In the State of California, laws are in place governing the possession of firearms. There also are Federal laws in place that can make it difficult for an individual to own a gun. People do have the right to possess a firearm in California, under the Second Amendment, but an individual can have that right taken away for specific reasons. For example, if someone is convicted of a crime, specifically certain misdemeanors, including brandishing a weapon, assault or making criminal threats, he or she no longer will be allowed to own a gun often for a period of 10 years. Furthermore, certain felony convictions will leave a person banned from owning a gun for life. Individuals in California also may not possess a gun, by law, if they under the age of 18; have a mental illness; are addicted to narcotics; or are prohibited to possess a gun through a court order, probation, or the Federal government.
Who may have gun rights restored?
Restoring the right to bear arms is a complex process that may or may not be successful.
However, someone convicted of certain crimes may be able to possess a gun again in California. Gun rights may be restored for a person as long as his or her conviction was not for a felony, specifically involving a deadly weapon or domestic violence, and a certain amount of time has gone by. Someone may have his or her rights to own a gun restored if he or she is eligible for the reduction of a “wobbler” felony conviction to a misdemeanor conviction or by receiving a California governor’s pardon.
How to receive a Governor’s Pardon?
To receive a pardon from the governor of California to again be able to bear arms through the Second Amendment, the individual must apply for it. If someone lives outside of California, he or she must directly apply for the pardon and if he or she was convicted of sex offenses, that were misdemeanors, he or she must directly apply to the governor for the pardon. Others can petition the superior court for a pardon from the governor. That petition, if found acceptable, is then forwarded as a petition for a pardon from the governor of California. The governor may deny or grant the petition, at his or her own discretion. To be considered for the pardon, in general, a person must have lived at least seven years in the State of California and have had a clean record for at least the past decade.
Am I eligible to possess a firearm right now?
Those who wish to know if they are or are not eligible to possess a firearm in California at this time are able to find out if they can legally have a gun. An individual can check his or her eligibility status by contacting the California Department of Justice. When checking on eligibility, a person does not need to let the California Department of Justice know if he or has the firearm already in their possession. It does cost $20 for the eligibility check. An application is available on the California Department of Justice’s website. It is called the personal firearms eligibility check application form. If you are found not to be eligible to possess a firearm in California, contact my office for a free consultation concerning this matter. I can answer your questions when it comes to if your Second Amendment Rights may be restorable now or in the future.