Federal and Washington State law varies in terms of the restoration of your firearm possession rights following a conviction for a felony or domestic violence. Under Washington law, various felonies or misdemeanors conviction, including domestic violence convictions, will render an individual unable to legally possess a firearm. In order to restore your firearm possession rights, your petition must be filed in Washington State court. If an individual has been convicted of a felony or certain misdemeanors and that individual is caught possessing a firearm without first restoring their firearm possession rights, they could be charged with felony possession under state law.
Even if that person does not personally own a firearm post-conviction, that individual could still be charged with felony possession by merely living with another person who owns a firearm because of its mere presence in the shared home.
It is important to bear in mind that Federal firearms law has a different standard for what may render a person ineligible to possess a firearm that is narrower than Washington’s definition. This means that it is possible to lose your firearm possession rights under Washington State law while retaining them under Federal law. This also means that you should consult an attorney to determine whether taking a certain plea deal may result in you being pulled into the federal definition of domestic violence because federal law does not provide any avenue for restoring your firearm possession rights.
Restoration of your firearm possession rights depends on (1) the length of time since the conviction and (2) what the underlying conviction was for. The following table will help explain:
|Underlying conviction||Years since conviction||Other requirements||Restoration possible?|
|Eligible Felony conviction OR finding of not guilty by reason of insanity for the felony||5+ years||No subsequent conviction of a felony or not guilty by reason of insanity||Yes|
|Non felony (misdemeanor) conviction or finding of not guilty by reason of insanity||3+ years||This includes assault in the fourth degree (domestic violence)||Yes|
|Class A felony conviction or sex offense||N/A||N/A||No|
Whether you are being charged with a felony or misdemeanor, including domestic violence,which you believe may result in the loss of your firearm possession rights or you are seeking help with restoring your firearm possession rights post-conviction for a felony or misdemeanor, such as for domestic violence, The Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer can help! Call us at (360) 334-6277 to set up a consultation today.