Restoring Your Right to Own & Possess Firearms
Under California law, if a defendant is found guilty (or pleads guilty) to any felony crime or any qualifying misdemeanor crime, then he or she is forbidden from owning or possessing a firearm. It is possible to restore the defendant's right to own a firearm in California. The process for restoring a convicted person's right to own or possess a firearm depends on the type of conviction that the defendant suffered. The amount of time that has elapsed since the defendant's conviction will also play a role in determining whether or not the defendant can restore his or her right to own or possess a firearm.
To be clear, a firearm is usually a handgun, rifle, or shotgun, but other weapons may qualify as a firearm as well.
If a defendant does not restore his or her right to own or possess a firearm, and if that person is caught with a firearm, then he or she may suffer a new criminal charge (felon in possession of a firearm or misdemeanant in possession of a firearm) For more information on the crime of felon in possession of a firearm please visit felon in possession of a firearm page.
What convictions lead to a ban on firearm possession?:
All felony conviction carry a lifetime ban on firearm possession or ownership. Some criminal convictions carry a ban on ammunition as well. Some misdemeanor convictions also carry a ban on firearm possession. The qualifying misdemeanor convictions carry up to a ten year restriction from owning or possessing a firearm.
Misdemeanor convictions that carry up to a ten year restriction on firearm possession are misdemeanors that demonstrate violence, threats, or gun use, such as misdemeanor brandishing of a weapon, misdemeanor terrorist threats, or misdemeanor assault. The complete list of misdemeanors that carry a ban on firearms for up to ten years include the following California code sections:
Misdemeanor Penal Code sections 71, 76, 136.1, 136.5, 140, 148(d), 171b, 171c, 171d, 186.28, 240, 241, 242, 243, 243.4, 244.5, 246.3, 247, 273.5, 273.6 417, 417.6, 422, 626.9, 646.9, 25800 (formerly 12023), 17510 (formerly 12590), 17500 (fomerly12024), 25300 (formerly) 12040), 25800 (formerly 12023), 26100(c), (formerly 12034(b)), 26100(d) (formerly 12034(d)), 27510 (formerly 12072(b)), 30315 (formerly 12320), and 32625 (formerly 12220). Misdemeanor Welfare and Institution Code sections 8100, 8101 and 8103.
Pursuant to California penal code 29805 it is a crime, punishable by up to one year in the county jail, for any person convicted of any one of the above listed misdemeanor penal code sections or welfare in institution code sections to possess or own a firearm.
Note I: for misdemeanor convictions of domestic violence under penal code 273.5(a) or 243(e)(1) the convicted person will lose his or her right to own or possess a firearm for life pursuant to federal law (Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban (18 United States Code 922(g)).
Note II: Some civil laws may also be used to ban individuals from owning or possessing a firearm. These laws ban guns or firearms from persons not as a result of a criminal convictions but rather because of some applicable civil law, such as a restraining order or a criminal protective order or even a finding a by court that a person is found to be insane or mentally disabled. These bans expire when the order expires or when the person is found to be of sound mind (up to five years for restraining orders and up to ten years for criminal protective orders). For example, there is a restriction against a person owning a firearm until that person reaches the age of eighteen; once that person reaches the age of eighteen the restriction against owning or possessing a firearm no longer applies.
Note III: Most misdemeanor convictions do not carry a firearm restriction. Only the misdemeanors list above, as well as any civil laws discussed above result in firearm restrictions.
How to restore your right to own a firearm:
For felony convictions that do not involve a firearm crime the defendant can apply for and receive a certificate of rehabilitation, which demonstrates to the court that the defendant has rehabilitated himself or herself and is no longer a criminal threat to society.
For felony convictions that involve the use of a firearm, such as assault with a gun, the defendant will need to obtain a governor's pardon and the pardon will need to specifically include an exception that allows for the defendant to own or possess a firearm.s.
For felony convictions that involved a "wobbler" crime (a crime that could have been punished either as a felony or as a misdemeanor) the defendant might be able to have his or her felony reduced to a misdemeanor, and thereby restore his or her right to own or possess a firearm (assuming there is no resulting ten year ban applicable for misdemeanor convictions of a qualifying offense (see above)). In those Cases the defendant will still need to wait the ten year period even if the felony was reduced to a misdemeanor.
For misdemeanor convictions of qualifying offenses the defefendant will need to wait until the expireationof ten years from the date of the qualying misdemeanor.
Note I: A California expungment of a misdemeanor offense does not lift the ten year ban on possession or ownership or a firearm.
How do I check to see if I am restricted from owning a firearm in California?:
Anyone can check the status of his or her ability to own or possess a firearm in California. You do not have to disclose whether or not you are in possession or ownership of a firearm in order to check your status. Simply visit the department of justice for the proper forms at the following address:
To learn more about the right to own or possess firearms in California, or the restoration of the right to own or possess firearms, contact criminal defense attorney Christopher Dorado today.
Our criminal defense attorney have restored the right to own or possess a firearm in California and we are ready to do it again. Our criminal defense attorneys dedicated 100% of their time to criminal defense and our consultations are provided at no cost to the accused.
Call today to speak to one our criminal defense attorneys 24/7.