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Can a Felon Buy a Gun in Michigan?


Can a Felon Buy a Gun in Michigan?

A question that always seems to be asked is, can a felon buy a gun in Michigan?

Simply put, it’s unlawful for a person convicted of a felony to possess, carry or use a firearm unless their right to possess, carry or use the firearm has been restored. If their firearm rights haven’t been restored, they can be charged and convicted of another felony, for which the maximum penalty is five (5) years in prison.

So, how does a felon restore their firearm rights?

Working to get your gun rights restored? Need expungement to get them back? Request a free consultation now.
can a felon buy a gun in michiganThere are two ways, and it depends upon the original felony that was committed:

1.) If the felony is one of the following, then a restoration process must be held:

If you’ve been convicted of one or more of the above felonies and five (5) years have expired after you’ve successfully completed all terms of parole or probation, including all fines paid, you can apply for a firearms restoration by doing the following:

1. Apply to County Licensing Board

Apply to the concealed weapons licensing board in the county you live in. Metro Detroit County links are below. They will schedule a hearing.

If you can clearly and convincingly prove that your record and reputation are such that it’s not likely that you’ll act in a manner that’s dangerous to the public in any way at a county gun board hearing, the gun board must restore your rights to possess, use, purchase and carry a firearm.

If in the event they deny the application, you’re entitled to appeal the decision to the circuit court.

2. Restoring Gun Rights for Non-Specified Felony

If the conviction is any other felony not specifically listed above, then your firearm rights are automatically restored after the following conditions have been meet:

  • The expiration of three (3) years
  • Successful completion of all conditions or probation or parole.

A county gun board hearing is not required.

Further, this procedure also applies to federal misdemeanor gun possession charges. Therefore, if a person has fully restored their gun possession rights it provides a defense to Federal Firearm Possession pursuant to Title 18 of the United States Code Section 921(a)(20). This defense applies if the restoration is automatic or through a gun board hearing.

State Gun Rights vs. Federal Gun Rights

Please be advised that if your state gun rights have been restored, that doesn’t mean your federal rights have been restored. Each case must be evaluated individually to determine exclusions under federal law.

Some offenses will be and others will not.

The question then becomes, under what circumstances do federal law enforcement authorities enforce federal firearm statutes?

So can a felon buy a gun in Michigan? Yes. But your best chance of getting your gun rights restored is by working with a skilled attorney.

Working to get your gun rights restored? Need expungement to get them back? Request a free consultation now.


Barton Morris
Barton Morris has been providing high-quality legal representation in the area of state and federal criminal defense for more than 20 years.
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