(877) 573-7273

Pennsylvania Gun And Firearm Rights Restoration FAQFrequently Asked Questions

The attorneys at RecordGone.com have answered all of the most commonly asked Pennsylvania firearm rights restoration questions. We can help you to get your firearm rights back. We offer a firearm rights restoration service as well as a free online eligibility test to check if you are eligible to regain your firearm rights.

Simply click on a question to view its answer:

Didn't find the answer you were looking for? Ask your question in the comments below so we can answer it for you!

Comments (20)

Topic: Pennsylvania Gun and Firearm Rights Restoration FAQ
Add a Comment

20th May 2015 9:07am
I have a class E felony and it was in Pennsylvania. How can i go about getting my civil rights restored. I'm trying to get my security license and this is what i was told i needed to do.
The only way currently to get your civil rights restored in Pennsylvania from a felony conviction is to apply for a pardon through the governor.  Felony convictions are not eligible for expungement, but you can apply for a pardon which if granted restores your rights and also makes you eligible for an expungement.  Please visit our PA Pardon page for more information.
Bereithany J.
18th May 2015 11:18am
I wanted to know how to restore my license to carry in Philadelphia. Years ago my firearm went missing out my basement without my knowledge, and I was told that my firearm came up in an incident. At that time I didn't even know that it was gone until i got a phone call from a detective. I never heard anything else about it, but was told that I was going loss my license. I want to restore it for employment purposes. Can you help?
Under Section 6109 of the Pennsylvania Statutes, you should have been formally notified if your license to carry  was revoked.  You said they told you it would be taken but never heard anything else, so it is possible it was not revoked - though the license has likely expired since you said this occurred years ago. You did not specify if you were convicted of any crimes, whether related to that incident or not, but if you qualify for a permit you can submit an application.  Review the qualifications on the application carefully to see if any apply to you, as lying on the application can result in arrest.  You can find the Philadelphia Permit Application and instructions on how to apply here: http://www.phillypolice.com/assets/docs/PPD-Form.Firearm-License-Application.pdf
13th May 2015 10:43pm
I had a misdemeanor 1 in PA for DUI, I was told my only option to get my gun rights back was through a pardon. While looking online I came across this article  http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/14/us/felons-finding-it-easy-to-regain-gun-rights.html

The people in this article were convicted of far worse crimes than I was, but had the state courts restore their gun rights. How were these people not subject to the federal firearms ban, and if they were how were they able to get their gun rights back without a governor's pardon? I have been researching this for years and I can never find a straight answer. The people in this article were convicted of crimes far worse than mine but were able to have a judge reinstate their gun rights? Everyone tells me my only option is to have a governor pardon, but that takes 3 years, a couple thousand dollars, and with a democrat for governor most likely will not succeed. I just want a definitive answer once and for all.
As that article states, the federal law \"essentially left the matter up to states. The federal gun restrictions would no longer apply if a state had restored a felon’s civil rights — to vote, sit on a jury and hold public office — and the individual faced no other firearms prohibitions.\"  It goes on to further elaborate that that restoration of civil rights, which \"is now central to regaining gun rights, is relatively routine, automatic in many states upon completion of a sentence. In some states, felons must also petition for a judicial order specifically restoring firearms rights. Other potential paths include a pardon from the governor or state clemency board or a “set aside”— essentially, an annulment — of the conviction.\"  

