Rhode Island’s Gun Regulations

Many people across the US enjoy recreational activities involving guns, such as hunting or target practice. Many Americans are also interested in keeping a gun in their home for the purposes of self defense. There are many things a responsible gun owner should know, such as proper use of their gun, safety precautions and any legal regulations of firearms that their state may have. To help people learn this important information, this article will describe gun regulations in the state of Rhode Island.

Who can purchase a gun?

In the interest of protecting its citizens, the government of Rhode Island does not allow certain people who may be dangerous or difficult to keep track of to purchase any kind of firearm. In this state, people who have been legally declared mentally incompetent due to a mental or emotional disorder are not allowed to own firearms. Similarly, people who have been legally determined to be drug addicts or alcoholics, or anyone currently in treatment for one of these problems, is prohibited from buying a gun. People with a prior conviction of a violent crime, fugitives from justice and illegal immigrants are also legally banned from buying or using firearms.

People under the age of eighteen can only purchase guns with the consent of a parent or legal guardian, and can only use their guns while under close supervision. You must be 21 or older to purchase a handgun, regardless of parental consent.

For people qualified to purchase firearms, there is a seven day waiting period.

How can I use my gun?

In Rhode Island, you must apply for a permit from the government before you can go hunting. Some animals, such as deer, can only be hunted in certain seasons. People who are barred from owning guns for the reasons listed above are also barred from obtaining hunting licenses.

People living in this state have a legal right to protect themselves against attackers or trespassers on their property. In the event of a burglary, this state does not have a “duty to retreat” law. This means that if someone invades your property, and you have reason to believe that you are in immediate danger of bodily harm, you can use whatever force is necessary to protect yourself. This includes the use of firearms in self-defense.

How should I store my gun?

In this state, gun owners are legally required to keep guns stored safely away from children, defined as anyone under 16. If a child obtains a gun and injures their self or another person, the owner of that gun is legally responsible.

For more information about gun regulation, contact Rhode Island weapons crimes attorney James Powderly.

Criminal Law: Are Gun Related Offences on the Increase?


The issue of guns being used for criminal purposes is not new to society and have been used since there invention by both criminals and law abiding citizens alike. There has been, however, an alarming increase within the United Kingdom were guns have been used during criminal offences. As stated before, guns have always been available to the criminal fraternity, so why has there been a sudden increase in their use within the United Kingdom. This article will assess the whether there has been an explosion of gun crime in the United Kingdom over the past two decades. The facts and figures that support the assertion that gun crime is on the increase will need to be examined first. There are many sources which have released conflicting statistics regarding the escalation of guns used in criminal activities. If the general overall perception is that gun crime is on the increase, the factors for this belief will be assessed next. There are the obvious sociological implications regarding why gun crime has exploded, however, is this rise due to the fact that guns are easier to get hold of in today’s society. Evidence supporting this assertion will be considered. Finally, if gun crime is on the increase, the possible solutions of curtailing this trend will be considered. This article will conclude that in relation to public perceptions, statistics do not matter. The state of affairs regarding the rise in gun crime is played out in the media by those with hidden agendas, those who have a vested interest in giving police more powers to carry guns, and of course, those who wish to sell more papers.

Figures Don’t Lie but Liars Can Figure

There are many sources that state that gun crime in the United Kingdom is spiralling out of control. Some terrifying statements have been made regarding the use of guns in today’s society. Indeed, David Bamber has claimed that gun crime has trebled as weapons and drugs flood British cities (Home Affairs Correspondent Filed: 24/02/2002). An independent report by Illegal Firearms in the UK, (Centre for Defence Studies at King’s College in London) states that handguns were used in 3,685 offences last year compared with 2,648 in1997, an increase of 40 per cent. These statistics are pretty intimidating. If anybody was taking these two sources of information literally, anybody would think that we are living in a lawless society. Are these statistics a true reflection of the state of affairs regarding gun crime within the United Kingdom? Gun crime, according to the Home office has risen 3% in the last year, and this has followed a 2% rise from the previous year. Nevertheless, there has been a 15% reduction in the death rate for gun related crime. Indeed, Hazel Blears Home office and MP for Salford has stated that crime has fallen for the last 20 years with people less likely to be a victim of crime than 20 years ago. It is possible to deduce from these figures that there is a slight rise in gun crime. Gun ownership is tightly controlled in the UK, but anyone reading the newspapers or watching TV would think that the streets were full of gun-toting criminals. The overall level of gun crime remains low, but it is certainly true that in some areas guns are a feature of everyday life, and that over the last four years crime involving the use of some kind of gun has been on the increase.What are the possible explanations for this?

