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    John1865's Avatar
    John1865 Posts: 27, Reputation: -1
    New Member

    Jan 10, 2007, 11:06 AM
    Is a Court Martial a Felony or Misdemeanor or Felony
    Is a Court Martial a Felony or Misdemeanor or Felony. I see many questions on this topic... please post my input.

    A summary Court Martial is not a felony conviction period! There is nothing in the military to equate a Court Martial to a felony or misdemeanor conviction. The federal courts look at length of sentence to determine if a Court Martial in a felony or misdemeanor. If the conviction could result in a sentence of 1-year or more in a penitentiary, then it is considered a felony conviction.

    Since the maximum punishment possible in a summary Court Martial in 1-month confinement, this is clearly a misdemeanor. In addition, a special Court Martial prior to 2002 could only result in a maximum confinement period of 6-months, this too would be a misdemeanor conviction. The following Supreme Court ruling tells it all.

    NOTE: Although action by summary courts-martial is disciplinary in nature for a violation of military law, the Supreme Court has ruled that a summary court-martial is not a criminal proceeding (Middendorf v. Henry, 425 U.S.25).

    I would definitely fight for your right to purchase/carry firearms...
    RickJ's Avatar
    RickJ Posts: 7,762, Reputation: 864
    Uber Member

    Jan 10, 2007, 11:18 AM
    Excellent info, thank you. But you have already posted it here:

    Duplicate postings are removed.
    Neal H's Avatar
    Neal H Posts: 2, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Jul 23, 2011, 08:48 AM
    If a summary court martial is not a felony why is it on my DD214 as a felony when my background history comes back with also a FBI number.
    soonerhunters's Avatar
    soonerhunters Posts: 2, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Dec 28, 2011, 05:50 PM
    I have a conviction of forgery with a summary court martial, This happened in 1995 at Fort Bragg. I have a honorable discharge as well. My DD214 doesn't have any of this info on it, but have just been denied a pistol purchase permit. Everything I have read states that a summary court martial isn't comparable to a "civilian felony" because the length of confinement is a maximum of 30 days. Would really appreciate if anyone has personal info on this subject.
    excon's Avatar
    excon Posts: 21,482, Reputation: 2992
    Uber Member

    Dec 28, 2011, 05:59 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by soonerhunters View Post
    would really appreciate if anyone has personal info on this subject.
    Hello s:

    I'm assuming that it was the BATF who turned you down, and they should have supplied you with some paperwork describing their action and what you can do about it..

    I believe you ARE eligible for a firearms permit. My bet IS that you have some appeal rights, and I'd take them.

    soonerhunters's Avatar
    soonerhunters Posts: 2, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Dec 28, 2011, 06:34 PM
    excon, thanks for your reply.
    I live in North Carolina and have purchased long guns before without a problem. The letter sent with the denial said that I could appeal to the district court judge in my area and that his ruling is final. Not sure if I would need any paperwork from the military on the case, "I was not given anything at the court martial" and I'm not sure how I could go about getting it. Mybe I should consult with an attorney?
    AK lawyer's Avatar
    AK lawyer Posts: 12,592, Reputation: 977

    Dec 28, 2011, 07:36 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by soonerhunters View Post
    ... Mybe i should consult with an attorney?
    I certainly would.

    As I recall, federal firearms laws treat a dishonorable discharge as the same as a felony, prohibiting possession. It stands to reason that an honorable discharge would be equivalent to a clean record. It would also turn on the wording of your state statutes, but I suspect they leave excessive discreation to some local official such as a police chief or sheriff. This may be subject to judicial challenge, in my opinion.

    I'm also guessing that whoever turned you down didn't bother to read the criteria, if there are any.

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