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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27053
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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How far back does a Gun Purchase Background Check go To age

Resolved Question:

How far back does a Gun Purchase Background Check go? To age 18 or younger?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 7 years ago.

Any felony conviction at any point in your life will cost you both your state and Federal gun rights. It's not something you can wait out. Your criminal record is always your criminal record. You have to take affirmative steps to get your gun rights back once you've lost them. You must get your conviction expunged, set aside, or pardoned, with all of your civil rights -- including your gun rights -- restored by the state that convicted you. If you can accomplish that, the Federal government will not stand in the way of your being able to purchase and possess a firearm.

Arizona does allow for some juvenile felonies to be set aside, and it also allows for them to be dismissed and sealed. I don't know if you've had any of that done. I suspect not if you can see your juvenile conviction on a website, as Arizona is a state that does not automatically seal juvenile records.

If you can get the set-aside, unless it specifically mandates that you cannot possess firearms, you should be good to go. You'd have to petition the court for this. Strictly speaking you can do this yourself though a lawyer would do it quicker and more efficiently. I have found a form for Maricopa County on the web. I don't know where you are in Arizona, but I imagine that the clerk of the court in your county will have a similar form that you can use to start the process.

Just because you're eligible for a set-aside doesn't mean you'll get one. It's discretionary and not mandatory. If your petition is rejected, in order to get your gun rights back you would need to apply for a pardon from the governor. You would have to apply to the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency who does the screening for the governor. Again, you wouldn't need a lawyer to accomplish this, although there are lawyers who specialize in pardons, expungements and gun rights.

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