In California, a felony conviction and certain misdemeanor convictions1 will result in a ban on your ability to have a firearm. A felony conviction will result in a lifetime ban, and a qualifying misdemeanor conviction will result in a 10-year ban. Examples of misdemeanor convictions that will result in a 10-year ban are: assault, battery, threatening school, or public officials, dissuading a witness, domestic violence, criminal threats, and stalking.
Additionally, drug addiction and mental health issues may also impact your ability to have a firearm.
There are two avenues to restoring your gun rights in California. The first is by reducing a felony conviction to a misdemeanor whenever possible. An offense that can also be charged either as a felony or a misdemeanor is commonly referred to as a “wobbler”. If your felony conviction is for a wobbler, it can be reduced to a misdemeanor by applying to the court pursuant to Penal Code section 17(b).
The second way to restore your gun rights is a Governor’s pardon. Many felony offenses are not wobblers, and if your felony offense is not a wobbler, the only way to restore your gun rights in California is through a Governor’s pardon.
Please note, that even if your felony is reduced to a misdemeanor, if it is one of the qualifying misdemeanors, you will still have to wait until the 10-year ban expires.
A felony conviction and misdemeanor convictions for domestic violence will also trigger a federal gun rights ban.
If you were convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence offense, you can seek to have the conviction expunged in order to restore your federal gun rights.2
It is important to note that federal law does not recognize reductions from felonies to misdemeanors as grounds to restore your gun rights. As most guns are purchased through federally-licensed gun dealers, even if you have your felony conviction reduced to a misdemeanor, you may still be prevented from purchasing a gun through a federally licensed gun dealer.
The attorneys at Chastaine Jones are well-versed in gun rights and expungement law and have successfully cleaned up the record of hundreds of clients. Our legal team can help you move on after an arrest. We have a proven process and want to see every case end with a dismissal. Call us today at 916-894-8431 or send us an email to arrange a time convenient for your consultation.
Get to know our experienced criminal defense attorneys, Martin Jones, Mike Chastaine, and Jessica Davis. Do you need legal advice? Contact our Gold River criminal defense law firm today!