Is It Possible for Felons to be Granted Firearm Rights?

What You Need to Know About Felons and Firearms

Can a felon get firearms? What you need to know about Felons and Firearms: Felons are restricted from enjoying certain rights that are available for other civilians, given their past conviction status.

One of these is the right to own firearms. It’s to note here this ban is applicable for all felons, irrespective of the type of crime committed.

Now, is there any way to restore the right? Is It really possible for Felons to be Granted Firearm Rights?

Well, the post below shares a brief on whether or not it is possible for ex-offenders to get granted firearm rights after release from prison.

A brief overview of firearm restriction

how do i get my gun rights back after a felony

As per an old firearm law in the year 1934, the American federal government had denied firearm rights to anybody with a history of violent crimes. It was a sequel to the previous restriction that limited ex-offenders to own machine guns.

Then came the 1968 Gun Control Act (pdf). As per the law, owning of firearm was made legally forbidden for any felon, irrespective of his crime type.

It meant, even those felons who were not convicted of violent crimes, won’t be allowed to possess firearms after getting released from prison. This legal prohibition is in effect till today.

Now, a lot of felons are not aware of the fact that they are legally not allowed to possess any sort of ammunition given their conviction status.

If a felon gets caught in any act involving ammunition, it will lead to an even stricter sentence given his prior felon status, regardless of the crime type.

Recommended: Felon In Possession Of A Firearm

Restoration of firearm rights

Is It Possible for Felons to be Granted Firearm Rights?

However, it’s to note here that a recent law has brought some relaxations in the previous law regarding firearm restrictions for felons. According to the newly passed law, felons can have their firearm rights restored, provided they meet certain conditions.

A significant means of restoring firearm rights despite the felon status is through the expungement of the conviction record.

Now, the expungement process will vary depending on the court that sentenced the conviction. The process will be comparatively easier if it was done through a state court. But if it came from a federal court, then the felon has to go through a detailed application procedure.

You have to file the application with the American Attorney’s office. You can also file it with the esteemed Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms.

However, there are certain conditions that should be fulfilled to receive the approval of possessing a firearm under this right.

First of all, the applicant should not carry a record of a “forcible” felony in the last 20 years. Besides, the applicant cannot apply for firearm restoration before 20 years since the year of getting released from prison. Then, your application to restore firearm rights should not be for anything against the federal law or public interest.

The process won’t pose many difficulties for those who were convicted of non-violent felonies. It will be easier for minor felons as well, provided they have led a crime-free clean life for the last 20 years after getting released from prison.

But you have to provide solid proof of leading a clean life after the conclusion of your incarceration. A solid and stable work history, as well as a respectable position in the community, will serve as concrete proof here.

Now, it’s true that it’s challenging for any felon to find a proper respectable job given his conviction status. However, the good thing is not all employers are that rigid. There are some felon-friendly firms out there as well and many of them are some of the most notable blue-chip companies.

Healthy ties with the community can be proved by offering evidence of easy relationships with friends and family. It would be especially great if the felon had been involved in any volunteer or community work after getting released from prison.

In that case, he should have solid documented proof of his participation in such programs. Put simply, it would be really helpful to restore your firearm right if you can show that you have made some positive contributions to the community & society.

You should also try to change the old hangouts and those friends who landed you in legal trouble previously. All in all, you have to prove that you are a changed man now who can be trusted.

Read Also: Can A Felon Own A Black Powder Revolver?

Through federal pardon

federal pardon

A felon has to wait for 5 years minimum after getting released from jail to receive a federal pardon. After completing their sentence and waiting for 5 years, he can seek clemency from federal government. You will have to state the reason behind the request for clemency. You will also have to establish how this federal pardon would help you to accomplish that.

Recommended: Can a Felon Get a Gun Permit?

It’s to note here, you have to submit solid proof to prove why your clemency will be beneficial for the public interest and for yourself.

To establish your claims, you have to provide documentation like an official letter from licensing authorities or the appropriate government. Also, you should also need to carry a clean record since getting released from prison.

If you have been involved in charitable activities or community service, you must mention that and submit proof. Besides, you have to get 3 recommendation letters from trusted character witnesses.

They cannot be your immediate family members. Your application will be reviewed and then will be sent to the governor or President who will make the final decision on your firearm restoration right.

Make sure to consult a senior legal counsel at every step of the procedure.

Related: Can Felons Go To Gun Range?

