from dictionary.com: fel·o·ny [fel-uh-nee] 1. an offense, as murder or burglary, of graver character than those called misdemeanors, especially those commonly punished in the U.S. by imprisonment for more than a year. emphasis added. from the article: VIETNAM VET BARRED FROM OWNING A GUN BECAUSE OF A TEENAGE MISDEMEANOR 45 YEARS AGO Jefferson Wayne Schrader of Cleveland, Ga., has been fighting a losing battle in the courts since 2008 to get his name off the feds firearm ban list. In fact, just last month, a federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., upheld a lower-court ruling barring him from owning a firearm. Due to a conviction some forty years ago for common-law misdemeanor assault and battery for which he served no jail time, plaintiff Jefferson Wayne Schrader, now a sixty-four-year-old veteran, is, by virtue of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1), barred for life from ever possessing a firearm, U.S. Circuit Judge David Tatel wrote in the courts January opinion. So when Schrader tried to buy a handgun in 2008, the NICS flagged his 45-year-old misdemeanor which only now qualifies in Maryland for a sentence of two or more years in prison and he was disqualified from making the purchasing. Now I'm really confused! So there are misdemeanor crimes that are punishable by more than 1 year in prison? And these crimes, even though they are recognized as misdemeanors by the state, are recognized as felonies by the Federal govt.?? also, what gives with the change in sentence time? So the assault, committed in the sixties, had the sentence time lengthened long after the fact, but it still applies to the crime? Every time I think I know even the basics about laws, things change! Sam Spade, where are you?