Virginia Gun Rights Restoration Lawyer

One of the consequences of a felony conviction in Virginia is the prohibition against gun ownership, regardless of how long ago the conviction occurred or when the sentence was completed. The process of restoring the right to legally possess firearms was a two step process with possible rejections at both stages.

A recent change in Virginia legislation, which has restored voting rights, after a felony conviction, could have an impact on your ability to legally own guns. Therefore, if your felony conviction has barred you from gun ownership, contact an experienced Virginia gun rights restoration attorney that will work for you to regain your right to keep and bear arms.

Voting Rights Restoration

A recent executive order, by Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, has restored voting rights for a significant number of Virginia residents that were convicted of felonies, but have served their time and are no longer on probation or parole. This order impacts more than 200,000 Virginians.

Even if the executive order is subsequently overturned, those who currently meet the requirements will retain the right to vote and any other rights that are regained. Further, while he remains in office, Gov. McAuliffe has promised to issue monthly executive orders so that the restoration of rights order remains applicable for those that meet the requirements to have their voting rights restored.

Restoration Process

In Virginia, a felony conviction automatically disqualifies the convicted from legally possessing a firearm. Virginia Code §18.2-308.2  sets forth the rules for gun ownership after a felony conviction and the steps necessary to regain those rights. To regain gun ownership rights, an individual or their Virginia gun rights restoration lawyer in had to petition the governor, by filing an application with the governor’s office to restore their civil rights. Those rights included the right to vote and run for political office, as long as the requirements to apply for restoration were met.

If restoration of civil rights was approved, the individual is required to file a petition in court, in the county that the individual lives in, to restore their gun ownership rights.  It was not uncommon, once the petition was filed, for the state to oppose the restoration of gun ownership rights. It is the judge’s decision whether or not the petition will be approved, but there is no uniform standard for this.

Recent Changes

The Commonwealth of Virginia specifies that “[t]he Governor’s proclamation only restores civil rights (the right to vote, serve on a jury, run for office, and become a notary public.) Pursuant to §18.2-308.2 C, individuals may petition the Circuit court in the jurisdiction where they reside for a permit to possess, ship, or transport a firearm.” While the governor’s executive order does not automatically restore gun ownership rights, it has removed the first barrier to you regaining gun ownership rights.

If you were awaiting a decision on the restoration of your civil rights or want to have your gun ownership rights restored, seek the services of an experienced Virginia gun rights restoration attorney for an evaluation of your case.