Under Washington law, it’s possible for many people with misdemeanor or felony convictions to restore their gun rights. After all, a past mistake doesn’t necessarily have to follow you for the rest of your life.
Here are some important things to understand if you have been convicted in the past but would like to restore your right to own or possess a firearm.
Eligibility for firearms restoration will generally depend on two factors.
- The type of conviction
- How long you’ve been crime-free since you were convicted or released from custody
Generally, in Washington, a person convicted of a sex offense or a Class A felony is not eligible for firearms restoration. Class A felonies include crimes such as robbery, homicide and other violent offenses.
For domestic violence convictions, matters can be more complicated, even if the offense was a misdemeanor. Federal law does not currently provide for firearms restoration after a domestic violence conviction, although Washington law does have such a procedure for certain misdemeanor convictions for domestic violence. To be sure about your own options, it is best to talk to a lawyer.
How long does a person have to be crime-free to restore gun rights?
For you to be eligible for firearms restoration, you must be crime-free for at least five years since the felony conviction that resulted in your loss of gun rights.
If the conviction was for a misdemeanor, the period is three years.
That means there cannot be any warrants for your arrest or pending charges.
Additionally, there cannot be a current unrelated issue such as a mental health commitment or a protection order that restricts your firearms rights.
If you have questions about your eligibility, speak with a criminal defense lawyer with experience in this area of law. An attorney can advise you on your options for a positive outcome.
With offices in Port Orchard, the attorneys at LaCross & Murphy, PLLC, advise and represent gun rights clients in Kitsap, Pierce, King, Snohomish, Jefferson and Mason counties. We represent military members, veterans and others whose rights and careers have been affected by encounters with police, and we have a record of success in handling a wide variety cases.