Criminal Law Questions? Ask a Criminal Lawyer.
Hello,My name is XXXXX XXXXX I am an experienced criminal lawyer. The problem is that California's expungement under 120.34 is not a true expungement but in the nature of a set-aside. Unfortunately, it is not recognized by the Federal government for purposes of restoring your Federal gun rights. To get your gun rights back you'd need a California pardon based on a Certificate of Rehabilitation and a finding of innocence. This should satisfy the Federal government,though I must warn you they are difficult if not virtually impossible to get. You can find out more about the certificate on California's self help site as well. You would have to apply to the governor for a pardon and you can find out how to go about that here. This site will also give you a lot of information about the state of the law and the interaction between the California and Federal government in this area, but it won't, unfortunately, provide you with any hope, other than what I've already said above.There are lawyers that specialize in pardons and expungements and restoration of rights. That doesn't change the law in this area, but they may be better able to "package" you for the purposes of the pardon or certificate.Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.
Thank you for the quick and informational reply. I just had a follow-up question as well. The expungement was supposed to drop my felony to a misdemeanor. Even as a misdemeanor, does that still mean I am not able to restore my gun rights? Therefore, the only option is what you stated earlier as in receiving a pardon?
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