For this week’s “Ask a Firearms Attorney” post, Attorney Tom Grieve addresses a question that many responsible gun owners ask themselves: “Is it legal for me to modify my firearm’s appearance? If I do modify the appearance of my gun, will it be used against me in court in a self-defense case?”

Can I Modify My Firearm’s Appearance?

Yes, you can modify your gun’s appearance.

However, when it comes to a court case regarding your firearm or your use of that firearm in self-defense, everything can and will be used against you — including any modifications to your firearm’s appearance. This is particularly true if you add something to the firearm’s appearance that makes it look like “you were out to shoot someone” or were out for “vigilante justice” in the prosecutor’s eyes.

Specific things that could make your court case a bit more complicated when it comes to your firearm’s appearance include having things on your gun like: the Punisher, swear words, offensive slogans or anything that a prosecutor could use to make you seem like you were not of sound mind at the time of the event.

In the video, Attorney Grieve mentions that the prosecutor can use any modifications to your firearm’s appearance to speak to your state of mind. Your gun will most likely be the first and the last exhibit used against you.

About Attorney Tom Grieve, Grieve Law

Tom Grieve is a highly awarded former state prosecutor. He started Grieve Law, LLC, now one of the most successful criminal defense law firms in Wisconsin. He is a respected top criminal defense lawyer in the state and has an in-depth knowledge of Wisconsin firearms law. Tom has gone above and beyond and also received his certification as a firearms instructor. He participates as a regular speaker and panelist with the USCCA for live broadcasts, training videos and national expos, and even serves as a speaker and analyst on numerous radio and TV stations and both college and law school campuses.


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