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Old August 8, 2012, 12:11 PM   #26
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The code of federal regulation defines "disharged under dishonorable conditions" to include the dismissal of a commissioned officer pursuant to sentence by a general court martial. 27 CFR 478.11

The ATF adopted this definition after the DOD commented on the ATFs proposed definition, excluding dismissals, and indicated that the DOD considered a dismissal to be the equivalent of a dishonorable discharge. The DOD also believed such a definition would lead to unfair application of the law to enlisted members but not officers convicted of the same offenses. The ATF adopted a definition that includes dismissals.

The instructions to members contained in DA Pam 27-9, Military Judges Benchbook, regarding a dismissal are instructive:

This court may adjudge a dismissal. You are advised that a sentence to a dismissal of a (commissioned officer) (cadet) is, in general, the equivalent of a dishonorable discharge of a noncommissioned officer, a warrant officer who is not commissioned, or an enlisted service member. A dismissal deprives one of substantially all benefits administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Army establishment. It should be reserved for those who in the opinion of the court should be separated under conditions of dishonor after conviction of serious offenses of a civil or military nature warranting such severe punishment. Dismissal, however, is the only type of discharge the court is authorized to adjudge in this case.
I did a quick search and couldn't find any court opinions deciding whether or not a dismissal makes one prohibited from possessing a firearm. This could be because when an officer is dismissed they have usually been convicted of a crime punishable by a term of imprisonment of more than one year. Why charge under 922(g)(6) when you can just as easily charge and convict under 922(g)(1). Also the ATFs definition seems spot on and probably would be well accepted in the federal courts.

Last edited by vranasaurus; August 8, 2012 at 12:11 PM. Reason: Typo
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Old August 9, 2012, 08:57 PM   #27
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I guess the Honorable discharge statement on my DD314 is incorrect. Granted unless we resign we do not receive the nice certificate that enlisted do. That comes when we are transferred to the Retired list at age 60.

Technically you may be right as officers convicted by general Court are reduced to E-1.
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