Criminal Law Questions? Ask a Criminal Lawyer.
When it comes to the right to vote, state law rather than federal law controls, even if you were convicted of a federal offense. Every state has its own rules. Fourteen states, including your state, Kentucky, prohibit convicted felons from voting for life. For a state by state chart of when and if you can have your right to vote restored, see this chart prepared by the Sentencing Project.
An estimated 4 to 5 million Americans, or one in fifty adults, have lost their ability to vote because of a felony conviction. Many states, most recently Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New Mexico, and Texas, have revised their policies recently to allow ex-offenders to regain the right to vote.
A state or federal felony conviction also results in the loss of your right to possess a firearm. While some states restore this right at the state level, you cannot regain the right at the federal level, unless your state conviction has been expunged or set aside, you have been pardoned, or your civil rights have been restored and the restoration order does not exclude possessing or purchasing a firearm. In North Dakota, you CANNOT own a gu or have rights restored if you were: Convicted of felony involving violence or intimidation from date of conviction or release from incarceration for 10 yrs. (whichever is later); 2. Convicted of other felonies not mentioned above or Class A misdemeanors for 5 yrs.; 3. Diagnosed and confined/committed to hospital or other institution as mentally ill or mentally deficient person (does not apply if more than 3 yrs. have passed); 4. Under 18 unless supervised and for purposes of safety training, hunting, target shooting.
I would like to know more about reinstating my right to bear arms. How do I apply? Who do I contact? What information should I give?
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