Restoring Gun Rights After a Criminal Conviction in California
Do you have a criminal conviction, and your gun rights were taken away? Depending on your criminal conviction, restoring your gun rights may be possible. Contact us to speak with an experienced firearms attorney if you’d like to discuss the process of getting your gun rights restored.
California and federal criminal law with regards to gun rights are extremely strict. All felony convictions result in a lifetime gun ban. Further, there are about 40 misdemeanor convictions that will result in a ten-year gun rights ban. Some of these include assault, battery, or brandishing a weapon. There are also some misdemeanors that will result in a lifetime gun ban, such as assault with a firearm, or misdemeanor domestic violence.
State Felony Conviction
If you were convicted of a straight felony, a crime that must be charged as a felony by the district attorney, it may be very difficult to regain gun rights. You are usually required to submit a request with the governor’s office for a pardon. The governor has complete discretion to issue you a pardon and if issued, it would erase your conviction from your criminal background. However, if your felony was for the use of a dangerous weapon, a pardon will not restore your gun rights. Obtaining a pardon is a lengthy and difficult process and not all applications are granted. You must have led a crime-free life after your conviction.
Federal Felony Conviction
If you were convicted of a straight felony in a federal court, again, it will be very difficult to regain gun rights. You are required to apply to the federal government. However, there is a lack of federal funding that allows all these applications to be processed so there is the possibility that your application may never be fairly considered.
Felony Wobbler Conviction
If you were convicted of a felony “wobbler,” you might be able to regain your gun rights by applying to a judge for a reduction in your conviction from a felony to a misdemeanor. This means that if a judge approves your application, they will take your felony conviction off your record and replace it with a misdemeanor conviction. Depending on the crime, you may then be granted your gun rights back. A “wobbler” is a crime that may be charged as a felony or as a misdemeanor by the district court. To apply for a reduction, you must have not been sentenced to prison and you must have completed probation.
Misdemeanor Domestic Violence Conviction
If you were convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence, you could have your gun rights restored by the State of California. However, federal law imposes a lifetime gun ban for individuals convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence. The federal government does not recognize California procedures for gun rights restoration and so it may be difficult to have your gun rights restored in these cases.
Contact us for a consultation with an attorney if you’d like to explore getting your gun rights restored after a criminal conviction. There is no guarantee of success, but we are always happy discussing your options and seeing if we can help restore your gun rights.