38 thoughts on “What You Need to Know About Felons and Firearms”

  1. How can a God-given right be removed permanently?

    And if you think that idea can be successfully argued, here’s the follow-up: How does the government get around “…the Right of the People to Keep and Bear Arms shall NOT be infringed. . . .” when they infringe on those rights of all people who ever had any felony conviction forever?

    • Nobody has the right to initiate physical force against an individual who has not initiated or threatened to initiate physical force. Yet, politicians do it all the time all over the world. Politicians say that paying taxes is voluntary. Yet, if you don’t pay, political right violators (PRVs) with guns show up and, don’t just threaten, they initiate physical force on someone who has not initiated or threatened to initiate physical force. The Constitution is dead. It has slowly and craftily been eroded away. The left and right are two heads of the same snake. It’s a predetermined wrestling match and we’re not allowed in the ring. God has given us an abundant, life sustaining world. Why then is it that humans are the only species that have to pay to live here? Because its been corrupted by sin (evil). And anyone who initiates or threatens to initiate physical force on anyone who hasn’t initiated or threatened to initiate physical force is evil. Save us Jesus please!

      • Once you bring God into it my eyes kind of cloud over. God-given right?? Do you committed a violent crime and went to prison for it I don’t think you should own a gun. They won’t even let you vote. But that is ridiculous. What does one thing have to do with the other?

        • You can vote as a felon. It’s a state by state thing even with federal felons. I can vote but can’t own a firearm. If I move 13 miles east I can’t vote but can own and hunt black powder. The system is a huge mess.

          • the Majority of people convicted of crimes that separate you from your firearms arent white, and the laws are made by a majority white run government. do the math!!!

        • the Majority of people convicted of crimes that separate you from your firearms arent white, and the laws are made by a majority white run government. do the math!!!

    • what makes you think it was a “God given right”? I didn’t know God was actively participating in writing laws and regulations for governments.. I never knew that God was a contributor to the US Constitution or the Bill of Rights.

        • You say liberal like it’s a dirty word. I believe in human rights. I’m not a racist. But this country with its right wing fanatical’s and religious right its taking this country down the rabbit hole. Think about it Our forefathers came to this country to avoid religion. Along came the Puritans and tried to change all of that. They’re saying you must believe in God pay huge amounts of money to the church and believe everything we tell you. Religious people in my book are nothing but sheep

          • Right wing fanatical and religion is taking this country down?
            You may want to think that over.
            This country was founded on religion not a bunch of democrat rapist child molesters’ criminals that worship Satan and eat babies.
            Our for fathers did not come here to avoid religion they came here to get away from tyranny to be free of it.
            The constitution was written that way.
            Being a liberal is a dirty word.
            You are blind and stupid or you love being told what to do and when you can do it.
            The democrap party are NAZIS plain and simple.

      • Self Defense and self-preservation is inherent to the human person. It is written down into the fiber of your being. If someone attacks you, you will defend yourself to survive. And the manner where you survive determines what tools you need to overcome the aggressor.

        Now tell me…you don’t have that instinct and I will tell you….you are a liar.

        • Everyone has a right to defend themselves and family, some may choose to not stand and fight. Me I will stand and fight for my own self-defense and the defense of my family.

      • The bill of rights was written by the people from the governement in the United States. Right to bear arms. It was those people in Government that said it was a God Given Right. It’s foolish to think our safety, well being, and pursuit of happiness should be compromised due to those who aren’t truly American minded. America is a government of the people, by the people, for the people. They all agreed when the Bill of Rights was written. Poiliticians that preach against gun laws laws will wish they had a gun to defend themselves if an intruder broke in their home and caused harm to their children. Violent criminals are the only ones that should be heavily scrutinized. There are some who get judged as incompetant by a doctor who got paid to say that. An east coast doctor tried to prescribe psych meds to a guy complaining of constipation. That’s BS. Another instance where a guy goes to the emergency room begging them to call the police.
        Don’t be so quick to sanction all. What if some political movement makes possession of a butter knife a violent crime? How you gonna butter your toast?
        Point: Nobody judges fairly and washington is full of shit period. Buying judges and verdicts. Only elite get what they want. But some Americans will not relinquish their rights. I applaud that

    • The only things politicians understand is votes. In the state of Texas there were 617000 people on community super vision in 2019 alone. I want to harness that power and get people voted in that are sympathetic to this cause. I Looking for some help. Reach out if your interested.

  2. Some like to think their status in society and heritage is equivalent to personal rights. But, realistically liberation derive from Christ substitutionary, sacrificial death on the cross for the Jew as well as the Gentile. Essentially, sin is intrinsically, fundamentally apart of all our character, trying to escape sin is analogous to escaping the economics of the Gospel of Christ. Impossible.

