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 Dicara did not possess the required Firearm Owners Identification card to legally own a gun in Illinois as it had been revoked previously.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.