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Restoration of Gun Rights for Convicted Felons in North Carolina

Under the Felony Firearms Act, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony, in any state, to own or possess a firearm or other weapon of “mass death and destruction.” There are, however, ways for convicted felons to restore their rights to own a gun in North Carolina.

Here, we give an overview of the current laws surrounding possession of firearms by felons and dive into a couple of ways our firm can assist you in restoring your rights. 

Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon                        

Most adults in North Carolina have the right to possess firearms. However, this right is taken away from convicted felons. There are a few exceptions (such as convictions for certain white-collar crimes like an antitrust violation), but in general, there is a full ban in North Carolina on the possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. 

If someone is convicted of a felony, in any U.S. state (not just North Carolina), he can no longer own or possess a gun in North Carolina. If he does and is caught, he will be charged with a Class G felony, which will result in anywhere from eight to thirty-one months in prison. 

Can Convicted Felons Get Their Second Amendment Rights Back? 

Fortunately, we may be able to help you get your second amendment right to own a gun back, even after a felony conviction. There are two main ways to do this:

  1. Expunge your nonviolent felony conviction (after ten years). 

Ten years after the completion of your sentence (or probation) for a crime, certain non-violent felonies can be expunged in North Carolina. It is important to contact an experienced North Carolina criminal defense attorney to discuss the facts of your case to see if expungement is an option.
 

  1. Restore your rights (after twenty years).

Those who do not qualify for expungement may still be able to have their rights to possess a gun restored. Twenty years after the end of your sentence (or probation), you may be eligible for the restoration of your gun rights. This will depend on your record and other factors, so speak to a qualified North Carolina criminal defense attorney if you would like to discuss this option. 

Lastly, it may be possible to file a lawsuit in civil court to have your rights restored. In rare cases, gun rights have been restored on the basis that it was unconstitutional to ban the person from possession because of his clean record (since the felony offense) and the length of time that has since passed. This relief is granted on a case-by-case basis. 

Who Cannot Have Their Gun Rights Restored?

Generally speaking, those who have been convicted of a federal felony or a state felony in a state other than North Carolina are ineligible to have their gun rights restored in North Carolina. 

Questions? Learn more about how The Cotten Firm can help you.

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