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Are gun rights absolute under federal law?

Gun ownership is very important for many people in Washington. Many people use a firearm for recreational purposes, such as hunting. Others may own a weapon for personal protection, with the hope that they never need use it. However, Washington residents should be aware that certain categories of people are banned per law from possessing a firearm if certain elements are met.

Two elements that must be met to ban a person from possessing a firearm are that the person actually possesses or has received a firearm or ammunition, and is that the firearm or ammunition passed over state line at any time. In addition, the person must fall under one of the following categories.

Under federal law, if the above elements are met, felons are prohibited from possessing or receiving a firearm. Moreover, even those who are awaiting a trial based upon federal charged are not allowed to receive a firearm. If a person is caught abusing drugs, for example, through the seizure of drug paraphernalia, he or she may not possess a firearm. Lawful and unlawful aliens may not possess a firearm, although this does not apply if the individual has a green card. If a person has a domestic restraining order against them or has previously been convicted of domestic assault, they may not possess a weapon. Finally, fugitives from justice and those who have been dishonorably discharged from the military may not possess a firearm.

As this shows, the right to bear arms is not absolute. Under federal law, certain categories of persons may be prohibited from possessing firearms. Those who are caught doing so could face as many as 10 years in prison; more if the person has been previously convicted of three or more felony crimes of violence. Therefore, those who wish to possess a weapon should make sure they are allowed to do so under federal law.

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