From Felonies to Firearms: Regaining Your Second Amendment Rights in Washington State

From Felonies to Firearms: Regaining Your Second Amendment Rights in Washington State

On April 10th, 2023, A 62-year-old man named Mark Dicara from Lake Barrington, Illinois, accidentally shot himself in the leg while dreaming that he was defending his home against an intruder. Mr. Dicara used his .357 Magnum revolver to fire the shot, mistakenly injuring himself instead. Authorities confirmed there was no attempted burglary or intruder at Mr. Dicara’s residence. When emergency services arrived at the scene, they found Mr. Dicara with a gunshot wound and he was provided immediate medical assistance. Further investigation revealed that Mr. Dicara did not possess the required Firearm Owners Identification card to legally own a gun in Illinois as it had been revoked previously. Due to this circumstance, Mr. Dicara was arrested and charged with crimes regarding unlawful possession of a firearm.

Mr. Dicara finds himself in an unfortunate scenario, and if one does not take care to abide by the law in regards to unlawful possession they may find themselves encountering similar criminal charges. Thankfully, individuals in the state of Washington who have lost their gun rights due to previous criminal convictions or other legal concerns may be able to pursue avenues that lead to gun rights restoration. Possessing guns in the state of Washington while restricted can lead to serious criminal charges, and if you want to protect yourself from a situation like the one Mr. Dicara is facing, pursuing a firearm restoration can benefit you greatly. The Law office of Erin Bradley McAleer has completed hundreds of firearm restorations, giving us the experience needed to make the process efficient and expedient.

Understanding Firearm Restrictions in Washington State

Fortunately, there is a pathway provided for individuals in the state of Washington to restore their gun rights after disqualification with some eligibility requirements, which are as follows:

  • No pending state or federal charges.
  • No active warrants or orders in the state of Washington.
  • No Class A Felony convictions in the state of Washington.
  • 5 years of no additional convictions after your last felony conviction.
  • 3 years of no additional convictions after your last misdemeanor conviction.
  • All and conditions of each conviction in your history are completed.

Felony Convictions: For individuals disqualified from firearm ownership due to a felony conviction, the restoration process involves petitioning the superior court in the county where they reside or the county the convictions occurred in. It is important to note that some violent felony offenses may impose additional restrictions on gun rights restoration.

Domestic Violence Convictions: Individuals barred from firearm possession due to a domestic violence conviction may also seek gun rights restoration. In such cases, the individual can petition the court where the domestic violence conviction occurred or the superior court in their county of residence. Similar to felony cases, the court will evaluate factors such as the severity of the offense, the petitioner’s criminal history, and any evidence of rehabilitation.

Federal Convictions: Convictions involving federal law are not eligible for firearm restoration as there is no available process for it. Even if you restore your gun rights at the state level, federal restrictions will still be in effect. For example, if you’re hunting on federal land and a federal officer stops you, you will likely be placed under arrest.

Mental Health Commitments: For individuals whose firearm rights were taken due to mental health commitments, they would possibly lose their gun rights should a conviction follow. The petitioner must show that they no longer pose a significant risk to themselves or others, and that restoring their gun rights would not jeopardize public safety. The court will review the evidence, including mental health evaluations and treatment records, to make an informed decision.

How We Can Help You

The restoration of gun rights in Washington State is a complex and nuanced process, which is why an attorney who is both knowledgeable and experienced in handling firearm restoration cases can be incredibly beneficial. They can provide personalized guidance, navigate the legal complexities, and maximize the chances of a successful restoration petition. The Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer has a team of attorneys ready to help you restore your rights to possess a firearm, using their knowledge and experience to make the process as smooth as possible.

Call the Law office of Erin Bradley McAleer today at (360) 334-6277 to see if you are eligible for restoring your firearm rights.

How Does the New Washington Assault Weapons Ban Affect You? (What You Should Look Out For)

Assault Weapons Ban in Washington

Assault Weapons Ban in Washington

As of Saturday, April 8th, House Bill 1240 was passed by the Washington State Senate, enacting an Assault Weapons Ban in Washington that prohibits the sale and manufacture of what is defined as “assault weapons.” The bill doesn’t have a clear definition of what an “assault weapon” is; rather, it lists a variety of makes and models under the umbrella term of “assault weapons.”

What does an assault weapons ban mean for you in Washington?

Until the law is in effect, the general public will still be able to buy and sell assault weapons. In fact, gun sales have risen over 400% in the past few days as the news of the bill passing has spread and people flock to gun stores in order to purchase guns. What the bill doesn’t do is ban the ownership or possession of assault weapons, so owning an assault weapon prior to the bill going into effect won’t be in violation of the new law.

What if I lost my firearm rights?

If you have lost your firearm rights due to a prior conviction, now may be the most opportune time to restore your gun rights. The second amendment is an important symbol of liberty in the State of Washington, and the Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer strongly believes in the right to possess. However, the process to restore your gun rights in Washington can be nuanced and technical in nature and an experienced attorney is highly recommended for such a task.

What are my next steps in restoring my rights Against Assault Weapons Ban in Washington?

Hiring an attorney is one of the best methods to ensure that all necessary steps are taken in order to restore your firearm rights in an effective and efficient manner. The Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer handles numerous firearm restoration cases each month and has the knowledge and experience to get the job done right the first time. We will give you a straightforward path to restoring your firearm rights and guide you every step of the way.

