New Washington Laws for Restoring Gun Rights
Washington State changed its gun rights restoration statute in 2023. The process to restore gun rights in Washington State has been governed by RCW 9.41.040 for many years now. The legislature in Olympia agreed on changes to the gun laws this year, and in 2023 the statute controlling the unlawful possession of firearms and the restoration of gun rights has been split into two new sections. RCW 9.41.040 now only sets forth the laws regarding the unlawful possession of firearms in Washington State. RCW 9.41.041 has been created to deal only with restoring gun rights in Washington State. While there were not any substantive changes to the law or process for restoring your gun rights in Washington, there are some new steps to the process for restoring gun rights and new requirements for the court filings necessary to restore gun rights that may not be immediately obvious. Below we’ll discuss some of the changes to the gun rights restoration laws in RCW 9.41.041.
With the addition of the new section to the Washington Firearm Statute, RCW 9.41.041 brings some new requirements when petitioning to restore your gun rights. As before, you need to file a petition with the Superior Court in the county in which you reside, or in which you were convicted of the prohibiting offense. Now, however, there are additional requirements placed on the county prosecutor to notify victims from the original prohibiting crime, to conduct additional background checks, and to certify certain information to the court in order to have an order restoring gun rights issued. It will be important to understand these new requirements so that the correct information and language is included in the order or certificate restoring gun rights to ensure that the court grants the petition. Properly drafting the petition and proposed order to reflect the new laws, and communicating effectively with the prosecutor’s office to ensure cooperation and a smooth process are more important now than ever in order to avoid delays in having your gun rights restored.
In addition to the new requirements for prosecutors handling petitions to restore gun rights, there are some new eligibility requirements contained in RCW 9.41.041. Previously, those seeking to restore their gun rights after a prohibiting misdemeanor conviction only had to wait three years before petitioning the court for restoration. Now, in certain instances – especially those that may relate to misdemeanor charges for domestic violence – petitioners have to wait five years before they can petition to have their gun rights restored. Additionally, there are new requirements regarding the satisfaction of legal financial obligations, or LFOs, before a person is eligible to petition for gun rights restoration in Washington State.
The GREEN LAW OFFICE, PLLC has assisted hundreds of clients with restoring gun rights in nearly every county in Washington State over the last decade and a half. Having a good understanding of the details of the gun laws and a good working relationship with the prosecutors that handle gun rights restoration petitions are very important when trying to ensure that a client’s rights are restored properly, and quickly. Contact us today to discuss your situation, and how we can assist in getting your gun rights restored quickly, and for a reasonable flat fee.