DV impacts Right to Bear Arms

The tragedy at Marysville-Pilchuck High School last October wherein Jaylen Fryberg killed himself and several classmates resulted, in part, from the actions of his father. Jaylen fatally shot his friends and himself in the school cafeteria last fall. He used one of his father’s firearms in the incident.

Now Jaylen’s father, Raymond, is facing six counts of illegally possessing a cache of firearms. Prosecutors say he was prohibited from possessing firearms (regardless of our constitutional right to bear arms) because he was the subject of a domestic violence protection order.

The Lautenberg Amendment to the Gun Control Act makes it a felony to possess firearms or ammunition if you have been convicted of certain misdemeanor domestic violence (DV) crimes. Under the Amendment, a “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence” means that the person was (1) convicted of a misdemeanor crime that (2) involved the use or attempted use of physical force or the threatened use of a deadly weapon and (3) the individual must have had a familial or family-like relationship with the victim.

Felony and Misdemeanor DV cases will affect a person’s right to bear arms. In Washington State, a domestic violence conviction for 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th Degree Assault, coercion, stalking, reckless endangerment, criminal trespass in the first degree, or ,similarly to Mr. Fryberg’s situation, a violation of the provisions of a protection order or no-contact order will result in a loss of firearm rights. It should be noted that soldiers and police officers are not exempt or immune from this law.

In a non-felony offense situation a person may petition the court for restoration of his gun rights after 3 consecutive years in the community without any criminal offenses as long as all the conditions of the original sentence have been completed and the person has no prior felony convictions prohibiting him from possessing firearms.

In Felony offense situations (excluding sex offenses and Class A felonies) a person may petition the court for restoration of his firearm rights after 5 consecutive years in the community without any criminal offenses, as long as the person has no prior felony convictions prohibiting him from possessing firearms.

The Marysville-Pilchuck High School incident is a tragic example of why the government has chosen to curtail certain people’s right to bear arms, and undoubtedly emboldens the government to further crack down on folks who choose to not abide by court orders. One should be aware that if convicted of a domestic violence related charge his right to bear arms will be impugned regardless of what our forefathers wrote in the US constitution.

If you or a loved has been arrested for a domestic violence related crime in Washington State immediately contact a Seattle domestic violence criminal defense attorney to protect your rights and interests. The Seattle domestic violence criminal defense attorneys that make up the criminal defense team of SQ Attorneys are highly qualified and reputable Seattle domestic violence criminal defense lawyers that are dedicated to providing top notch, aggressive representation for those arrested for crime all across Western Washington and the Greater Puget Sound region. The team creates success by working with law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney’s office to ensure that all facts and circumstances related to the criminal allegations are considered in creating the fairest, most equitable and just resolution possible in light of all the surrounding circumstances of the given case. So, whether cited for domestic violence related malicious mischief, assault, property destruction or some other crime, protect yourself … call SQ Attorneys immediately.

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