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What is the crime of being a felon in possession of a weapon?

A few years ago in this blog, we described the federal crime of being a felon in possession of a firearm. While it is a federal crime to be in possession of a firearm, it is also a crime under Iowa state law. This blog post will briefly describe the state-level crime of being a felon in possession of a weapon. As you will see, it is broader in scope than the federal law.

First of all, the crime includes possession of not only firearms but offensive weapons and ammunition too. "Offensive weapons" under Iowa law include bombs and "ballistic knives" that shoot the blade like a projectile at a target.

The law applies to persons found guilty of a felony in either state or federal court. It also applies to people who were adjudicated delinquent as juveniles if the offense would be a felony in adult court. Like the federal statute, the state crime also applies to persons found guilty of a domestic violence misdemeanor in addition to those convicted of felonies. Further, the law applies to those who are the subject of a protective order in connection with an alleged domestic violence situation. It does not apply to subjects of protective orders if the subject is a government employee using the weapons for official duties.

It is itself a felony to be a felon in possession of a weapon in Iowa. If a person is convicted of being a felon in possession of a weapon, they can be sentenced to a maximum of five years in prison. They also face a fine of at least $750 and possibly as much as $7,500.

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