Don't Let Your Past Limit Your Future

Can a felon own a gun

Can a Felon Own a Gun?

September 14, 2021

One of the most controversial Amendments, if not the most controversial, is the Second Amendment – The Right to Keep and Bear Arms.  It has created a heated debate among politicians for many years.  At WipeRecord, many times we are asked whether a felon can own a gun.  The general answer to this question is: no.  There are state and federal laws which affect an individual’s gun rights.  In some cases, state law may allow for the reinstatement of firearm rights while federal law does not. However, the federal government largely differs to states when reinstating gun owner’s rights. Therefore, it is possible for some felons to reapply to have their firearm rights restored.

Click here to take our Free Gun Rights Eligibility Test

In 1968, the Gun Control Act (“GCA”), a federal law, was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson which prohibited most felons and convicted drug users from buying a firearm and it also prohibited the mail order sales of rifles and shotguns.  The GCA is an important law if you are a convicted felon, because you may not own or possess a firearm unless your rights are restored. Felons who have lost their rights have also forfeited the ability to purchase ammo. The federal statute prohibits possession of “any firearm or ammunition.” 18 U.S.C. § 922(g). “Ammunition” is defined as “cartridge cases, primers, bullets, or propellant powder designed for use in any firearm.” 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(17)(A).

While some states like Arizona and Ohio make it “easier” to restore rights, it’s best to understand that the process is largely discretionary. Here are some links to other blogs that provide greater  detail regarding who is eligible to restore firearm rights in specific states:

Even if you meet the requirements on a state level, you must meet all of the requirements on a federal level as well. Aside from the felon-in-possession laws, federal law also states that a person convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence is also prohibited from having firearms.

The federal prohibition that applies to domestic violence misdemeanants was adopted in 1996 and is commonly known as the “Lautenberg Amendment” after its sponsor, the late Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ). The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) takes the position that “if the conviction was set aside or expunged; the person was pardoned; or, the person’s civil rights – the right to vote, sit on a jury, and hold elected office – were restored,” than it may act as an exception to the law.

Therefore, in some states a court petition or an expungement can restore rights to someone federally prohibited under the Lautenberg amendment. You should consult with an attorney to determine whether your rights can be restored.

Recently, the House of Representatives passed a bill that would allow non-violent felons to own a gun.  The bill was championed by Colorado Republican Rep. Ken Buck. This has yet to be passed in the Senate.  Please check back for updates.

If you have lost your rights and wish to restore them, the first step is to see if you’re eligible by taking the firearm rights eligibility test.

  1. Randy says:

    So if I have completed all of my deferred adjudication in Texas, can I restore my gun rights and get my rights back?

    • WipeRecord Team says:

      Randy – Give us a call at 844-947-3732 to discuss your situation. We offer a free consultation and a low price guarantee on all of our services.

  2. Sam says:

    I’m a convicted felon I have drug conviction from 1999 I have finished my whole sentence can I get a gun license

  3. Jeff says:

    Filing for ” Relief of Weapon under disability “

  4. Harlem Ray Patterson says:

    I would like to know how I can go by restoring my rights back to carry a gun and expunge my records???

  5. michael says:

    can you help in GA

    • WipeRecord Team says:

      Hi Michael. We currently do not operate in Georgia but we should be there very soon. Check back often!

    • WipeRecord Team says:

      Hi Michael, We will be operational in GA within 30 days or so. Please join our facebook page to see updates on new states we are entering and also check back often with our website. We will be there very soon!

  6. Kyle o says:

    Is there any way to restore my rights to own a gun with a class a felony conviction in wa state?

  7. Arnold says:

    Do you guys do services in Ohio ?

  8. Antoin Townsend says:

    Can you help me get my rights restored in WA state?

  9. Gerald says:

    Do you have any information reguarding Michigan I would love to take my sons hunting some day thanks in advance!

    • WipeRecord Team says:

      Gerald, we will be operational in Michigan within 30 days or so. Please contact us at 844-947-3732 in April or May to discuss options to assist with your gun rights restoration to determine your eligibility.

