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Restoring Gun Rights After Felony in Oregon

Restoring Gun Rights After Felony in Oregon

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False is the idea of utility that sacrifices a thousand real advantages for one imaginary or trifling inconvenience; that would 
take fire away from men because it burns, and water because one may drown in it; that has no remedy for evils, except destruction. Laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes …. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they act rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man. 
—Thomas Jefferson, On Crimes and Punishment

Defending Your Gun Rights

In many ways, reclaiming your right to defend your hearth and home and person with mortal force if necessary, is a citizen’s greatest and gravest right — or duty even.

This right is secured by the Second Amendment to the supreme law of the land — the United States Constitution. If you can regain this right, your reclamation of good standing and moving on from the past is arguably complete. You will have demonstrated that you are rehabilitated and fully got your rights back.

So, how do you get there? How do you restore your 2nd Amendment rights in Oregon?

Can I Possess a Gun After a Conviction?

Problem — People with felonies or certain misdemeanors cannot legally have a firearm anywhere, not even their home, for self-defense.

There is a constitutional argument that because of the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark D.C. v. Heller (2008) decision, that even those convicted of serious crimes have a limited right to possess arms or guns within the home. However, (a) the federal or state Supreme Court has not decided this question and (b) even if they do, the court(s) may well uphold the in-home gun possession ban on felons.

They cannot go hunting or engage in sporting activities as well. Nor can you be anywhere where you could theoretically access a gun (legally this is known as “constructive possession” and prosecutors aren’t shy about charging people with unlawful firearm possession on this ground).

If you get caught with or near a firearm, you face serious financial hardship ranging from four to five figures ($_,000 to $_0,000) and up to 10 years in prison under the federal Gun Control Act, or up to 15 years mandatory minimum sentence if you have a lengthier record with certain kinds of convictions.

I Have a Criminal Record. Do I Qualify for a Concealed Carry Permit?

In Oregon, you do not qualify for a concealed carry permit if you been convicted or found guilty of a misdemeanor or outstanding warrant.

Solution — Consult an attorney for a record expungement. Expungement is a legal process of clearing your criminal record of arrests, charges or minor convictions in hopes of landing a job, pulling a loan or restoring your right to apply for a concealed carry permit.

If ineligible for an expungement, your next best bet is checking out the Chapter 166 bill for restoring your firearm rights or qualifying for a concealed carry permit. These are the doorways to restoring your firearm rights. For further information on gun rights and concealed weapons permit, contact Essent Law today.

This doesn’t mean you must actually get the concealed weapons permit—it just means that you have to be eligible to do so. FN: See Van Der Hule v. Holder, 759 F. 3d 1043 (9th, 2014) (holding that even though defendant has some of his gun rights restored by state law, he was still ineligible under state law to obtain a concealed-weapons permit. And, therefore, he couldn’t legally possess a firearm under federal law, viz., 18 USC 922(g)(1), the felon-in-possession statute under the federal Gun Control Act).

How to Restore Your Gun Rights in Oregon

Recommendation — If you have a criminal record or other past record that is getting in the way of you restoring your gun rights, you have to take affirmative steps to regain those firearm rights. In other words, you have to be able to qualify for an Oregon concealed weapons permit.

Below are all the potential “doorways” or avenues by which you can restore your Second Amendment rights, in order of importance and usefulness to most people seeking for restoration of firearm rights:

1. Expungement — ORS 137.225

2. Juvenile Expungement — ORS 419A.262

3. Restoration of Firearm Rights — ORS 166.274

4. Reduce Felony to Misdemeanor — ORS 161.705

5. State Pardon or Governor Clemency — Or. Constitution, Art. V, § 14

6. Federal, Presidential Pardon for federal crimes1)See Beecham v. U.S., 511 US 368 (1994). 

7. Concealed Weapons Permit Review — ORS 166.293

8. Petition the federal Attorney General — 18 USC 925(c) 2)This form of relief is available in theory only. In other words, it’s worthless. Congress has refused to fund the ATF, the agency who would handle these petitions. Thus, it’s dead letter. See also U.S. v. Bean, 527 U.S. 71 (2002) (Courts cannot force the ATF to review these restoration of firearm rights petitions).

Beware! Federal Law Rules Over Oregon Law

If you only have one felony conviction and have stayed out of trouble for 15 years after you completed probation or your incarceration sentence, you can carry a firearm legally under Oregon law only not federal law.

See ORS 166.270 (4)(a).(You still can’t have a firearm if that one felony conviction was for a conviction (1) involving “criminal homicide”—murder, manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide or aggravated vehicular homicide—or (2) a prior conviction for unlawful possession of a firearm or switchblade. For example, if you killed someone while driving drunk as a young person, but never got in trouble again, you’d still need to take one of the steps outlined above to get gun rights back. If you have any of these convictions under (1) or (2) directly above, you’ll have to look to options 1–5 to get your gun rights back. Nor will this allow you to carry a concealed handgun. But it will remove state law criminal liability.)

Restore Your Gun Rights with Essent Law

Conclusion — Making sure that your gun rights are completely restored is very important. Many people mistakenly believe that they have fully achieved restoration of Second Amendment rights when they may not have.

The above is general information and not legal advice. It’s not tailored to your realities and situation. You must specifically determine whether you can legally carry a firearm through the different layers of law—federal, your state of residence, and other states, and even local, municipal ordinances.

“If you think using a professional is expensive, try using an amateur.” — This legal restoration of Second Amendment rights analysis is unfortunately complex. So it should be dealt with by specialists and professionals (a gun rights attorney), if at all possible. This is to ensure that you are free from prosecution in your state of residence, but so you are also free from risk and prosecution in other states, especially neighboring states. So either contact a gun rights attorney, or do your homework and do it well.

Timothy LaBadie of Essent Law has advocated and guided his clients through the legal process of restoring their gun rights in Oregon since 2012. Learn more about our expungement services or contact Essent Law for assistance today.

 

 

4 Hand Guns on Table from Anderon Gun and Pawn

Anderson Gun And Pawn (6)” by Hank Hession licensed under CC BY 2.0. No changes were made to this photograph. Nor does the licensor endorse the use or views expressed herein.

References   [ + ]

1. See Beecham v. U.S., 511 US 368 (1994). 
2. This form of relief is available in theory only. In other words, it’s worthless. Congress has refused to fund the ATF, the agency who would handle these petitions. Thus, it’s dead letter. See also U.S. v. Bean, 527 U.S. 71 (2002) (Courts cannot force the ATF to review these restoration of firearm rights petitions).

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