Gun Licensing and Restoration
The loss of your gun ownership rights is one of the many consequences of a criminal conviction. However, under Michigan law, in most cases, this restriction is not permanent, and you can petition the court to reinstate your firearm ownership rights. At the Neumann Law Group, our Traverse City criminal defense attorneys understand the importance of the Second Amendment and your right to own a firearm. Therefore, we regularly accept clients who lost their right to purchase a gun due to an old criminal conviction and are now looking to reinstate their rights.Can You Legally Purchase a Gun After a Criminal Conviction?
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.What Constitutes a Felony for the Purposes of Firearm Ownership Restrictions?
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) all fines have been paid, (2) you completed your prison term (if any), and (3) you completed all conditions of probation or parole.
If you were convicted of a specified felony, then you will need to wait five years before seeking to have your gun rights reinstated. 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 by clear and convincing evidence that you are no longer dangerous to society. And while the “clear and convincing evidence” standard is a high burden to meet, if you meet the criteria and prove your eligibility, the court has no option but to restore your rights.Are You Interested in Restoring Your Right to Own a Firearm in Michigan?
If you lost your right to own a gun as a result of a criminal conviction from years ago, you may now be able to reinstate your rights. However, it’s normal to get some pushback along the way. At the Neumann Law Group, we can help. We’ve assisted countless clients in restoring their gun ownership rights, even after having been convicted of a felony. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation today, give the Traverse City criminal defense lawyers at the Neumann Law Group a call at 800-525-6386. You can also connect with us through our online contact form.