Each state is different, but for the federal ban to no longer apply, those basic civil rights must have been restored following the conviction.  In states where these rights are easily restored, either automatically or through court order, individuals can much more easily restore their firearm rights. Unfortunately in Pennsylvania, a court case several years back specifically ruled that a firearm restoration does not restore those other specified civil rights and therefore the federal government does not honor a PA rgun estoration.  To fully restore your gun rights you need to get those other civil rights restored as well, which requires a pardon from the governor. For more information on this, please see our article on the Paulshock case in PA or the PA Supreme Court opinion here.
12th May 2015 12:18am
To whom it may concern, I am originally from Omaha Nebraska but currently live in PA. In 2003 at the age of 25 I had an open container charge, first offense of any kind on my record, I paid fines, missed court spent a few weeks in jail because of it but since have had no other convictions on my record. Also in 2003 I did something stupid I was going through a divorce and I tried to overdose. I was in Council Bluffs Iowa at this time, I was transferred from one hospital to another one out in the middle of Iowa for a total hospital stay of 11 days. It was court ordered so obviously it was involuntary. How do I go about getting my federal and state gun rights lifted so I can not only buy but carry concealed? Is this possible for me or did I lose all chances? There was a bill passed into law in iowa on April 19, 2011 called Senate File 456 that stated people in my position had a chance to restore their lost rights due to involuntary commitment. How if at all can I accomplish? Thank you.
Because your involutary commitment was court ordered, you are currently prohibited under both federal law and PA law from possessing a firearm.  While you can file for a restoration in PA, you would still be federally prohibited. Unfortunately, we are not licensed in Iowa and cannot advise you on the options you have at this time that could assist you in restoring your rights. You would need to first  do something that under Iowa law lifts that federal ban - which may include the restoraion you are talking about or expunction of your involuntary commitment if they offer such a remedy. I would advise contacting an attorney in Iowa who specializes in these types of mental health/fireearm issues to see what your options are. If Iowa restores your rights or expunges your commitment, that may be the only step you need to take; or you may need to file subsequently for restoration in PA depending on what the exact relief you acquired is.
James D.
9th May 2015 5:20am
I filed for a concealed weapons permit and was denied for "psychiatric-institutionalization." As far as I know, one must be admitted involuntarily, which I never was. Only once, for three days, did I self-admit for depression. I am a disabled Vietnam Vet, a retired Federal RN, and have NO criminal history. What are my options, if any?
The standard required to obtain a concealed weapons permit is higher than the standard to be able to purchase and possess a firearm. The statute governing the concealed carry license states that it should not be issued to \"an individual who is not of sound mind or who has ever been committed to a mental institution.\"  It does not specifically state involuntary and that section of the statute leaves some discretion to the local sheriffs who make the decision to grant or deny these applications.  Regarding your options following this denial, you can appeal the denial through the county court.  I would also advise you to first ensure the records from your voluntary admission are clear that it was voluntary and also ensure that you are not currently in violation of any laws by possessing a firearm, which may be the case if they considered that commitment involuntary. Otherwise it is a matter of meeting the higher standard required for a conceal weapons permit and may require appealing the sheriff\'s decision with the court if you believe he abused his discretion by denying your application. 
9th April 2015 8:37am
I had 2 DUIs resulting in a M1. PA law says 3 or more within 5 years is disabling for firearms. I only had 2, but under that it says were you ever convicted of a crime of which you could have served more than 2 years in jail. I am pretty sure an M1 is 5 years max.  I didnt get any jail time. So basically under state law I'm not prohibited, but I am under federal law? Can someone please help me!
Yes, unfortunately you have correctly summarized the PA and federal law on the subject of DUIs and M1 convictions.  Under the federal law, a Misdemeanor 1, because it is punished by a maximum of 5 years regardless of the actual sentence imposed, it is treated like a felony for the federal firearm law.  Therefore if one or both of your DUIs was graded as an M1 you are banned from possessing a firearm under the federal law.  At this time, a PA restoration does not lift the federal ban if granted.  The only option currently available to lift the federal ban resulting from a PA conviction is to seek a pardon in Pennsylvania for those disabling convictions.
15th May 2015 9:53pm
I had an M1 for DUI in PA. Being that I am only prohibited under federal law and not state law, if I was to get a pardon would I still have to go to court for a firearms restoration for PA or would the ban automatically be lifted upon grant of the pardon?  And if I was to go through with the pardon process, how long does it take for the case to be heard, I've heard as long as 4 years? Is it possible to expedite it or is it going to take years regardless?
Unfortunately, the pardon process does take approximately four years currently and there is no way to expedite it.  If you do receive a pardon for your M1 DUI conviction, your firearm rights would be automatically restored; you would not need to separately file for a firearm restoration.  Your gun rights would be restored with the pardon, and your case would also be eligible to be completed expunged, but that extra step would require filing a petition with the court following the pardon.
27th January 2015 10:14pm
I received a felony in New Jersey when I was 18 but after trial I was given pre trial intervention, and after completing community service and fines it was changed to a non conviction. I now live in Pennsylvania but New Jersey has more strict laws. I couldn't get a license to carry permit in PA because of it for some reason but can I still own a gun for home protection?
