Restoration of Firearms Rights – Is it Possible?

Unfortunately, restoration of firearm rights is extremely difficult in Pennsylvania but not impossible. Bans apply through both the state and federal laws.

Under Pennsylvania and federal laws, certain individuals are precluded from possessing firearms. 18 Pa. C.S.A. 6105. Presently, except for very few exceptions, there is no effective mechanism through the courts. While a petition may be filed, it does not relieve the individual from the federal law preclusion. While there are mechanisms available, it is a maze that leads to nowhere! For example, one can petition to have their “civil rights restored” as per federal law but there is no procedure in Pennsylvania to accomplish such.

One exception involves individuals who were involuntarily committed for mental health treatment. An individual can petition the court for relief from the firearm preclusion. If the person can prove that possessing a firearm will not be a risk to that person or any other person, the firearm preclusion can be lifted. Further, if a state court determines that the person can safely possess a firearm, the federal authorities will accept such and remove the federal ban.

Many people ask about expungement of a prior criminal offense. Remarkably, very few offenses can be expunged except if the individual is 70 years old and has been free from arrest or prosecution for three years.

The one available remedy, which is gaining increasing popularity, especially with the present state administration is seeking a pardon. The process is very straightforward and involves the filing of a petition with the Board of Pardons and a short hearing. A pardon entitles the recipient to judicial expungement thus resulting in a restoration of all rights to possess firearms. The effect of an expungement vis a pardon is far reaching.

We can help with this process. We have handled numerous requests for pardons. You can review the process by accessing the Board’s website. If you need help, please call.