Sociological Explanations for the Rise in Gun Crime

Crime has always had a symbiotic relationship with crime. It seems that one cannot exist without the other. This does not explain, however, the rise in gun crime. As stated earlier, guns have been available in one form or another for centuries, so why is it only now that society is experiencing a rise in gun crime. According to Newsarchive 4 gun crime is mainly concentrated in three areas; these areas are Metropolitan area, Greater Manchester and the West Midlands. In Merseyside there were 57 shootings during the 12 months to last December 2003 compared with 15 in the same period the year before. Greater Manchester also recorded a 23 per cent increase in gun crime and there have been rises in Nottinghamshire, Avon and Somerset, West Yorkshire and the Northumbria Police area which covers Newcastle. There are many who have opinions as to why gun crime has escalated. Singer and campaigner Mica Paris asserts that it is the feeling of exclusion that compels people in society to indulge in criminality and carry guns. The question remains as to whether guns are now easier to come by? Detectives in London have asserted that the illegal importation of guns started after the end of the Bosnia conflict and that they are changing hands for as little as £200. This would certainly explain why guns are becoming increasingly easier to get hold of. What can society do to stop this rise in gun crime?

Possible Solutions to Curtail the Rise in Gun Crime

There have been various schemes to curtail the rise in gun crime. The Metropolitan Police issued a gun amnesty were members of the public were urged the public to surrender any illegally held weapon, or ammunition, without fear of prosecution. The problem with this amnesty is that when people buy these guns, they are well aware that they are breaking the law. The law is not an active deterrent for anybody purchasing firearms. Whilst it is not the contention of the author that all such projects are doomed to failure, projects such as these do stink of public relations exercises, and one must question their effectiveness. It has been suggested that tougher penalties for carrying and using guns may reduce criminal offences that involve guns. Once again, people who purchase these guns are not deterred by the law. How can they be if they have gone out and purchased the guns in the knowledge that they are committing an offence? One possible solution would be to stop actively encouraging children to buy imitation guns as toys. What message are we as a society sending out when we advertise guns to children? There is also the question as to who make the guns in the first place. Now it is not being suggested that all guns throughout the world should be removed, but the present state of affairs reeks of hypocrisy when it is debated in the context of invading countries with bombs for oil.


The evidence above suggests that there has been a slight increase in gun crime throughout the United Kingdom in the past two decades, although this rise has been confined mostly to areas engulfed in poverty. There is the added assertion that the rise in gun crime is connected to the drug trade. When are governments throughout the world going to learn that by prohibiting drug use, all they are doing is passing the trade to criminals who will do anything to defend their lucrative trade. Laws prohibiting guns are an effective deterrent, however, they only deter people who have a stake in society. Tackling poverty is another potential weapon to reduce gun crime, and there is a coordinated policy being undertaken to deal with this issue. Nevertheless, gun crime is not as severe as many would have society believe, although it does make exciting headlines.

It’s the Law

We are a nation of law, not men. This is the mantra of the people who make law, day after day, century after century. Can we ever tire of hearing we must behave a certain way because it’s the law? Not only is it the law, ignorance of it is no excuse. Since no American home can contain it all in paper volumes, ignorance of the law is a natural fact of life, excuse or not. That which we have and can’t possibly know is never enough because lawmaking and enforcement are lucrative growth industries to benefit a few at the expense of many.

Government of the people, by the people, for the people can only exist on the local level and then only until a “superior” government of the people, by the rich, for the rich, supplants it. It is not ignorance of the law that enslaves us, it is our ignorance of its origins that does so. The rich exploiters of humanity write the laws we live by and have their professional servants transcribe them into the proper jargon. Jargon that makes them difficult or impossible to understand until after one has been charged with a violation that demands professional defense. How convenient for the ever expanding law profession. There appears to be a huge conflict of interest in allowing lawyers to write any laws. They and politicians are the lap dogs of the powerful. Legal guns.

Statute law which is given much more weight than diivine law, traditional common law and natural law; is mostly created by people who profit by controlling the behaviors of their ignorant and busy servants. These rich and powerful people define and control the education of their subjects. An education to convince us all we are accidental beings living lives of accidental circumstance, of no particular value. No master is responsible for anything that happens in global events but servants are responsible for their own compliant behavior. When a servant rebels, the servant is processed through the masters’ just us system and locked in a cage. We call this freedom and justice because our masters tell us it is freedom and justice, from the time we enter their youth indoctrination centers.

