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Convicted felons may be able to hunt in Washington

The sporting life is a major part of Washington state culture, as countless residents partake in hunting, fishing and related ventures. However, when one has been convicted of a felony, they are no longer allowed to own a gun in most circumstances, according to federal law. However, in Washington state, there are specific situations under which a convicted felon can get their gun rights restored and own a weapon legally.

A person who has been convicted of felony gun charges, or any other felony-level charge in the past, may wish to consult with a criminal defense attorney if they are accused of violating gun laws. Some may need to do this if they have gone hunting and inadvertently violated the state's restrictions on firearms possession.

There are many questions a sportsman is likely to have about firearms, hunting and having a felony conviction. Some hunters may know how to operate archery equipment and might wonder if they can legally hunt via archery despite not being able to own a gun. The state permits such individuals to hunt with archery equipment, so long as their equipment is legal and they have purchased the proper tags.

While a convicted felon can use archery equipment or a crossbow to hunt, they cannot own nor even use a handgun, rifle, shotgun or muzzleloader. If the individual's gun rights have been successfully restored through the state's superior court, then that person may legally proceed with hunting with any of the above weapons.

No hunter wants to face weapons charges just for participating in a common recreational activity. Still, convicted felons must abide by key rules and regulations when it comes to hunting. A Spokane weapons charges attorney can offer guidance to a hunter facing weapons possession or other gun-related criminal accusations.

Source: wdfw.wa.gov, "Firearm Possession Requirements," accessed Sept. 26, 2015

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