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JB Umphrey
JB Umphrey, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  Handling criminal and probation matters for over 14 years.
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In the State of Virginia they have a policy where if the Governor

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In the State of Virginia they have a policy where if the Governor restores your rights, you can then petition the Circuit Court where you live to get your Gun rights restored. This can be restored even if the Felony was from another state in the past. My question is if you get your Gun rights restored in Virginia does this mean you will also be cleared on a Federal Level? Or will you still be in trouble on a Federal level? I was under the assumption that you needed to go back to the State where the Felony was committed.
Welcome and thank you for your question!

18 U.S.C. §§ 921(a)(20) and (a)(33)(B)(ii) say that “[a]ny conviction which has been expunged, or set aside or for which a person has been pardoned or has had civil rights restored shall not be considered a conviction for purposes of” the federal gun ban."

To determine whether someone’s civil right to own a gun has been restored, federal courts “look to the law of the jurisdiction of conviction . . . and consider the jurisdiction's entire body of law.” United States v. O’Neal, 180 F.3d 115, 119 (4th Cir.), cert. denied, 528 U.S. 980 (1999).

So, your understanding is correct. One has to go back to the jurisdiction of the conviction to have the civil rights to be restored in order to also be cleared on the federal level. If the jurisdiction of the conviction does not restore one's civil rights, then one is without any further recourse (and that does happen).

It has been my pleasure to assist you today with your information needs. It is my goal that you are satisfied. No expert can promise you an answer that is favorable to your circumstances. But I will do my very best to explain the legal principles that are related to the facts you’ve described so that you can better understand the “why” of things.

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Thanks,
~~ J.B.
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