Guaranteed a jury of your peers, the definition of peer is any ignorant person who will follow the instructions of some judge. One who knows nothing about the suppression of evidence and criminal behaviors occurring daily in the masters’ courts. The few who discover this fraud become even more angry and rebellious so their punishment becomes a most useful example to others who might not be compliant enough to make life easy for the masters’ administrators. We give the rebels a label to distinguish them from the compliant. We call them criminals. A criminal is any person who violates any rule. This makes life very simple for the masters and their servants. It makes life intolerable for the non compliant rebels who become full of anger and resentment to the point of violence againt their natural enemies, the compliant servants. The victims of violence rhetorically ask, why me? Then they demand the arrest, conviction and punishment of the rebel. The rebel is later released to injure more servants who will demand more punishment. It is such a clever money scheme that not one in a hundred ever sees it as it is.

Terrorist is the name we give to rebels who see the servants of the rich as the enemies within their reach. Rebels attack and destroy them to create fear and reluctance among survivors. We call their victims innocent because they do not receieve show trials of “justice” for their crimes of serving the masters in rebel courts. Until the rebels decided they would rather die before they would be servants of the rich, the masters did not concern their selves. Now the masters have a serious problem because fear prevents servants from working and tithing the rich. However, when you rule the world, labor problems and economic slowdowns work out over time as people starve and kill each other. All is well that ends well. We can observe this process every day in Iraq.

The difference between the servants and the rebels is that servants lock rebels in cages and rebels simply kill servants. Servants are caring. Rebels are barbaric. In truth the rebels are simply too poor to afford the cages and prisoner support servants can afford. Rebels can recruit servants to become rebels but servants cannot recruit rebels to become servants except on rare occasions. While millions of Americans are now locked in cages or were formerly locked in cages, most never wanted to serve the rich in any direct way. Those who have been released and have tried to go straight, a euphamism for serving the rich, have found it extremely difficult to do so. In any event, they have scores to settle with the servants and have much in common with those we call terrorists. As isolated as they are when in cages, they have to admire the rebellion of those called terrorists and that one person can cause destruction far beyond what we might expect of any one person. Our prisons are domestic recruitment pools for terror.

Not far behind prisoners, will be Native, African and Hispanic Americans who have scores to settle with the rich and their obedient servants. The refusal of the masters to compensate these people for the life and property taken from them and their ancestors by the masters over hundreds of years, make natural rebels of them all. Add to them the members of the radical left and right and we have many miilions to carry on the work begun in Oklahoma City. As you wonder about your allegiance to the masters and look around for danger and warning, start thinking like a rebel, just in case. It is not the the goal of the rebels to destroy entire cities, yet. Rather, it is the goal to bankrupt the servants until they too rebel against the masters. Once you start thinking how much money you can cost the enemy, you can become far more creative than any member of Al Qaeda. Even if you have no intention of joining the rebellion, you will be safer and better able to survive the domestic war that began years before Oklahoma City.

The plans to impose martial law in America will work as well as they would in Afghanistan and Iraq. The servants of the rich will become loyal to local warlords. Donald Rumsfeld’s light, fast armies will be far too few to fight globally and domestically. When government returns to conscription to build up their forces, recruits will be slaughtered as they stand in the lines. Millions will leave the U.S. to survive, watch what is happening and form fifth columns to fight with the rebels and against the servants of money, wherever they find them. War again becomes simple to understand. The rich against the poor. The weapons favor the rich. The numbers and strategy favor the poor. Place your bets. Make your plans. The lawless are coming to power. The law won’t save anyone. The old value system and its supporters have to go.

Reducing Gun Crime

Facts and Figures

Gun crime in the UK makes up less than 0.5% of all crime recorded by the police. Although this is a small statistic, the use of guns leads to severe bodily harm or death, of which there were 455 of these last year.


In order to reduce gun crime there are several laws in place to act as punitive and deterrent measures. Possession of an illegal firearm alone, incurs a minimum of 5 years in jail. The use or possession of an air weapon or imitation firearm in public is also now illegal and the manufacture of imitation firearms has become prohibited too. The age at which an air weapon can be purchased has been increased to 17 years of age and some air weapons that can easily be converted into firing weapons have become prohibited. Most of these laws come under the 1996 Violent Crime Reduction Act.

