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how to restore gun rights in VA

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I am a Virginia resident now 21 years old. When I was 16 I was issued a temporary detention order that sent me to a mental health hospital. After being there for a day or two I signed a voluntary admission form, I was then released a week later from the hospital. I was never diagnosed with any mental deficiency and have had no issues regarding mental health since. To my knowledge I am prohibited from owning a gun in Virginia now, unless I get my gun rights restored. I am a much more mature person now and dont believe I should have any rights taken away. I would like to know how hard it is to get gun rights restored in Virginia, and how to go about doing this. What form do I need, do I need a lawyer, and what type of information should I provide the court to have the best chance at getting my rights back? I plan on joining the military soon and would like to be a gun owner througout my life, as well as have a means of protecting my family. Thanks for any expert advice you can provide!
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  LawHelpNow replied 6 years ago.

Hello and thanks so much for choosing this forum to pose your important legal question. I will do my best to give you some honest and accurate guidance as I answer your question.


  1. I am a licensed attorney with mental health and criminal law experience. I will be glad to try and answer your question. I hope that the following information will be helpful to you, but please just write back if you have any follow-up questions or need clarification on anything after reviewing the following information. I am sorry for your circumstances, and I hope things get resolved appropriately for you.
  2. There has been much criticism of Virginia's gun laws, especially following the tragic shooting a few years ago at Virginia Tech. Based on what you have shared here, it sounds like you are coming up against the prohibition expressed in Code of Virginia § 18.2-308.1:3. However, the good news is that the same law provides a mechanism for seeking judicial relief from the prohibition. You would do so by filing Form DC-4040 Petition for Permit to Purchase, Possess or Transport a Firearm.
  3. If the Court rules in your favor, you would then provide evidence of the Order showing evidence of eligibility to the Department of State Police Firearms Transaction Center at Post Office Box 85608, Richmond, VirginiaNNN-NN-NNNN fax(NNN) NNN-NNNN or email [email protected]. Given your history and the years that have elapsed since this incident as a juvenile, I would think you stand an excellent chance of success. That being said, it would still be prudent to have a lawyer review your form prior to submitting it. You could schedule a half-hour session with an attorney for $35 through the Virginia Lawyer Referral Service.


I hope that this information has been helpful to you. If we can be of any further assistance please free to use our service again. Best wishes for a successful outcome.


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The information provided is general in nature only and should not be construed as legal advice. By using this forum, you acknowledge that no attorney-client relationship has been created between you and Benjamin M. Burt, Jr., Esq. You should always consult with a lawyer in your state.

Edited by Benjamin M. Burt, Jr., Esq. on 3/6/2010 at 3:53 PM EST
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Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Is there any additional information that you would suggest submitting with the petition form? There is a section on there for additional documents, but I am not sure what would help. Thank you!