How Can A Convicted Felon Receive Firearm Rights?


Convicted felons often lose the right to freedom and spend time in prison. In addition to prison time, when they are released, they are unable to own any type of firearm or ammunition, regardless of their crime. This makes it impossible for a prior felon to go back to hobbies such as hunting or skeet shooting. However, a law has recently passed that may allow prior felons to possess a firearm.

Restoring The Right To Own A Firearm

A person with a prior felony may be able to own a firearm once again if they are able to get their record expunged. This process is easier if they were convicted in a state court and not by the federal government.

If the federal government was involved, an application must be filed with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives or the US Attorney’s office. Certain conditions also apply:

– It must be 20 years since incarceration ended and the conviction must not have been for a “forcible” felony.
– The reputation and criminal history of the applicant must show no acts that would be considered dangerous to the safety of the public.
– The right to bear firearms must be congruent to federal law or the public interest.

One of the best ways to do this is by having a documented work history that’s stable. In addition, a presidential pardon will also restore firearm rights.


A federal pardon will also allow a prior felon to own a firearm. The process for a pardon can begin after it has been five years since the end of incarceration. This requires a clean criminal record and three letters of recommendation from non-immediate family members. In addition, the seriousness of the crime and time spent incarcerated will also be considered.

Documentation must be reviewed and submitted to a state governor or the President with a recommendation. The documentation must state why clemency is being sought after. It also helps to have a record of involvement in charitable activities or community service.

Family and Legal Support

Hunting is a positive way to enjoy the outdoors and obtain meat. For a prior felon, it may have been a hobby that they enjoyed before they were convicted. It’s important for family members to provide support for an individual who is trying to reestablish their right to own a firearm.

In addition to family support, a prior felon should also consult with an attorney to help them with the process of restoring their rights. An attorney has the expertise and knowledge required to obtain and complete the application and documents that are required to receive a pardon.

It can be a lot of work, but the end reward is worth it if a person gets their gun rights back.