Can a Convicted Felon Own a Gun in Kentucky?

November 26th, 2018 by Attorney Dan Carman

Can a Convicted Felon Own a Gun in Kentucky?

A convicted felon cannot legally own a gun in Kentucky, with some exceptions. This includes those convicted as youthful offenders and those convicted of a felony under federal law or in another state. Possession of a firearm by a felon is itself a felony. If you have been charged with this crime, we may be able to help.

Under Kentucky Revised Statute 527.040, the crime of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon (one who has served more than one year of imprisonment) occurs when he or she possesses, manufactures or transports a firearm after he or she has been convicted of a felony under the laws of the jurisdiction in which he or she was convicted, in any state or federal court, and has not …

  • Been granted a full pardon by the Governor or by the President of the United States, or,
  • Been granted relief by the United States Secretary of the Treasury pursuant to the Federal Gun Control Act of 1968, as amended.

The law applies to any youthful offender convicted of a felony offense under Kentucky law. Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon is a Class D felony unless the firearm is a handgun, and then it’s a Class C felony. Class C felony punishment includes five to ten years in prison, and a class D felony conviction carries with it a prison sentence of one to five years. Both felonies also include fines from $1,000 to $10,000.

If you’re a felon it’s not only a crime to possess a gun, but it’s a crime for someone to sell or transfer one to you, under Kentucky Revised Statute chapter 237.070. It states that no person shall knowingly sell or transfer a firearm to any person prohibited from possessing it by Kentucky Revised Statute 527.040. Anyone doing this could be convicted of a class A misdemeanor (punishable by a jail term of 90 days to a year plus a $500 fine).

Federal law can come into play under Title 18, United States Code, Section 922(g)(1). It states that it’s a violation of law for a felon to ship or transport in interstate or foreign commerce, or possess any firearm or ammunition in a way that affects commerce, or receive any firearm or ammunition which has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce. Penalties include a fine and up to ten years in prison.

Felons charged with gun possession are normally prosecuted in state courts, though federal law enforcement may get involved if you are found with a firearm while trafficking illegal drugs or the firearm is a modified, automatic or unusually dangerous weapon.

If you have been charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, you need a criminal defense attorney who can protect your rights and your future. Contact us today so you can discuss your situation with one of the attorneys at the Lexington, Kentucky-based Carman Law Firm. As criminal defense attorneys with years of experience, we offer thorough, experienced representation.