Convicted Felons and Firearm Ownership

Convicted Felons and Firearm Ownership

Persons convicted of a state offense may contact the office of the attorney general in the state where their conviction occurred, or the state’s Department of Justice, for information concerning restoration alternatives that may be available. (For example, the state may have a procedure for a gubernatorial pardon, a set-aside or expunction of the conviction, or a restoration of firearm rights.)

Persons convicted of a federal offense may elect to apply for a presidential pardon. Information on applying for a presidential pardon may be obtained at:

U.S. Department of Justice

The Pardon Attorney’s Office

1425 New York Avenue, NW, Suite 11000

Washington, DC 20530 USA

Voice (202) 616-6070

While Federal law provides for a restoration of firearm privileges for felons and others subject to a firearms disability (18 USC section 925(c  )), Congress has prohibited the expenditure of funds for this purpose annually since 1992.  In the case United States v. Bean,537 U.S. 71 (2002),  the U.S. Supreme Court decided that this annual appropriations provision meant  that restoration of firearms ownership  for felons under the Gun Control Act was no longer available.   If the conviction is under state law, a state may provide for restoration of firearms ownership rights.  For a Federal law conviction, a presidential pardon is the only avenue currently available for restoration of rights.

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