Loss of Gun Rights from Domestic Violence & Restoring Firearms Rights

gun rightsIn Washington State, a misdemeanor domestic violence conviction for the following crimes will result in a loss of firearm rights:

Misdemeanor property crime convictions for 3rd Degree Malicious Mischief or Destruction of Property do not automatically result in the loss of gun rights. However, a judge can restrict your right to bear arms as part of a criminal sentence.

What felony charges will affect my gun rights?

In WA State, all felony convictions will result in a loss of firearm rights. If the felony occurred in another state or under Federal jurisdiction, and the offense is comparable to a Washington State felony, it will count as a felony conviction.

What is considered a “conviction?”

A plea of guilty, a jury verdict of guilty, or a disposition by way of a deferred sentence are all considered convictions under Washington State law. A “pretrial diversion agreement” or a “stipulated order of continuance” are not considered convictions in relation to firearm rights. Your attorney should advise you if one of these negotiated outcomes is favorable for your situation.

I am in the military. How will a loss of gun rights affect my career?

Unfortunately, soldiers and police officers are not exempt from this law. If your job requires you to legally possess a firearm or handle ammunition, your employment will likely end upon conviction. During negotiations, your defense strategy should prioritize saving your right to keep and bear arms.

My conviction was vacated. Are my gun rights automatically restored?

No, unfortunately not. Vacating a criminal charge and restoring gun rights are separate legal issues that are filed in different courts. However, the arguments and conditions are usually very similar for both cases. Clients often hire us to take care of both issues.

If my gun rights are restored, am I eligible for a concealed carry permit?

Once your gun rights are restored, you are eligible to apply for a Concealed Pistol License (CPL).

When can I restore my right to possess a firearm?

Non-felony offense – Your gun right attorney may petition the court for restoration of gun rights after (1) three consecutive years in the community without any criminal offenses as long as (2) all the conditions of your original sentence have been completed and (3) you have no prior felony convictions prohibiting you from possessing firearms.

Felony offense – (excluding sex offenses and Class A felonies). Your lawyer may petition the court for restoration of your firearm rights after five consecutive years in the community without any criminal offenses, if you have no prior felony convictions prohibiting you from possessing firearms.

Class A felony or sex offense – You must seek an annulment, Governor or Presidential Pardon, or certificate of rehabilitation in order to restore your right to bear arms. This is true even if you were a juvenile at the time.

How do I restore my gun rights in Washington?

Even if you meet the guidelines and complete all the onerous conditions for reconsideration, judges are not required to restore your gun rights. An experienced firearm rights lawyer should be in your corner to not only take care of procedural issues, but also to fight for you so you can win your case.

If you have already lost your gun rights from a prior conviction and meet the guidelines for reinstatement, we can petition the court to restore your firearm rights. This involves:

  • Filing a petition in Superior Court
  • Filing a supplemental motion
  • Serving copies to all required parties
  • Providing proof to the court that you are eligible
  • Providing certified copies of orders for each conviction and criminal history, as well as civil orders which would restrain firearm rights
  • Creating & filing the proposed Order of Restoration of Firearm Rights
  • Scheduling and representing you at hearings
  • Filing copies of final orders with law enforcement agencies

Protecting and Restoring your Gun Rights

At Beckwith DV Law, we have successfully saved the gun rights of over 1000 clients, including military soldiers, police officers, hunters, and others who use firearms for recreation or self-defense. In the great majority of cases, we can dismiss your case or negotiate to keep your gun rights.

If you have already lost your gun rights and would like them restored, we can determine if you are eligible and petition the court to reinstate your gun rights. We handle the process from start to finish to make sure that your rights are completely restored in a timely manner.

Our office locations are in Seattle and Tacoma. We practice law in King County, Pierce County, Snohomish County, Kitsap County, and Thurston County, Washington. Call us today for a free consultation.