Posted on August 21, 2017
How do I Restore my Gun Rights?
A felony conviction carries a life-time restriction from someone owning or possessing a firearm. In California, any person who violates this restriction would be charged as an ex-felon in possession of a firearm – a crime punishable up to three (3) years in state prison.
However, a felony conviction may not need to be for life. Some felonies are wobbler offenses making them punishable either as a felony or misdemeanor. A wobbler is eligible for reduction to a misdemeanor upon successful completion of probation. If the court grants the motion for reduction, the offense will be reduced to a misdemeanor “for all purposes.” Thereafter, you will never have to reveal that you’ve ever been convicted of a felony.
Exception to reduction apply: some wobblers, such as domestic violence convictions, carry a life-time firearm restriction regardless of whether the conviction was a misdemeanor or felony. Additionally, a person is deemed ineligible to reduce a felony to a misdemeanor if the court imposed a state prison sentence.
For those ineligible to reduce their felony to a misdemeanor, the only course of relief in restoring gun rights is to first seek a certificate of rehabilitation and/or governor’s pardon. Firearm rights can only be restored by a governor’s pardon, but in some instances, the petitioner must seek a certificate of rehabilitation first. A pardon has limitations however. For instance, if the felony was carried out with the use of a deadly weapon, even a pardon will not restore firearm rights.