View Full Version : If a person has been arrested, posted bond, can he/she buy a rifle?

01-05-2010, 12:42 PM
With out giving details.

If a person is arrested, posted bond, awaiting trial on felony. Is there anything preventing this person in DROS'ing a rifle and going hunting?

01-05-2010, 12:50 PM
Seems to me that legal or not (how far does "Innocent until proven guilty" go in such cases?) I imagine it would be most unwise and, if there's any question of bail revocation, could be seen as a very bad thing.

Safer to go with a friend and borrow a rifle for the occasion, I think. I'm guessing that's legal, no doubt someone will chime in.

01-05-2010, 1:10 PM
I'm not familiar with legal jargon, but question 2 on the federal 4473 asks "Are you under indictment in any court for a felony".

01-05-2010, 1:10 PM
You mean, immediately? Like, you just posted bail and want to go out and buy a gun asap?? Boy that sounds like a terrible idea :D

01-05-2010, 1:21 PM
lol. ok. I was wondering just how far does "Innocent until proven guilty" go. I was told that when you post bond you are a free man untell your case gets tossed, or trial. but reading that federal 4473 asks "Are you under indictment in any court for a felony". I guess a man out on bail is not really "innocent" nor "free".

So is a man out on bail allowed to be near, possess, or shoot a firearm?
My cousin wants to go hunting with the family, but is concerned.

1911 crazed
01-05-2010, 1:26 PM
I would think since he has not been charged with a FELONY yet, he would be safe to use your rifle or his fathers, etc. But once charged he is out of luck. No guns near him from what I understand. So this would be his last time on a hunting trip.

I think I was clear with that, anyone else want to help out?

01-05-2010, 1:51 PM
If you're awaiting trial, you have been indicted and are those a prohibited person.

01-05-2010, 2:31 PM
The case is in settlement mode. Client has been charged with a felony, but didn't commit a crime. ADA offers misdemeanor, but attorney says "you're not guilty go to trial!" But no trial date has been set. The ADA keeps tossing offers, but client is innocent. Client was told this "process" could continue for a year. Client really misses his guns, and shooting!

01-05-2010, 5:29 PM
As already said, If your on bail then you have been indicted.

If you check No on form 4473 then your bail will be revoked and on your way back to jail. If you check Yes on form 4473 then your DROS will be denied and your bail will be revoked and on your way back to jail.

As far as loaning a firearm to someone under indictment for a felony....I don't know so I'll leave that someone more knowledgeable on that. However I would think that maybe staying away from firearms would be one of the stipulations for bail.

01-05-2010, 5:36 PM
See DOJ's Firearms Prohibiting Categories document (http://ag.ca.gov/firearms/forms/pdf/prohibcatmisd.pdf):

Any person who is under indictment or information in any court for a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year (federal)

Sounds like a no-go for the person. :(

01-05-2010, 5:39 PM
Hmm, "under information" - does that mean witnesses are prohibited persons?

01-05-2010, 7:03 PM
Yea I already told him to forget it. He just wants to go hunting with our uncle before he goes to the middle east. But I just recommended he not even be near firearms. All it takes a one pissed off ranger.

Thanks guys.

01-05-2010, 7:36 PM
The answer to your questions depends on several things. First it is important to know that just because you have been arrested and charged by the DA doesn't mean you are under indictment or information.

99% of the time local DA office's do not charge people by using a grand jury. Only a grand jury can indict you. Most of the time people in CA are arrested by the police and the DA files a "criminal complaint". The criminal complaint is not "deemed" an Information until after you have had preliminary hearing and been held to answer for trial. Once the Judge deems your criminal complaint and information you can't buy/receive firearms (under federal law, 922n).

Now if you are indicted by a grand jury you are immediately prohibited from buying/receiving firearms. Now like I said, it is not common for the DA to use the grand jury. The grand jury is usually used for very secret and complex cases, often involving political corruption cases. However, in the federal system everything is done by grand jury incitement. There are no preliminary hearings in federal court.

So if you were arrested by local police and released on bail you are not prohibited from possessing firearms and you can go buy a gun (unless you were indicted by a grand jury then you can't buy).

USC 922(n) It shall be unlawful for any person who is under indictment for a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year to ship or transport in interstate or foreign commerce any firearm or ammunition or receive any firearm or ammunition which has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce.


01-05-2010, 8:31 PM
Well, I'm guessing that no-one is expected to immediately sell his or her firearm collection until after they have been found guilty, so I'm not sure that a person is banned from gun access just because they are on bail. However, as I said before and others agree, I think it is a bad idea to look as if you plan to buy a gun while on bail.

Surely Theseus didn't have to dispose of his guns until after they found him guilty? (though I'm not sure if that was a felony or not or whether he was on bail or not).