  3. I was convicted of a felony and never did time or put on longer than 2 months probation, I was charged with mfg of a drug other than pcp or meth.. It was a fat burner that was legal and I trained cops and they used it! But all of a sudden they made it illegal to make when prior it was not and it happened in a 2 month period.. I was told Ignorance of the law was not a defense, I have always followed the law and if I knew they made it illegal to make I would not have done so, And now I have a felony which was all bullshit! The cops asked me not to let on about their use and Now I’m going to court to hopefully get it removed from my record after 19 years… The Courts are non caring if they wreak a life they just want a conviction..

  4. God said very clearly that you shall not have any other Gods before ME! The bible has been rewritten over 10,000 times so do you actually think it wasn’t changed each time? When it was written by the 12 Bishops and Consinitople they throughout the books that would prevent them from controlling the people it was a political motion and a conspiracy. Check your history! If you really believe in God He gave you a brain try using it! Man has always been greedy power-hungry and cruel. We are not civilized and never will be we are warmongers and the politicians who are attorneys are not supposed to hold office according to the 13th amendment
    which is not even in the new constitution that was the reason for it not allowing attorneys to hold political office because of the present-day criminal and profitable situation we now face. We the people of these United States are the ones who pay the price! And you know what we deserve it because we let them!

    • THE WORD OF GOD CANNOT BE CHANGED. The power of the Holy Spirit would not allow any man of God translating the Bible to stray from the best translation possible nor add or remove anything. I would not suggest trying it. God just might smite you down on the spot. And the right to bear firearms is a God given right, no matter how you argue it, God gave us free will and the freedom to make our own choices so if we have an old felony or not, we still have the right to own a firearm. As far as the constitution is concerned, the right for all to own firearms is in case we were ever at war and actually invaded that the regular American people would be able to fight and defend ourselves too and not only the military. If only the military were able to own guns this country would be easy pickings and a commie country, which I think is what they want. But I do know one thing for sure. If you get an intruder in the middle of the night or any armed robber come into your home then you will most definitely wish you had a gun then no matter what you claim to believe now because it will all be over long before the police respond so if you cannot protect yourself then you will just be another victim.

      • ,lol trust me brother its the military and only the military that keeps our enemies at bay!
        Civilians without the proper training could not stand up to a modern military today

    • Your rights are forever gone. You can own, possess a black powder muzzleloader in rifle or pistol and possess black powder. Any gun classified as an antique made prior to 1898 is ok but you cannot possess the ammo (cartridges that are sold for modern firearms) If you can get a presidential pardon you are ok. Don’t hold your breath…Demo rats are not going to give you any rights except the right to die!

  5. Dudes! I had to skip all the way down to here once yall’s shit got all political. I want a handgun to protect my home. I got convicted of a felony for growing weed in 2007. Nothing violent, no trouble since, never went to prison or even jail for that matter. Record somewhere still says felony for cultivation. So times change, I’ve stayed clean, it’s been over 15 years since they “burned my crop”, (more like smoked my crop), other than that, I’m totally off any typical “being an asshole” type behavior. So someone that has a real clue, please tell me my path forward to protect my homestead. Thanks a million! Cheers!

    • So I am trying to figure this out myself. I was able to successfully complete an annulment in my state for a Felony. So my record is clear in the State Of New Hampshire. However I heard that means my rights are restored, but the annulment also means that on a federal level they can still see that record if they look. So my question is.. on that federal level does it say “Felony Annulled”? Or just felony? I do not want to risk getting in trouble. Anyway on a state level it went pretty well. I was in trouble about 15 years ago and never got in trouble again. So they cleared it all with the help of a lawyer. $1200

  6. i am a Paiute Indian who has been a felon for about 20 years, never touched a bullet. i went to court a got my felony reduced to a misdemeanor and then my record expunged , the lawyer lady said i can go buy a rifle and hunt Bucks now.. i almost cried.. im 34 years old and if i can do it you can too. im in C.A on The Bishop Paiute Reservation! WHOOO!

    • Congratulations. This is what I’m doing. I’m San Carlos Apache Indian and I have a weed felony from 2009. I’m hoping Oregon lets me get mine expunged so I can hunt. Did you use an attorney or do it yourself? I’m in Salem Oregon now.

  7. I had a felony annulled on a state level in NH. My lawyer said I “should be good to go” for owning and hunting with firearms. However, I know that on a federal level they can still see that I had a felony. So I worry about buying one. Anyone gone through this process and could maybe tell me how it went? I do not want to get in trouble for something like that.

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