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Can I restore my gun rights after a felony conviction?

On Behalf of | May 21, 2020 | Criminal Defense

Upon a felony conviction, you lose certain rights. Some of these rights may naturally restore after you complete your sentence or meet other requirements. Other rights require you to take further action with the court to seek restoration. Specifically, restoring your right to own and possess a firearm requires petitioning the court and meeting other requirements.

According to the Restoration of Rights Project, you will get a notification upon conviction that you no longer have the right to own or possess a firearm. It may also include information about whether you can restore your rights. Restoration is possible as long as you do not have a Class A felony or sex offense. Do note that the dismissal of charges after probation or a deferral of your sentence does not automatically restore your rights. In addition, convictions in other states also affect your rights in Washington.

You can request restoration through the court. You can usually go through the court that handled your case and sentencing or the court in your county of residence. For a felony charge, you have to wait five years after conviction. During that time, you cannot have any further charges or convictions. You must file specific paperwork with the court, providing information about yourself and your conviction.

The only other way to get your rights to own or possess a firearm back after losing them due to a felony conviction or if you had a conviction for a Class A felony or sexual offense charges is to get a pardon from the governor. This is rare and requires extensive procedures to request.