How Can a Felon Protect Their Home?

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Why would felons want to protect their home?  It is a natural thing to do.  They want to protect their loved ones, themselves, and their home just like anyone else.

This blog post will cover the issue of how a felon can protect their home.

  • A Simple Solution
  • Necessity Defense
  • Having Their Record Expunged
  • Restoring Firearm Rights
  • Receiving a Pardon
  • Alternative Protection
  • Supporting a Felon in Protecting Their Home

A Simple Solution

The simple solution to protecting their home is the obvious answer that many who are not felons take.  That is, to equip their home with legal means of protection.

This would include standard security measures, such as an extra lock, deadbolt, and reliable security alarm.  That is what most citizens do instead of possessing a gun.

For many felons the temptation is probably to have a gun in their home for protection regardless of the law.

Whether or not their conviction was for an offense involving a weapon, even having a gun in their home can result in their being arrested and charged with felony possession of a weapon.

This would result in their return to prison for a rather lengthy sentence.

Having the attitude that they can do what they want “because it’s for a good reason” is typical of the thinking that got them into trouble in the first place.

That mentality is a part of the criminal thinking that accompanied their dishonest lifestyle in the past.

This is something most felons have pledged to put behind them in their quest to live an honest life after serving their sentence.

There are circumstances in which felons can possess a firearm.

Necessity Defense

An exception to the ban on firearms is through the “affirmative defense of necessity.”

These are exceptions granted in “rare situations.”

The guidelines for this type of exception are to be able to demonstrate five criteria, including:

  • Reasonable fear of death or serious injury
  • No reckless placement of themselves in the path of that threat
  • No reasonable alternative to firearm possession
  • Reasonable belief that possession would avert the threat
  • Maintain possession only as long as necessary to avoid the threat.

An important note here is that all five requirements must clearly be met.  If even one criteria is missing this defense will not apply and serious legal problems can result for felons.

In a recent court case, a felon met four of the five guidelines but it was decided they had kept the firearm longer than necessary after the threat had ended.  This resulted in a denial of this defense.

Having Their Record Expunged

One way for felons to once again own a firearm is to have their record expunged.

Most first-time felons can have a felony expunged.

Expungement is granted by the governor of the state where the conviction occurred.

Each state has its own laws regarding felony expungement.  Having legal counsel will be important in this process.  Typically, they must have been out of prison from five to ten years to be eligible.

Restoring Firearms Rights

Recently, a law was passed that would allow felons having lost their rights to own a firearm to be able to have that right restored.

The process depends on whether their felony conviction was from the state or the federal government.

Each state sets its standards for restoring firearm rights.

If the conviction came from the federal court, there is an application procedure to follow.

Receiving a Pardon

Another way to have firearm rights restored is by seeking a pardon.

If it is a state pardon, each state sets its own standards for receiving a pardon.

In order to obtain a federal pardon, felons must wait five years after completion of their sentence.  Then they may contact the federal government regarding a pardon (clemency).  They should first seek legal counsel.

For any of these means of receiving their firearms rights, the nature, seriousness, and length of time since their conviction will be considered.

Employment is probably the most challenging aspect of returning to society.  Many felons struggle with finding a job because the stigma of having a felony record deters employers from hiring felons.

There are companies that are willing to give felons a second chance.

Having healthy ties to the community involves having good relationships with their families and friends as well as being involved in community and volunteer work.

Maintaining and documenting that involvement will be valuable to felons wanting to regain firearm rights as well as any other rights.

Attending a re-entry program can aid their case.  Changing friends and hangouts will also be important.

Alternative Protection

Protecting their home can be accomplished with other means than a firearm.  There are certain weapons that felons can possess that are not considered to be firearms.

These include a knife with a blade not longer than four inches, a muzzleloader, a crossbow, and a pellet gun. There are certain restrictions on owning each of these.

Each state has its own laws regarding each of these weapons.

Felons must obey those guidelines in possessing any type of weapon.

