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Old February 11, 2019, 06:58 PM   #26
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"Only a dishonorable discharge will prevent someone from being able to purchase, own or possess a firearm.
ATF states that the federal law regarding dishonorable discharges does not include a BCD."
"Discharged under dishonorable conditions. Separation from the U.S.
Armed Forces resulting from a dishonorable discharge or dismissal
adjudged by a general court-martial. The term does not include
separation from the Armed Forces resulting from any other discharge,
e.g., a bad conduct discharge."

See also:
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Old February 11, 2019, 07:00 PM   #27
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A Dishonorable Discharge is not handed out casually, certainly not for sniffing laughing gas.

However, now that you know, or have reason to believe, he had a Dishonorable Discharge and is a prohibited person, you can't take him shooting. Go to a bar and shoot some pool instead.
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Old February 11, 2019, 09:56 PM   #28
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A Dishonorable Discharge is not handed out casually, certainly not for sniffing laughing gas.
Yup. There's a reason it's treated as the equivalent of a felony by federal firearm law.
I am going to ask him if he has considered upgrading his discharge.
Best to leave it alone. I suspect that all that information was provided to them by the military and there's probably a reason they didn't take advantage of it.

Your nephew and your neighbor probably did so something similar, but it wasn't taking a breath of laughing gas. Read up on dishonorable discharges and what they are typically given for. Also look at the spectrum of possible discharges and what the other ones are typically given for.

If they don't want you to know why they really got their DDs, that's their business. Just be informed so you don't get sucked into something without understanding what is really going on.
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Old February 11, 2019, 11:00 PM   #29
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"...dishonorable discharge is based on a general court-martial conviction..." Gross insubordination or repeatedly being AWOL, et al are not felonies, but are Courts Marital offences.
There are discharges resulting from a courts martial, that are not a "dishonorable discharge" I think I remember that a General Discharge (resulting from a courts martial, was referred to as "a discharge (seperation) for the benefit of the service" and it did not carry the negative attributes of not being able to vote, or being a felony etc. Nevertheless, times and the military's way of doing things is always changing, so what was true in the early sixties could very well be different today.
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Old February 11, 2019, 11:13 PM   #30
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I think there is a point being mostly missed here. A couple have said it, but I think a little more clarification is needed.

The law says you can't have a gun if you got a Dishonorable Discharge. Period. it doesn't matter why you got a DD, or if that reason isn't a felony in the civilian world. Machts Nichts. getting a DD (for any reason) makes you a prohibited person under the law. End of story.

There are several grades of discharge, Honorable, General under honorable conditions, General, and I think a couple grades of bad conduct discharges, the "biggest" one is the Dishonorable Discharge.
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
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Old February 12, 2019, 05:54 PM   #31
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mehavey, thanks for the clarification. (Post #26)
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Old February 12, 2019, 08:45 PM   #32
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Thanks so much for all the input!
I am going to ask him if he has considered upgrading his discharge.
I would definitely have your friend look into having his discharge upgraded. The Military is pretty lenient on this matter with most DD automatically converting.

Fill out:

Mail it:

Secretary of the Navy
Council of Review Boards
ATTN: Naval Discharge Review Board
720 Kennon Ave S.E., Suite 309
Washington Navy Yard, DC 20374-5023

And include:

What to Submit With Your Application
Request your military and/or medical records so you can submit any needed records with your application. For information about obtaining your records, visit the National Personnel Records Center website.

Submit any medical and/or military records that relate to the issues that relate to your upgrade request. For instance, if you are arguing that post-traumatic stress disorder caused the bad conduct that led to your "bad paper," it will be important to get a medical opinion from a doctor supporting your claim. Medical records showing you are clean and sober will also help.

In addition, submitting the following may influence the Discharge Review Board in your favor:

your statement
statements from others you served with (as high ranking as possible)
character references (from an employer, clergy, or others)
educational records
post-service employment history
credit reports showing good credit, and information about your good conduct after service (including a clean criminal record).
The Military is concerned with not only what happened but how the servicemember performs both before and after.

Especially what comes after punishment. Did the SM develop a bad attitude and continue down the same path? Of did they pick themselves up and have the intestinal fortitude to accept responsibility for their actions. If a former service member demonstrates acceptance of responsibility and they are leading a productive, law abiding life, reintegrate back into society, then the Military is rather forgiving.

Your friend sounds like he has a good chance of getting that discharge reversed and possibly his conviction set aside.
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Old February 12, 2019, 08:53 PM   #33
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I know I'm late to the thread. Are you sure it was a DD and not some other less-than-honorable classification? Like maybe a Bad Conduct Discharge? (not sure if a BCD is treated like a felony or not, but I don't think so)
"The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun"
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Old February 12, 2019, 09:00 PM   #34
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A Dishonorable Discharge is not handed out casually, certainly not for sniffing laughing gas.
It very much depends but you are right it is not handed out casually.

Turn down an Article 15 and you will be on your way to General Court Martial.

The same Chain of Command you just told, "I do not trust your judgement" is the same one that appoints every aspect of a General Court Martial outside of the Judge and the defense attorney. The Jury even gets picked by that same Chain of Command!

That is the bad news. The good news is now everything is public AND most importantly....

Notions like Honor, Courage, and Character really do exist. They are on display everyday in the Military Courts. There is no better court in the world to be in IMHO IF you are innocent.

So you turn down an Article 15, end up in a General Court Martial acting like a douche bag not accepting responsibility get caught lying about it...

I can easily see a Dishonorable Discharge and the full weight of UCMJ being thrown at the SM.

We do not know the specifics...only this guy knows.

As for taking him shooting the answer must be a NO. I would encourage him to have his conviction reviewed and leave it at that.

Here is a good primer on it:

Last edited by davidsog; February 12, 2019 at 09:16 PM.
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Old February 12, 2019, 10:53 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by 44 AMP View Post
Very plausible, and your only defense is ignorance, and (right or wrong) ignorance of the law is no excuse.

A fist fight? Under the right circumstances, abso-frackin-lutely!!!

Felony assault will do it, and so will MISDEMEANOR Domestic Violence. (Lautenberg act). Hit, or even PUSH your domestic partner, get a convicted, no guns for life. And I don't think there is any restoration process for that, though I hope I'm wrong.
As far as expungement or annulment, all depends on the laws of the state. States tough on guns tend to have no methods for relief with even the most minor crimes being 2.5 year sentences (in order to bar gun ownership even though nobody gets those sentences ever).. States with reasonable gun laws tend to provide relief for more things and I think it's possible some would for misdemeanor domestic violence (but you'd have to investigate on a state by state basis).

Even people convicted of murder have been granted relief (in that instance though I believe it took a pardon, not a regular court hearing). There is no relief granted for federal crimes anymore, the absence of a presidential pardon, since they are no longer processing them (but there is a law on the books for it which is no longer acted upon).

Last edited by riffraff; February 12, 2019 at 11:01 PM.
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