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Gun Rights Restoration

New York Gun Rights Restoration Attorneys

Under federal law and New York State law a person who has been convicted of a felony or has an active order of protection against them is a prohibited person who may not possess a pistol, handgun, rifle or shotgun. However, New York adds a large number of misdemeanors to the list of crimes for which a person his prohibited from possessing firearms. In New York if a person is convicted of a “serious offense” defined in the New York State Penal Law Sec 265.00 they may not possess a firearm. However, it is possible to restore a convicted felon’s firearms rights and it is possible to restore the firearms rights of a person who is convicted of a serious offense.


The New York State Corrections Law defines two types of certificates that have the ability to restore a person’s rights including, in many cases, firearms rights. A certificate of Relief from Civil Disabilities creates a presumption of rehabilitation once issued and therefore, presumptively, a past conviction should not be held against a person. A person who has one or less felony can qualify for a Certificate of Relief from Civil Disabilities which in most cases are issued by the Court but in some cases such as where a person served a state prison sentence on their only felony, have to be issued by the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS).

Recently, we were able to restore the gun rights of a person with a violent felony conviction for assault by having the Court issue a Certificate of Relief from Civil Disabilities.

A person with 2 or more felony convictions will not qualify for a Certificate of relief from Civil Disabilities and must obtain a Certificate of Good Conduct from DOCCS. DOCCS will rarely restore the gun rights of anybody regardless of their background and the age of the conviction. A Certificate of Good Conduct similarly creates a presumption of rehabilitation. If DOCCS denies the restoration of gun rights the only option is to file an Article 78 against DOCCS.

One complication when restoring firearms rights is making sure that the information gets to the FBI so that the person whose rights were restored will pass the NICS check. Since NICS is generally prohibited from keeping information about people it may be necessary to set up a Voluntary Appeal File (VAF) after which you will be issued Unique Personal Identification Number (UPIN), so you do not keep getting denied.

Recently, a client who had his firearms rights restored kept getting “delays” on the NICS check. Under Federal Law if the Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) gets a delay, he may transfer the firearm if it not denied after three days. Unfortunately, a new law in New York requires FFLs to wait 30 days after a delay. Under Federal law it a NICS check is only good for 30 days and then it needs to be redone. So in New York a delay of 30 days is in effect a denial. It is difficult to navigate the system of obtaining a Certificate that will restore a person’s gun rights and then get that information into the NICS system. Our lawyers have decades of experience in handling firearms issues and getting gun rights restored. Contact one of our experienced gun rights attorneys for a fast, free and friendly consultation right over the phone.

For those that already have guns, visit our NY TAC Defense website to learn more about our pre-paid legal plan for gun owners.

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