Criminal Defense Lawyer Norfolk, VA and throughout Hampton Roads
Criminal Defense Lawyer Norfolk, VA and throughout Hampton Roads

Gun Rights Restoration Lawyers in Norfolk, VA

Our Virginia gun rights attorneys can help restore your 2nd Amendment rights

In Virginia, the road to reclaiming your constitutional right to bear arms can seem daunting, but our attorneys are here to help guide you through the process. Losing the ability to possess, purchase, and transport firearms can result from various legal issues, including a felony conviction, a misdemeanor domestic violence conviction, a mental health commitment or adjudication, or being subject to an active protective order.

Despite these challenges, the revocation of firearm rights isn’t always permanent. At Welch & Wright, PLLC in Norfolk, our Virginia gun rights lawyers have a deep understanding of the law and a proven track record of successfully restoring gun rights to individuals who thought they might never legally own a firearm again.

We understand the importance of your right to bear arms, and we’re here to help you navigate the legal steps necessary to restore these rights. Whether your conviction stemmed from a misunderstanding or a momentary lapse in judgment, we believe in second chances. Don’t let a past mistake define your future. Contact us today to take the first step toward restoring your gun rights and embracing the full scope of your liberties once more.

Petition for restoration of firearm rights in Virginia

Losing the right to own firearms is often the consequence of a state felony conviction. In Virginia, our gun rights restoration lawyers are prepared to review your case carefully and, should you meet the eligibility criteria, submit a petition on your behalf to the appropriate Virginia Circuit Court to reclaim your firearm rights. The determination of the court with jurisdiction depends on several factors, including your residency or, for non-residents, the location of your last conviction.

Before we can proceed with a petition to restore firearm rights, clients need to have their civil rights reinstated. This initial step is critical and must be completed before moving forward. For individuals whose cases involve a past mental incapacity, as specified by state law, the petition needs to be directed to the General District Court instead (more on this below).

It’s also worth noting that Virginia recognizes the restoration of firearm rights from other states through reciprocity. This means if your firearm rights have been restored in another state, they are acknowledged in Virginia as well.

When preparing your petition for the restoration of firearm rights, we’ll need to include the following information:

  • Your full name.
  • Street address (and mailing address if it differs).
  • Date of birth.
  • Details of previous charges, which should include the nature of each charge, sentencing dates, and the involvement of a firearm, if any.
  • The date your civil rights were restored.
  • The name of the governor who restored your civil rights.
  • Your reason for seeking restoration.

Petition for restoration of gun rights after mental health determination

In Virginia, individuals who have been acquitted of a crime by reason of insanity, adjudicated as legally incompetent or mentally incapacitated, or who have been involuntarily admitted or ordered into outpatient treatment, are prohibited from the knowing and intentional purchase, possession, or transportation of firearms. However, there is a legal pathway for these individuals to regain their firearm rights through a petition to the general district court.

To initiate this process, the affected person must file a petition in the general district court of the city or county where they reside. For those not residing within the Commonwealth, the petition should be filed in the general district court of the city or county where the original legal proceeding regarding their mental health determination took place.

The court’s evaluation involves a thorough review of several key factors:

  • The nature of the mental health disability.
  • The petitioner’s criminal history.
  • Their treatment records.
  • Evidence regarding their character and reputation.

This assessment establishes whether the petitioner poses a danger to public safety. This legal process offers a critical opportunity for individuals affected by past mental health determinations to seek the restoration of their gun rights, contingent upon demonstrating their readiness and stability. It’s a very nuanced procedure designed to balance the individual’s rights with the overarching need to ensure community safety.

Navigating protective orders and your firearm rights in Virginia

In Virginia, protective orders come in various forms and can be issued by both the courts and magistrates. It’s crucial to understand that while a protective order is in effect, possessing, purchasing, or transporting a firearm in the state is illegal. This prohibition extends to protective orders issued in other states with laws similar to Virginia’s. Additionally, if you possess a concealed handgun permit, it becomes invalid during the duration of an active protective order.

However, Virginia law does afford a brief window of 24 hours for individuals subject to an active protective order to lawfully sell or transfer their firearms to an eligible recipient or surrender them to law enforcement.

If you are having trouble with issues regarding your firearm rights and a protective order, our Norfolk gun rights lawyers are here to help.

What are red flag laws?

Red flag laws, known as substantial risk orders in the Commonwealth, provide a legal framework for the temporary removal of firearms from individuals deemed to pose a threat to themselves or others. Under this legislation, a judge or magistrate can issue an emergency substantial risk order based on probable cause evidence. This order remains valid for a duration of 14 days.

Subsequently, the circuit court conducts a hearing to determine whether a substantial risk order should be formally entered. During this process, the burden falls on the Commonwealth Attorney to establish all material facts by clear and convincing evidence.

Once in effect, a substantial risk order prohibits the person subject to the order from purchasing, possessing, or transporting a firearm for the duration specified in the order. This measure is designed to mitigate potential risks and safeguard public safety.

Under Federal law, lost firearm rights require a pardon

In cases where firearm rights have been forfeited under federal law, obtaining a pardon becomes necessary. Since 1992, the federal agency responsible for processing firearm restorations for federal felony convictions has lacked the necessary funding to fulfill this function. Moreover, individuals convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence face a federal prohibition against firearm possession under 18 USC(g)(9). This represents a rare instance where a state conviction triggers the loss of rights under federal law.

For both scenarios, the sole recourse is a complete and unconditional pardon granted by the respective chief executive. Additionally, Virginia’s legal framework includes provisions such as Va. Code 18.2-308.1:8, which addresses convictions related to assault and battery of a family or household member occurring on or after July 1, 2021, and includes its own restoration provision.

Navigating the challenges of firearm rights restoration under these circumstances isn’t easy, but our Virginia firearm rights attorneys can evaluate your case and determine the most effective course of action.

Contact Welch & Wright today to review your legal options

Are you considering filing a Virginia petition to restore your gun rights in Norfolk or anywhere in the Hampton Roads region? Don’t underestimate the importance of seeking legal help from an experienced gun rights lawyer.

Firearm rights restoration law can be complex, and without proper guidance, it’s easy to make mistakes that can have serious consequences. Our attorneys are here to help. Schedule your free and confidential case evaluation with our dedicated legal team today, and let us guide you through the process of restoring your gun rights with confidence.

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