Thank you for visiting our firearm and gun rights restoration section. We’re constantly trying to improve this page to make sure you find the necessary information regarding how to restore you rights. We’ve spoken to thousands of people and most, if not all, agree that it can extremely frustrating not to have your constitutional rights. States have different rules about who gets to restore firearm rights and at WipeRecord, we take restoration of gun rights very seriously. And depending on where you’re located (ie, which state you live in), getting your firearm rights back can be easy or quite difficult.

If you were convicted of a crime, you may have lost your rights to purchase and possess a firearm. Some states, depending on the circumstance, allow for the restoration of gun rights. Different states have various laws detailing the process for restoring residents’ right to own firearms. The process is largely discretionary, and generally it is up to the governing authority to decide whether to reinstate a petitioner’s Second Amendment rights. Some states require a petitioner to simply expunge the disabling offense, while others require a detailed motion to be submitted to the appropriate court. State firearm law can often be at odds with federal law, and this opposition creates unique circumstances whereby a person could be cleared at one level, but barred at another. Whatever the situation, it is always beneficial to get the support of a law firm that is knowledgeable in the complex firearm restoration process.

Below is state-specific information regarding restoration of gun rights.

Arizona Firearm Rights Restoration

Arizona law allows for the setting aside of both misdemeanor and felony convictions in many situations under ARS 13-907, but not every criminal record qualifies. There are certain offenses that currently cannot be set aside under Arizona law, and you must also receive a final discharge from the terms of your sentence. In addition to meeting these requirements, you must then convince a judge, justice of the peace, or magistrate that you deserve to have your conviction set aside.

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California Firearm Rights Restoration

Under California State law, your right to own a gun may be restricted after a felony, some misdemeanor convictions, certain domestic violence offenses, mental illness situations and restraining orders. However, California has various ways in which a person may restore their firearm rights. The State defines some felonies as “wobblers,” designating certain felonies that may be reduced to misdemeanors and then expunged to be eligible for gun rights restoration. The list of eligible “wobbler” offenses is somewhat inclusive, and many crimes fall within this category.  Convictions for certain violent misdemeanors may result in California taking away your firearm rights for a period of ten years. Expungement will not restore your ability to own a firearm in these circumstances, and the ten-year waiting period begins on the date of conviction. Aside from a governor’s pardon, the previous examples are the only means of firearm restoration in California, so contact WipeRecord to start working on your case.

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Illinois Firearm Rights Restoration

To legally possess firearms or ammunition, Illinois residents must have a Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card, which is issued by the Illinois State Police to any qualified applicant. If a resident’s FOID card was revoked or denied because of a felony conviction, that person may appeal to the State Police for issuance of a FOID. However, if a petitioner’s denial or revocation is based upon a conviction for a forcible felony, stalking, domestic battery, any violation of the Illinois Controlled Substances Act, and several other offenses, then the petitioner must appeal the decision in the circuit court in the county of the petitioner’s residence. In order to appeal for a FOID card, the petitioner must be an Illinois resident. The process generally involves explaining to the appropriate authority why the petitioner is appealing for a FOID and providing reasons as to why the petitioner is a good candidate fit for relief. If a petitioner’s civil rights are restored, and a FOID card is granted after appeal, it would restore the petitioner’s rights under Illinois law and federal law. A petitioner whose rights are restored will receive an order from the court or the Department of Public Safety stating their firearm rights are restored. That authority will then notify agencies so that databases may be updated.

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Indiana Firearm Rights Restoration

The preferred method of restoring firearm rights rights in Indiana is expunge a felony conviction. Expunging your Indiana conviction typically restores your firearm rights, while also removing your criminal record from public view and most background checks. If you are not eligible or cannot expunge all the convictions restricting your second amendment rights, you may be eligible to reduce a felony charge to a misdemeanor, or, as a last resort, you can seek a pardon from the Governor of Indiana.

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Michigan Gun Rights Restoration

Michigan State law allows a person to petition to have their firearm rights restored. Michigan restricts firearm ownership and possession for those convicted of a felony offense. The law allows a person to petition the court in the county where they reside for restoration of this right. The court makes the decision based on a good showing of rehabilitation. Once the court issues an order restoring firearm rights, you can legally own and possess firearm again under Michigan Law.

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Louisiana Gun Rights Restoration

If (1) the offense was not a crime of violence, (2) it’s been ten years since completion of the sentence, and (3) the offense has been expunged – then yes. Louisiana state law restricts the possession of firearms to anyone convicted of a crime of violence, felony weapons or drug offense, or sex offense. However, this does not apply if ten years have passed since the completion of your sentence – although you will still be prohibited from firearm possession and ownership under federal law.

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Minnesota Gun Rights Restoration

In Minnesota, anyone convicted of a felony is prohibited from possessing firearms. However, rights are automatically restored for felonies that are not deemed “crimes of violence” upon discharge. Minnesota “crimes of violence” include some non-violent crimes such as certain drug offenses. An individual will still be federally barred from possessing or purchasing a firearm until all civil rights are restored. Federal law and Minnesota law both ban possession of firearms for convictions involving domestic violence. Restoration of firearm rights following a domestic violence conviction requires petitioning and receiving a granted order of restoration of firearm rights under Minnesota law. The Minnesota statute for firearm restoration states that a court “may grant the relief sought if the person shows good cause to do so and the person has been released from physical confinement.” This requirement is somewhat unclear, but courts generally consider the following factors: 1) needing a firearm for employment or hunting, 2) an individual’s criminal history, 3) the disqualifying crime and its severity, 4) other factors that might suggest the individual poses a danger to others (e.g. protective/restraining orders issued against the petitioner).

