The Phillips & Associates Oklahoma Law Blog


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By Dustin Phillips on
March 6, 2014
December 31, 2019

Oklahoma City police arrested a man at the Gun and Knife Show after they say he tried to sell a gun despite being a convicted felon.According to reports, a police officer working at the gun show noticed Richard Carlton Britt acting "strangely" when he brought in a gun to sell. The officer checked his identification and realized that the 49-year-old Mustang man had a felony criminal record, and was thus prohibited from possessing a firearm.Britt admitted that he had been buying guns off the internet and re-selling them for profit, but said that he didn't know he was still prohibited from gun ownership. He allegedly told the police officer, "Yea, I was only imprisoned for nine and a half months, and it was so long that I thought they had pardoned it."Britt was convicted of second degree burglary and possession of stolen property in 1985, when he was just 21 years old. He was sentenced to just under a year and half, according to the Oklahoma Department of Corrections Offender Lookup database.Unfortunately for Britt, a felony record is not like a driving record, and your prior offenses do not just "fall off" your record after a certain amount of time, nor is a pardon an automatic process.Britt was arrested on a complaint of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He was booked into the Oklahoma County Jail and released the next day. Police say they found at least 15 firearms in Britt's home, including automatic assault rifles and at least one stolen weapon. �They also say they found 33,000 rounds of ammunition. He likely faces multiple criminal charges beyond the felon in possession of a firearm charge.Felons are prohibited from gun ownership under state and federal law. The Oklahoma statute against possession by a convicted felon is found in 21 O.S. 1283:"A. Except as provided in subsection B of this section, it shall be unlawful for any person convicted of any felony in any court of this state or of another state or of the United States to have in his or her possession or under his or her immediate control, or in any vehicle which the person is operating, or in which the person is riding as a passenger, or at the residence where the convicted person resides, any pistol, imitation or homemade pistol, altered air or toy pistol, machine gun, sawed-off shotgun or rifle, or any other dangerous or deadly firearm."The subsequent section allows non-violent felons to have their gun possession rights restored if they have received a full pardon by the Governor of Oklahoma. A pardon is far from an automatic process, and it is not granted simply on a basis of the length of time since the end of a criminal sentence. Rather, a person wishing to have his or her offense pardoned must first apply to the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board. The Board gathers OSBI reports and reviews the case before making a recommendation to the Governor, who ultimately grants or denies the pardon.A pardon is not the same thing as an expungement; however, a pardon may facilitate or allow record expungement in certain cases. Click here to learn more.


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