I'd like to own a gun. I don't know if I presently can.

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Sm412, May 22, 2020.

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  1. Sm412

    Sm412 Member

    May 9, 2020
    I'm 30 years old. From age 16-18 I had rough go at life. Very dangerous, erratic, often illegal behavior. At age 18, my parents at their wit's end, took me to court for extended guardianship. I was adjudicated mentally defective, declared incompetent to manage my own affairs, and put in my parent's care.

    Over the next two years I attended treatment and got significantly better. I moved out on my own, enrolled in college, and started building my future. The behavioral issues I had experienced disappeared. By 20, after my immense progress, my parents and I went before the judge and all 3 of us attested to my improvement and competence. The judge declared me competent to manage my own affairs, ended my parents guardianship, and granted me guardianship over myself. I've been fine ever since. Today I work in the Human Services field dedicating my time to helping others who are going through what I once went through. I'm a sober, church-going, responsible, mentally healthy adult, and have been for a long time.

    Shooting has become somewhat of a hobby for me. I just love it. I rent guns at a shooting range and also shoot with my friends who own guns. I'd really like to have one.

    Am I eligible to own one, or will I have to fight to get my rights back?
    Last edited: May 23, 2020
    Golfanaticshooter and danez71 like this.
  2. wbbh

    wbbh Member

    Apr 30, 2016
    Off the cuff answer, probably, but it also really depends on what court decisions were and possibly how they were recorded. I would contact an attorney, a consultation might even be cost free and or they may send you to someone that knows this field. If you know someone that works in the legal field get them to recommend someone. I don't recommend getting medical or legal advice from the Internet. It may give you some ideas, however it pays to consult an expert.
    whm1974 likes this.
  3. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

    Feb 24, 2008
    Mesa, AZ
    Welcome to The Forum. Let me start with my admiration for you and your story. We so seldom hear of Happy Endings. And yours is a good story.

    I wish I could answer your question, but I can't. That will likely take a lawyer and a lot of information exchanges. To answer the question you would likely have to reveal details that should not be posted on a public forum. Although your situation is different than most others who ask similar questions, I still think this question is better answered between you and your lawyer.

    I hope you will choose to stay and share in this community. There are a lot of really good people on this forum and you will find it a welcoming place.
    TomJ, armedwalleye, JussRight and 2 others like this.


    Aug 27, 2011
    I would think it would be illegal to rent one if it was illegal for you to own one. You are stuck with an attorney to answer that unfortunately.
    Theohazard likes this.
  5. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator Staff Member

    Apr 29, 2006
    California - San Francisco Bay Area
    Welcome to THR and congratulations on getting yourself squared away.

    Unfortunately, you might have some serious legal problems and really should consult a qualified lawyer.

    Under federal law, 18 USC 922(g)(4) anyone. "...who has been adjudicated as a mental defective...." is prohibited from having possession of, or access to, a gun or ammunition. That would include renting or borrowing a gun. The penalty for violating that law is up to five years in a federal prison and/or a fine. Since it's a serious crime conviction would also disqualify one from possessing a gun or ammunition of the rest of his life.

    Some possible issues:

    • The laws of various States include similar prohibitions. So you need to consider federal law and the law of the State you live in.

    • We really don't know the details of your court case, and we shouldn't know them; but they can be important. While you say you were found incapable of managing your affairs, without doing some research we can't know if the ruling in your case actually amounted to what the law calls "adjudicated a mental defective." Whether you are actually disqualified under federal law (and state law) is something we can't be sure of here.

    • It might be possible to have any disqualification removed.That depends on the nature of the original court ruling and the law in the State in which that ruling was made.

    • Communications between you and your lawyer are confidential. What you post here is not.

    So we really can't be much help here. You need your own lawyer to help you sort this out.

    I hope it works out for you.
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