Supporting a Felon in Protecting Their Home

For families of felons who want to protect their home, support them in doing so through legal means.

Be honest with them about the importance of this as part of their commitment to putting their criminal life behind them.

Following safety guidelines in owning any type of weapon as a way of protecting their home will be important.

There is a legal method for protecting their home. Be there for them.  Help them achieve this.


So what do you think about this blog post about a felon can protect their home?  Have you or someone you know been in this situation?  What was that like and were they successful?  Please tell us in the comments below.

About the author

After earning his MBA from Benedictine University, Ron was looking for a new challenge and stumbled on the idea of helping the formerly incarcerated.

Using what he learned, Ron developed this website as a free resource and has worked with his team​ to continue answering questions for those in need.

6 thoughts on “How Can a Felon Protect Their Home?”

  1. Times have changed since the Firearms act of 1934 was implemented. The boogeyman criminal like John Dillinger, Bonnie and Clyde no longer exist. Today’s crime is much more rampant, random and affects every size city and town from millions to a few hundred citizens. There are multitudes of gangs with firearms, police are outnumbered, under attack by politicians, and losing on the job protections they need to do their jobs.

    Not all convicted felons are bad evil people. Many made their mistake, paid the price and returned to society as decent people. Unfortunately our system of government (which is viewed backwards by modern society as government as our ruler, rather than the founding father’s intent that government is “Of the people, by the people and for the people”). Convicted felons must wear the “Scarlet F” upon their person for life.

    There are few avenues to have all of your rights restored including gun rights, and most of these are woefully inadequate. A convicted felon who has proven themselves a safe and functioning member of society should not be denied the means to protect himself, his family and his property against lethal threats which are much more numerous today. The reality is, Law Enforcement arrives just to be able to clean up the mess after the fact 90+% of the time.

    We need to change the archaic gun laws that prevent a “Rehabilitated Felon” from obtaining the means to protect himself and family in today’s much more chaotic world.

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  2. Actually in Texas ex felons can have a shotgun for home defense.
    But only after 5 years of being off of parole or probation.

    Might want to update.

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  3. I live in Maine felon out if nh can I have a black powder pistol since it’s not considered to b a firearm I own !y own ho!e and really wish I could have a shot gun to scare any unwanted ppl away the sound of the shotgun pump q round I think is enough to scare someone away I’m sick of not bing able to protect myself nevermind my home. Sick of bing scared. I’m about to just build a gun. And say fuck it life sucks thanks

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  4. Isn’t it ironic that a felon can own a knife or dagger, but not an ASP or club. So someone breaking in can be stabbed to death, which would be legal if my life is threatened, but striking someone nonlethally to get them to leave my home is considered illegal. I would like at least an ASP (for use in my home only) for self defense, but I cannot possess one. I suppose if I used a baseball bat that would be illegal, too?

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  5. This system is set up for failure when it comes to being a felon, I was arrested for growing one marijuana plant. No prior felonies no prior domestic violence. So why do felons like myself not deserve a chance to protect THEIR FAMILIES AND THEMSELVES in a home situation? what makes our neighbors life more valuable than ours i broke the law i did my time spent 2years in prison and a year parole, and am still being punished for something I was never charged with I think non violent felons should automatically be allowed rights 3 years after completing their prison sentence, and or apon completing post release supervision/parole. #state of NE

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  6. I Live in a town as a convicted felon and I have a neighbor that has formed a vigilante group and take pop shots at me knowing I’m without guns .the judge even refused to hear my cry for help .a fireman just fired shots within 10 feet of me and it’s on videotape and he was charged with Reckless endangerment which is a class e felony and all he got was a summons. They came back two weeks later and because I shot my Russian Sniper rifle in the air I went to jail from my own home and charged with felon with firearm. 25,000 dollars bond. What am I missing here .I have this man stating on tape premeditated Attempted Murder .they are still allowed to come on my property line and terrorize me and my dogs.so much to tell but you get the point .I would rather be in prison than this nightmare. Please advise

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