How to Get Your Gun Rights Back in Pennsylvania
As criminal defense lawyers representing people in Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania, we’ve seen the damage a conviction can do. It’s not just fines, jail, and probation. Some of the harm you’ll experience is reserved for long after your sentence is served.
For many, losing their gun rights is a particularly painful consequence of a Pennsylvania criminal conviction. It’s a reminder that they can never entirely return to where they were and enjoy a right others may take for granted.
Thankfully, your PA gun rights may not be lost forever.
You can, in some instances, restore your gun rights – even after a conviction. Let our Pittsburgh gun lawyers explain the eligibility requirements and guide you through the PA firearm restoration process so you can move forward with your right to bear arms.
Charges That Result in Gun Right Revocation in PA
The Second Amendment guarantees the right of individuals to bear arms. However, Pennsylvania and other states have laws regulating and restricting firearms possession and ownership.
In Pennsylvania specifically, individuals convicted of certain crimes are not eligible to own or possess firearms. This includes individuals convicted of:
- Felony offenses
- Certain misdemeanors, such as domestic violence or drug offenses
- Convictions for driving under the influence (DUI)
- Individuals involuntarily committed for mental health treatment
If an individual is found to have a firearm and they are prohibited from owning or possessing firearms under Pennsylvania law, they can be charged with a crime. It is crucial to understand the laws governing the possession and ownership of guns in Pennsylvania to avoid legal trouble.
Should Convicted Criminals Restore Their Gun Rights?
Imagine you were convicted of a drug felony in your early twenties. You served your sentence, completed probation, and moved on with life. Eventually, you marry, have children, and build a successful career. But the lingering effects of your conviction remain.
Your criminal record will continue to prevent you from enjoying certain activities, such as hunting and target shooting. Even worse, you won’t be able to own a firearm to protect yourself and your family, despite paying your debt to society and moving on with life.
At some point, your punishment for past mistakes should end.
Are You Eligible to Have Your Gun Rights Restored?
If your PA gun rights were revoked due to a criminal conviction, you may be eligible to have them restored under certain conditions. Generally, you must have completed your sentence, including any probation, and must not have any pending criminal charges or convictions.
The eligibility requirements in PA vary depending on the circumstances. In some cases, you may be required to wait a certain period before you can apply to have your gun rights restored. For example, if you were convicted of a felony, you may have to wait 10 years before applying to restore your gun rights.
Who’s Barred from Restoring Gun Rights in Pennsylvania?
In certain circumstances, individuals may be ineligible to restore their gun rights in Pennsylvania. If any of the following apply, you likely aren’t eligible for gun rights restoration.
- You’re currently serving a sentence, including probation or parole.
- You are prohibited from possessing firearms under federal law.
- You were convicted of a violent crime, drug trafficking, or another serious offense.
- You’re deemed a danger to yourself or others due to a mental health condition.
It is important to note that eligibility for restoring gun rights in Pennsylvania can be complex and depends on various factors. If you have questions about your eligibility or the restoration process, it is recommended that you consult with an experienced attorney.
How to Restore Your PA Gun Rights
Getting your Pennsylvania gun rights restored post-conviction can be complex and time-consuming. First, you must file a petition with the court in the county where you reside or where you were convicted. Your petition should include all necessary information about your conviction, sentencing, and rehabilitation since the conviction.
After filing the petition, you must demonstrate that you meet the eligibility requirements for restoring your gun rights in Pennsylvania. This may require documentation that shows that you have completed your sentence, including any probation or diversion program, and that you have not been convicted of any additional crimes. You might also need to prove that you have been rehabilitated and that restoring your gun rights would not threaten public safety.
Sometimes, you may be required to attend a hearing to present evidence supporting your petition. The court will evaluate your petition and evidence before restoring your gun rights.
Pardons & Expungements Can Help Your Case
In some cases, you may be able to have your gun rights restored through a pardon or expungement.
Pardons are rare, and getting one is a challenging process in Pennsylvania. An attorney can explain if an expungement is a viable option to regain your gun rights.
What’s it Cost to Restore Your Gun Rights in PA?
The cost of restoring your gun rights in Pennsylvania after a criminal conviction can vary based on the complexity of your case and the amount of time and effort involved. Typically, a lawyer will charge an hourly rate or flat fee for their services. There may be additional court fees and costs for obtaining records. Discussing fees with your lawyer first and developing a plan that works for you is essential.
A Lawyer Can Help Restore Your Gun Rights
Restoring your Pennsylvania gun rights can be challenging. You’ll need to show how you’ve changed after making a mistake and that you deserve to be entrusted with owning and possessing a firearm again.
To do this effectively, it’s best to have guidance and support from an experienced attorney who can navigate the system, present your petition, and increase your chances of success. Here are a few ways a lawyer can help get your gun rights back:
- Determine eligibility: A lawyer can review your record, then assess whether you can have your gun rights restored. They can also help you understand the requirements and steps involved.
- Prepare and file the petition: An attorney can help you prepare and file the necessary paperwork with the court. This includes drafting a petition and providing supporting documentation to demonstrate that you meet the eligibility requirements.
- Represent you in court: If a hearing is required, a lawyer can represent you and argue on your behalf. They can present evidence and cross-examine witnesses to support your case.
- Address any legal issues: A lawyer can identify and address any legal issues while restoring your gun rights in Pennsylvania. A lawyer can help you address criminal record discrepancies or concerns about rehabilitation. They can prepare for other obstacles.
- Explore other options: If restoring your gun rights is not an option, a lawyer can explore other options, such as seeking a pardon from the governor or challenging the underlying conviction.
Want Your Gun Rights Back? Call Worgul, Sarna & Ness
At Worgul, Sarna, & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC, our experienced Pittsburgh defense attorneys can help you regain your right to own a firearm after a criminal conviction. With years of experience in gun cases and a passion for helping people regain their lives, we can guide you and help you reclaim the rights you lost.
To fight for your gun rights, call Worgul, Sarna & Ness for a free and confidential case evaluation. We’ll discuss your eligibility and the next steps. Call (412) 557-4892 or submit a request 24/7.