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Jim Reilly
Jim Reilly, Crim Defense Atty
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  CA Atty since 1976, primarily criminal law. 150+ jury trials.
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How does one petition the Virginia Circuit Court

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How does one petition the Virginia Circuit Court for reinstatement of firearm rights after receiving reinstatement of political rights from the Governor? Do you have to have a lawyer or can you do it yourself - if so where are instructions for proceeding?
The reinstatement of gun rights in Virginia is described on the Virginia State Police website:
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If you have been convicted of a felony as described in Section 18.2-308.2 of the Code of Virginia, you may still be eligible to purchase a firearm if your rights have been restored under both state and federal law, as follows:

You have been pardoned or have had your political disabilities removed pursuant to Article V, Section 12 of the Constitution of Virginia, and if the executive order does not place any conditions upon the reinstatement of your right to ship, transport, possess or receive firearms.

-OR-

You have been granted permission by the Circuit Court of the jurisdiction in which you reside to possess or carry a firearm (with no restrictions on the type of firearm) and one of the following:

  • you have had all other political rights restored by the Governor, or,
  • you have had your federal disabilities removed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

-OR-

You have had your political rights restored by the Governor of Virginia or the Governor of the State in which you were convicted and one of the following:

  • the reinstatement of rights included the right to ship, transport, possess or receive firearms,
  • you have had your firearms rights restored by the Virginia Circuit Court in the jurisdiction in which you reside, or
  • you have had your federal disabilities removed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
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So, if your political rights were reinstated by the governor under the first provision above, that is all that is necessary and no court proceedings are required.

If you had your political rights restored by the governor as described in the second or third provisions, then it will be necessary to file a petition with the court. You can do this yourself if you choose.

You can get more information about how to regain your gun rights by contacting the Virginia State Police at:

Department of State Police Firearms Transaction Center at Post Office Box 85608, Richmond, VirginiaNNN-NN-NNNN fax(NNN) NNN-NNNN or email [email protected].

The Virginia State Police website page about restoring gun rights is at:

http://www.vsp.state.va.us/Firearms_Restoration.shtm


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