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.