There is a pretty persistent misconception about people who have had their gun rights revoked.
The prevailing wisdom is that a serious felony or violent crime must have been committed to have had such a heavy penalty imposed. In fact, many firearm revocations are the result of nonviolent offenses, misdemeanor convictions, protection from abuse orders, or involuntary civil commitments. Worse, prohibition from gun ownership can go well beyond the final disposition of the case.
How to get gun rights restored in Pennsylvania
While there are clearly instances in which firearm revocations are well-warranted, others may find themselves questioning whether their relatively minor brush with the law justifies a prohibition from owning firearms. In certain circumstances, gun rights can be restored by way of the pardons and/or expungements processes. Check out those FAQ pages to see if you qualify for a pardon or expungement under PA law.
The revocation of gun rights in Pennsylvania can fall into one or two categories:
- Federal prohibitions
- State prohibitions
Generally, if a conviction has been expunged or pardoned at the State level, it will no longer be considered a conviction under U.S. or Pennsylvania law.
Regrettably, most offenses that result in the revocation of the right to own firearms are not eligible for expungement.
The good news, however, is that virtually any offense or combination of offenses can be pardoned. Once a pardon is granted, a petition can then be brought before the court to have the firearm prohibition lifted.