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A criminal conviction in Florida comes with many penalties. Not only do you face fines, fees and jail time but also you have to worry about the other consequences that come along with being a felon. You may lose some rights. Loss of rights may occur only for a short time or they may be lifelong. One issue affected by a criminal conviction you should understand is your right to own a firearm.

The U.S. Department of Justice explains the 1968 Gun Control Act removed the rights of a convicted felon to own a firearm. This also includes having one in your possession even if it is not yours. In addition, a conviction for domestic violence, even if it is a misdemeanor, also removes your gun rights.

The Act also prohibits ownership of a firearm if you have any conviction for a crime involving violence, including misdemeanors. This means that any felony and any violent misdemeanor charge takes away your rights to own a firearm.

This restriction remains in effect for your whole life. It is possible to file an appeal and get your rights back, but it is not a guarantee that you can get them back. It depends on your crime and other details of your case and personal history. The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is in charge of monitoring and upholding the law, but local law enforcement may also act on the law to take you into custody for a violation. This information is for education and is not legal advice.