Being arrested and charged with criminal activity can be quite an ordeal. Once you have been through it, your main goal may then be to simply put the pieces of your life in Roanoke back together. Many in your same situation have come to see us here at Robert F. Rider, PLC asking if gun ownership is still an option for them. Their (and your) interest in owning a firearm is understandable (such a right is constitutional); at the same time, you may find such a right (along with many others) to be restricted due to the circumstances surrounding your criminal ordeal.
Indeed, state and federal laws do prohibit owning a firearm after one has been convicted of a felony. According to the website for the Virginia State Police Force, however, there are scenarios where that right can be restored. The first is if you have been pardoned by the state and its executive order does not place any restrictions on you going forward. The remaining scenarios are:
- The state Circuit Court in which you were convicted grants you permission to own a firearm with the endorsement of the Governor or the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms
- The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms endorses your owning a gun following your having paid your criminal penalties after a felony conviction in federal court
- The governor in the state in which you were convicted of a felony endorses your owing a gun
One important thing to remember: if your rights are restored at the state level, you still may need to petition to have your gun ownership rights restored at the federal level, as well. More information on owning a firearm after a criminal conviction can be found here on our site.