Reducing Supply

Further actions taken to reduce gun crime are to reduce the supply of guns to the UK. According to the Lord Chief Justice, it is because guns are so readily available that there is still gun crime in the UK and we need to tackle this problem more effectively. This can be done by tightening security at UK airports to prevent smuggling past customs and also monitoring parcels that are shipped into the UK.

Gun Culture

A lot of gun crime is associated with gang culture and illegal drug trade and so by addressing these problems there is hope that this will also reduce the use of guns. ‘Connected’ is a government initiative to support communities in standing up against the use of guns in their local areas.

Federal Prohibitions to Gun Possession After a Louisiana Conviction

The Federal Gun Laws: the Gun Control Act of 1968, the Firearm Owners’ Protection Act of 1986, the “Brady Bill,” and the “Lautenberg Amendment”

The United States Congress passed the first pervasive prohibition on felons carrying guns in the Gun Control Act of 1968, which basically made it illegal under federal law-and regardless of individual states’ laws-for felons to possess a gun (or ammunition) under any circumstances. At the time, however, there was no mechanism in place to vet the background of people purchasing firearms, so, although it might have been illegal (under federal law) for someone to purchase or possess a firearm, there was no point-of-sale background check system to prevent a firearms dealer from selling a firearm to a felon, and the legality of the sale was essentially made on the “honor system”-the purchasers simply had to sign a statement that they had not been convicted of a felony offense.

The Firearm Owners’ Protection Act of 1986 reinforced the ban on felons possessing guns, and it also expanded the definition of “felon” to include anyone convicted of a crime punishable by more than one year of imprisonment, regardless of whether the actual crime was classified a felony or misdemeanor under the individual states’ laws.

The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, often referred to as the Brady Bill, passed in 1993 and was designed to close the “honor system” loophole in the ban on felons purchasing firearms by mandating federal background checks on firearm purchasers and imposing a waiting period on purchases, until the National Instant Criminal Background Check System came online. The Federal Bureau of Investigation maintains this database and reports that over 90% of “Brady background checks” through NICS are completed while the FBI is still on the phone with the gun dealer. In the remaining cases, a potential gun purchaser may have to wait for up to three business days if the NICS system fails to approve or deny his application to purchase a firearm, though as a concession to the Second Amendment, if a denial is not issued within those three days, the transfer may be completed at that time. This system remains controversial because some lawful purchasers who should not be subject to hindrances are routinely delayed or denied for processing.

Three years later, in 1996, Congress again expanded federal gun control laws by passing what is commonly known as the Lautenberg Amendment (which is not actually in the traditional federal gun laws, but, rather, attached to an appropriations bill), which prohibits people subject to protective or restraining orders from domestic violence, or who have been convicted of misdemeanor crimes involving domestic violence, from possessing firearms.

Confusingly, at least for many potential purchasers, these long-standing federal prohibitions on felons possessing guns are at odds with Louisiana law which allows many felons to possess a firearm immediately, once their sentences are complete and further allows most remaining felons to carry a gun if a certain amount of time (ten years) has passed since completion of sentence. Thus, there are many variations in the exact details of the laws that restrict felons from carrying guns from state to state, and jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but, despite the nature of the state law at issue, the bottom line is that federal law always prohibits felons from possessing guns.

What Can You Do to Get Federal “Permission” to Buy or Possess a Firearm if You Have a Louisiana Felony?

Bottom Line Up Front: Unfortunately, nothing is guaranteed, and your options are limited.

“Restoration” of Civil Rights

Theoretically, federal law allows people who have had their rights “restored” to purchase and possess firearms, but, under the federal interpretation of the Louisiana expungement laws, that may prove practically difficult. 18 U.S.C. §§ 921(a)(20) and (a)(33)(B)(ii) say that “[a]ny conviction which has been expunged, or set aside or for which a person has been pardoned or has had civil rights restored shall not be considered a conviction for purposes of ” the federal gun ban.

To determine whether someone’s civil right to own a gun has been restored, federal courts “look to the law of the jurisdiction of conviction… and consider the jurisdiction’s entire body of law.” United States v. O’Neal, 180 F.3d 115, 119 (4th Cir.), cert. denied, 528 U.S. 980 (1999). This means that if a person has a Louisiana felony conviction, the federal courts will look to Louisiana law to determine if his civil rights have been restored. If they have been restored under Louisiana law, then the federal authorities will not be able to prosecute him for being a felon in possession of a gun, and he will pass a “Brady check” when he attempts to purchase a firearm.

