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Washington Firearm Rights Restoration FAQ Frequently Asked Questions

This page was designed to help our clients better understand our Washington Firearm Rights Restoration service. You will find answers to the questions we are most frequently asked. If your question is related to eligibility requirements please take the free online eligibility test.



How long does the process take?

Typically, the process takes three to four months, depending on your particular circumstances, the court’s workload at the time of your petition, and whether there are any objections from the government.

We base our estimates of how long a case will take on how long the average is for that service in that state. However, some cases can take less or more time depending on the facts of the case, whether the District Attorney is agreeing or objecting, the age of the case, etc. We work on your case as fast as we can and assist the court and District Attorney in anything they need to get your case heard.

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Can the process be done faster?

The courts work on a first-come, first-served basis. Therefore, the sooner you sign up, the sooner the case is heard and decided. If you are applying for a job that requires you to use a gun (e.g., law enforcement), we would be glad to write your employer or potential employer a letter letting them know we are in the process of getting your gun rights restored.

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How do I know what is going on with my case?

We have an online tracking system that is just for your case(s). You will have a user name and password for the account, which will have the information specific to the case. Whenever anything happens in your case, we post the information in your online account so that you can view the status of the case and the progress that is made. If there is no post on your online account, then that means that there is no update in the case. For example, once we update your online account to reflect that we have filed the motion with the court we will update the notes when we hear a response from the court or District Attorney. Depending on the court, a case can take several weeks to months to hear from the court or District Attorney whether there is an objection, hearing, or anything else. If something is taking longer than usual for the court, we will call to obtain status of the case and update your online notes. In addition to posting the status updates in your online account, we will post your case information in the case information so you are aware of the case and future hearings.

Moreover, we post your contract and payment plan information on the online account for you so that you can view all the information and print the necessary content.

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What are my chances of success?

Determining an individual's chances of success is difficult to answer without researching your case. Whether or not you would be eligible and your chances of success will depend on your individual circumstances—what you are applying for, the types of conviction or convictions you have, etc. We charge a small fee to do a research to evaluate whether you are eligible as well as your chances of success; after that, you can decide whether you want to move forward. If you decide to move forward, we would apply the cost of the research/evaluation to the total cost of the service.

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Do I have to go to court?

If there is a hearing, a licensed attorney from our firm will attend the hearing to represent you, whether or not you will be present. Sometimes a court will require you to be present at the hearing as well. If you cannot attend a scheduled hearing, we will request that your presence be excused or request for the hearing to be rescheduled—this will be a part of our service, at no additional costs to you.

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How does the attorney know my case details?

We will request the court records of your case, your criminal history, and whatever else is necessary for your attorney to fully understand your case and your overall background. Your attorney will also rely on whatever information you can provide us. After you sign up for a service, we will request you to fill out an online questionnaire in your personal online account. Although some of the questions may seem simple, the more information and details you can provide in your answers the better we are able to help you.

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Do I have to do anything?

This depends on your particular case. In most cases, our clients do not have to do much more than simply be patient for the result. To better prepare your case and present your case to the court, we may ask you to sign or notarize certain documents (such as an affidavit or authorization for release of medical records) and then mail back to us.

Sometimes, the judge may also require that you personally attend a hearing or submit a mental evaluation in order for him or her to make a decision on your gun restoration.

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Do I need to hire an attorney or can I restore my firearm rights on my own?

Like most other things, you are not prohibited from attempting to restore your gun rights yourself. That said, this is a very complicated area of the law and involves both state and federal law. Recent events in the news (such as the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut) have made restoring firearm rights even more complicated. Because of this, we would highly suggest that you have legal representation for the restoration process—whether you seek representation from our firm or another.

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What if my case was dismissed after the successful completion of a deferred sentence or probation sentence?

Any conviction that was dismissed following a deferred is still counted as a “conviction” for purposes of WA state law on gun possession. RCW 9.41.040(3). But, if the person’s case was dismissed under 9.95.240, he not prohibited under WA state law from gun possession, whether or not it is considered a “conviction” (unless it was an offense for murder, manslaughter, etc.). RCW 9.41.040(4).

That said, the above only applies to WA state law. Under the separate federal ban, a person is still federally prohibited as long as he was “convicted”. So, even though 9.41.040 says that a person whose case was dismissed under 9.95.240 does not lose gun possession, the statute doesn’t actually say that it is not a conviction. Under subsection 9.41.040 (3) anything that was dismissed following a deferred is still considered a “conviction”.

So, because a dismissal under 9.95.240 may still be considered a “conviction” under the federal ban to be safe it is best to apply for the gun restoration.

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Does my disposition of guilty or no contest matter?

No, your disposition does not matter. The process of petitioning the court to restore your gun rights is the same whether you pled guilty or pled no contest to the crime that resulted in your gun rights being taken away. You just need to satisfy the other requirements for restoring your gun rights.

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What happens after my gun rights are restored?

You will receive a court order restoring your gun rights. The court will update its records and send a copy of the order to the Washington Department of Licensing, so that the restriction on your gun rights is removed.

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How long do records take to be updated?