Without reviewing the records from your case and knowing the specific offenses involved and the sentence it is difficult to say.  However, if you were through trial it sounds like you were most likely convicted and did not receive Pretrial Intervention in NJ, because that is something you would have received before trial and should not affect your firearm rights.  The standard does differ between being able to possess a firearm and receiving a permit to carry a concealed weapon.  We can review your case documents to review you eligibility to purchase a firearm in PA and also whether your NJ case is eligible to be expunged.  Please contact us to discuss this further.
4th January 2015 10:31am
I was convicted of a simple possession charge in 2005 and did 6 months probation. The conviction does not prohibit me from owning firearms at all as I own several and passed multiple background checks to purchase them. My problem is that under Pennsylvania law I can't receive a license to carry firearms. Is there anyway to have my right/privilege to carry a firearm restored?
If you can currently possess a firearm in Pennsylvania but you are seeking to restore your abilitiy to receive a license to carry under PA Code section 6109, pursuant to section 6123, a governor\'s pardon of that conviction would remove that disability. Please view our pardon service page for more information on a pardon in Pennsylvania: http://www.recordgone.com/expungement-pennsylvania/pardon/
3rd January 2015 12:31am
My roommate filled out an application to buy a firearm. He misread one of the questions on the application and now they want to charge him with a felony. He was convicted of a misdemeanor over ten years ago. When he was a juvenile he held a knife to his step father in self defense. Can you please tell me what his option may be?
Please call us toll free to discuss specifics of the case at 877-573-7273.   You can also have your friend to take the free online expungement eligibility test.
31st October 2014 2:31pm
I'm 43 years old. When I was 19, I was convicted of a prohibited weapons misdemeanor 1, possession without a permit, and a DUI misdemeanor 2. I have not been in trouble in 23 years. Can I ever purchase guns again?
Jenna Thorne
26th November 2014 8:51pm
Unfortunately, the federal felon firearm ban applies to If you were convicted of an M1 in PA. This is because the maximum penalty for an M1 is 5 years and is therefore treated like a felony under the Federal firearm law. Your best option would be to apply for a pardon from the Governor of Pennsylvania. Please see more information on PA Pardons here: http://www.recordgone.com/expu...
Ryan Frasnelli
13th October 2014 10:12pm
I have two different charges for possession with intent to deliver marijuana (the most recent was on February 21, 2006). Does that mean that I have lost my gun rights in Pennsylvania? If I did lose my gun rights, would I be able to get them back?
10th October 2014 11:26am
I was 302'ed as a minor in Pennsylvania. Is there any chance of getting my gun rights restored? It has been 14 years since the charge.
8th October 2014 2:19pm
I got a misdemeanor for carrying without a license, but it was my registered gun and it was loaded in the trunk of my car. I have no felonies and I am an army veteran with two tours in Iraq. I got an honorable discharge and have multiple awards. I haven\'t been in trouble with the law since the conviction 7 years ago and I just want to know if I can get my rights restored.
Jenna Thorne
8th October 2014 10:56pm
Without additional information regarding exactly what you were convicted of, I cannot say for sure if you can get your rights restored. However, a conviction under Section 6106 (carrying without a license) in Pennsylvania generally is either a 3rd degree Felony or a Misdemeanor 1. If you were convicted of an M1, the federal firearm prohibition applies to you, and a PA restoration does not lift the federal ban at this time. Your best option in that case would be to apply for a pardon in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.If you were convicted of a lower level misdemeanor and believe your rights are prohibited in PA but not under federal law, there is generally a 10 year waiting period before you can apply for the restoration in PA court.
Frank Zane
1st October 2014 7:03pm
I have an M1 from 1982 and an M2 from 1984. I pleaded guilty to both counts and served no prison time. For the M1, I was given 2 years probation, and for the M2, I paid restitution. The M2 case was closed 15 years ago. I have been a model citizen since then, working in a professional environment for 24 years straight. I have plenty of references and no arrests since the M2 terminated 15 years ago. What are the chances of restoring my gun rights since its been more than 24 years since that M1 probation was over with? Thank you.
Jenna Thorne
8th October 2014 9:23pm
Hello Frank, unfortunately a firearm rights restoration in Pennsylvania will not fully restore your gun rights. A Misdemeanor 1 conviction in PA is punishable by up to five years imprisonment. Because the maximum penalty (regardless of what sentence you received) is greater than 2 years confinement, an M1 conviction is treated as a felony for the purposes of the federal firearm prohibition. A PA gun restoration does not lift the federal ban. Therefore, currently the only way to fully restore your PA gun rights is to apply for a pardon. Please see our page on pardons here: http://www.recordgone.com/expu...
11th July 2014 11:39pm
I have a felony 3, firearms not to be carried without a license. What are my chances of getting my firearm restored?
16th July 2014 8:33pm
What was the felony for and when did it occur?

Add Comment

Please use this section to ask questions about the law, our law firm or our services. If you have questions about your particular situation or wish to hire us to perform a service, please take the online eligibility test, read our website's extensive frequently asked question section or call us at (877) 573-7273.

Questions about your right to possess a firearm in a state other than the state where the conviction occurred generally require research for which we charge $250.

* Required information
(never displayed)
Instantly find out if you're eligible on our Eligibility Test