to purchase the rifle however, seven years had passed since I was off probation. Why was the purchase denied?

    Am I legal to own a gun or not?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    It is usually against federal guidelines to allow a felon to own a firearm.

    Did your circumstances SPECIFICALLY MENTION the reinstatement of gun ownership?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Thank you for your reply. This is from the Florida Dept of Parole official website:

    If adjudication of guilt was withheld in my case, do I need restoration of civil rights?

    No, if adjudication of guilt was withheld in your case, you have not lost your civil rights. However, per the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Firearms Purchase Program, you are prohibited from purchasing or possessing firearms for at least three years from the date your supervision terminated.

    From what I can gather - as far as Florida is concerned I wasn't 'convicted' of the crime I was charged with. With adjudication withheld, my gun ownership/purchase rights should have been restored three years after my probation ended. So I should be good to go in Florida.

    However, in order to purchase a gun a background check is required through the FBI's NICS, and, from what I understand, the FBI might treat my adjudication withheld as a conviction.

    So, what I'm guessing is happening, is Florida is saying it's OK, but the FBI check is saying NO.

    If this is the case, then what good is it for Florida to even restore your firearm rights at all?

    Plus, I can't believe I am the first/only person this has ever happened to ( I found no other posts anywhere on this site or others with the same problem.)

    FWIW - my arrest was for something that just breached the $300 mark which is the amount to make the offense a felony. In fact, I think the value was actually short of the $300 and got padded a little to get the felony, but that's a whole different story and is not something at this point that I am looking to do anything about. I plead 'nolo contendre' and got adj withheld.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    From your other thread, I believe you are attempting to buy a gun in Alabama.

    If correct, and if I'm not misunderstanding the link below, Alabama makes no provisions for the adjudication withheld ruling, nor does it restore firearm rights. Also Alabama uses the FBI for background checks which would list your 'non-conviction' as a conviction.

    So, it seems that you would be able to buy a gun in Florida, but not in Alabama.


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