It is a new decade, and many people look to renew themselves at the beginning of a new year. For some, that may include seeking to restore their gun rights under state and federal law after a previous conviction. Now more than ever, the laws regarding the restoration of gun rights are can be confusing and contradictory. While the process can seem straightforward, when it comes to issues like a petitioner’s offender score, a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence, or a sealed juvenile record, restoration of gun rights can be a tricky thing, indeed.
RCW 9.41.040(4) seems pretty straightforward: if you have a felony conviction on your record, you can petition to restore your gun rights after 5 years in the community without a subsequent conviction. So, 5 years clean and you are good to go, right? Not necessarily. The Washington gun rights restoration law also states that if you have a prior felony – meaning more than one separate felony conviction on your record – that conviction must no longer be on your offender score. In order for a felony to drop off your offender score, you need to be in the community without a conviction for 5 years for a Class C felony, or for 10 years for a Class B felony. The GREEN LAW OFFICE can help you determine your eligibility to restore your gun rights based on your offender score, just give us a call.
Misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence act as a lifetime bar against firearm ownership under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(9). But Washington RCW 9.41.040 allows for the restoration of gun rights after a conviction for Assault 4 – DV and other misdemeanor domestic violence charges. Does restoration of gun rights under RCW 9.41.040(4) rehabilitate you at the federal level, as well as under Washington State law? Well, that depends on a number of circumstances. The case law at the federal and state appellate levels employ some pretty confusing logic to the language of the various statutes. In the end, the answer usually depends on the statutory definitions. The GREEN LAW OFFICE can help you determine if you are eligible to restore your gun rights after a domestic violence conviction.
Equally confusing can be the issue of whether your gun rights are restored after having a juvenile record sealed. State and federal courts differ in their interpretations on this issue, as does the NICS division of the FBI – who runs background checks for gun purchases. The Washington statute that provides for sealing juvenile records, and the orders issued by the court, state that the conviction shall be “as if it never occurred” once sealed. That would seem to mean no conviction, so no prohibition against purchasing or possessing a firearm, right? Not so fast. NICS has been denying gun purchases for people with sealed juvenile records. The good news is, The GREEN LAW OFFICE can still help you get your gun rights restored so that you can purchase a gun.
The GREEN LAW OFFICE handles gun rights restoration petitions for clients all over Washington State. Typically, we charge a flat fee of $1,300.00 for gun rights petitions, which includes the Superior Court filing fee of $240 and the cost of getting the necessary records. Call us today to get started on restoring your gun rights.
In Washington State, the law provides that juvenile records (even serious felonies) can be sealed. The statutes governing the sealing of juvenile records contain specific language that says once those records are sealed the underlying conviction is to be, for all reasons, as though it never happened. There is good case law – at both the state and federal levels – that clearly states that means sealing a juvenile record effectively restores a person’s gun rights. So why is the FBI NICS division denying people their gun rights after they’ve had their juvenile record sealed in Washington State? Continue Reading →
The restoration of gun rights in Washington State, or in any state, is never a simple matter. Restoring gun rights often means navigating many variable facts and laws, and applying the very narrow language of case law and Washington State gun rights statutes to your particular gun rights restoration case. The GREEN LAW OFFICE in Spokane, WA provides free telephone consultations with clients who want to restore gun rights all over the State of Washington. Continue Reading →
It has been a while since I’ve written about the restoration of gun rights. For about 10 years now my practice has focused on restoring citizens’ guns rights in Washington State under RCW 9.41.040(4). And now, more than ever, there are almost as many questions as there are answers when it comes to gun laws. Restoring firearms rights is a complicated process. The procedure, on its face, is fairly simple; but once you delve into the inconsistencies and murkiness of how the gun laws are interpreted, very little is certain. It is important to speak to a knowledgeable gun rights lawyer so that you are aware of the potential issues with getting your gun rights restored.
More confounding now than ever is the inconsistent treatment by the NICS Division of the FBI of seemingly “run of the mill” gun rights restoration cases. It seems that every time NICS updates its system, crashes and has to restore to a backup, or who-knows-what else goes on at the FBI, the records of people whose gun rights have been restored get crossed up. We here at the GREEN LAW OFFICE have sought and been granted dozens, if not hundreds, of orders restoring people’s gun rights in almost every county in the State of Washington. Most of them result in the smooth restoration of clients’ rights and their nearly immediate ability to walk into a gun store and purchase a gun – as the law clearly states they should be able to do. Every once in a while, though, something inexplicable goes awry, and there is an issue. While that cannot be avoided, or explained, the GREEN LAW OFFICE commits to all our clients that if there is an issue with an unexpected denial after the restoration of your gun rights under RCW 9.41.040, we will communicate with the FBI and assist you with your appeal as part of the services we provide for our reasonable flat rate.*
Nothing is a certainty in the current political climate, especially when it comes to gun laws. Federal gun laws and state gun laws are inconsistent, not only between the state and federal levels, but sometimes even at the same level. Different representative from different agencies, and different judges from different jurisdictions can all interpret the gun laws differently on any given day. Given the questions left by the gun laws, and the difficulty in navigating those issues, it is vitally important that you speak to a knowledgeable gun rights lawyer about your case before you petition the court for the restoration of your firearm rights so that you can avoid the pitfalls and protect yourself from unexpected surprises – or even criminal liability – down the road.
Call the GREEN LAW OFFICE today to discuss your gun rights restoration case with a seasoned gun rights lawyer. Hunting season is right around the corner!
*excludes litigation, see legal services agreement at time of engagement.
Hunting seasons in Washington State are in full swing, and many Washington State residents are unable to engage in hunting with their families due to the revocation of their gun rights. I receive calls from many clients who admit they made some poor choices long ago – often in their youth – that resulted in having their gun rights taken away. Now, after decades in the community without any other criminal infractions, they are still unable to take their kids hunting. Don’t let that be you when Washington State law allows for the restoration of your gun rights. Continue Reading →