Nevada Supreme Court rules felons may not own antique guns

CARSON CITY, Nevada – The Nevada Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that the law banning felons from owning firearms in that state also extends to antique and muzzle-loading replica guns.

The unanimous ruling written by Justice Kristina Pickering states that felons are prohibited from possessing any firearm – “loaded or unloaded, operable or inoperable.”

In her opinion, Pickering acknowledged the fact that federal law currently permits felons to possess black-powder rifles but noted that the law “does not mandate that Nevada follow suit.”

The decision upholds the conviction of Michael Pohlabel, an ex felon who was arrested in Elko County, Nevada, with a black-powder rifle in the back seat of his car. Pohlabel was sentenced to 12 to 34 months in prison after pleading guilty to possessing the gun. He had been out on bond, pending the Supreme Court’s decision.

In many parts of the United States, a convicted felon can face long-term legal consequences following their imprisonment. On a state-by-state basis, these consquences include:

1. Disenfranchisement (which the Supreme Court interpreted to be permitted by the Fourteenth Amendment)

2. Exclusion from obtaining a visa or certain professional licenses required in order to legally operate a business, making many vocations off limits to felons

3. Exclusion from purchase and possession of firearms, ammunition and body armor

4. Ineligibility to serve on a jury

5. Ineligibility for government assistance or welfare, including federally funded housing

Additionally, if the criminal is not a U.S. citizen, a felony conviction is grounds for deportation.

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Some of the information contained in this report was sourced from The Las Vegas Sun.