Restoration of Firearm Rights

Restoration of Firearm Rights

A person must understand the distinction between state firearm rights and federal firearm rights. In a nutshell, federal law controls when it comes to firearms. This means even though you may have a state right to possess and use firearms, you can still be precluded from possessing a firearm because of federal law. This area of the law can be very confusing so a person should contact an attorney to help guide them through this process.

State Charge of Felon in Possession of a Firearm.

A person who previously has been convicted of a felony who purchases, owns, possesses, or has under his custody or control any firearm shall be guilty of a felony and shall be imprisoned in the state prison for a period of time not to exceed five (5) years and by a fine not to exceed five thousand dollars $5,000.

“Convicted of a felony” includes a person who has entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere, or who has been found guilty of any of the crimes enumerated in Idaho Code § 18-310, or to a comparable felony crime in another state, territory, commonwealth, or other jurisdiction of the United States.

“Firearm,” as defined for this section of state law, includes any weapon from which a shot, projectile, or other object may be discharged by force of combustion, explosive, gas, and/or mechanical means, whether operable or inoperable.

Gun and bullets

If the felony I was convicted of is not included on the list, do I still have my firearm rights?

No. A sentence of custody to the Idaho State Board of Correction suspends all the firearm rights of the person so sentenced. However, upon final discharge, a person convicted of any Idaho felony shall be restored their firearm rights, except that for persons convicted of treason or those offenses enumerated in paragraphs (a) through (jj) of Idaho Code § 18-310 the right to ship, transport, possess or receive a firearm shall not be restored.

“Final discharge” means satisfactory completion of imprisonment, probation, and/or parole. Your firearm rights may be restored automatically if you successfully completed probation or parole. You will want to contact an attorney to help walk you through this process and, depending on the facts of the case, you may not be able to restore your federal firearm rights.

What is the federal firearm charge?

18 U.S.C. § 922(g) makes it unlawful for any person to possess a firearm or ammunition; or to receive any firearm or ammunition which has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce. This law applies to any person:

  1. who has been convicted, in any court of, a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year;
  2. who is a fugitive from justice;
  3. who is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance (as defined in § 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. § 802));
  4. who has been adjudicated as a mental defective or who has been committed to a mental institution;
  5. who, being an alien,
    1. is illegally or unlawfully in the United States; or
    2. except as provided in subsection (y)(2), has been admitted to the United States under a non-immigrant visa (as that term is defined in § 101(a)(26) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(26)));
  6. who has been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions;
  7. who, having been a citizen of the United States, has renounced his citizenship;
  8. who is subject to a court order that–
    1. was issued after a hearing of which such person received actual notice, and at which such person had an opportunity to participate;
    2. restrains such person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner of such person or child of such intimate partner or person, or engaging in other conduct that would place an intimate partner in reasonable fear of bodily injury to the partner or child; and
    3. (i) includes a finding that such person represents a credible threat to the physical safety of such intimate partner or child; or (ii) by its terms explicitly prohibits the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against such intimate partner or child that would reasonably be expected to cause bodily injury; or
  9. who has been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence, to ship or transport in interstate or foreign commerce, or possess in or affecting commerce.

“Firearm” is defined in 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(3) as: (A) any weapon (including a starter gun) which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive; (B) the frame or receiver of any such weapon; (C) any firearm muffler or firearm silencer; or (D) any destructive device.

The maximum penalty is 10 years of imprisonment in a federal penitentiary.

Can my firearm rights be restored?

Maybe. In Idaho, firearm disability shall not apply to a person whose conviction has been nullified by expungement, pardon, setting aside the conviction, or other comparable procedure by the jurisdiction where the felony conviction occurred; or whose civil right to bear arms either specifically or in combination with other civil rights has been restored by any other provision of Idaho law.

There is a specific procedure under Idaho Law that allows a person to petition the court to restore their firearm rights. Another provision allows the restoration to occur automatically upon final discharge or probation or parole. The distinction is fact specific and depends on the nature of your individual case. You should contact an attorney to help you review your case and to determine your eligibility to possess a firearm.

Under href=”″>18 U.S.C. § 922(g) it is unlawful for you to own or possess firearms and ammunition if you have been judged to have a mental defect or have been committed to a mental institution. Idaho Law allows you to Petition the court to remove your firearm disability.

Under federal law, the issue of restoration of firearm rights is evaluated under the law of the jurisdiction in which the conviction was entered. In Idaho, if your petition is successful, or if your case fits into the automatic restoration provision, the result should also restore your federal firearm rights.

Get your civil rights restored by contacting Davis and Hoskisson, PLLC today.