Trump eligible to run for president, vote but no guns

AFP , Wednesday 5 Jun 2024

Donald Trump is now a felon.

In this file photo, Former President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference at Trump Tower in New York. AP


Here's what that means for the rights of the former US president -- the first ever convicted of a crime -- as he seeks to recapture the White House in November:

Presidential bid

Trump is expected to receive the Republican presidential nomination at the party's convention in Milwaukee, which is to begin just four days after his July 11 sentencing in New York for his conviction on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records.

The Constitution only requires that a president be a natural-born US citizen, be at least 35 years old and have been a resident of the country for 14 years.

Even if the 77-year-old Trump was sentenced to prison, considered unlikely for the first-time offender, he would be eligible to serve as president.

Judge Juan Merchan could potentially sentence Trump to probation or home confinement, which could curtail his ability to campaign against his expected November opponent, Democrat Joe Biden.


Florida, where Trump resides, makes it notoriously difficult for convicted felons to vote.

But because Trump was convicted in New York, and not Florida, he should retain his right to cast a ballot in November.

Under Florida law, a person is ineligible to vote in the Sunshine State if a felony conviction makes them ineligible to vote in the state where they were convicted.

New York only prohibits convicted felons from voting while they are actually behind bars.


Trump, if he wins back the presidency, would not be able to pardon himself in the New York case because it was brought by state and not federal authorities.

Only the governor of New York could clear his name.

Trump also faces federal and state charges of conspiring to overturn the results of the 2020 election won by Biden, and for hoarding secret documents after leaving the White House.

But those cases are unlikely to come to trial before the November election.


Convicted felons are not allowed to possess or purchase firearms under federal law, although they can petition in New York to have their gun rights restored.

Trump, a staunch supporter of gun rights and the favoured candidate of the National Rifle Association has previously said that he owns handguns and has a concealed carry license.


Dozens of countries around the world prohibit entry to convicted felons, including US neighbour Canada, but it is unclear whether such a ban would apply to a leading White House candidate or -- should Trump win in November -- a president of the United States.

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