Purchase question. (background checks)

Discussion in 'Legal and Activism' started by UrbanNinja, May 7, 2012.

  1. UrbanNinja

    UrbanNinja New Member

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    A friend of mine came to me with a question concerning the purchase of a rifle. He figured since I have a small collection, I'd be the person to ask. But since i have no criminal background, I never had to worry about the answer this question and do not know.

    When my friend was 17, he was arrested for a stolen car. He did not steal the car. He was in the back seat when they were stopped by a LEO. He did not know the car was stolen. The driver and other passenger ran, and he stayed in the car because he didn't know what was going on.

    He was charged with "conspiracy to commit auto theft". Did not serve any jail time or probation, just sentenced to pay restitution. This was considered a felony but with no time served and it was a first offense.

    Now from my understanding, it was not a violent crime and did not require any jail sentence. Will he be able to clear a background check? I know the form asks "Have you been convicted of a felony that is punishable by a jail sentence?". Does this exclude him?

    The state is Pennsylvania.
     
  2. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    Urban, my suggestion for him would be to contact an attorney and seeing what the legalities are. if i remember correctly even if he didn't serve any time, it would still be classified as a conviction, and that would mean that no, he can't legally purchase a firearm. he should check it out with an attorney and possibly if enough time has passed even though he was convicted of a non-violent crime, he could have his record expunged and then be legally able to purchase firearms.
     

  3. mountainman13

    mountainman13 New Member

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    The answer to the question would be yes. He was convicted of a felony punishable by jail time. He would have to answer yes and explain and leave it to the discretion of those in power.
    Whether this would bar him or not is a tough question.
    The real question is what does he lose in trying?
     
  4. Overkill0084

    Overkill0084 Active Member

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    He needs a lawyer that is well versed in firearms law in his state. Another option would be to contact the agency that does the checks there and see if they have any resources for him to access. Don't ask them outright, they will probably just say"denied" out of reflex.
     
  5. therewolf

    therewolf New Member

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    Actually, if you were in the car while it was being stolen, that's

    "conspiracy to commit a crime" and "aiding and abetting"

    if they decided to "throw the book" at you.

    So you might as well have been the driver, because the

    conspiracy charge is more serious than the vehicle theft,

    IIRC.

    IANAL, but, IMO, this would be a good time to contact one...
     
  6. UrbanNinja

    UrbanNinja New Member

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    Thank you for the responses. The "punishable by jail" is the part I was unsure about. I do know that any sort of sentencing, wether it being served time or simply paying a fine is considered "conviction". But when it mentioned "punishable by jail sentence", I didn't know if that meant that it COULD have an outcome of time served or, he HAD to serve time.

    I forgot to mention he is now 31 years of and has had no "run ins" with the law since then.

    As for contacting a lawyer or not having anything to lose by just trying to make a purchase, I just wanted to see if anyone here had any personal insight in dealing with a similar situation before spending money on a lawyer or "pass or fail" fee of a background screening.
     
  7. mountainman13

    mountainman13 New Member

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    From what I've seen. It's usually better to make the attempt before paying the exorbitant amount for a lawyer. If he is refused he will be informed why (by law) then he can contact a lawyer about his options on how to deal with it/appeal.
    He could get a lawyer and attempt to have his record expunged and it could have not really been an issue to start with.
     
  8. UrbanNinja

    UrbanNinja New Member

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    He was not in the car while it was being stolen. He got in unknowingly almost an hour after it happened.

    I'm assuming this is the reason he only got the conspiracy charge. Still trying to find out the full details of what happened.
     
  9. opaww

    opaww New Member

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  10. mountainman13

    mountainman13 New Member

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    Good post.
    BTW I am not a lawyer.
     
  11. orangello

    orangello New Member

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    Non-attorney blabbermouth here: It is my understanding that it isn't just a "felony" that can hold you back at background check time, but any crime punishable by a year or more in jail (not that you got that sentence but that it was possible).

    Personally, i would try to buy and then have an attorney question the refusal, but again, i am not an attorney.

    http://www.atf.gov/publications/download/p/atf-p-5300-4.pdf Bottom of page 5 doesn't look good for your buddy.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2012
  12. Chainfire

    Chainfire Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Your friend is probably not eligible to posses a firearm.

