Can you buy a gun with a misdemeanor drug charge? It’s a common question — which is sometimes followed by, “Can you get a concealed carry permit with a misdemeanor?” or “Can you buy a gun with a dismissed misdemeanor?”
As you probably know, any person who wants to buy a gun must submit a background check. But if this background check does not go through, you may find yourself wondering what went wrong — especially if a misdemeanor drug charge or a similar offense is on your record.
Get the facts and know what to expect if you are hoping to purchase a firearm despite previous run-ins with the law.
First things first, what disqualifies you from owning a gun or buying one?
Many things can disqualify you from owning or purchasing a gun, most of which are relatively obvious. Here are a few examples of factors that will disqualify you from purchasing a firearm:
- You’re a convicted felon. (Take a look at our recent article that answers the question, “Can a felon own a gun in Texas?”)
- You’re a fugitive.
- You have a restraining order placed against you.
- You’re not a legal citizen.
- You’re convicted of a misdemeanor with penalties lasting longer than two years.
- You’re an unlawful user of or addicted to any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance — including marijuana.
It is important to note that being charged with a misdemeanor is not the same as a conviction when it comes to passing a background check. Dismissed misdemeanor charges do not affect your ability to purchase a gun on their own.
As a side note, many people assume that if you have a DWI, you cannot purchase a firearm. So if you’re wondering what the facts are, let’s answer the question, “Can you buy a gun with a DWI?”
So … can you buy a gun with a misdemeanor drug charge?
Well, the answer is not so cut and dry. Even though all Texas misdemeanors carry a range of punishment for up to one year (well under the two-year limit), a drug conviction may prevent someone from purchasing a firearm.
On the application to purchase a firearm (also known as the 4473) question 11(e) asks if the applicant uses or is addicted to “marijuana or any other depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance.” Having an out-of-state medical marijuana card or a conviction for possessing marijuana could automatically prevent someone from purchasing a firearm; State databases are linked to the federal databases used by the FBI.
A person convicted of possession of one of the listed items could honestly answer “no” to question 11(e) but a conviction will appear to the FBI during their background search for the ATF. Whether or not the ATF decides the conviction is proof of someone having an addiction is entirely up to the reviewer.
So, if you’re wondering “Can you get a concealed carry permit with a misdemeanor?” or “Can you buy a gun with a dismissed misdemeanor?” — The answer is generally yes. A misdemeanor drug charge should not hold you back from purchasing or owning a firearm.
Domestic violence is a different story. A Class A misdemeanor conviction for domestic violence bars an individual under federal law from possessing or owning a firearm.
If you want to take a deeper dive, check out these Texas gun rights explained by a Texas gun lawyer. Ronnie Yeates is also a licensed firearms manufacturer and regularly attends ATF and FBI seminars.
Learn more about your Texas gun rights from Thiessen Law Firm
If you’re facing gun rights issues or if you simply have questions about your gun rights, please don’t hesitate to contact us by submitting an online form today.
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