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Felonies and the Second Amendment

Losing the right to own a gun is part of the punishment for a felony conviction, but if the felony conviction was for a non-violent crime, you can reinstate your Second Amendment rights by applying for the Restoration of Firearm Rights.

Some constitutional rights, such as the First Amendment right to free speech and freedom of religion, affect our everyday lives; people rarely face criminal charges for controversial speech, even when they are intentionally causing controversy, and if you do a Google search for places of worship within a 50-mile radius of your address, it will be obvious that people openly follow the teachings of a wide variety of religions and denominations. There are other constitutional rights that you only think about if you have been accused of a crime, such as the Fifth Amendment right to due process, the Seventh Amendment right to a fair trial, and the Eighth Amendment right to avoid cruel and unusual punishment. The Second Amendment right to bear arms looms large in the mind of anyone who owns a gun or who wants to. Like the right to free speech, the right to gun ownership has some restrictions.

In practice, the law only allows free speech as long as the speech does not cause preventable harm, which is why it is still possible to sue someone for trademark infringement or defamation. Likewise, the state can restrict your gun ownership rights if it has evidence that you are at high risk of committing a violent crime, which is why most felony convictions include a loss of gun ownership rights. For help getting your firearm rights back after completing a sentence for a felony conviction, contact an Atlanta criminal defense lawyer.

Restoring Your Firearm Rights After a Felony Conviction

Of all the rights that you lose when you get a felony conviction in Georgia, weapon rights are the most difficult to restore. You get your voting rights back as soon as you complete your sentence. Your civil rights (jury duty, seeking public office, and acting as a notary) automatically come back after 10 years, but you can get them back sooner by applying for a pardon and Restoration of Civil Rights. Firearm rights do not automatically come back after 10 years, a pardon, or even a restriction and sealing of records (expungement). The process for restoring your firearm rights depends on whether the conviction was at the federal or state level, and whether the crime happened in Georgia or another state. A criminal defense lawyer can help you apply to reinstate them after you have received a pardon or can help you draft a pardon application that specifically requests reinstatement of firearm rights.

Contact Atlanta Criminal Defense Lawyers About Restoration of Firearm Rights

A criminal defense lawyer can help you not only if you are currently facing criminal charges, but also if you are going through the arduous process of getting your rights back after a conviction. Contact the defense lawyers at Ghanayem & Rayasam in Atlanta, Georgia about your case.