Thursday, August 24, 2006

Hunting Season and Felons in Possession of Firearms

Every year about this time many folks in Iowa start thinking about getting out in the field and doing a little fall hunting. One of the consequences for law enforcement is dealing with a number of people with old felony convictions who are dumfounded at facing serious consequences for doing what comes naturally to many Iowans.

In particular, one of my cases at the county attorney's office was just such an occurrence. Two fellows were on their way back from a day out in the field, there was a Ruger Mini-14 rifle in the truck, and the passenger had a couple of rounds in his pocket and a DUI-third offense conviction a number of years ago.

All of which makes the following very interesting. A correspondent has told me that he has a son who will soon receive the gift that keeps on giving-a felony conviction-and he has heard that his son might be able to hunt with a muzzle loader and wonders what he needs to do with the firearms he has in the home.

As to whether a felon can legally possess a black powder firearm, the answer is decidedly NO. Although 724.3 of the code excerpts black powder firearms from the definition of offensive weapons that are prohibited to certain persons, 724.26 prohibits felons from possessing ANY firearm OR offensive weapon.

"Firearm" is not defined in the Code, however, State v. Lawr, 263 N.W.2d 747 (Iowa 1978) defines a firearm as "a small arms weapon from which a projectile is fired by gunpowder".

In addition to Iowa law, under 18 U.S.C. 922g, possession by felons of ANY firearm or ammunition that has been shipped or transported in interstate commerce is prohibited.

Further, my correspondent is taking a mighty big risk for his son and himself by having firearms anywhere in his home or vehicle when his son's around.

3 Comments:

At 10:53 PM, Blogger demonfighter said...

you wrote Firearm" is not defined in the Code, however, State v. Lawr, 263 N.W.2d 747 (Iowa 1978) defines a firearm as "a small arms weapon from which a projectile is fired by gunpowder".,,, gun powder is not black powder or piradex so this canot apply state and federal do not define 1898 wepons and replicas as such . also you wrote . In addition to Iowa law, under 18 U.S.C. 922g, possession by felons of ANY firearm or ammunition that has been shipped or transported in interstate commerce is prohibited.
.. once again this is not refering to black powder guns or their ammo this is for the defenitions for moderen wepons, also you wrote 724.26 prohibits felons from possessing ANY firearm OR offensive weapon. yes but once again this does not call into account antique wepons as they r not defined by state or federal laws as fierarms so has any one in iowa a felon been convicted under these terms having black powder wepons? you can email me dbfdeano@hotmail.com with the answer thank you

 
At 7:07 AM, Blogger Robert Luedeman, attorney at law said...

I disagree. Saying that gunpowder is not black powder or pyrodex is a distinction without a difference. Both gunpowder and blackpowder do exactly the same thing. In addition, what's in federal law does not control state law.

 
At 4:27 AM, Blogger MudRake said...

Better the law be changed to say "Propellant". There are some large bore air rifles out there on the market that can bring down big game. Lewis and Clark used one on their expedition to open up the Northwest. While they might not be in the .30-06 league, they fire harder than a 1911 .45 cal.

 

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