pistol picIn the state of Michigan, it is 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 have not been restored they can be charged and convicted of another felony for which the maximum penalty is five years in prison. How does a felon restore their firearm rights? There are two ways and it depends upon the original felony that was committed.

First, if the felony is one of the following then a restoration process must be held:

–          Any felony involving the unlawful possession, distribution, or manufacture of a controlled substance

–          Any felony involving the unlawful possession of a firearm

–          Any felony involving the unlawful use of an explosive

–          Burglary or breaking and entering of a occupied home

–          Any felony that involves harming or assaulting another person

–          Arson

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

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

Oakland County Board, Wayne County Board, Macomb County Board

At a county gun board hearing if you can clearly and convincingly prove that your record and reputation are such that it is not likely that you will act in a manner that is dangerous to the public in any way the gun board MUST restore your rights to possess, use, purchase and carry a firearm.

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If in the event they deny the application you are entitled to appeal the decision to the circuit court.

Second, 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 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.

Please be advised that if your state gun rights have been restored that does not 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 becomes under what circumstances do federal law enforcement authorities enforce federal firearm statutes.

At the time of first publishing this blog federal enforcement directives were clear. At this time each case must be evaluated individually before this office can advise on the restoration of state gun rights.

If you, or a loved one, needs an attorney to assist with the restoration of firearm rights in the Metro Detroit counties of Oakland, Wayne or Macomb contact attorney Barton Morris at (248) 541-2600.