Firearm Rights Attorney
Gun Rights Lawyer
For many people, losing their right to own or posses firearms is a huge loss. Whether it's because they are an avid hunter, a collector, they enjoy practicing their marksmanship at the shooting range, or they want to protect their home and family.
In Washington, getting these rights restored is based on a specific statute. Although for most people, you either qualify or you don't, the process can still be daunting. You should decide whether you want to try this on your own or save yourself a lot of time, energy, and headache and hire an experienced gun rights attorney to do it all for you.
Once you hire South Sound Law Group, our skilled legal team works with our gun law lawyers and handles everything for you, including the initial investigation, preparing the necessary motions and declarations, contacting the prosecutor's office, and going to court for the hearing so you don't have to.
ALWAYS SPEAK WITH AN ATTORNEY ABOUT YOUR SPECIFIC ISSUE BEFORE ATTEMPTING TO PURCHASE A FIREARM
If you are interested in getting your firearm rights restored give us a call at 253-383-3328 and we can get started right away or schedule a no cost no obligation consultation.
Restoring Firearm Rights
If you'd like to quickly see if you may be eligible head down to our quick checklist down the page
The controlling statute for restoring your firearm rights is RCW 9.41.040
How are firearm rights lost?
- A criminal conviction for any felony offense
- Conviction for any sex offense
- Conviction for most Domestic Violence (DV) misdemeanor offenses: Assault in the fourth degree, coercion, stalking, reckless endangerment, criminal trespass in the first degree, or violation of a protection order, no-contact order, or anti-harassment order
- Note: Not all DV convictions will result in the loss of firearm rights. Example: Malicious Mischief 3rd degree
- Being found not guilty by reason of insanity
- Being involuntarily committed for mental health treatment under RCW 71.05.210, 71.05.320, 71.34.740, 71.34.750, or an equivalent statute of another jurisdiction
- You are under a court restraining order, domestic violence protection order, anti-harassment order, or other order, civil or criminal, which prohibits the possession of firearms
- You have current pending criminal charge that prevents you from owning or possessing firearms.
Note that being restricted for any period of time, can impact your ability to keep and/or qualify for a concealed pistol license. Give us a call if you have more specific questions about Concealed Pistol Licenses, or visit the Dept. of Licensing's webpage here.
Where to restore your firearm rights
You may petition to have your firearm rights restored at either:
- The court that prohibited your right to possess firearms; or
- The Superior court in the county where you reside.
Am I eligible to restore my gun rights with a felony conviction?
If you were convicted of a class A felony you are ineligible to have your firearm rights restored
If you were convicted of a sex offense you are ineligible to have you firearm rights restored; UNLESS it was committed as a juvenile. You can restore your rights after your juvenile conviction record is sealed.
If you were convicted of a class B or C felony, then you are eligible after ANY consecutive 5 year crime free period (start with date of offense, not conviction date) if you have no previous felonies that count as part of the offender score.
Am I eligible to restore my gun rights with a misdemeanor conviction?
If you were convicted of a misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor offense, then you are eligible after any consecutive 3 year crime free period, if you have no previous felonies that count as part of your offender score AND you must have completed all conditions of your sentence. This includes all financial obligations, community service, work crew, treatment, etc.
NOTE: Best practice when calculating the 3 year crime free period is to calculate looking backwards from when you file your petition to restore your gun rights or when you intend to file your petition.
What is the cost to restore firearm rights?
If you choose to hire a firearm right attorney the cost can differ, generally the cost can run from a thousand dollars to three thousand, depending on each gun law attorney or law firm, how complicated the case may be, and it can vary depending on what court the petition is in. In western Washington there are only a small handful of quality, experienced firearm rights attorneys that handle gun rights restorations on a regular basis and are worth you spending your hard earned money on. Take your time, speak with them, and choose wisely. We here at South Sound Law Group believe we are one of those firms and would enjoy the opportunity to work with you.
The other general costs are:
- The cost to obtain a WATCH report from the WSP. That can be obtained here and costs about $10-15 depending on the number of pages. Obtaining a WATCH report is your best first step when considering restoring your firearm rights. You will need it to file with the court and if you hire an attorney, they will need it as well. This is always the first step.
- Filing fee for the Superior court where you will file your petition to restore your gun rights. Because this is a new case, a filing fee is required to obtain a new case number. This usually costs around $241 depending on which court your case will be filed in.
