Can an Expungement or Pardon Restore My Gun Rights in Pennsylvania?

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Apr 30, 2020 | 0 Comments

A criminal conviction of any kind can take its toll. Dealing with jail time and fines is never easy, but in most cases, they represent temporary setbacks. In some cases, criminal convictions can have permanent consequences. A common example would be the loss of gun ownership rights.

While the loss of these rights is a major penalty, it can occur in cases of relatively minor misdemeanor convictions. In some cases, the loss of these gun rights can be permanent. Often, both state and federal law will act to prevent a person from owning, possessing, purchasing, or using a firearm.

The good news is that avoiding these consequences could be possible through the pardon or expungement process. If you have been convicted of a crime and are dealing with the loss of your gun rights, a dedicated Pennsylvania expungement lawyer could help you restore those rights.

Convictions That Can Impact Gun Rights

There is a long list of convictions that could disqualify you from owning a firearm. The full list of these offenses is found at 18 Pa. Code Section 6105(b). Some of these offenses include crimes of domestic violence, stalking, escaping from official detention, burglary, robbery, or any violent crime. The statute sets out a lengthy list of offenses which include not only felonies but misdemeanors as well.

How an Expungement or Pardon Effects Gun Rights Limitations

Although a state conviction could result in both state and federal law eliminating your right to own a firearm, an expungement or pardon will generally be enough to restore those rights in both cases. This is true even for federal law, as long as the loss of firearm rights originally resulted from a state conviction.

There are many different offenses that can lead to the loss of your gun rights under state law. Unfortunately, the vast majority of them do not qualify for expungement in Pennsylvania. While this limits your options for restoring your right to own a firearm, you are not without options.

While expungements are often not an option, a pardon can lead to the return of your gun rights with every type of criminal conviction. At the state level, the issuance of a pardon will allow you the opportunity to file a petition for the return of your rights. Once that petition is granted, federal law will typically follow suit. A successful pardon is your best chance of getting your firearms rights back after a criminal conviction.

Let LLF Law Firm Assist You With Restoring Your Rights

Pardons may not be commonplace with certain convictions, but that does not mean that a favorable outcome is impossible. The best way to improve your options is by working closely with an attorney experienced in the pardon process.

Attorneys with LLF Law Firm have extensive experience with the expungement and pardon process in Pennsylvania. They are prepared to work tirelessly to assist you in restoring your rights following a criminal conviction. If you are ready to begin the process of restoring your rights, contact LLF Law Firm online or call (888) 535-5336 to schedule a consultation.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients in criminal courtrooms in Philadelphia and across Pennsylvania as well as in New Jersey and nationwide. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. With unparalleled experience occupying several roles in the criminal justice system outside of being an attorney, Joseph D. Lento can give you valuable behind-the-scenes insight as to what is happening during all phases of the legal process. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, and is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide. In the courtroom and in life, attorney Joseph D. Lento stands up when the bell rings!


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The LLF Law Firm Team has decades of experience successfully resolving clients' criminal charges in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania counties. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you or a loved one, contact the LLF Law Firm today! Our Criminal Defense Team will go above and beyond the needs of any client, and will fight until the final bell rings.

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