Can You Buy and Carry a Firearm after a DUI Conviction in Arizona?
Driving under the influence charges will affect your life in more than one way. A DUI conviction will remain on record for a certain period of time. Among other things, it could potentially affect your ability to buy and own a firearm after a DUI conviction in Arizona.
Arizona Gun Laws
The manner in which a DUI is going to affect your gun possession rights will depend on the severity of the offense.
Under federal laws, felons are not allowed to own firearms. Aggravated DUI and extreme DUI could lead to felony charges. These charges apply to people who commit DUI on a suspended license, who have minors in the car at the time of committing the DUI, those who commit DUI after the installation of ignition interlock device and people who have BAC exceeding 0.15 percent.
Arizona regulations state that a person cannot carry a firearm under the following circumstances:
- If they’re under the age of 18
- If they’re under indictment for or have been found guilty of a felony
- If they’re a prohibited possessor under federal or state law
Thus driving under the influence convictions that lead to misdemeanor charges (the vast majority of DUIs in Arizona) will not impact your right to buy or to carry a gun. If you are a repeat offender or your DUI has more serious consequences (like vehicular manslaughter for example), you will potentially lose the right to own and carry a firearm.
Keep in mind that carrying a firearm after you have lost your rights may lead to criminal charges. If you don’t get your rights restored first, you will face Class 4 felony charges (misconduct involving weapons). The eventual sentence for such a violation is 2.5 years in prison for a first time offender and 4.5 years for individuals who have a prior felony conviction.
Gun Rights Restoration Procedure
The restoration of civil rights is a separate process from the restoration of gun rights in Arizona. You must go through a specific application process that pertains solely to your ability to buy and carry a firearm.
The procedure applies to all individuals, including those who have lost their gun rights following a single DUI conviction.
The process starts by submitting all of the necessary forms in the court that decided on your conviction. Alternatively, you may decide to file a custom motion. The cost of a custom motion is higher and it’s a good idea to get legal representation to end the process quickly.
People who have been convicted of a non-violent felony can apply to have their gun rights restored in Arizona two years after their discharge from probation. Individuals convicted of a dangerous felony do not have the right to apply for gun right restoration. See ARS 13-905(C). The use of a weapon to commit a crime or to seriously hurt someone leads to a violent felony conviction. Under Arizona regulations, a car can be classified as a deadly weapon whenever reckless behavior on the road leads to death.
People who are convicted of a serious felony will have to wait a longer period of time to restore their gun rights. The period is 10 years for individuals who have committed manslaughter, aggravated assault, murder or dangerous crime against children.
Keep in mind that the fact you have applied does not mean your gun rights will be restored. The court will examine every single application individually to determine whether the request is going to be granted. Whenever an offense is more serious, the chance will become very slim of having a firearm after a DUI conviction in Arizona.