Prior felony conviction: If you were convicted of a felony offense in Virginia, you are ineligible to possess firearms and ammunition. But this prohibition can be cured. The first step is to have your civil rights (voting, right to serve on a jury, ect.) restored. This step is simple and for many people has already automatically happened. However, if you have not yet had your civil rights restored, we can help you through the process. After one’s civil rights have been restored by the governor, application can be made under 18.2-308.2 to circuit court in order to restore one’s right to possess firearms. The application will be made in your county of residence, or for residents of another state in the Virginia county in which you were last convicted. If you were convicted of a felony in Virginia and now reside in another state, in order to restore gun rights you must start with a restoration in Virginia. If Virginia is the only state in which you have prohibiting convictions, then the Virginia restoration, if successful will also restore your gun rights at the federal level. In this situation, it makes sense to talk to a Virginia gun rights restoration lawyer.
The restoration process includes filing a petition. The Commonwealth Attorney’s office will have the opportunity to respond to the petition within 21 days. They may either support your petition (which is extremely rare), oppose your petition, or take no action. After the commonwealth responds, you will have a hearing scheduled. We will work with you to prepare for this hearing and to present evidence on your behalf. Preparation may take place in person or over the phone.
On the day of your hearing, we will present evidence on your behalf. This is a highly technical process, and the rules of evidence for calling witnesses and introducing exhibits must be followed. The court typically considers a number of factors including: the nature of the crimes of which you were convicted, whether the crimes involved a firearm (or were otherwise dangerous to others), what type of punishment you have already received, the length of time you have been free from criminal activity, signs of current stability in your life, and the reason you want to have your rights restored.
If we are successful in court, you will walk out with your rights restored! We will spend time with you so that you understand how to proceed with firearm purchases and collateral gun rights issues (such as how to obtain a CHP) in the future.
Prior mental health commitment:
Mental health and firearms can be a difficult situation to untangle. The law in Virginia says that if you have been subject to an involuntary mental health commitment in any of the following circumstances, you are unable to possess firearms or ammunition:
If one of the above situations applies to you, and you wish to restore your right to possess firearms and ammunition, we may be able to help you. We will discuss your options during a free consultation, and make sure that you are a good candidate for restoration.
The process for a mental health restoration is different than that for a restoration following a felony conviction. One of the biggest differences is that the mental health restoration will take place in general district court, as opposed to circuit court. The petition must be filed in the county in which you reside, or for out of state residents, in the county in which the last commitment occurred.
After filing a petition for restoration, the Commonwealth attorney can choose to either support, oppose, or take no action regarding your petition. You will then have your day in court. At this hearing, we will present evidence on your behalf, which may include expert witness testimony. The presentation of such evidence is highly technical, but can be essential toward having a successful petition. We will work with you to prepare you and to prepare your evidence for this hearing.
If we are successful in court, you will walk out with your rights restored! We will spend time with you so that you understand how to proceed with firearm purchases and collateral gun rights issues (such as how to obtain a CHP) in the future. Call today for a free consultation with a Virginia gun rights restoration lawyer!
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