Can I Have My Gun Rights Restored?

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My Gun Rights Restored

Tucked in a belt pistol being concealed

Most states have similar gun rights provisions in their laws, with slight variations from state to state. Provisions in the law for gun right restoration after a felony is usually discussed in a section titled “certificate of rehabilitation” or “restoration of rights”.

Criteria for restoration is not a strict one. Generally, there should only be one felony conviction, and it is not considered a serious offence.

The felony sentence will need to have been completed,  whether the sentence was prison or jail or probation. You must have paid all your court fees and restitution, and lived an irreproachable life ever since.

My Gun Rights Restored

Then, you can ask the court that sentenced you “guilty beyond a reasonable doubt”, and if the circumstances favor you, with the help of a criminal lawyer in weapons charges, the court may restore your gun rights.

Gun Rights Laws in Arizona

Arizona law provides two ways for felons to receive the gun right restoration.

  • If the offence is “not serious”

You petition the court after the completion of probation, or the date absolute discharge from incarceration to restore your rights.

  • If the offence is a “serious” offence defined under Class 6 felony 13-604 (first- or second-degree murder, and aggravated assault that results in serious physical injury, sexual assault, manslaughter, armed robbery, kidnapping, etc.)  You can ask the court for restoration of your 2nd Amendment rights 10 years after release from prison or completion of probation.
  • Note: If the conviction is for a “dangerous” felony offence, you cannot ever restore your gun rights. In Arizona, “dangerous offence” as defined by the Arizona Revised Statutes § 13-105(13), involves “the use, discharge, or threatening display of a deadly weapon or instrument or the intentional infliction of serious physical injuries on another person”.

Common Pitfalls to Gun Rights Restoration

The following conditions may cause a denial of your request to restore your gun rights:

  • A conviction due to a serious offence calls for a 10-year wait period after release from prison or end of probation. Any request for gun rights restoration filed short of the required wait period will be denied.
  • Approval or denial of requests may also depend on the nature of the offence.
  • In the case of multiple priors or subsequent priors, it could be difficult for the convict to convince the court to grant his motion.
  • Another reason for denial is unpaid fines or restitution. Satisfying this requirement might sound easy, but many offenders trying to meet this requirement might find it to be the hardest to fulfill. Depending on the state, the fines can be exorbitantly high, and that is true with Arizona.  In Arizona, until you pay to the last cent you will not even be eligible to file a motion for your conviction to be set aside.

If your application is denied, you can ask your lawyer about the best way to proceed. There are options including refiling immediately with more information and allowing more time to pass before refiling.

How to Choose the Right Attorney for Gun Rights Restoration

Prosecutors representing the government may object to a motion for restoration even for non-violent crimes. This is why you need a lawyer to fight for your rights to the end.

When looking for the right lawyer, ask these questions:

  • Are the lawyer’s experience and background sufficient for your legal fight to have your rights restored?
  • Do you think he is someone you will feel comfortable working with?
  • Do you feel comfortable with the fees and how they are structured?

It is in your best interest to get a lawyer’s service. The attorney will make sure that the process is properly done the first time – This translates to a higher chance of succeeding to secure your gun rights again and prevent unnecessary delays

Robert A. Dodell, Attorney at Law

Robert is one of the best lawyers you can find in AZ. He has over 30 years of experience practicing criminal law and handling thousands of cases. He will defend your rights and prove that it is just that your gun rights be restored.