The problem is that Louisiana law does not ever expressly “restore” the civil right to own a gun to a felon. The Louisiana felon-in-possession-of-a-firearm statute (LSA-R.S. 14:95.1) simply bars prosecution for possession if ten years have passed from the completion of sentence. It, arguably, does not actually reinstate the right to possess the firearm. Further, the Louisiana expungement statute specifically does not restore the right to possess a weapon beyond the scope of whatever is allowed in LSA-R.S. 14:95.1. Under federal law, a conviction is only considered expunged (and no longer disqualifying) if it is “removed from the individual’s criminal history record, and there are no legal disabilities or restrictions” other than the fact that it can still be used for sentencing purposes for subsequent convictions, so it is unclear if federal authorities agree that Louisiana’s expungement law technically complies with the federal definition of “expungement.” This issue has not yet been litigated to conclusion in the federal courts, so the usefulness of a Louisiana expungement to restore federal gun rights remains unclear at this time.

Request a “Waiver of Disability” from ATF

An alternative to expungement, at least in theory, is to make application to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) under 18 U.S.C. § 925(c) to request restoration of your gun rights. The federal gun law banning felons from possessing a firearm was written with special “escape clause” language that could allow deserving individuals who have prior felony convictions to apply to regain their federal rights to own a gun. Under this federal rule, the application is supposed to be granted if “it is established… that the circumstances… and the applicant’s record and reputation, are such that the applicant will not be likely to act in a manner dangerous to public safety and that the granting of the relief would not be contrary to the public interest.”

This seems an immanently reasonable approach to allowing reformed offenders to regain their federal gun rights, especially in cases such as those in Louisiana where the state law would allow gun possession for an ex-offender after a period of time. The practical problem with this provision, however, is that, since 1992, Congress has legislatively prohibited ATF from allocating any money from its budget to handle these applications. Accordingly, when anyone submits these applications, ATF cannot act on, review, or grant them. They must simply return the application with an explanation that they cannot process it, due to a lack of available funds. While this seems unfair, it has been litigated to conclusion in the federal courts, and the Supreme Court, in United States v. Bean, 537 U.S. 71 (2002), ruled that an applicant could not force the agency to process the application if Congress has expressly used is “power of the purse strings” to prevent the agency from funding the process.

Gubernatorial Pardon

The only sure method currently available in Louisiana for a restoration of federal gun rights is, ironically, a state “governor’s pardon.” This special type of pardon expressly restores all rights and returns the individual to the position he held, as if he had never been convicted. Governor’s pardons are different from “first-offenders’ pardons,” which occur automatically after completion of sentence.

Traditionally, only a few dozen governor’s pardons are awarded each year. Information on applying for one may be found at the Louisiana Board of Pardons and Parole.

The Muzzleloader Alternative

There is a healthy debate about whether the federal gun ban for felons applies to “black powder” guns or muzzleloaders, and that is because the federal gun control laws only apply to “firearms and ammunition.” If a muzzleloader is not considered a firearm, then the federal ban may not apply, and, hence, convicted felons could potentially be able to legally purchase a muzzle loader under federal law.

Whether a muzzleloader is considered a firearm depends on the gun itself. Some are “firearms,” and some are not. Using a muzzleloader that is not a firearm is entirely legal for convicted felons in Louisiana, under federal law.

In general, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) exempts certain “antique firearms” from federal gun control laws. These antique firearms typically include any firearm manufactured on or before 1898, or a replica of such a firearm. In addition, muzzle loading rifles, muzzle loading shotguns, and muzzle loading pistols are also considered antique firearms, provided that they use black powder, or a black powder substitute, as opposed to fixed ammunition (cartridges and shells).

However, federal law specifically excludes certain muzzleloaders from being considered antique firearms. This includes firearms which can be converted into a muzzle loading weapon, or a muzzle loading weapon which can be readily converted to fire fixed ammunition.

So what does that mean for those wishing to purchase a muzzle loader? Basically, as long as the weapon is like one produced before 1898, or it is truly a muzzleloader, then it likely is not considered a “firearm” under federal law. Keep in mind, though, that states may have specific laws covering muzzle loaders which provide even greater restrictions, such as limitations regarding flintlocks, barrel lengths, projectile diameters, and even who may own them.

