Former President Donald Trump, Second Amendment supporter and friend to the National Rifle Association, is now a convicted felon. That means he can’t own guns. 

Anyone convicted of a crime punishable by more than one year in prison is barred from possessing firearms under federal law. On May 30, Trump was convicted by a New York jury of 34 counts of falsifying business records, a Class E felony that carries a maximum sentence of four years in prison. Trump is thus outlawed from owning guns even if he is ultimately sentenced to probation.

Judge Juan Merchan still needs to enter the court’s final judgment formally approving the jury’s verdict. That may not occur until Trump’s sentencing hearing, scheduled for July 11. In New York, when a guilty verdict is entered, state law requires the court to order the defendant to immediately surrender any firearms. The judge is then supposed to notify the local authorities — in this case, the New York Police Department — about the firearm relinquishment order. 

In court, Merchan did not immediately ask Trump to surrender any firearms after the jury returned its verdict, according to the trial transcript. So far, Merchan has not issued any post-conviction restrictions at all. We asked the Manhattan district attorney, the U.S. Justice Department, the NYPD, and the office of Ron DeSantis, governor of Florida — where Trump officially declared himself a resident in 2019 — whether they plan to enforce the felon gun ban in regards to the former president. None responded. 

The situation with Trump underscores the lack of federal procedure for how recently convicted felons should surrender their guns after a verdict. New York is one of at least seven states that have created a statutory process for firearm relinquishment, but only California, Connecticut, and Nevada expressly require prohibited people to provide proof of relinquishment to courts or law enforcement. New York does require law enforcement to notify the court when it receives any surrendered firearms.

In California, newly convicted felons are required to fill out a relinquishment form, name a designee, and ultimately provide receipts from the law enforcement agency or federal firearms dealer that took possession of the firearms.

It’s unclear what guns Trump currently owns or where he keeps them, but he has long described himself as a gun owner. In 2010, Trump and his son, Donald Trump Jr., were included on a list of New York City residents who were licensed gun owners. In a 2012 interview with The Washington Times, Trump said that he had a concealed carry permit and owned two handguns: a .45 caliber Heckler & Koch and a .38 caliber Smith & Wesson. In 2016, he told a conservative French publication that he “always” carries a gun.

The Trump campaign did not respond to our questions about the former president’s firearms.

Hats reading, “God, Guns and Trump,” and “Jesus is my savior, Trump is my president,” are sold at a campaign rally for former President Donald Trump in Vandalia, Ohio, on March 16, 2024. A host of public officials didn’t respond when The Trace asked whether they would enforce the ban on Trump possessing firearms following his felony conviction. Jessie Wardarski/AP Photo

As Trump’s conviction occurred in New York, it’s that state that Trump must petition for a restoration of his gun rights after the completion of his sentence. According to Florida law, “Felony convictions occurring in another state require restoration of civil and firearm rights by the state in which the conviction occurred.”

In general, New York has much stricter gun laws than Florida. For instance, New York requires a permit to own a handgun and an additional permit to carry it in public, whereas Florida does not require a permit for either. New York also requires training — including live-fire exercises — to obtain a concealed carry permit; Florida eliminated training and permit requirements in 2023. DeSantis has called Trump’s prosecution in New York “absurd” and said the former president’s voting rights would not be affected by his conviction. The Florida governor has not commented on Trump’s post-conviction gun rights. 

It’s not clear whether and how exactly New York could use its relinquishment procedures to force Trump to surrender any guns he possesses in Florida, his primary home, or in New Jersey, where he also maintains a residence. 

The issue of how Trump’s criminal cases might affect his ability to legally own a gun emerged in September when Trump visited a South Carolina gun store and expressed his desire to buy a bronze-plated Glock 19 that had his face on it. At the time, he was under felony indictment in criminal cases in New York, Florida, Georgia, and Washington, D.C., and was thus already prohibited from buying guns under federal law. Anyone who is under indictment for a crime carrying a potential yearlong jail sentence — but not yet convicted — is barred from owning a gun while the case is being resolved.

Trump’s campaign spokesperson initially claimed on social media that Trump had bought the Glock, but deleted the post after questions about the transaction’s legality, and said the former president only wanted to buy the gun. The special edition Glock was listed as “out of stock” the next day. Prosecutors in Trump’s Washington, D.C., criminal case cited the episode in a request for a gag order.

The felon gun ban itself has faced an unprecedented wave of court challenges since the Supreme Court’s 2022 Bruen decision, which rewrote the methodology that courts must follow when deciding whether gun restrictions are constitutional. 

In 2023, the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals found that the felon gun ban violated the Second Amendment rights of a defendant who had been convicted of food stamp fraud. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a similar ruling in May. Both courts found that the government had failed to demonstrate that the felon gun ban fits within a “longstanding” tradition in American history — the threshold established by Bruen. But several other appeals courts have upheld the law, making it ripe for the Supreme Court.

Neither the 3rd Circuit’s nor the 9th Circuit’s decision would affect Trump, as New York is in the 2nd Circuit and Florida is in the 11th Circuit, where binding precedent still hold that the felon gun ban is constitutional.