Howson Law Office

Every person convicted of a felony offense and certain other crimes (such as domestic violence assault) loses his or her right to own or possess firearms upon sentencing. In most instances you may restore these rights if you spend five consecutive years without further convictions and you do not have on your record other crimes by which you lost those rights.  (There are other requirements but this is the primary one.) However, firearm rights lost by a conviction for a class “A” felony or a sex offense may not be restored.

When a person completes all the requirements of a FELONY sentence including financial obligations, (s)he may apply for a “certificate of discharge.”  In many jurisdictions these are automatically applied for by the community service department (probation/parole).  If you have been convicted of a felony you should ask them if they do this automatically or if you need to apply. 

A “certificate of discharge” acknowledges that the person has completed all obligations and restores their civil rights.  However, despite the fact that the certificate says that it restores ALL civil rights lost by conviction, it does NOT restore the person’s right to possess firearms.  That must be done by separate petition.

The issuance of the certificate of discharge starts the clock for restoring firearm rights.  That is, the five year time period for remaining crime free begins at that point and you may apply for restoration five years from that date.

Restoration of Firearms
At Howson law, we charge a flat fee for restoration of firearm rights.  A small part of the fee is accepted at the beginning to finance the research necessary to determine whether the person truly qualifies and for us to be confident that a judge will sign an order to that affect at the hearing. Once we have done that, the client is notified and the petition will be prepared and processed upon payment of the remainder of the fee.   If we determine that the person is not qualified, then he/she does not owe the balance. This allows the client to determine his eligibility without paying the entire fee and he/she may also determine the timing of the action according to his or her financial abilities. 
DISCLAIMER: This site contains general information only. It is not intended to provide legal advice, nor does it substitute for the professional judgment of the Howson Law Office attorneys concerning the facts and laws that apply in your individual case. For legal advice, please call Howson Law Office at 360.336.8722.
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Howson Law Office - 415 Pine Street - Mount Vernon, WA, 98273 / Email / Phone 360.336.8722 / Fax 360.336.0987
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