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New Jersey Gun Rights Restoration

New Jersey State law provides only a handful of ways to restore firearm rights when you have a conviction. Unless there is another reason your Second Amendment rights have been restricted, expunging an adult or juvenile felony conviction will restore your firearm rights. If you can’t expunge your conviction, you will have to obtain a Governor’s Pardon, which can be far more difficult.

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New York Gun Rights Restoration

A New Yorker’s right to firearms are lost upon conviction of a felony or “serious offense.” In New York, a person may attempt to restore their firearm rights either by a pardon, a Certificate of Relief from Disabilities, or a Certificate of Good Conduct. Those with a Class A-1 and/or a violent felony are ineligible for firearm possession. To successfully restore gun rights, there must be specific language of firearm restoration included in the certificate. The individual must also be granted a license under New York law to legally possess weapons, as the certificate only acts to lift the restriction imposed by a previous conviction. If a certificate is granted with firearm restoration language included, it would effectively restore the individual’s gun rights under New York law and Federal law. According to the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco, and Explosives), once an individual’s civil rights are fully restored at a state level, they are then legally eligible to possess firearms at a federal level. Certificates are issued by the sentencing court or the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision. There are different legal implications depending on the certificate, and so it is generally advisable to seek an attorney for help to restore gun rights in New York.

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North Carolina Gun Rights Restoration

Many states, including North Carolina, allow you to expunge felony convictions and restore your firearm rights by directly addressing the felony conviction. If you can’t expunge each of the felony convictions restricting your firearm rights, you may qualify to use North Carolina’s Restoration of Firearms process under G.S. 14-415.4. This process will restore your firearm rights, but it will not remove the convictions from your record like an expungement.

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Ohio Gun Rights Restoration

Ohio law permits many residents an opportunity to restore their right to purchase a gun by applying to the court of common pleas in the county where the individual resides. In order to qualify to petition the court, an individual must have completed his or her sentence and no longer be on probation, parole, or court supervision. A petitioner must also have led a law abiding lifestyle since their last conviction. In granting a petition, a court considers such factors as the age and seriousness of the offense, the petitioner’s criminal history, whether the petitioner has been a law-abiding citizen, and whether restoring the petitioner’s firearm rights are in the public’s interest. Through Ohio Senate Bill 247, successfully restoring your right to own a firearm under State law will also restore your federal right to purchase, possess, or own a firearm. This is an important development in Ohio law, whereby an avenue has been created to reinstate individuals firearm rights not only at a state level, but also a federal level. Certain offenses in Ohio disqualify an individual in obtaining a concealed carry, and these individuals may also petition the court to clear those civil rights disabilities. Whatever the scenario may be, having an experienced law firm will help to ensure the process is done correctly.

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Oregon Firearm Rights Restoration

For those who lost the right to purchase and possess a firearm because of a criminal offense, Oregon courts can be quite liberal in restoring rights for petitioners. Expunging your criminal conviction in Oregon will automatically restore your firearm rights. Therefore, you do not need to have your firearm rights restored in addition to expungement.  Oregon law permits residents to petition the courts to restore gun rights even in some cases where expungement is not available. Those with a serious violent offense will almost always be ineligible.  To qualify under Oregon law, the petitioner must currently live in Oregon and one year must have passed since completing the terms of sentencing. Having firearm rights restored in Oregon will also restore a petitioner’s rights under federal law. Typically, the Oregon restoration process takes about four to six month, but may vary depending on the facts at hand. If a petitioner does not qualify for expungement, the process is largely discretionary, and will ultimately be up to the judge to decide whether to grant firearm rights. To increase your chance of success, it is essential to have the support of an attorney experienced in Oregon gun rights restoration.

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Restoring Your Gun Rights in Texas

In Texas, a person convicted of a felony may not purchase or possess a firearm. Firearm rights are automatically restored 5 years after release from confinement or probation. However, the individual may only possess a firearm on the premises where the individual lives. Texas law allows certain convictions to be set aside, meaning the individual is no longer treated as being guilty of the crime. Having a felony set aside fully restores firearm rights under state and federal law. A pardon from the governor of Texas may also restore federal firearm rights.

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Utah Firearm Rights Restoration

Utah law provides two main ways to restore your firearm rights, by expungement or by pardon from the Governor. There is legal authority indicating that a 402 reduction from a felony to a misdemeanor may also a viable way to restore your Second Amendment rights. Pardons are granted very infrequently in Utah, so, if your firearm rights were taken away due to a felony conviction, the easiest and most common way to restore firearms in Utah is through expungement.

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Washington Firearm Rights Restoration

In Washington, an individual’s right to purchase or possess a firearm are lost upon a conviction of a felony or misdemeanor “crime of violence.” However, one highlight of Washington law is that firearm restoration is potentially available for any person restricted from firearm ownership, except for those with certain serious offenses. Furthermore, a petition may be filed either in the original sentencing court, or the court in the county where the petitioner resides. Those with a class A felony or sex offense may never petition for the restoration of firearm rights in Washington. Certain felonies require a five-year waiting period after a conviction, while others require a three-year waiting period, as well as the completion of all the terms of probation. Firearm rights are never automatically restored in Washington state, yet the number of convictions on a person’s record generally does not play a significant role in his or her eligibility.

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