Supreme Court Gives Felons More Say Over What Happens to Their Guns

Federal law doesn't stop felons from selling or transferring firearms they lawfully owned.

On May 18, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court granted felons more control over what happens to the guns they can no longer have. The case involved a man facing a federal felony charge who surrendered his guns as a condition of bail. The man was later convicted of the charge. With a felony conviction, he could no longer possess firearms under federal law. But could he arrange for sale of his guns to a friend? Could he have them transferred to his wife?

The Supreme Court unanimously decided that federal law doesn’t necessarily prohibit this kind of gun transfer. It held that a judge may allow the transfer of a felon’s lawfully owned guns if the felon won’t have any control over them.

For more on the ruling, see SCOTUS Decides What Felons Can Do With Their Surrendered Guns.