Restoring Gun Rights

Firearm rights restoration is a sensitive subject for all parties involved. On one hand, you have a citizen who has their firearm rights revoked for most commonly a felony conviction, a domestic violence conviction or a mental health commitment order. On the other hand, you have some members of the society who believe that guns should never be restored once revoked. At Anderson Law, we try to find the middle ground.

Felony restoration is the most common type of restoration. First, in order to restore firearm rights for a convicted felon, two things have to be factual. First, the felony has to be a Virginia state felony and second the governor of Virginia has to have restored civil rights. If this is you, then you are eligible to petition a Circuit Court for restoration of your firearm rights. However, restoration is discretionary and such a request can be denied if the Judge were to find lack of good cause. While every case is different, the older the felony the better chance you have of getting rights restored. Someone convicted of burglary 15 years ago has a much better chance of restoration then someone convicted of burglary 5 years ago. Also, the type of felony matters. Someone convicted of a non-violent felony has a better chance of restoration then someone convicted of a violent felony. If you were convicted of possession of cocaine 15 years ago, you have a better chance than someone convicted of robbery. In order to determine if you are eligible for reinstatement, and when the right time to file a petition is, give us a call for a free consultation.

Federal felonies – An entire article could be written on this subject. But short answer – if you have a federal felony, the process of petitioning the ATF does not exist primarily due to a shortfall in funding. This shortfall has existed since the 1990’s. There is currently no path of getting federal felony reinstatement.

Misdemeanor Domestic Violence - An entire article could be written on this subject as well. But short answer – if you have a misdemeanor conviction for domestic violence, you are revoked on the federal level from firearm possession and the process of petitioning the ATF does not exist primarily due to a shortfall in funding. This shortfall has existed since the 1990’s. There is currently no path of getting misdemeanor domestic violence charges restored.

Mental Health Issues – If you were involuntarily or voluntarily committed to a mental hospital in Virginia, your right to own a firearm is revoked for life. There is a procedure to petition for reinstatement. However, you must be evaluated by a psychiatrist and determined to no longer be suffering from any mental health disorders. That psychiatrist would have to come to court to testify. It would then be up to a judge to determine if reinstatement of firearm rights is appropriate.

We have successfully restored firearm rights for many individuals, and would be happy to discuss your case. Every case is different and results can never be guaranteed. But employing our office gives you a legal advantage that a professional is advocating on your behalf for the restoration of such an important right. Call us today for a free consultation 757-800-1000.