(a) It shall be unlawful for any person who has been convicted of a felony to purchase, own, possess, or have in his custody, care, or control any firearm or any weapon of mass death and destruction as defined in G.S. 14-288.8(c). For the purposes of this section, a firearm is (i) any weapon, including a starter gun, which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive, or its frame or receiver, or (ii) any firearm muffler or firearm silencer. This section does not apply to an antique firearm, as defined in G.S. 14-409.11.
Every person violating the provisions of this section shall be punished as a Class G felon.
(b) Prior convictions which cause disentitlement under this section shall only include:
(1) Felony convictions in North Carolina that occur before, on, or after December 1, 1995; and
(2) Repealed by Session Laws 1995, c. 487, s. 3, effective December 1, 1995.
(3) Violations of criminal laws of other states or of the United States that occur before, on, or after December 1, 1995, and that are substantially similar to the crimes covered in subdivision (1) which are punishable where committed by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year.
When a person is charged under this section, records of prior convictions of any offense, whether in the courts of this State, or in the courts of any other state or of the United States, shall be admissible in evidence for the purpose of proving a violation of this section. The term “conviction” is defined as a final judgment in any case in which felony punishment, or imprisonment for a term exceeding one year, as the case may be, is authorized, without regard to the plea entered or to the sentence imposed. A judgment of a conviction of the defendant or a plea of guilty by the defendant to such an offense certified to a superior court of this State from the custodian of records of any state or federal court shall be prima facie evidence of the facts so certified.
(c) The indictment charging the defendant under the terms of this section shall be separate from any indictment charging him with other offenses related to or giving rise to a charge under this section. An indictment which charges the person with violation of this section must set forth the date that the prior offense was committed, the type of offense and the penalty therefor, and the date that the defendant was convicted or plead guilty to such offense, the identity of the court in which the conviction or plea of guilty took place and the verdict and judgment rendered therein.
(d) This section does not apply to a person who, pursuant to the law of the jurisdiction in which the conviction occurred, has been pardoned or has had his or her firearms rights restored if such restoration of rights could also be granted under North Carolina law.
(e) This section does not apply and there is no disentitlement under this section if the felony conviction is a violation under the laws of North Carolina, another state, or the United States that pertains to antitrust violations, unfair trade practices, or restraints of trade. (1971, c. 954, s. 1; 1973, c. 1196; 1975, c. 870, ss. 1, 2; 1977, c. 1105, ss. 1, 2; 1979, c. 760, s. 5; 1979, 2nd Sess., c. 1316, s. 47; 1981, c. 63, s. 1; c. 179, s. 14; 1989, c. 770, s. 3; 1993, c. 539, s. 1245; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c); 1995, c. 487, s. 3; c. 507, s. 19.5(k); 2004-186, s. 14.1; 2006-259, s. 7(b); 2010-108, s. 3; 2011-2, s. 1; 2011-268, s. 13.)