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?
Unfortunately, there is no good answer for why the FBI has decided to ignore state law, and the federal district courts, when it comes to this interpretation of gun rights. The FBI has recently cited a Wyoming case out of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals to justify their misguided interpretation of this gun rights issue. Of course, Washington State is in the 9th Circuit, and the case they cite really has nothing to do with the gun rights scenario involving the Washington State laws regarding sealing juvenile convictions.
So where does that leave Washington residents who are being denied their gun rights? Or people with old, sealed, juvenile convictions from Washington who want to have their gun rights restored? There are two possible routes to take. The simple answer is to hire the Green Law Office to petition the court to restore your gun rights under RCW 9.41.040. This process is straightforward, usually takes only about a month, and can be done relatively inexpensively. The other option would require filing a lawsuit in the federal courts to try to cpmpel the FBI to recognize the good law at the state and district court level and change the way the handle these gun rights decisions.
If you have had a juvenile conviction sealed, and are now unsure of your gun rights, contact the Green Law Office today to discuss your situation. Alan Green has the knowledge and experience to help you make sure your gun rights are protected.