What does the process look like?

Your attorney will draft up a petition along with the other necessary court pleadings, communicating with you along the way and gathering necessary information which will go before a judge. Once the paperwork has been reviewed and approved by you, the paperwork will be filed and a court date will be screened. An attorney will be able to assist you from start to finish without you even ever having to step foot in a courtroom. Once the judge signs the order, the attorney will reach out to you and let you know that your rights to firearms have been restored.

What happens when my gun rights are restored?

The next step you should take once you have the order that reinstates your gun rights is to apply for a concealed weapons permit. Through this application you are able to check if there are any other obstacles preventing you from possessing, purchasing, or selling firearms. It is important to note that depending on your conviction your gun rights may be restored at the state level but not at the federal level. This is because there is no federal firearm restoration process at the time, the only process is available at state level. Due to this circumstance, federal restrictions to your gun ownership may still apply. One of our specialized attorneys will help you better understand the types of restrictions that you are under based on your prior conviction.

We do not handle the following areas in relation to firearm restoration

  • The restoration of firearm rights in areas outside of Washington State
  • FBI related gun right issues
  • Firearm restoration regarding Federal convictions
  • NCIS Appeals

Get in touch now with the Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer if you have any additional questions in regards to restoring your firearm rights. Now is the best time to ensure that your freedoms are protected and one of our highly qualified attorneys will be happy to assist you.

How Do I Get My Firearm or Gun Rights Back or Restored?

Restoring firearm rights in Washington

Restoring firearm rights in Washington

Enough Time Passed Since My Conviction, Why Can’t I Buy a Gun?

The second amendment is a symbol of liberty that many people in Washington state value. Firearms are used for a number of purposes whether used recreationally or for self-defense. Losing your right to bear arms due to a past conviction can be upsetting, and even if at least five years have passed without receiving another conviction, you may discover that your right to bear arms is not automatically restored. While many believe their gun rights get reinstated after a certain period of time, this is simply not the case. The state of Washington requires a set of pleadings including a petition to restore those rights to be filed with the court. The process of restoring one’s firearm rights is a very specific process in which the correct paperwork needs to be filed and also provided to the state by delivering corresponding paperwork to the Prosecutor’s office. Hiring an attorney is one of the most effective ways of making sure all necessary steps are taken. The Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer handles multiple firearm restorations every week and are highly experienced in this area, providing you with a simple and effective path to Restoring firearm rights in Washington.

What does the Firearm Restoration Process entail?

In retaining our firm to complete the firearm restoration process we would be able to handle your case from start to finish without you ever needing to step foot into a courtroom. In doing this process, you would only need to keep contact with your attorney to sign a petition restoring your gun rights and your attorney will reach back out to you once we have received a signed order from the Judge, restoring your firearm rights. If you have your gun rights restored at the state level you may want to know what your restrictions are under federal law. Depending on your conviction you may be able to restore your gun rights at the state level, but you will still be under restrictions federally. You may also be restricted to being able to carry only certain types of firearms. There are other key factors that play into the complexity of restoring your gun rights such as mental health and the seriousness of the charge. One of our specialized and trained attorneys will help you to understand what sorts of restrictions you have been placed under and help you navigate this complicated process.

After Restoring firearm rights in Washington, what should I do now?

The best step to take once you have an order reinstating you with your gun rights is to apply for a concealed weapons permit, this will allow you assess if there are any further barriers or issues preventing you from owning, purchasing, or using firearms. As mentioned before you may be able to restore gun rights on the state level, however federal restrictions may still be in effect. For example if you’re hunting on federal land and a federal officer stops you, you will likely be placed under arrest. Understanding your restrictions is crucial in keeping yourself safe under the law. It is also important to keep in mind it may take a few weeks for information to be entered or submitted with the FBI.

If I live in the State of Washington but I have convictions in another state can my gun rights be restored in the State of Washington?

Yes, you have the potential to restore your gun rights if you have convictions in other states but you must find an attorney licensed in the state in which you received your conviction. For example, if you received a conviction in Tennessee which is preventing you from acquiring firearms but live in the state of Washington, you must look for an attorney that practices in the state of Tennessee to help you restore your gun rights. Each state will vary on their rules and regulations on gun rights and eligibility on reinstating those rights so it is important to find a skilled and licensed attorney who will be most suited to help you. The Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer is only licensed to provide the firearm restoration process in the State of Washington. If you are unsure where your convictions occur, pulling a Washington State Patrol Background Check would be a great place to start.

Is vacating or expunging my record and getting a firearm restoration the same thing or included in the process?

No, a firearm restoration is NOT the same as vacating or expunging a conviction. If you are wanting more information on vacating a conviction versus a firearm restoration we would be happy to further provide that information. We provide both services but they vary depending on the desired outcome. To put it simply, a firearm restoration’s main objective is to reinstate one’s gun rights while vacating convictions asserts that certain conditions and requirements have been met, dismissing the convictions. One or both services can be done and if you are interested about one or both services you can speak to an attorney specializing in this area to help you achieve your desired outcome.

In regards to firearm restorations we do not handle the following areas:

  • The restoration of firearms in any State other than Washington 
  • Issues pertaining to gun rights and the FBI
  • Issues pertaining to the restoration of gun rights of Federal convictions
  • NICS Appeals

Contact the Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer for any further inquiries regarding firearm rights restoration and one of our experienced attorneys will be happy to help.