THE RIGHTS YOU LOSE FOLLOWING A FELONY CONVICTION
When someone is convicted of a felony in the State of Virginia, they automatically lose their civil rights. These rights include:
- The right to vote
- The right to serve on a jury
- The right to run for elected office
- The right to become a notary public
- The right to carry a firearm
Our team of attorneys in Harrisonburg VA are frequently asked about the process for how to get gun rights restored in VA.
RESTORATION OF VIRGINIA FIREARMS RIGHTS
Following a felony conviction in a Virginia state court, before you can request the restoration of your right to purchase and possess a firearm, you must first petition the Governor of Virginia for the restoration of the other rights lost as a result of the conviction, rights such as the right to vote, the right to hold public office, and the right to sit on a jury.
The Constitution of Virginia gives the Governor (and only the Governor) power to have those civil rights restored.
This first step in the process can be taken by contacting the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office which you can do online.
Here, you can check the status of your civil rights, print a restoration of rights contact form and request for your rights to be restored.
Individuals requesting restoration of their civil rights following a felony conviction in Virginia will be considered by the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office in the order in which the felon was released from supervision.
However, the Governor does not have the power to return gun possession rights to citizens. To be considered for gun rights restoration, once you have received the restoration of your civil rights, and if you are eligible, you must next make an application to either the Circuit Court where you live or the Circuit Court where you were convicted.
CONVICTIONS FOR WHICH THE PROCESS WON’T WORK
Not everyone who has been convicted of a felony will be eligible to have their firearms rights restored, even after their other civil rights are restored by the Governor. Virginia will not consider restoring your gun rights if your felony conviction is from another state or from federal court (even a federal court in Virginia). Because there is no process in federal law to obtain restoration of gun rights after a federal court felony conviction, the only path available is a Presidential Pardon. Click here for more information on the federal pardon process.
Individuals who have been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence cannot possess a firearm under federal law. There is currently no process for such persons to request restoration of gun rights. This area of the law is complicated by the interplay of federal and state law in a way that likely was unintended but has not yet been addressed by the Virginia legislature. If you have been convicted of assault and battery on a family member or a similar offense, speak with a lawyer for further information regarding you right to possess a firearm.
WE CAN SUPPORT YOU
If you’re looking for a Harrisonburg VA lawyer who can assist you with your Virginia gun rights restoration petition, our attorney Scott T. Hansen has helped numerous clients successfully regain their right to possess a firearm. We can help you to determine your eligibility, file your petition, guide you through the process, and advocate for your gun rights restoration.
Contact us for a consultation. We will work to achieve the best possible outcome for your case.