- In some cases there may be additional costs in order to obtain certain records or proof necessary for your petition. These are rare and vary depending on what may be needed.
Finally, our office always likes to remind our clients or potential clients to consider the non-monetary costs as well. For many of our clients, the stress, the headaches, the time it takes to do the research, gather all the documents, prepare the paperwork, deal with the prosecutor, and go to court and discuss your case with the judge is well worth the peace of mind of hiring an experienced law firm to do it all for them. The not so secret secret is that you don't have to hire an attorney to restore your firearm rights. You can do it on your own. The question is, is it worth the money to hire a gun rights attorney to do it all for you and make sure it's done correctly and as quickly as possible? If your answer is yes, then please give us a call and let us get started on the process to restore your firearm rights.
If you can answer YES to all of these questions then you may be eligible to restore your firearm rights
- I do not have any criminal charges pending in any court in this state, another state, or in any federal court?
- I am not under a court restraining order, domestic violence protection order, injunction or other order, civil or criminal, which prohibits me from possessing a firearm?
- I have never been involuntarily committed for mental health treatment, in this state or any other state? Not sure, see specific statutes above
- I have never been convicted, or found "not guilty by reason of insanity" in any court of any:
- sex offense
- Class A felony
- or any other felony with a maximum sentence of at least 20 years?
- Looking at the conviction that took your gun rights, I do not have any prior felony convictions that prohibit the possession of a firearm counted as part of my offender score under RCW 9.94A.525?
- If my conviction was a felony, have I been in the community for at least 5 or more consecutive years without being convicted of any felony, misdemeanor, or gross misdemeanor?
- If my conviction was for a misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor, have I completed all of the conditions of my sentence?
- If my conviction was for a misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor, have I been in the community for at least 3 or more consecutive years without being convicted of a felony, misdemeanor, or gross misdemeanor?
If you answered Yes to all of these questions then you may be eligible to have your firearm rights restored. It is important to note that we must still do our own investigation to confirm that you meet all necessary requirements AND that all necessary documents exist and are accurate. Restoring your gun rights is a bit more complicated than the checklist may lead you to believe. Often there are a number of issues and problems that can pop up or that may delay petitioning the court.
Although you can petition the court on your own, it's our (biased) opinion that you are more likely to obtain the result you want in a faster and less stressful way if you hire an experienced gun rights attorney like us, South Sound Law Group. Our experienced legal team has helped our clients restore their firearm rights in courts all over western Washington, including Pierce county, King county, Kitsap county, and Thurston county.
The best part, when you hire us, we do all the work for you including tracking down any necessary documents, preparing all the pleadings, dealing with the prosecutors, and going to court on your behalf. That's right, you don't have to go to court!
If you are interested in learning more about restoring your firearm rights or our unique two-step process please give us a call at 253-383-3328. Our friendly legal team and skilled firearm rights attorneys are ready to help!
How can I check my firearm rights status?
As mentioned above, attempting to purchase a firearm while you are prohibited, can result in a criminal charge. Thus, attempting to purchase a gun is not the way to find out. The best course of action is hiring a local firearm rights attorney to look into everything for you. An experienced gun rights attorney will know what to ask, whom to ask, and more importantly, what information, facts, statements, to ask and what information not to divulge unless absolutely necessary.
The other option is to submit to the FBI a Voluntary Appeals File (VAF). A VAF essentially requests the FBI for a determination as to whether you would be denied, should you attempt to purchase a gun. Again, hiring an attorney to do this is always the preferred option.
In general, the FBI will return one of three responses.
- Nothing in the record to prohibit the person from purchasing a firearm
- The person is prohibited from purchasing a firearm
- A finding in the NICS system, that would inappropriately trigger a denial to purchase if you attempted. This could be as simple as a prohibited person with the same name and date of birth as you. If this occurs, often the FBI will assign you a Unique Personal Identification Number (UPIN) which you would then provide whenever you purchased a firearm.
***ALWAYS SPEAK WITH AN ATTORNEY ABOUT YOUR SPECIFIC ISSUE BEFORE ATTEMPTING TO PURCHASE A FIREARM***
If you are interested in getting your firearm rights restored give us a call at 253-383-3328 and we can get started right away.