Can Felons Own Black Powder Guns in Oregon?

black powder gun

Understanding gun ownership laws, especially for felons, can be complex, with variations across different states. In the state of Oregon, unique considerations come into play when discussing whether felons can own black powder guns. 

Here, we will clarify Oregon's stance on the issue, providing detailed insights into the legal nuances of black powder gun ownership for felons. We also delve into the options available for rights restoration in Oregon for those who wish to regain their firearm privileges. Keep reading to learn more.

What Are Black Powder Guns?

Black powder guns, also known as muzzleloaders or black powder firearms, are antique weapons that use a gunpowder-based propellant to shoot projectiles. Black powder guns propel heavy projectiles at relatively low speeds. 

Unlike modern firearms, black powder guns don't use a primer to ignite the fuel. Instead, they use a flintlock ignition system, which fires a spark to ignite the powder. Black powder is a low-explosive substance of saltpeter, sulfur, and charcoal. You do not need a federal explosives license or permit to buy and use commercially produced black powder as long as it is under 50 pounds and intended for use in antique firearms or devices. 

Can Felons Own Black Powder Guns in Oregon?

Under Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) 166.250 and ORS 166.255, individuals with felony convictions are prohibited from acquiring, possessing, or owning firearms in Oregon. This includes all types of firearms, including black powder guns.

According to ORS 166.270, individuals convicted of a felony in this state, any other state, or under federal law and who possess or control a firearm are committing the offense of being a felon in possession of a firearm. While there is a defense to felon in possession of a firearm if a person has a single nonviolent felony conviction that is more than fifteen years old, a person can still be prosecuted for possession of a restricted weapon

How Can Felons Restore Their Rights in Oregon?

Individuals who have lost their firearm rights in Oregon due to a felony conviction can potentially regain those rights through rights restoration. This process involves petitioning the court to set aside or expunge your conviction, restoring your rights and privileges.

However, not all felonies are eligible for rights restoration in Oregon through this process. Felonies that are excluded from rights restoration include crimes such as murder, treason, and violent sex crimes. Additionally, not everyone who petitions for rights restoration will be successful.

When evaluating a petition, the court considers various factors, including the petitioner's criminal history, the nature of the crime committed, character references, and community involvement. The person must prove by clear and convincing evidence that they are not a danger to themselves or the public. Therefore, it is crucial to have a knowledgeable attorney who can assist in building a strong petition for rights restoration.

Applicants seeking firearm relief who have a mental health disqualifier on their records are required to undergo an additional separate forensic mental health evaluation in addition to the one they already submit. The assessment must include the evaluator's opinion and evidence on the applicant's interpersonal violence and self-harm risk. The applicant covers the evaluation costs, and not undergoing it will result in denying the relief petition.

Consulting With a Lawyer

Under the guidance of an experienced attorney, understanding Oregon's laws and navigating the restoration process becomes much simpler. 

It's always best to consult with an attorney who is knowledgeable about firearm rights restoration in Oregon for customized legal advice tailored to your specific case. Ask them about their experience and track record in assisting clients with rights restoration petitions.

Safety Considerations

Now that we've clarified Oregon's stance on felons owning black powder guns and some of the options for rights restoration, it's essential to reiterate the importance of firearm safety. In Oregon, black powder guns are legally considered firearms. The term "firearm" encompasses any weapon, regardless of terminology, designed to propel a projectile using black or smokeless powder.

Here are some safety tips to follow when handling black powder guns:

  • Always handle all guns as if they are loaded. If you are unsure, always assume they are loaded.
  • Store guns unloaded and locked in a secure location away from children or individuals who should not have access to firearms.
  • Never point a gun at anything you don't intend to shoot.
  • Keep your finger off the trigger until you're ready to shoot.
  • Wear proper safety gear when shooting, including eye and ear protection.
  • Ensure you have a thorough understanding of operating your firearm. Never presume that the rules for one type of gun apply universally to different makes and models.

Alternative Pursuits

Numerous alternative pursuits are available for those unable to regain their firearm rights or simply wish to explore other hobbies. These activities can provide a sense of achievement, camaraderie, and enjoyment similar to those gained from firearm sports and hobbies:

  • Archery: An exciting and challenging sport that sharpens your focus, skill, and precision.
  • Fishing: An excellent way to relax and take in nature while connecting with fellow anglers.
  • Hunting with a bow or crossbow: Similar to firearm hunting, it allows for a different approach and skill set. 
  • Paintball: An engaging and adrenaline-fueled activity that promotes teamwork and strategy.
  • Woodworking: A creative hobby that yields tangible results and allows self-expression through handcrafted items. 

Secure Legal Guidance Today

In navigating the complexities of firearm ownership laws for felons in Oregon, understanding the unique regulations surrounding black powder guns is crucial. The state explicitly prohibits felons from owning these firearms, but for individuals seeking to restore their firearm rights, the legal process involves careful consideration.

Contact us today for personalized legal advice on firearm rights restoration in Oregon or any inquiries related to black powder guns. Lohrke Law is ready to assist you in understanding the intricacies of the restoration process and ensuring your petition is well-prepared. Your journey toward reclaiming your rights starts with a consultation.