  10. Zach says:

    I have convictions in 4 counties in California all are non violent and all are over 5 years old I’m having trouble getting jobs that I’m qualified for please help.

  11. keihin says:

    I have a conviction in Alabama but I live in north Carolina now can you help

    • WipeRecord Team says:

      Hi Keihin,

      We don’t operate in Alabama yet, but we plan to be there soon. Keep checking back often – we will be operating in Alabama soon. Call us at 844-947-3732 if you have any questions.

      WipeRecord Team

  12. Ray Greene Jr says:

    I have 2 domestic Violence conviction and 2 drug trafficking convictionsconvictions stemming back to 1996. I have been off papers and out of trouble since 2001 will I ever be eligible to own a gun in ohio. If not how can we work together to change these laws. I’m a community activists and run one of the largest electoral programs.

  13. Buddy says:

    Need services in Georgia.

  14. Bernard Coe says:

    Ohio, I was charged with a few felonys in 1996 when they raided my cousins house, not because I had anything to do with any of it but because he was 17 and I was 20 and been targeted every since because of it but if i could get my record clean about how much would that cost

  15. Brandon says:

    I’m a two time convicted felon in Florida my charges are grand larceny and a drug charge but I would like to go into the navy seals or go into the marine’s with getting my rights restored could I still go into the military

  16. Shawn says:

    So can I get my gun right back if im a convicted felon with a class B aggravated battery in Indiana?

  17. Antony says:

    I leave in ohio

  18. Antony says:

    I live in ohio

  19. Caesar Holmes II says:

    I reside in California but have a felony in North Carolina 17 years ago.Am I cleared for California?

    • WipeRecord Team says:

      Caesar, we can look into this for you but we currently do not service North Carolina. We plan to soon. Please give us a call Monday-Friday at 844-947-3732 to discuss this with one of our agents. You can also take our free, secure, confidential eligibility test by clicking this link:

  20. Tim says:

    How about Florida?

  21. Rodney Williams says:

    I’m a convicted felon in Florida with a aggravated battery charge from 1996. Did 15 yrs of probation and got off in 2012. Have not been in trouble since 1996. Is there anyway I can get my gun rights restored?

  22. Cory says:

    Do you work with Kansas

    • WipeRecord Team says:

      Cory – not yet but check back in 30-60 days because we will be soon. Follow us on Facebook as well for updates about new states we are entering.

  23. greg says:

    I live in il, dui, 1995?


    I would like to know if I could get Wipe my records

  25. Teddy says:

    Federal non violent drug conviction.. off paper work and years behind me. Is owning a gun possible ?

  26. Kevin Norris says:

    I have a non violent felony of forgery which is 7 years old and haven’t been in any trouble of any kind. I live in Texas and was wondering if I could own a gun

  27. LaTroye Irvin says:

    Do you operate in the State of Florida?

  28. Robert says:

    How about new york

  29. David Black says:

    I was convicted of a felony drug charge in 2001 only did county time never went prison could I be eligible to get my gun rights back. I live and was convicted in california

    • WipeRecord Team says:

      Hi David – it looks like you may be eligible! Give us a call or take our eligibility test.

  30. mark says:

    In October 1987 i pleaded guilty to 2 class d felonies for maintaining a common nuisance and possession of marijuana. I I served 6 months in county jail and 6 months probation. Never had an arrest prior to that or since then.

    • WipeRecord Team says:

      Mark – thanks for your comment – please call us at 844-947-3732 to speak with a criminal records analyst.

  31. Luis says:

    I can’t believe all the bullshit, people make mistake, we are humans, some one get a conviction, and is so hard for them to get a job, and people say why they went back to do the same thing, because the mistake of the pass still hunting them. My friend got convicted 20 years ago, n still use that against him even for a stop sign, how can we change that n don’t use the pass to keep punishing my friend n other in same situation. Thank you.

    • WipeRecord Team says:

      Luis, we agree that the system needs reform. In some states this is happening, in others, it is not. We hope to see faster and more all-encompassing expungement reform across the nation soon.

