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A Legal Irony—Federal Firearms Law

For my fellow law geeks:

18 USC §921, which defines terms for federal firearms crimes, defines a conviction of a “crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year” in terms of state law, so a Texas deferred adjudication probation for a felony is not a conviction, and does not bar firearms possession.

§921’s definition of “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence,” by contrast, doesn’t incorporate state law, so a deferred for a misdemeanor domestic violence assault may bar firearms possession under federal law.

The bottom line? For federal firearms law, a domestic violence aggravated assault deferred is better than a domestic violence assault deferred.


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