The court is usually the first to update its records. The Department of Licensing and other offices/agencies will only update its records once it receives a copy of the court order (which is usually within 3 business days). Keeping a certified copy of the order for your own records in case you need to provide it in the future when you apply for a gun permit is best.

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Do you have a money back guarantee?

We are unable to offer a money back guarantee and also offer such low prices for our services at the same time. The process involves a substantial amount of preparation and sometimes several appearances in court by our attorneys.

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Do you have payment plans?

We can create a payment plan that meets your needs. We typically spread payments into equal monthly amounts. Please view the pricing for details regarding payment plans.

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What if I don’t know exactly what is on my record?

We will be glad to work with you to get a copy of your criminal record and to review what can be done. We charge a researching fee and we apply that to the total cost of any service that you hire us to perform.

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Can I restore my gun rights and vacate the conviction at the same time?

Yes, although there is no guarantee that you will be granted one or the other. Restoring your gun rights and vacating your conviction are two entirely different procedures with different requirements. However, we will offer a discount on the gun rights restoration if you sign up for vacating as well.

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What is the main reason that a request to restore firearm rights is denied?

Requests are denied for the following reasons: (1) an inaccuracy in the court file, (2) an inaccuracy in your criminal records, or (3) you are otherwise not eligible to restore your gun rights.

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What if my case is denied?

If the case is denied, we will carefully evaluate the reason for the denial and determine the best way to proceed, which may include re-filing or a recommendation that you wait longer to refile.

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Can I restore my firearm rights if I was convicted of a federal crime?

Yes. You can petition a Washington court to restore your gun rights in Washington even if your restriction stems from a federal crime, as long as you satisfy the requirements of the applicable Washington law.

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Does it matter if my conviction was for domestic violence?

Washington law allows you to petition to restore your gun rights even if you have had a domestic violence conviction. This will also lift the Lautenberg Amendment ban, which prohibits firearm ownership of those convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence as defined by federal law.

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What if I have multiple felony convictions?

You can still petition to restore your gun rights even if you have had multiple felony convictions. Your eligibility will usually depend on the nature of your felonies and when you received them—not the number of convictions you have had.

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What if I have multiple felony convictions in multiple states?

Again, Washington law does not care where you received a particular felony conviction, or even whether you have multiple felony convictions. The state law only cares about the nature of those felony convictions and when you received them.

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What if I now live in a state other than Washington but I was convicted of a felony offense in Washington?

In order to determine whether the Washington conviction would apply to your current state of residence, and whether restoring your gun rights in Washington would help at all, we must evaluate the laws of each state. If you would like us to evaluate your case and determine if it is possible then we can do so for a researching fee. If you then sign up for firearm rights restoration the researching fee will be applied to the total cost of the service.

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How do I know if I am prohibited from possessing a firearm?

It is a crime under federal law for any person who has been convicted of one of the following offenses from possessing a firearm: a felony, a misdemeanor that was punishable by 2 years or more, or a misdemeanor that involved domestic violence. (18 U.S.C. 921-922.)

Furthermore, each state has its own separate ban on gun possession by certain people—which often, but do not always, overlap the federal categories above. Unlike federal law, Washington state law prohibits not just convicted felons but also anyone who has ever been convicted of a “serious offense” (which may include certain serious misdemeanors as well). (RCW 9.41.040(1)-(2).)

There are several other categories of people who may not possess a firearm until their gun rights have been fully restored. If you are unsure about whether you fall into any of those categories, we can help you with that.

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Am I eligible to have my gun rights restored in Washington?

You are not eligible if—before the conviction that took away your gun rights—you had been convicted of any class A felony, any felony that has a maximum punishment of 20 years or more, or any serious sex offense.

(RCW 9.41.040(4)(a).)

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Will I be able to get a concealed weapons permit after my gun rights are restored?

Yes. If your gun rights are restored, you will be able to obtain a concealed pistol license.

(RCW 9.41.070(1)(g).)

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Who may serve on a jury in Washington?

In Washington, you may serve on a jury if you: 1) are at least eighteen years of age, 2) are a citizen of the United States, 3) are a resident of the county by which you are summoned, 4) are able to communicate in English, 5) have not been convicted of a felony, or if you have had your rights restored to you.

http://www.courts.wa.gov/newsinfo/resources/?fa=newsinfo_jury.faq http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=9.96&full=true#9.96.010

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The first step towards a better life begins with finding out if you are eligible for Washington Firearm Rights Restoration.



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SERVING ALL OF WASHINGTON

Call us at 206-494-0018 or Toll Free (877) 573-7273
Please take the free online eligibility test before calling.

Law Firm of Higbee & Associates
8201 164th Ave NE, Suite 200
Redmond WA 98052
*By Appointment Only

We handle cases in Adams, Asotin, Benton, Chelan, Clallam, Clark, Columbia, Cowlitz, Douglas, Ferry, Franklin, Garfield, Grant, Grays Harbor, Island, Jefferson, King, Kitsap, Kittitas, Klickitat, Lewis, Lincoln, Mason, Okanogan, Pacific, Pend Oreille, Pierce, San Juan, Skagit, Skamania, Snohomish, Spokane, Stevens, Thurston, Wahkiakum, Walla Walla, Whatcom, Whitman and Yakima counties.