  32. eric says:

    i have a misdemeanor 1 in PA for a second offense DUI, i was told my only hope of ever being able to own a firearm again is to get a governors pardon, which takes forever and likely wont be successful, is this true?

    • WipeRecord Team says:

      Eric – please give us a call so we can better understand your situation. Thanks!

  33. robert says:

    Got 3 feloneys 2 vilont one non vilont. 86.93 and 04. First one California the other 2 iowa. Is there any chance i can get my rights back?

    • WipeRecord Team says:

      Hi Robert – please call us to discuss your situation. We need to see if you’re eligible.

    • admin_WR says:

      Give us a call today at 844-947-3732 if you haven’t already so that we can take a look into this for you. Free Consultation and Low Cost Guarantee on all of our services – FYI.

  34. Chris says:

    What about AZ

  35. Chris says:

    Have a friend that has been to prison for an extreme dui n wants to know if he is eligible

    • WipeRecord Team says:

      Hi Chris – please have your friend call us so we can better understand his situation. Thanks!

    • admin_WR says:

      Give us a call today at 844-947-3732 if you haven’t already so that we can take a look into this for your friend. Even if we aren’t in AZ yet, we can take down your info and let you know once we enter that state. Free Consultation and Low Cost Guarantee on all of our services – FYI.

  36. […] like?  What does less gun control really look like?  Should there be extended background checks? Should felons be allowed to restore their firearm rights?  Usually the most extreme viewpoints make the soundboard.  There should be hardened numbers that […]

  37. James says:

    Q,can a federal felony(non violent non drug )conviction be wipe clean that is over 35 yrs old??

    • admin_WR says:

      James – please call us at 844-947-3732 today to discuss your non violent drug felony conviction.

  38. phil says:

    I have 2felony convictions in NY, one for forgery n other for insurance fraud can I get record clean so I can carry?

  39. Charles Ganoung says:

    So I have applied for my pistol permit in Cattaraugus County, every count in NY has there own policies on pistol permits, it has been 16 weeks since my fp and pics. I called our county pistol permit clerk last week and she told me I had an interview with the under sheriff and will call to let me know when. I know I had a misdemeanor back in 91. So my question is if they decide I can’t get a pp then what do I do? Now remind you it takes 7 to 9 months for the interview from the date I went for fp and pics which was 6/7/2016.

  40. Rob says:

    I was convicted of a felony back in 1990…robbery youthful offender with my record seal.. is there anyway to restore my gun rights?…Thanks in advance

  41. Rob says:

    I live in New York

  42. Michael M says:

    Do you operate in Michigan? If so, please contact me.

  43. Jerry says:

    Have deceptive practice charge almost 15 years ago in Illinois can i get them back here

    • admin_WR says:

      Jerry – please call us at 844-947-3732 or take our eligibility test to see if you’re eligible. Thanks!

  44. Bryan says:

    I had a domestic violence on my record in AZ, back when I was 18. I an 41 now and live in California, should that be expunged already?


  45. Vanessa says:

    I live in montana and have a nonviolent felony for a bad check charge it has been over 7 years ago am I qualified to own a gun?

  46. Jimmie Farris says:

    I have a felony for arson.The F.B.I.sat on the witness stand and admitted they had no witnesses and ABSOLUTELY no evidence against me .For the simple fact I DID NOT DO IT! Many,many months after my ARREST I still told the F.B.I.I was taking my case to trial. On one of those occasions I was cuffed and shackled ,thrown against a concrete block wall and was told I would confess or the refusal would be disastrous for my wife.Yes,folks it happens in the U.S.A.AT THE TIME I was 63 yrs old and never,never been in trouble with the law,never even had them called on me and my last traffic violation was 23yrs.ago.My health is failing and I’m told I have no right to protect my wife from intruders.What has our country come to?

    • Jordan Myres says:

      Hey Jimmie,
      Please visit our website and take our free eligibility test to see if you qualify, thank you!

  47. Jimmie Farris says:


  48. […] have questions about firearm possession and ownership. A popular question that we hear is, can a felon own a gun? If an ex-felon successfully restores their firearm rights, it’s possible for them to legally […]

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