CAN YOU OWN A FIREARM AFTER A FELONY CONVICTION?
**Your Arizona Lawyer no longer handles gun rights restoration cases – This blog is strictly for informational purposes**
Restoring Your Right To Own A Firearm After A Felony Conviction
Arizona state law and federal law prohibit those convicted of a felony to possess ammunition or a firearm. If a convicted felon is found in possession of a firearm in Arizona, they will be charged with a class 4 felony. A class 4 felony is punishable by up to two and a half years in jail. Restoring your rights to own a firearm requires a few steps and completed probation time. There is a mistaken belief that after being convicted, it is impossible to restore the right to possess and own a firearm. The truth is that people who have been convicted of felonies simply do not know what steps to take or lack the assistance to restore this right.
Fortunately, Arizona allows for restoration in certain cases and meets certain conditions; to qualify for restoration you will need to complete your probation and wait two or ten years and file a petition. Arizona and the United States Constitution guarantee the right to bear arms. Whether it be for hunting, sport, or protection, Americans have cherished the right to personally own guns and the right to own guns is undoubtedly ingrained in Arizona’s culture. Losing this right due to a felony conviction can be a tremendous blow to those who were once part of the 40% of Americans who own guns.
In Arizona, your firearm rights may be restored for most convictions two years after you have completed probation or the date you are completely discharged from imprisonment. However, if your conviction involves a serious offense, your firearm rights may be restored ten years after you have completed probation or the date you are completely discharged from imprisonment. Serious offenses include:
- 1st Degree Murder
- 2nd Degree Murder
- Aggravated Assault
- Sexual Assault
- Crimes Against Children
Convictions That Do Not Allow Restoration
If your conviction involves a “dangerous offense,” you will not be able to restore your right to own and possess a firearm. A dangerous offense means that the felony involved the intentional or knowing infliction of serious physical injury or the use or exhibition of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument.
- It is highly unlikely to restore your firearms rights for a federal conviction.
Punishment For Owning And Possessing A Gun Without Restoring Rights
If you are caught owning or possessing a firearm without your rights first being restored, you will be charged with Misconduct Involving Weapons. This offense is a class 4 felony in Arizona and carries a presumptive term of 2.5 years in prison. If you have a prior felony conviction it carries a presumptive term of 4.5 years.
Getting Restoration Started
Petition – After you have met the waiting period for your offense (2yrs or 10yrs), you need to file a petition to have your firearm rights restored. This means that you must make a written request with the court, which will then determine if you are eligible.
Factors that will determine your eligibility include:
- Criminal History
- Probation Performance
- History of Violence
- The severity of the Victim’s Injuries
- Attempts to Rehabilitate
Set Aside – You may also attempt to have your felony conviction set aside, which would restore your firearm rights.
We hope that the information in this blog assists in the process of restoring your gun rights, but we would like to reiterate that Your Arizona Lawyer no longer handles gun rights restoration cases.