The ATF has published its own explanation of the muzzleloader exception which follows:

The Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA) prohibits felons and certain other persons from possessing or receiving firearms and ammunition (“prohibited persons”). These categories can be found at 18 U.S.C. § 922(g) and (n). However, federal law does not prohibit these persons from possessing or receiving an antique firearm. The term “antique firearm” means any firearm (including any firearm with a matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap, or similar type of ignition system) manufactured in or before 1898. The definition includes any replica of an antique firearm if it is not designed or redesigned for using rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition, or uses rimfire or conventional centerfire ammunition which is no longer manufactured in the United States, and which is not readily available in ordinary channels of commercial trade.

Further, any muzzle loading rifle, shotgun, or pistol which is designed to use black powder or black powder substitute, and which cannot use fixed ammunition, is an “antique firearm” unless it (1) incorporates a firearm frame or receiver; (2) is a firearm which is converted into a muzzle loading weapon; or (3) is a muzzle loading weapon which can be readily converted to fire fixed ammunition by replacing the barrel, bolt, breechblock, or any combination thereof. See 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(3), (a)(16).

Thus, a muzzle loading weapon that meets the definition of an “antique firearm” is not a firearm and may lawfully be received and possessed by a prohibited person under the GCA. In addition, the GCA defines the term “ammunition” to mean “ammunition or cartridge cases, primers, bullets, or propellant powder designed for use in any firearm.” Because an “antique firearm” is not a “firearm,” it is lawful for a prohibited person to receive or possess black powder designed for use in an “antique firearm.” Also, the Federal explosives laws do not make it unlawful for a prohibited person to acquire and possess black powder in quantities not exceeding fifty pounds if it is intended to be used solely for sporting, recreational, or cultural purposes in “antique firearms.” See 18 U.S.C. § 845(a)(5)

By contrast, a prohibited person may not receive or possess black powder firearms that can be readily converted to fire fixed ammunition by replacing the barrel, bolt, breechblock, or any combination thereof. ATF has classified certain muzzle loading models as firearms. All of these models incorporate the frame or receiver of a firearm that is capable of accepting barrels designed to fire conventional rimfire or centerfire fixed ammunition. These muzzle loading models do not meet the definition of “antique firearm” as that term is defined in 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(16), and are “firearms” as defined in 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(3). Furthermore, as firearms, these and similar models, regardless of the barrel installed on the firearm or provided with the firearm, are subject to all provisions of the GCA. Persons who purchase these firearms from licensed dealers are required to fill out a Firearms Transaction Record, ATF Form 4473, and are subject to a National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) check. Felons and other prohibited persons may not lawfully receive or possess these firearms or ammunition.

The following is a list of weapons that load from the muzzle and are classified as firearms, not antiques, under the GCA, because they incorporate the frame or receiver of a firearm:

Savage Model 10ML (early, 1st version), Mossberg 500 shotgun with muzzle loading barrel, Remington 870 shotgun with muzzle loading barrel, Mauser 98 rifle with muzzle loading barrel, SKS rifle with muzzle loading barrel, PB sM10 pistol with muzzle loading barrel, H&R/New England Firearm Huntsman, Thompson Center Encore/Contender, and Rossi.50 muzzle loading rifle

This list is not complete and frequently changes. There may be other muzzle loaders also classified as firearms. As noted, any muzzle loading weapon that is built on a firearm frame or receiver falls within the definition of a firearm provided in 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(3).

Finally, even though a prohibited person may lawfully possess an antique firearm under federal law, state or local law may classify such weapons as “firearms” subject to regulation. Any person considering acquiring a black powder weapon should contact his or her state Attorney General’s Office to inquire about the laws and possible state or local restrictions. A list of state Attorney General contact numbers may be found at www.naag.org.


A Louisiana felony will prevent you from buying or possessing a firearm under federal law, even if you can legally possess the firearm under Louisiana law. There is no absolute way to cure this problem except a governor’s pardon, which is extremely rare.

Traditionally, the federal authorities rarely prosecute felons who attempt to purchase a firearm or who possess a firearm, if the felon is otherwise permitted to possess the firearm under state law, but the federal authorities can and do prosecute some cases. Beware of this.

An expungement may ultimately cure the disability, but the law is unsettled on this issue currently, and you cannot rely on a Louisiana expungement to accomplish this goal. Extensive information about obtaining a Louisiana expungement and related gun rights can be found through the Louisiana Expungement Assistance & Advocacy Center (LEAAC).

If you have a Louisiana felony conviction, and do not have a governor’s pardon, the only guns that you may possess without running afoul of federal laws are true muzzleloaders.