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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27710
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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Denied firearm license misdemeanor domestic violence over 25

Customer Question

Denied firearm license for prior misdemeanor domestic violence over 25 years old. Do I have any legal recourse?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.


As a criminal lawyer I don't get to give a lot of good news, and this time is, unfortunately, no exception.

As I'm sure you already know, a conviction for a crime of domestic violence costs an offender both his state and Federal gun rights. It doesn't matter how long ago that conviction was. Because of the Violence Against Women Act and the Lautenberg Amendment, the Federal bar against your gun rights is for life. Without Federal rights, state rights are not meaningful as you could still be charged with a Federal offense as a felon in possession of a firearm.

While you can get your crime expunged if you haven't already done so, that won't help you with your Federal rights. The Federal government will not accept an expungement under PC 1203.4 because a California expungement is not a true expungement. It's more along the lines of a set-aside.

A California pardon based on a Certificate of Rehabilitation and a finding of innocence probably would satisfy the Federal government. They are free to apply for, but frankly, as they are nearly impossible to get, this is a real longshot.

I am very sorry to be the bearer of bad news.