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Persons Prohibited from Possessing Firearms, Including Juveniles


Among the many firearms violations listed in Title 18 of the U.S. Code, are those in the “prohibited persons” section.  Section 922(d) is a list of person who are prohibited from possessing a firearm. 

Prohibited Persons – Title 18 U.S. Code Section 922

The language of the federal statute that excludes people from possessing firearms is summarized here:

Who is Prohibited?

 The basic list of persons prohibited from receiving, possessing, or accessing a firearm is:

  •  “unlawful user” or person “addicted” to a controlled substance (drug)
  • a person who is formally charged with a crime, that is, a person under Indictment
  • a mental defective person, or person committed to a mental facility
  • an illegal alien
  • a person who is the subject of a protective order or restraining order for stalking, harassing, or threatening a person
  • a person who has been convicted of a “domestic violence” charge 

Remember that any person convicted of any felony offense is also prohibited from possessing a firearm.  The list of prohibited persons applies to persons not convicted of a felony offense.

User of, or Addict to, Controlled Substances 

An “unlawful user” is a person who uses drugs without a physician’s prescription and is forbidden to possess a firearm.  In determining who is an unlawful user, you have to look at several factors.  Prior arrests, use history, pending charges, investigations, and convictions can be used to determine if the person is a user.

Illegal Aliens

Illegal aliens are prohibited from possessing firearms, unless they are present in the United States because of a non-immigrant visa.

Protective Order / Restraining Order

A person subject to an order due to stalking, harassing, or threatening a person, is prohibited from possessing a firearm.

Domestic Violence

Anyone convicted of a family violence or domestic violence charge, such as Assault – Family Violence, is not allowed to possess a firearm. This comes from the federal Gun Control Act.  This prohibition against possessing a firearm is true even if the charge results in a misdemeanor conviction.  This is true even for a conviction of a domestic violence charge in municipal court, where traffic violations are prosecuted.


Juveniles are also prohibited from possessing firearms, except in limited circumstances.  Title 18 U.S. Code §922(x) prohibits juveniles from firearms possession, with some exceptions.

The exceptions, in summary, that allow juveniles to possess firearms are:

  • temporary possession (with permission of the parents) for farming, ranching, target practice, or hunting;
  • and possessing a handgun in a residence when the need for self-defense arises.


Federal sentences are often harsh.  If you are charged with a prohibited person firearm offense, or any federal case, contact federal defense attorney John Teakell.  Mr. Teakell will use his experience to guide you through an investigation, and work your defense in any criminal case.

Have a challenging case? Get a free consultation by our experts