Gun Licensing and Restoration

Any discussion of gun right restoration after conviction of a felony must begin by acknowledging federal law which enforces a permanent ban on the use or possession of any firearm by a felon, other than certain archaic firearms such as a pellet rifle, muzzle-loader, or black powder gun. Under federal law, a felon is defined as anyone convicted of a crime punishable by a year or more in jail, with some exceptions. With that being said, if you are still interested in having your right to possess and/or use one of the limited weapons unaffected by the federal restriction, there are certain considerations under Michigan law.

Under Michigan law, felons are forbidden from using, possessing, transporting, buying, or selling a firearm for a period of either three or five years. After the statutory period has expired, the right to the weapons described above may be reinstated. Depending on the type of conviction, the restoration may be automatic, or it may require petitioning the circuit court in the County in which you presently reside.

A felony is defined as a crime punishable by imprisonment for four years or more under Michigan law. This means that convictions of crimes classified as felonies, but which are punishable by maximum terms of less than four years do not affect gun rights (but the federal prohibition is still in effect).

Michigan law lists certain felonies, which it deems “specified” felonies for purposes of gun right restrictions. If you were convicted of a felony that is not listed, or a “non-specified felony”, then your state gun rights are automatically reinstated three years after all of the following circumstances occurred; (1) you have paid all fines imposed for the violation, (2) you have served all terms of imprisonment imposed for the violation, and (3) you have successfully completed all conditions of probation or parole imposed for the violation.

If you were convicted of a specified felony, then you must wait until the expiration of five years before petitioning to have your gun rights restored. The petition must be filed in the county in which you reside, where the court will schedule a hearing. At this hearing, an argument is made as to why the petitioner should have his rights restored. The judge will have to conclude that your record and reputation are such that you are not likely to act in a manner dangerous to the safety of other individuals in order to restore your rights. In persuading the court of your reform, you must demonstrate that you are no longer dangerous to society by clear and convincing evidence, which is a very high standard of proof. However, if the court finds that you meet the necessary criteria and have met your burden of proof, then it is mandatory for your firearms rights to be restored because the law says the judge “shall” restore your rights.

If you seek to have your state gun rights restored, contact the experienced attorneys at Neumann Law Group for a free consultation today.

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