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Restoration of Firearm Rights

One who is convicted of a felony automatically loses his firearm rights under state and federal law.  If you have been convicted of a felony as described in Section 18.2-308.2 of the Code of Virginia, you may still be eligible to purchase a firearm if your rights have been restored under both state and federal law, as follows:

You have been pardoned or have had your political disabilities removed pursuant to Article V, Section 12 of the Constitution of Virginia, and if the executive order does not place any conditions upon the reinstatement of your right to ship, transport, possess or receive firearms.

-OR-

You have been granted permission by the Circuit Court of the jurisdiction in which you reside to possess or carry a firearm (with no restrictions on the type of firearm) and one of the following:

-OR-

You have had your political rights restored by the Governor of Virginia or the Governor of the State in which you were convicted and one of the following:

It is your responsibility to furnish evidence of eligibility to the Department of State Police Firearms Transaction Center at Post Office Box 85608, Richmond, Virginia 23285-5608, fax (804) 674-2791, or email firearms@vsp.virginia.gov.

The removal of federal firearms disabilities imposed by a state felony conviction will automatically result where there has been a restoration of all civil rights; i.e., the right to vote, hold public office, be a juror, and an unrestricted restoration of a person’s rights under state law to receive and possess firearms.  An example of a restricted permit is one that limits the purchase, possession or transportation of a firearm to rifles or shotguns, only, for the purpose of hunting.

State restoration of all civil rights does not remove the disabilities imposed as a result of a federal conviction. The Supreme Court has held that persons convicted of federal felonies remain subject to the federal firearms disability until their rights are restored through a federal, not state, procedure.  For more information concerning this process please contact the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

References:

For more information concerning the restoration of civil rights, please contact the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth.

For more information concerning the Federal Gun Control Act, please contact the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.