The right to bear arms is guaranteed to American citizens by the second amendment. However, a criminal record can result in the temporary or permanent loss of this right.
The criminal defense attorneys at Russell & Hill, PLLC have helped many clients successfully restore their rights to firearms. We’d love to help you put your past conviction behind you with our experience and expertise.
In the state of Washington, all felony convictions result in the loss of the right to possess a firearm. This includes juvenile convictions as well. All types of misdemeanors that carry with it a Domestic Violence, or a “DV” tag, will result in the convicted individual losing his or her rights to own a firearm. However, after these convictions, restoration of your ability to possess guns is possible under certain circumstances.
Criteria Necessary to Obtain Restored Firearm Rights
Your eligibility for regaining rights to firearms will depend on the type of offense for which you were convicted:
- Class A Felonies or Sex Offenses – You cannot restore your firearm rights if you have been convicted of a Class A felony or a “sex offense.” What constitutes a sex offense can be discussed with your attorney. If you were convicted of a Class A felony or sex offense in juvenile court, you are eligible to restore your firearm rights after you seal your juvenile record.
- Class B, C, and Unranked Felonies – 5 years must be spent in the community without being convicted of a new crime.
- Misdemeanor DV Convictions – 3 years must be spent in the community without being convicted of a new crime.
Are Gun Rights Automatically Restored?
Gun rights are never automatically restored. A petition must be brought in front of a judge specifically requesting to restore that right. It is not automatically restored even if a case is vacated, dismissed, or sealed. A petition to restore your firearm rights must be filed at either the court of record that ordered the original prohibition on your possession or at the court in the county where you reside.
It is important to know that restoration of other civil rights, such as the right to vote, does not mean that the firearm right is also restored. Firearm restoration is an entirely separate process than the restoring of all other rights.
The process of restoring your firearm rights can take as little as a month or as long as 6 months, depending on how much work has to be done to collect the supporting documentation. The length of time can also be dependant on how busy the individual court is that ordered the original prohibition of your firearms. Keep in mind, each case will vary.
How a Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help Restore Your Rights to Firearms
The process to restore the right to own firearms is extremely complex with rules, exceptions to rules, and exceptions to the exceptions. Untangling this into a viable case is not easy, and requires an experienced criminal defense attorney in order to correctly navigate the process.
Individual counties and states have their own set of jurisdiction that guides their process for restoring firearm rights, and an attorney will be able to get the paperwork together to successfully petition the court.
To discuss the specifics of how to get your firearm rights restored, get in touch with our team. We can look into your unique situation to figure out the most effective and efficient way to get your firearm rights back.