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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011

    Default Can You Restore Firearm Rights

    My question involves criminal records for the state of: California

    I am very confused on this issue. 5 years ago or so I got a felony destruction of property charge. Unfortunately, my lawyer was an idiot and the felony stuck. Last year I finally got my felony reduced to a misdemeanor and my misdemeanor was dismissed so now on the state side I have a "clean" record. However, my gun rights were not restored and I was told by a public defender that to get them restored I would have to go to court and get an appeal. That was 4 months ago and I never heard from the public defender's office and I just talked to my public defender who handled my dismissal after I fired my lawyer and he said that I can NEVER get my firearms back. He says state wise in California I am not considered a convicted felon or ex-felon and I can buy firearms or possess them no problem, however, he says on the federal side it is highly illegal to own or possess firearms and if the FBI or CIA catch me with firearms I could be in serious trouble. This makes me sound like a super criminal and I am not. It seems people keep telling me different things and I am so confused. This happened when I was a young adult and now my life is on track and I just want to put all of this behind me. The public defender's advice was to "stay away" from firearms or a career in firearms such as security or law enforcement which are my two career choices since I was in the military. Another lawyer told me that the only way to get them back is by getting a Governor's pardon and I have no idea what that is. Can someone please give me a real answer and tell me how I can actually get my rights restored. Also, can I vote again?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005

    Default Re: Can You Restore Firearm Rights

    That reduction was the expungement. In CA an expungement does not make it go away, it only results in a reduction of the offense from a felony to a misdemeanor.

    JMH, you will likely have to go back to court to have your firearms rights specifically restored.

    Here is an interesting article by an attorney that might explain it:
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011

    Default Re: Can You Restore Firearm Rights

    I just don't know why my public defender said I could "NEVER" own a firearm or get my rights restored. He described my case similar to the medical use of marijuana, in California it is legal to buy if you have a card however, you can still get in trouble with the FBI or CIA on the federal side. Its legal as a state law, but banned on the federal side so it is illegal. So with my case, as far as the state of California is concerned I am legally allowed to own, purchase and possess a firearm however, on the federal side I can get into trouble. It sounds stupid if this is true. According to my public defender I can't even go to court because since its a federal law that no felon can ever have restored firearm rights the state law really has no say. Since I was a Marine at the time the court altered my gun rights and said I could use firearms and what not and my public defender says he didn't know how the state could overturn a federal law and that, that was not only illegal, but impossible, but it happened. However, I still know that I have "limited" firearm rights on the federal side. If this is all true than it would seem that the only way to get my firearm rights restored will be to get a governor's pardon and I don't have a clue on how to do that. If anyone could further point me in the right direction I would be very grateful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010

    Default Re: Can You Restore Firearm Rights

    There is a program that allows people to try and have their Federal firearms rights restored. The problem is that Congress refuses to fund it so there is no way for someone to try. If you poke around on the ATF or FBI website, I believe there is information there about it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2011

    Default Re: Can You Restore Firearm Rights

    It sounds like it is impossible...

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