In the United States of America, the 2nd Amendment gives citizens the right to own a gun, but this right is not absolute. In other words, despite the fact that it is a constitutional right, there are several ways in which your 2nd Amendment right might be taken away from you. Some of the common ground for gun restrictions include mental illness, restraining orders, misdemeanor convictions, and of course, felony convictions. The good news is that these limitations are not absolute!
Now, let’s shift gears a little bit and see whether it is possible to own a firearm after a felony conviction. It should be noted that in California if you are a felony convict, you automatically lose your constitutional rights to own a gun and you are referred to as a felon. Nonetheless, with the help of a reputable law firm, you can restore your right to keep and bear arms. We have listed some of the ways in which you can restore your right to possess a firearm after a felony conviction:
1). Reducing felony “wobbler” offenses to misdemeanors
One of the ways to regain your rights to own a firearm is to reduce your felony conviction to a misdemeanor. It should be noted that you are barred for life by both federal and state laws from owning a gun if you committed a felony offense. However, in CA, many wobbler offenses can be reduced so you can restore your firearm rights. Therefore, if you know your offense can be considered as a wobble, then through your law firm, you can ask for the said reduction and proceed to claim your limited rights.
2). Getting a certificate of rehabilitation and seeking governor’s pardon
If your conviction did not fall under a wobble crime, then it becomes a straight felony. Under this crime, you will need to take a different approach if you need to regain your firearm rights. The best option here is to apply for a document called Certificate of Rehabilitation (CoR). Once you have this document, you can seek reprieve through governor’s pardon. If granted, it will automatically restore your firearm rights. In CA, the governor has the discretion to decide who gets the pardon and you need to be crime-free for the last ten years to even be considered.
3). After probation
If you’re convicted of a felony offense and the judge sentenced you to prison, your constitutional rights to own a firearm can only be regained through the pardon of the governor. However, if you’re convicted of a felony but granted probation, then it is very possible to restore your limited rights. If this is the case, then you have to wait until you’re off of probation. It is important to note that if you’re taken off probation earlier than the stipulated time, your rights can henceforth be restored. It should also be understood that expungement of records has no effects on firearm rights.
While there are other legal options to restore your gun rights, the above are the most common ones. Unfortunately, there is a lot of confusion about this area of CA federal law and it often causes big challenges for your future if you did not get a reputable attorney to help you out.