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Discussion Starter #1
I'm not sure this is the correct forum to post this in, but it seems to be the most appropriate. If not, I apologize.

Does anyone know how difficult it is to restore ones right to bear arms after a felony conviction?

Over 20 years ago, while trying to start a new business in San Francisco, I made some poor choices, did not file the correct documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission and was arrested/convicted of illegally soliciting financial backing. This ended up with me receiving 5 felony (fraud) convictions. (Obviously these were non-violent felonies).
I received a Suspended Sentence, did 6 months of work furlough and 5 years of probation, all of which was completed without incidence.

I recently filed an application for a permit to acquire a handgun here in the state of Hawaii and was denied because I had the felonies on my rap sheet.

What are the chances of my ever getting my right to own/purchase a handgun again?

Thanks for any advice any of you can pass my way.

Wes.
 

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Wes contact an attorney and speak with him/her about having your record expunged , it will not be cheap nor fast , but in most non violent felonys can be done 7 to 10 years after the felony is ajudicated .. hope that helps
 

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UGH! Exponged was my word of the day. Thief!.

In all seriousness, you'll need to do exactly that. I don't know about other states, but I've heard in Idaho that the governor can grant a pardon. There, it's kind of a political favor to any schmoozers. If you have connections, and you have family members who have criminal records, etc; when it comes time for the governor to be replaced, he goes through a pardon spree.

Kind of crooked the way I understand it, but stuff happens. I'd talk to a lawyer first and see what your options are. Maybe ask him about writing a letter to the governor's office about a pardon. That key still lies in the governor's hands just like the old days. You could always call Mr. Bush. His number is 800-555-BUSH. He'll answer.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the quick replies, guys.
I have received information from the San Francisco Public Defender's Office which has a program called "Clean Slate" where they submit a request on your behalf to expunge old, non-violent crimes. Unfortunately, they state in their information package, that it does not restore your right to bear arms.

I also checked with BATF website, and they claim that they no longer have the funding, to investigate and approve individuals who seek to have their rights restored.

Since I cannot afford an attorney to act on my behalf, I am going to try and write the 'Governator' and Pres. Bush, but I'm not going to hold my breath on those two guys ...

Thanks again, guys, for your support and advice.
 

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It is sad that seemingly felony is felony is felony - on the books. And yet there categories and degrees vary so much.

With violent felonies things seem very cut'n'dried and probably something no one will see as being possible to expunge. Non-violent however I see in a totally different light and wish there was a distinction made when it comes to restoring your right to bear arms.

The suggestions given seem about all I can envisage also but sure would like for you to succeed, somehow.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ex-Felons owning guns

Great news!
Today, I rec'd a copy of the court order dated 8/23/06 where the Superior Court of California, in San Francisco, under the State's "Clean Slate Program" run by the Public Defender's Office, expunged my 23 yr. old, non-violent, felony convictions and removed all my disabilities! :banana:

(BTW, the felony convictions were because I failed to fill out and submit the correct forms with the Department of Corporations on a family run business; which of course, subsequently immediately failed upon my arrest/convictions. This was a 'white-collar', 'non-violent' crime. But being a felon, I couldn't legally own a firearm.):frown:

My next step, today, I immediately went to the local Police Department and filed an application to acquire a firearm, as is required in the State of Hawaii, where I now reside. :urla9ub:

(In fact, it was this same dept. that denied my initial application in Mar. 06 and informed me that the felony convictions were still attached to my record! It was a complete surprise to me, as I was informed 23 yrs ago, that if I plead guilty to 2 of the 29 counts, (1 for each sheet of paper in the application!), and completed the probationary period satisfactorily, the arrests/convictions would be 'wiped' clean. Obviously it was not.)

Anyway, I'm keeping my fingers crossed and hope this new application will not find any more hiccups along the way. (I even had the clerk copy the court papers and had her attach them to the new app.)

And now, the waiting period...
The State requires, of the Police Chief in each County, 15 working days to either approve or deny the application.

More news to follow: Sep. 26th

To those who state "All felons should not be allowed to own guns", I say, there are exceptions to the rule.
 

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I would call the NRA and find out if there is a Pro2A sympathetic lawyer in Hawaii that will take your case and get you good to go again.
It shouldn't cost you that much just to get a motion filed.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Good idea. I'll look into that. Thanks,
Wes.
 

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Great news!
Today, I rec'd a copy of the court order dated 8/23/06 where the Superior Court of California, in San Francisco, under the State's "Clean Slate Program" run by the Public Defender's Office, expunged my 23 yr. old, non-violent, felony convictions and removed all my disabilities! :banana:
Great news! Congratulations, and good luck with the rest of the process!
 

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Quite a milestone Wes and glad to hear about it.

Plenty more hoops and hurdles left it would seem but you are at least on the right track now. Best of luck.
 

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Extreme Caution

Amnesia, be VERY careful. I know there are processes by which States will do away with felony-imposed firearms disabilities as far as those States are concerned.

The Feds pretty much don't recognize them, though. There may be one or two cases in which someone has been prosecuted under the Federal Felon-In-Possession statute (18 USC 922(g)) and been able to have the case thrown out because of a restoration of firearms rights under State law, but not many. Most of the time the Federal Courts allow the case to proceed and allow the defendant to be convicted and go to prison. Believe it or not.

In your case, I'd be EXTREMELY careful....as I understand it, the restoration statute (18 USC 921(a)(20)) is supposed to use the standards of the jurisdiction that convicted you to determine if your firearms rights are restored.

That is a tricky deal. It isn't as simple as it sounds. The Federal Courts use some screwy standard about whether the restoration is active (did it require you to actually go do something, or was it automatic), and what all rights did it supposedly restore (voting, public office, jury service), etc.

REMEMBER, even if it is a State conviction, and the relevant State expressly grants your firearms rights back, the Feds can still (and may) prosecute if you go get a gun and some meddling, do-gooder idiot decides to put the screws to you.

Then you are at the mercy of some Federal District Court judge on a motion to kick the case. Most of the time they won't do it. Then the guy who has the gun goes to prison, and then, most of the time, that district court decision gets affirmed on appeal.

Ugly? Unfair? Wrong?

Sure.

But it's reality, folks.

If you like guns, don't get convicted of any felonies!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
P95Carry: I'm not out of the woods yet, but I can see the glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. Thanks for the words of encouragement.

randytulsa2: Thanks for the heads up. Yes, I am concerned about the Feds stepping on the States' toes. But, the reality is: either I run scared with my tail between my legs and stay completely away from firearms, in essence, allowing myself and family to live in a very dangerous world (here in Hawaii we are not even allowed to carry Pepper Spray, stun guns, asps,nunchucks,batons,etc.). OR, I decide to risk being caught with a self-defense firearm, and feel a little more secure, in standing up against the evils our world holds for us. Let me tell you, it is not an easy decision.

Wes
 

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Well, good luck and God bless.
 
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