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How long should people have to wait to get their gun rights restored?

On Behalf of | Apr 22, 2022 | Redemption Law

The right to bear arms is enshrined in the Bill of Rights. Many people in the Seattle area take their right to own guns for protection, hunting or recreation for granted. But if you have convictions for certain crimes on your record, the law says you cannot own or possess a firearm. Unless you take action, this ban will last the rest of your life.

Before you can even begin the process of seeking restoration of your gun rights, you must wait a certain number of years, depending on the level and type of crime you were convicted of. For Class B and C felonies, you must wait five years. For gross misdemeanors, you must wait three years.  If your record includes a Class A felony or sex crime conviction, you must petition the Governor for a pardon to get your gun rights back in Washington State. Convictions for a Federal Offense requires a pardon from the President.

Different rules in other states

Other states have different rules about this. For example, in North Carolina, the law requires a resident to wait 20 years after completing their sentence for a nonviolent felony to apply for gun rights restoration. A bill in the state senate there would reduce the waiting period to ten years, as well as reduce requirements for those who were convicted in another state.

What are my chances of success?

No matter where you live, getting your gun rights back can be a long process, and there is no guarantee of success. But if you have completed your sentence, put the mistakes of your past behind you and waited the necessary number of years, you have a good chance of being able to exercise your Second Amendment rights again.