Do You Have the Right to Bear Arms if You Are a Convicted Felony? 

Laws vary from state to state but most laws do not allow a convicted felon to have a gun.  However, there are several contingencies that may allow you to still possess a firearm if you have a felony on your record.  In Minnesota, for instance, those who were convicted of a non-violent felony are able to own a gun upon the discharge of the crime.  In this case, your gun rights are restored automatically.

Due to the Lautenberg Act federal law bans possession of firearms for those with domestic violence convictions, you can petition to have your gun rights restored after a domestic violence conviction, but you must be able to show a good cause for needing to possess the gun, however, and you’ll need an expungement in the process.

Any violent felony conviction means you cannot own a gun for life.  However, the Minnesota Personal Protection Act of 2003 states that after discharge you are eligible to have your ability to have your gun rights reinstated after petitioning the court and showing that you have been rehabilitated and are of a sound mental state.

It’s best to hire an attorney to start the process of getting your gun rights back in the state of Minnesota, especially to help decipher the federal and state law differences and how they interconnect and thus may subsequently affect your case.  However, before you obtain an attorney below are some answers to common questions to get you started.

How long does it take?

It can take seven to eight months to restore your firearm rights in the state of Minnesota depending on your individual circumstances.

Is there a fast track?

Perhaps you need your gun rights restored ASAP for a potential job.  Unfortunately, the process cannot be sped up.

Will you be required to go to court?

If you have representation you are not required to show up in court during your restoration of gun rights process.

What if I’m denied?

If your case gets denied you can reapply after three years, however, you may be able to re-apply sooner if the judge grants you the right to do so.

Do you have multiple felony convictions?

That’s okay, you are still able to have your gun rights restored as long as there is a good probable cause.

What is considered a “good cause”?

The court tends to see good cause as needing a firearm for your work, or even hunting.  Also if you prove there is no reason you shouldn’t be trusted with a gun then you are deemed to have good cause also.

There is Hope

There is still hope for you to get your gun rights back after a felony conviction.  So long as you meet the requirements and show good cause to the judge hearing your case, all is not lost.  Stay tuned to our blog for more information and helpful tips.


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