March 20, 2015 Simply being convicted of a crime is not grounds for taking away an individual’s right to possess a firearm, except in certain situations. Anyone committing a misdemeanor will be able to maintain those rights, but generally, those convicted of a felony or of domestic violence are forbidden from owning a gun. The Level of Crimes The type of felony a person has been convicted of often determines if any consideration is warranted. If it was non-violent in nature, then the likelihood of regaining those rights rises. However, if individuals convicted of a felony want that charge reduced, they have to make sure that their record has been clean since that conviction, and that any fines related to previous crimes have been paid and any probation period has ended. If that fails, a lawyer can then petition the court where the individual was convicted to consider the case, with a hearing then set to determine if the request has any merit. All Cases Are Not Alike It’s important to remember that such prohibitions are not etched in stone, since more than 3,000 people convicted of felonies and domestic violence have been able to regain their gun rights over the past two decades. Differing State Laws Unless the crime was a federal offense, having gun rights restored is largely dependent on where an individual lives. Some states, such as Minnesota and Montana, restore rights almost immediately after a person completes their mandated sentence. Minnesota is also one of a number of states that will even consider restoring the rights of individuals convicted of violent felonies. Meanwhile, others like California, can be extremely difficult to navigate since that person will need a pardon from the state’s governor. Those are also handed out rarely, which reduces the chance of obtaining one even further. Those that commit federal crimes have a much harder time getting back those rights, since it takes a presidential pardon to make that happen. Those often are only considered in the waning days of an incumbent’s administration. The Bottom Line Therefore, regaining rights can largely boil down to assessing the current and recent past of the petitioner, the level (if any) of violence of their previous crimes and where they live. Regardless of which it could be, legal help is a necessity for this to become a reality. For more information please contact one of our dedicated attorneys at 206-621-0500 or online today.