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Gun Rights: Looking to get your firearm rights restored…


            Most citizens enjoy a constitutional right to possess and own a firearm. This right is not absolute and some criminal convictions can result in the loss of those rights. For example, certain state law felony convictions can result in the loss of your right to possess a firearm under state law for a period of ten (10) years fr om when you cease to be on supervision, probation, or parole. State and federal felony convictions will also cause you to lose your right to possess a firearm under federal law. Lastly, a convictions for a crime of domestic violence, whether called a domestic violent crime or not, can also cause you to lose your gun rights. 

           How can you restore your rights? In many instances, the only way to restore your firearm rights is to seek a pardon. If your rights were lost because of a state court conviction, then you will have to seek a pardon with the Louisiana Board of Pardons. If the board agrees with your application, then it goes to the Louisiana Governor for signature. The process can be lengthy and if your application is denied, then you have to wait a designated period of time before you can reapply. It is important to note that the “first offender pardon” is not the same thing as a Governor’s Pardon and the first offender pardon will not restore your gun rights. 

           If you have a federal conviction, then you can seek relief through the ATF for restoration of rights. Unfortunately, due to a lack of federal funding for their restoration program, the ATF does not currently restore rights. This leaves you with the option of seeking an application for a Presidential pardon. This process generally takes years and is very complicated. 

           Lastly, sometimes gun rights are restored because an attorney can find a defect in the original case or amend a conviction to something that doesn’t cause a loss of firearm rights. This is sometimes called post conviction relief or just reopening a case that may seem closed. 

           As you might imagine, it is important to be aware of what may or may not cause you to lose your gun rights. A good criminal defense attorney should help you navigate these troubled waters. For more information on pardons and restoring your firearm rights, please call the Borghardt Law Firm to set up your consultation. 

Franz N. Borghardt

Franz Borghardt