Can a Felon Get a Concealed Carry Permit?

According to the 2nd Amendment, American citizens have the right to bear arms. This means that you can own a firearm. Except if you have a felony.

The right to own and carry a gun can be important for personal safety or even certain jobs and career choices. Many Misdemeanors and felony convictions will make it difficult for you to carry a gun again.

A felony conviction is the harshest criminal conviction you can receive. Going through the court system is a lengthy process and one not easily navigated.

Once convicted, prison time and loss of rights can be a devastating blow for many people. There are many convicted felons leading productive lives today. Can a felon ever get their concealed carry permit again?

The Basics

So, you’re out of prison and going through the items that you had before you went away. You find a pistol in one of your old boxes. Your first course of action is to hand that pistol over to someone who can legally own it.

If you choose to ignore the laws and have a gun you could get ten years in prison. Owning a gun is not acceptable for anyone with a criminal or mental illness background.

A concealed carry permit allows you to own and carry a firearm as long as it’s not restricted on private property. To get these permits, you have to prove that you are responsible and free from criminal activity.

A felon carrying a gun depends on which state you live in. Some states do not let anyone who has questionable morals carry a gun. Others have time restrictions; this means that after a while you can own one again.

Federal law says that anyone with a felony has to give up their rights to own a gun. State laws have separate regulations that may benefit you.

How Do You Get a Gun Permit?

Regulations on permits vary from police department to police department. There is always a background check to get your permit.

Usually, there is a cost associated with getting your permit. Some states even make you get training and take a test to ensure you know how to use your firearm.

Having a gun permit can benefit you in more ways than carrying a firearm. In some states having the license may help you to buy a firearm faster than having a waiting period to get one.

It is often asked if a felon can live with someone who owns a gun. This is going to depend on where you live. You may want to check your state and local government for exact information. Usually, it is safer for you to not have one in the home at all.

Another thing to think about is are you still on parole or probation? If your probation officer finds your roommate’s gun, you may be in trouble.

Why Is It So Heavily Regulated?

Unlike your right to free speech, possessing a firearm can affect the safety of those around you. This particular right will be regulated and monitored due to the safety of others.

Gun crimes are those that hurt people. If a person convicted of a violent crime has a gun, they may cause harm to another person. Regulating who can own a firearm is for the protection of other citizens and the individual as well.

People who are not citizens of the US or who have previous domestic violence charges may not be able to have a gun. Drug offense and any crime that is punishable by more than one year in prison will make you ineligible.

It is illegal for a felon to own ammunition. If you have a bullet when you’re banned from guns, you could spend more time in jail.

An Opportunity for You to Get Your Rights Back

As a citizen, the Federal government will let you own a weapon based on the circumstances of your crime. Non-violent offenses known as “white collar” mean that you can still get your license.

It is your right to contest your inability to own a gun. You have the option to go to the Supreme Court if you would like to and get these rights back.

Some states will allow you to petition for your gun rights back. After you have completed your sentence and paid all your fines you can do an appeal. Other states put in place a waiting period to reinstate your ability to carry a firearm.

If you feel like you are unable to own a firearm and it is not right, you can submit a written letter for appeal. The process may take a while and you won’t receive any updates, but it is worth it to get your rights back.

If your record gets expunged, or your conviction no longer exists means that you can carry a firearm.

Gun regulations depend on Federal and State laws. Florida, for example, will let you have a gun if your crime was over 8 years ago and you had to pay less than $1000 in fines.

Louisiana will let you have a gun back if your crime was more than 10 years ago. You still can’t have a Conceal and Carry permit. If you live in California you will have to have your records expunged. You can also get your conviction reduced to a Misdemeanor and get your rights back.

Self-Defense Options for Felons

Although you have a felony, you may find yourself needing a way to protect your home or family. Depending on the state you live in you may still have the right to own other types of weapons.

Some states allow felons to own crossbows for hunting and home defense. Sharp-edged weapons like knives and swords may also be possible. If you are unable to own a gun because of your circumstances, you still have options to defend yourself. 


The United States prohibits people who have felonies from owning a gun to control crimes. Depending on the state you live in and the crime you committed, you may be able to get those rights back.

It is your right to file an appeal or pursue an expungement to own a gun again. This process can take a long time, but it may get you your rights back.

Getting a gun permit allows you to carry a gun, having the right to buy a gun allows you to buy one. If you are unable to own a gun, you can check with your local government for other options for self-defense.



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