Being released from prison is an amazing thing for a felon. They get a chance to experience freedom after a while. Thing is, felons have to be aware of certain rights they might no longer have. One of these is the right to bear firearms. The constitution forbids felons from owning or possessing firearms. Even non-violent felons do not have the right to bear arms. However, they can appeal to the relevant authorities.
Seeing as felons would no longer be able to use guns, there have to be other alternatives. For someone who loves to hunt, this is important. Luckily, there are other weapons that can be used to enjoy a good hunt. For instance, the compound bow.
Compound bows are usually used for target practice and hunting. They are easier to use than most other types of bows. This is because of the mechanical advantage they give. They use a levering system, so, you don’t have to exert much strength while using them. They are a good alternative to firearms for hunting.
So, can felons own a compound bow? The answer is yes, but it depends on the state laws.
Laws Regarding Felons and Weapons
Prior to the Gun Control act of 1968, some felons were allowed to own guns. These were felons who had committed non-violent crimes. That changed after the act was passed.
The provisions of the gun control act include:
- The need for all guns to be marked with a serial number
- The prohibition of mail order long sales of guns
- Age requirements (at least 18 years) to own/possess firearms
- Prohibition of convicted felons from owning guns.
The new regulations require felons to give up any arms they may own. They also need to be careful about being around others who possess firearms. This is to prevent constructive possession. Constructive possession is when a felon is aware that someone else is in possession of a firearm around them. They are also in a position to use the firearm if they need to.
What this means is, felons cannot go on hunting trips with others who are bearing firearms legally. Felons must follow these regulations regarding firearm ownership. If they fail to comply, the state could charge them with a gun offense.
If a felon wishes to regain their right to own firearms, they’d need to apply for it. This usually requires a criminal pardon or erased criminal records. Criminal pardons could be presidential or at the state level. The issue is, they have low approval rates. There’s also a long waiting time. For instance, it takes around five years to get a presidential pardon on federal offenses. Alternatively, the felon can apply got their criminal records to be expunged.
The good news is, these restrictive laws don’t apply to all weapons. For example, pellet guns, crossbows and compound bows.
Laws Regarding Felons And Compound Bows
For some, hunting is not just an outdoor activity. It could be a way to make money as well. Many depend on hunting as a source of income. To them, it’s a basic right. Target practice is also an enjoyable activity.
Firearms are usually the go-to for such operations. There are many penalties that follow if a felon is found with a firearm. Given the circumstances, felons need to improvise with other tools. A compound bow is a good alternative to firearms.
The laws regarding felons and compound bows differ depending on the state.
- Most states completely allow felons to own bows and a hunting license.
- A number of states do not allow felons to use compound bows, but they give hunting licenses.
- For some states, felons can neither hunt nor use bows.
Felons need to do some research before getting a compound bow. It’s important to know the jurisdiction regarding bow ownership/possession in their location. The laws differ among states. Some counties even have stricter laws, so, it’s best to check with the local authorities. It’s legal for non-felons to own compound bows in all states. This is the same for felons, except for a few states.
For instance, in Florida, felons can get hunting licences and use a compound bow. Of course, this must be done during hunting season only. Idaho and South Dakota are other states which allow this. However, felons are not allowed to use explosive weapons in these states.
Compound bows have a few specifications which differ among states. These conditions apply to both felons and non-felons.
Some of these include:
- Draw weight. Most states set a minimum draw weight between 30-40 pounds.
- Length of the bow.
- Let-off. For instance, in South Dakota, the let-off must not be more than 80%. Also, the bow must not be shorter than 28 inches.
In Colorado, felons are not allowed to possess or own compound bows. However, they can be issued a hunting license.
Other Hunting Restrictions
Felons must be aware of other hunting restrictions. In most states, getting a hunting license is different from getting a firearm permit. Just like the laws regarding firearms and felons, hunting restrictions depend on the state. Some states may restrict hunting for felons. For instance: Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Most times, it’d depend on the type of felony committed.
Getting licensed to hunt isn’t the end of the road. There may be other hunting restrictions as well. In some states, there are separate seasons for hunting. Some states even differentiate between gun hunting season and bow hunting season. This helps to prevent gun hunters from accidentally shooting bow hunters.
Felons must consider all these things before going bow hunting. Why is this important? If the felon is on parole, breaking any law will be considered a parole violation.
There are several consequences to this. Any of the following can occur if a felon is caught with a firearm:
1 The judge might revoke parole after a hearing. If the felon is on parole, breaking any law will be considered a parole violation.
2 The felon may also be charged with extra offenses such as unlawful possession.
3 In some cases, the judge will charge fines.
With all that’s at stake, it doesn’t hurt to do proper research before delving into anything.
Felons have some rights taken away from them. For instance, they are usually unable to join the army. They also can’t bear firearms or travel outside their country, if they’re on parole. For those who love to hunt or engage in target practice, this can be a pickle. They have to look for other alternatives to enjoy the outdoor activities that may also be their source of income.
Most states allow felons to hunt and own compound bows. One exception is Colorado. In this state, felons can obtain a hunting license, but not own a compound bow. For other states, the only conditions are usually size and weight limits for compound bows.
Felons should be aware of the regulations in their state and county. They must also pay attention to other hunting restrictions. For example, hunting seasons, prohibition of explosives, and so on. If a felon still wishes to use firearms, they can apply for their rights to be reinstated. This will require patience because of the long waiting time. But, in the end, it could be worth it.