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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 23529
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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I was convicted of a felony Texas ( delivery of controlled

Customer Question

I was convicted of a felony Texas ( delivery of controlled substance less than a gram) in June 1988. I was placed on 10 years regular probation. After 2 years I was released on early termination from probation. I received my rights back to vote. I haven't been arrested or been in any trouble for over 27 years. Am I eligible to purchase a handgun and receive a concealed handgun license in Texas?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 11 months ago.

Hello,

No, unfortunately you don't have your Federal and state gun rights back.

Texas will restore partial gun rights 5 years after the completion of your sentence. But all that means is that you can keep a gun in the house. You may not take it anywhere outside of the home.

Unfortunately in addition to Texas' restrictions, the Federal government does not recognize a partial restoration of gun rights. So even if Texas is willing to let you keep a gun in the house, you would still be guilty of a Federal offense if for any reason the Federal government had reason to find it there.

The Federal government will restore your rights after an expungement, set aside or pardon. But in Texas, you would have to be pardoned first to get your conviction expunged.

So to get your full state and federal gun rights back, you need a pardon from the governor. Any former offender can apply for one without the need of a lawyer. This is a link to an instructional booklet so that you can see what it entails.

About the only other thing -- and it's a long shot that some judges aren't even willing to entertain -- is to hire a lawyer, get the case back on the calendar and petition to get your felony set aside in the interest of justice. Judges have the power to do this, though they generally don't like to exercise it unless there is a reason compelling enough to make the judge willing to ignore the law you broke in 1988. But if you've been on the straight and narrow now path now since then, maybe if you talked things out with a local attorney, he could find some grounds for the petition which could sway the judge.

Good luck!

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
But can I purchase a new gun? Will I be able to go to the shooting range with it?
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 11 months ago.

NO!

You can buy a gun in a private sale to keep in your house for your own protection. You would not be able to pass a NICs check if you tried to buy it anywhere else, but Texas will allow you at this point to keep a gun in your home.

You cannot remove it from inside your house unless your rights are fully restored, which will require a pardon from your governor.