    With thousands of dollars in attorney fees he may or may not be able to undo the above.

    If he is ever caught in possession of a firearm, he will probably get to do some time. (don't take him to the range until his status is confirmed)
     
  13. Bear304inc

    Bear304inc New Member

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    I'm assuming he was charged as an adult? If not minors records should should be exsponged.
     
  14. stwagner1990

    stwagner1990 New Member

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    He will most likely be delayed and will have to contact the ATF and will have to appeal it. Then if it keeps happening he will have to get a permit to purchase or a UPIN number provided by the ATF so he will no longer have to worry about being delayed again.
     
  15. gunfreak101

    gunfreak101 New Member

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    I got into something like this when I was 17 also, if they charged him as a minor and no weapons or any violence was involved he is fine. There is absolutely nothing to worry about, it has been expunged.
     
  16. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    #1. We ain't lawyers (am skilled labor :D) He needs a lawyer

    #2. If you read the Form 4473, question 11c (and the instructions for 11c on page 4) they refer to conviction of a crime that has a penalty of more than 1 year in prison. Teddy Kennedy was unable to buy a firearm- his conviction in the drowning of Mary Jo carried a possible sentence of more than 1 year- even tho Teddy never served a day. Read a 4473 HERE:http://www.atf.gov/forms/download/atf-f-4473-1.pdf

    #3. Juvenile records are not as sealed as you might think for law enforcement purposes. There is a reference to being found "not innocent" of a charge that, IF COMMITTED BY AN ADULT would be a felony.

    Free advice- if it 'twere me, would go find an attorney and see about applying to the courts for an EXPUNGEMENT of that juvenile charge. It can come up in other things. Like clearances. Bonding.
     
  17. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    you can be convicted of a felony and still not have served time. this is the discretion of the judges ruling in the case. an arrest isn't a conviction, but if you go to court and are not acquitted of the charges, even if you are released for say, time served or recieve probation. then as far as the BATF and the 4473 form, it's a conviction and the only way to rid yourself of it will be to have an attorney get the record expunged. this is why i point out get an attorney to handle this and no it will be probably expensive, but worth it in the long run for peace of mind and knowing that everything is above board and legal.
     
  18. therewolf

    therewolf New Member

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    Soo, he got into the back seat of a car driven by someone

    he knew so casually that he didn't realize that this car didn't

    belong to him, and the subject never came up during the ride.

    OKAY, it's possible, although I've personally never been in

    a car's back seat of a person I didn't know.

    I don't know anything about the actual circumstances, but I

    imagine, initially, this guy had a tough time explaining this in court.
     
  19. Longrange

    Longrange New Member

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    I am not a lawyer, but I will share my neighbors similar story.
    Last year he went to the LGS and bought a 1911. He got a call on the third day that there was an issue with his background check. When he was 17 he assaulted an officer, never did time but got probation.
    He could not get any information regarding his record without a lawyer. It cost him $1,000 and took 3 months to get his juvie record sealed and expunged, then another 2 months before his record was updated.
    Actions as a minor are not always sealed and expunged.
     
  20. wjnfirearms

    wjnfirearms New Member

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    Here's where I see the issue at. First, it was a felony conviction. Second, Pa. is a strong legal state where felony convictions create a situation where it is traditionally difficult to regain gun rights in, if not impossible. I personally know of one adult that was convicted under RICO and was granted his rights back by both a Federal judge and a Commonwealth judge just to have his rights revoked again under extreme pressure by the ATF to the Federal judge. They found out about the bench ruling when he attempted to get his CCW. Both judges are well known here and have impeccable reputations.

    The question was raised to whether he was charged in juvenile court or as an adult. This may or not have an impact as c3 has correctly stated. The assumption that all juvenile records get expunged is a falacy. If he was charged and convicted as an adult, he has no gun rights in Pa. To know for sure where he stands, the first thing he needs to do is to have his background ran. This will tell the tale for sure. If I were him, I'd pursue this avenue as a felony conviction can impact his life much more significantly than just for gun rights. If it does show up in the check, I'd then confer with a good lawyer well versed in this avenue of law, an obviously better one than represented him during his ordeal, and see what, if any, options are available to him now. The expense of an attorney may be money well spent as this blotch on his record can haunt him for the rest of his life.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2012