If you have been convicted of a felony by a Virginia State Court then you are prohibited from purchasing, possessing, or transporting firearms or ammunition. However, Virginia law provides a method for you to have your gun rights restored.
The process is relatively simple, but requires two steps. First, you must have your political civil rights restored. These are the rights to vote, hold political office, serve on juries and be a notary public. Restoration for certain non-violent felonies is automatic following release from incarceration and parole supervision, subject to paying any outstanding court costs. If you have been convicted of other more serious felonies, including violent felonies, you must apply to the Governor to restore your political civil rights. If the Governor decides to do so, all of your civil rights will be restored except for your firearms rights.
To restore your firearms rights, you must file a petition with the circuit court in the jurisdiction in which reside or if you live in another state, you must file your petition in the last Virginia jurisdiction in which you were convicted of a felony. Your petition will include a number of documents, including proof that your political civil rights have been restored, the court judgement of your conviction, your criminal history and driving record, proof that you completed your sentence and have been discharged from parole, and letters of recommendation attesting to your character and rehabilitation.
Filing the petition for restoration of your firearm rights does not guarantee that the judge will grant your request. The judge will consider such things are how serious was your offense, any other offenses for which you have been convicted, how much time has elapsed since your conviction, and what you’ve done with your life since your release from confinement.
Note that if your felony conviction stems from a federal conviction, restoration of your firearm rights is likely not going to be possible. Although federal law provides a way to restore your firearm rights, since 1992, Congress has denied federal funding to process the necessary applications to restore firearm rights to persons convicted of federal offenses. However, if your federal conviction was long ago and depending on your circumstances, there may be a means to restore your firearms rights via a federal court lawsuit.
Arsenal Attorneys can help guide you through the process and prepare the necessary paperwork to restore your political and firearm rights. Contact us for more information.