Home » Civilian Rights » Can a Felon Go To a Shooting Range?

Can a Felon Go To a Shooting Range?

Can a Felon Go To a Shooting Range

A criminal accused comes with certain limitations. For instance, you may not have the liberty to enjoy certain rights that your friend can enjoy. Releasing from prison is not the end of the solution as you might have to go through phases of regulations.

One of the many rights that you cannot own is gun rights. This means you also cannot go to a shooting range freely or practice shooting a target.

If you wish to go to a shooting range then it is likely that those places will review your background. The reason being, it is only fair that the access is not allowed to someone with a criminal history. Especially with cases such as shootout, public violence, or an assault.

Shooting Range Criteria

1 Your Identity – A shooting range will ask for your ID cards, personal details, run your fingerprints, and will be submitted to the Department of Justice for a thorough review.

2 Your credit reports; It is essential that you maintain your credit record clean as it may become one of the factors for you not to be allowed in the shooting range.

3 They will also do a check on your driving records to see if you have contributed to any accidents, road rage or charged with tickets.

4 They will also review your educational records to have a better understanding of who they’re dealing with.

Lastly, they need to see if you have any criminal offenses behind you or is serving probation. They will also check the severity of your charges before allowing an entry.

A background check on criminal offense is the prime focus as it will determine any indication of whether you can be a possibility of any risk as it concerns safety issues to the people around. A crime will not show up on a background check if you had your record expunged. Having your record sealed has its repercussions that you need to follow.

Shooting Range

A shooting range can be operated independently and most of the time is attached to a gun store. The shooting range consists of both outdoor and indoor and deals with a variety of firearms. They are both sold or rented.

In shooting ranges, you will have to sign a waiver which includes the terms of understanding and to abide by the policy. You will also be asked of any criminal past in the waiver.

One should be honest while filling out the form. If you are dishonest in your form and caught, you will be charged with a punishable office which can lead to prison time. The background check and the signing of the waiver are a part to practice safety measures for all parties.

can felon go to a shooting range

The policy of the waiver will also include dos and don’ts such as:

  • Loading of a gun is strictly prohibited until and unless you are standing on the firing line and is ready to shoot.
  • You will also not be allowed to point the muzzle of a gun at any desired direction but down.
  • Try and keep your gun in a case unless it’s your turn and in a position to shoot the target.
  • You are not allowed to shoot anywhere but in the specific given target.
  • You are also not allowed to cross any across lanes.

Can A Felon be at a Shooting Range?

In 1934, the federal government has passed a law that denies anyone that is convicted of a felony the right to own a gun. In 1968, another law was adapted where all the convicts of any type of felony will be deprived of gun rights. The law remains the same even now. Depriving a gun right means you will not be issued a license to own a gun.

Crimes That Don’t Get You In

1 If you have been charged with felonies such as public or domestic violence, substance abuse, illegal possession of drugs and firearms, robbery involving unlawful objects, an outstanding arrest warrant will prohibit you from gaining a license.

2 The law does not allow an accused criminal who is punishable by long-term imprisonment exceeding one year to own or use a firearm. If you are caught transporting or dealing with firearms or possess unlawful arms then you will be charged with a Class 6 felony.

can the felon go to shooting range

3 Typically, a convicted felon cannot go to a shooting range. An honest answer would be, no, a felon cannot go to a shooting range. The risk is too much to bear. If a parole officer on duty catches you in the vicinity of a shooting range, especially during shooting practices, then you may be arrested for violation of the Federal Firearms Act.

4 Even if you don’t own a firearm, a sight near the firing range will also jeopardize your situation. This is because you may be charged with gun possession. The term sentence for possessing a firearm is 10 years. The penalty for a felon in possession of arms can be critical. Which means you will be sentenced to another 10 years if you are charged with arms possession.

As a felon, if you do not want any of these charges to lurk you again, then it is advisable if you do not visit a shooting rate. This will save you from a lot of trouble.

Background Check for Shooting Range

A gun store will do a background check of your criminal record if you are purchasing a gun. If you rent a gun only to use on the premises of a store’s shooting range then you will not be required to do a background check. Most of the time a gun store allows you to rent a gun to use in their store’s shooting ranges to test the gun before buying.

Hence, no criminal background check is done. It will be also against the law for a store owner to do a criminal check. If you are renting a gun for hunting or sporting purposes abiding with the law then there will be a criminal background check.

How to Restore a Gun Right to Shoot at a Shooting Range?

Restoring a gun right will depend on a state to another. Some certain procedures can allow you to restore a gun right.

  • You must not be a convict of a severe crime that included violence within the past 20 years.
  • Your criminal past should not define your present. You should present yourself in such a manner that you will not be considered a danger to society. Restoring your arms right must be in the interest of the public and federal law.
  • You can also restore your right by seeking a presidential plea. If you want to petition for a pardon, then you must wait for five years. This should be after the completion of your sentence/ prison term. You will also be allowed to seek legal counsel first.
  • Involving in community causes, voluntary work, and contribution to society will also act as a supplement to regain firearm rights.
  • It is also essential for a felon to be truthful about his history. This is important if he wants to reclaim those rights and also start afresh with his life.


In conclusion, possessing arms do come with a lot of risk and consequences so if you are not legally obligated then you shouldn’t own one.

5/5 - (30 votes)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top